What Is the Best Way to Clean Rusty Charcoal Grill Grates?

If you keep your grill outside, you may find that the charcoal grates have rusted over time. Rust on the charcoal grill is not only unsightly, but it may also spoil the flavour of your wonderful cooked meal. The good news is that removing rust off grill grates is very simple and does not need the use of harmful chemicals. Here are some of our favourite natural cleaning techniques for removing rust off barbecue grates.

Grill Grates Upkeep

Keeping your BBQ grill in excellent condition requires frequent and quick cleaning after use. This may seem to be a hassle, but once you’ve finished grilling, clean the grates with a simple water and dish soap solution. The longer burned food dirt remains on the grates, the more difficult it will be to clean them. So, in the long term, giving the grates a short clean after usage is worthwhile.

Looking Grill Cleaning Company?

Using Baking Soda, remove grill rust.

Baking soda is an excellent natural cleaner for removing oil and dirt from the BBQ grill. Begin by cleaning as much rust as possible from the grate using a soft brush.

A close-up of a rusted old barbecue grill with charcoal burning beneath it.

Then replace the grate on the grill. Turn on the grill and liberally sprinkle the baking soda over the grate.

The heat from the grill will cause the baking soda to bubble, which will remove the rust off the grill. When the baking soda has completed bubbling, switch off the grill and set it aside to cool. Then, using a gentle brush, remove any leftover baking soda and rust.

Baking soda is a strong cleaning agent that may even be used to clean your oven; the recipe for homemade oven cleaner can be found here.

Rust Remover Made with Vinegar and Salt

White vinegar is a very flexible natural cleaning solution that can be used to clean almost anything, even rust. In a spray bottle, combine 2 parts vinegar and 1 part salt. Cover the grates completely with the vinegar solution and place them in an old plastic bag overnight. After soaking the grill grates overnight, wipe them off with an old towel to remove any rust residue.

Using a Wire Brush to Remove Rust

A wire brush is the fastest way to remove rust from charcoal barbecue grates. Remove the grill grate and set it on a level area, such as the driveway or patio. Brush the rust off the grates with a wire brush, being careful to get in between each one. Wipe away the loosened rust and dirt with an old cloth before replacing the grate on the grill.

Keep Grill Grates Rust-Free

Covering the grill with a fitting cover can prevent rust from forming on the grill grates. This will keep moisture out of the BBQ grill, avoiding corrosion.

Rust may be reduced by cleaning the grill grates after each usage. Leftover food residue on the grates will cause them to corrode considerably faster.

After each usage, use a paper towel to cover the grates with a thin coating of vegetable oil. Because vegetable oil repels water, it will help keep the grill grates from rusting.

Check your grill grates throughout the winter; if there is any evidence of rust, remove it immediately to prevent harming the metal. Here are our best recommendations for cleaning and storing your barbecue throughout the winter.



a close-up of a grill rack


When cooking fresh meals, it is critical to keep your grill grates free of rust; no one wants their BBQ ribs to taste rusty. However, as shown, cleaning the rust from your BBQ grill is very simple, and with our maintenance recommendations, you can even prevent rust from forming in the first place.


If you don’t have the time to clean your BBQ and grill thoroughly, Ovenclean provides a professional deep barbeque cleaning service. Even better, Ovenclean’s revolutionary no-added caustic-soda barbeque cleaning method removes the need for potentially hazardous cleaning chemicals. So, why not get in touch with your local expert right away?

Looking Grill Cleaning Company?

Recent Updates / News

Contact Us