The Best Grill Cleaners of 2022

Keep your steaks and burgers tasting great with a grill that is clean of grease.

By Timothy Dale | Updated Jan 4, 2022 6:19 PM

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The Best Grill Cleaner Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

When sunny skies and warm weather call for cookouts, your grill can quickly get gunked up with grease, fat, sauce, and rust, giving food an unappealing taste or even causing problems in your intestinal tract. Save your stomach the trouble and invest in a grill cleaner that removes rust and caked-on residue from the grill.

While most grill chefs will have one or two grill brushes that can quickly clean off most fat or sticky globs of sauce, the best grill cleaner should remove even the most cooked-on grease from your grate. The grill cleaners below have been proven to be effective against stuck-on grease and residue, making them essential for keeping your grill clean.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Citrusafe Grill Cleaning Spray
  2. BEST BUDGET: Easy-Off BBQ Grill Cleaner, Degreaser (Pack of 3)
  3. BEST FOR GRILL EXTERIORS: Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish
  4. BEST FOR GRILL GRATES: Weber Grill Grate Cleaner
  5. BEST FOR GREASE: Parker & Bailey BBQ Grill and Surface Cleaner
  6. BEST FOR HEAVY DUTY: Easy-Off Heavy Duty Original Oven Cleaner
  7. BEST NATURAL: Traeger Grills BAC403 All Natural Cleaner
  8. BEST FAST-ACTING: Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner

The Best Grill Cleaner Options

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Grill Cleaner

Before selecting a new grill-cleaning product to make your grill sparkle, it’s important to determine the type of cleaner you want to use, the application method, and the strength of the cleaner so that you don’t accidentally damage the grill grates or any stainless steel surfaces.

All-Purpose Versus Focused Cleaner

Grill cleaners are designed for two general purposes: cleaning the grates and cooking area of the grill where the most grease and fat gets stuck, and cleaning the exterior of the grill where dirt is a bigger problem than grease.

To clean the grates and grill’s exterior individually, select a specific formula best for grease and stubborn residue and a product to clean dirt and rust, respectively. The two can be targeted together so that one formula fights both grease and dirt, but this is typically less effective at cleaning both.

Specially formulated to clean one specific area of the grill, focused cleaners are generally a better choice for cleansing the grates and cooking surface. These products can be thought of as specialists in their field—they’re great at one thing, but not as effective at anything else.

All-purpose cleaners are ideal for cleaning exterior areas and can be very handy if your grill is regularly kept clean. These options cover all your cleaning needs, but their penetrating power tends to fall short, making them ineffective at giving your grill a thorough, deep clean.

Application Method

Grill cleaners can be applied in a variety of different ways, though the majority of products are sprayed on and then wiped off with a microfiber cloth. This method is a quick and effective way to coat the grill with the cleaning solution, though areas of the grill may be missed, or they may not get enough grill cleaner to be effective.

Foaming nozzles take longer than a spray bottle to apply the solution, but unlike the spray, you can easily see where the grill cleaner has been applied and use more if necessary. Given that both the spray and foam are removed using a cloth, the only real difference is the speed and accuracy of the grill cleaner application.

Other grill cleaners are designed to be poured into a bag where the grates of the grill are contained. The bag is then sealed and the grates are left to soak in the cleaner for a period before being removed and wiped clean. This method is great for thoroughly caked-on grime, but it can’t be used for any other part of the grill.

The last application method is simply to use a cleaning pad that holds a grill cleaner within it. This method isn’t especially popular, as the cleaning pads quickly tear and wear out. However, the added physical scrubbing combined with the degreasing power of the grill cleaner may be just what you need.

Degreasing Strength

The strength of the grill cleaner depends on its purpose. All-purpose cleaners and eco-friendly grill cleaners tend to have a weaker formula for cutting through grease, but they can be effective for basic to standard grill cleaning.

Grill cleaners that focus on the exterior of the grill are designed for one purpose: making your grill shine. This means that they are great for applying a lasting buff on the metal lid of your grill, but their degreasing strength will fall short.

The best grill cleaners for degreasing strength will fall in the grate-cleaner category because they have been designed for just this purpose. Heavy-duty grate cleaners will get even the worst grease and grime off your grill, grill basket, and drip pan, but their powerful chemical formulas can be hard on the eyes and lungs. Make sure you wear appropriate eye and mouth protection while cleaning with these robust grill cleaners.

Eco-Friendly Claims

No matter what product you are working with, there will likely be an eco-friendly alternative available, as the eco-conscious mindset of the market continues to influence product manufacturers. Grill cleaners are no exception.

When you pick up an eco-friendly grill cleaner, you can expect to get a decent product that works for light to moderate cleaning, though it may have a hard time cutting through significant grease buildup. These cleaners often come with the added benefit of a sweet or fruity smell, and they reduce the damage household cleaning products can cause to the environment.

In most cases, the benefits of an eco-friendly grill cleaner will outweigh the slightly weaker degreasing strength, but if you need a strong degreaser, eco-friendly grill cleaners might not be the best choice.

Additional Features

Grill cleaners come with many different features that can make them more attractive options. One of the most popular features is the included microfiber cloth. You already know you will need a cloth or rag, so there is a temptation to pick up a grill cleaner that comes with a specifically designed cloth.

Other cleaners may try to draw your attention with their ability to be used on hot or cold surfaces, avoiding the hassle of having to be heat-activated for best results. Finally, a stone grill will benefit from a grill cleaner that boasts a neutral pH balance to ensure the stonework is safe from harmful chemicals.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

The Best Grill Cleaner Option: Citrusafe Grill Cleaning Spray
Photo: amazon.com

Keep the grill shining inside and out with Citrusafe Grill Cleaning Spray. This all-purpose grill cleaner uses a citrus-based degreaser with a subtle scent to cut through moderate amounts of grease on the grates and add a fresh-smelling shine to the exterior of the grill.

The biodegradable formula gives users an environmentally friendly option that can be used on cold grills. D-limonene, the active ingredient in Citrusafe Grill Cleaning Spray, is safe for the grill, safe for the environment, and safe for the user, making this one of the best all-purpose grill cleaners for the environmentally conscious consumer.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 23 fluid ounces
  • Application method: Spray
  • Type: All-purpose

Pros

  • Eco-friendly formula
  • Can be used on cold grills to reduce wasted fuel
  • Uses D-limonene to cut through grease and grime
  • Pleasant citrus scent

Cons

  • May have a hard time with tough, stuck-on grime

Best-Budget

Best Grill Cleaner Option: Easy-Off BBQ Grill Cleaner, Degreaser (Pack of 3)
Photo: amazon.com

This grill-cleaning product by Easy-Off shouldn’t be used on the exterior or interior of the grill because the powerful cleaning formula can damage the stainless steel or powder steel body of the grill. Instead, use the specialized cleaner on the grill grates to ensure that any and all burned food, stuck-on grease, and residual grime are removed within about 40 minutes after the spray foam has been applied.

The grill-cleaning product comes with three cans that each hold about 14.5 fluid ounces of cleaning solution, giving users a small stock of grill cleaner for the entire grilling season. However, it should be noted that this grill cleaner does have a powerful chemical scent and should only be used in a well-ventilated area with proper personal protective equipment, including a mask, gloves, and safety glasses.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 14.5 fluid ounces per can
  • Application method: Foam
  • Type: Specialized grill-grate cleaner

Pros

  • Easy-to-use foam cleaner
  • Powerful formula has no trouble with grease
  • Affordable three-pack

Cons

  • Not suitable for cleaning the grill exterior or interior
  • Strong chemical scent

Best for Grill Exteriors

The Best Grill Cleaner Option: Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish
Photo: amazon.com

Eco-friendly, streak-free, and efficient at cutting through grease, Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner is the best grill cleaner for the average grill cook. It features an entirely plant-based formula that makes it much safer than ammonia or bleach cleaners and comes with a large microfiber cloth that is perfect for cleaning your grill’s smooth surfaces.

This stainless steel cleaner is amazing at removing streaks and grease spots from the exterior of your grill but is almost as good at cutting through the heavy grease on the interior of the grill. Intended for ongoing light use, this grill cleaner is the best choice for the grill cook who is diligent about keeping the grill clean between uses.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 16 fluid ounces
  • Application method: Spray
  • Type: Specialized stainless steel cleaner

Pros

  • Eco-friendly, plant-based formula
  • Can be used on the grill interior and exterior
  • Pleasant lavender scent

Cons

  • Not intended for cleaning grill grates
  • Made for light-duty cleaning

Best for Grill Grates

The Best Grill Cleaner Option: Weber Grill Cleaner Spray
Photo: amazon.com

The Weber Grill Cleaner Spray is particularly focused on cutting through tough grease and grime that all-purpose cleaners can’t touch. Its USDA-approved formula is eco-friendly, nontoxic, noncorrosive, and nonflammable, making it a safe alternative to some of the more hazardous grate-focused grill cleaners.

The odorless solution can be easily sprayed on the grill grates, regardless of whether the grill is cold or recently used, allowing users to save some money on fuel. This grill-grate cleaner can also be used on smokers, ovens, and microwaves to help cut through any tough, stuck-on grease, oil, food, or fat. Just spray the cleaner, give it some time to eat through the grime, then wipe it away with a clean microfiber cloth.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 16 fluid ounces
  • Application method: Spray
  • Type: Specialized grill-grate cleaner

Pros

  • Nonflammable, noncorrosive, nontoxic
  • Odorless solution
  • Can be used on cold grills to reduce wasted fuel

Cons

  • May have a hard time with very tough, stuck-on grime
  • Not intended to clean the grill exterior

Best For Grease

Best Grill Cleaner Option: Parker & Bailey BBQ Grill and Surface Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

Ensure that the grease, fat, and oil that has been built up throughout the grilling season can be easily removed by using this strong degreasing grill cleaner. It’s an all-purpose spray that can be used on the exterior and interior of the grill as well as to clean the grates, drip pans, grill baskets, and any grill tools. It comes in a simple spray bottle with 24 fluid ounces of cleaning solution.

While other cleaners are known for leaving behind streaks and oily residue, Parker & Bailey’s grill cleaner has a completely nonstick formula that cleans the grill without creating more work for the user. However, it’s important to use this cleaner in a well-ventilated area because the chemical formula can cause eye irritation.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 24 fluid ounces
  • Application method: Spray
  • Type: All-purpose

Pros

  • Streak-free formula
  • Suitable for grill exteriors, interiors, grates, drip pans, and more
  • Doesn’t leave a residue behind

Cons

  • Can cause eye irritation

Best for Heavy Duty

The Best Grill Cleaner Option: Easy-Off Professional Oven & Grill Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

If the grill is looking like it hasn’t been cleaned since the dark ages, then it’s necessary to get out the rubber gloves, a mask, and Easy-Off Heavy Duty Original Oven & Grill Cleaner. This heavy-duty, grate-focused formula will cut through almost any mess in a mere 5 minutes, putting most eco-friendly solutions to shame. Of course, this also means that users will need to contend with the powerful chemical scent produced by this cleaner, so it’s important to wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including a mask, gloves, and safety glasses.

Easily apply the spray in a well-ventilated area, then wipe away the grease and grime with very little effort. While it’s important to thoroughly rinse the grates in water after use, users can be assured that this grill cleaner won’t leave anything behind.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 24 fluid ounces
  • Application method: Spray
  • Type: All-purpose

Pros

  • Heavy-duty cleaning formula
  • Cuts through thick layers of stuck-on grease and grime
  • Suitable for grill grates and ovens

Cons

  • Strong chemical scent
  • Not a good choice for the grill exterior

Best Natural

Best Grill Cleaner Option: Traeger Grills BAC403 All Natural Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

Instead of using a heavy-duty grill cleaner that can potentially damage the grill, the yard, and the user, try out this natural, all-purpose grill cleaner that has a biodegradable, eco-friendly, nontoxic formula. Despite the care taken in developing a safe-to-use grill cleaner, this product is still an effective all-purpose cleaner that makes quick work of fat, oil, and grease.

In fact, this impressive all-natural cleaning solution takes only 5 minutes to work. Simply spray it on, let it sit for 5 minutes, then wipe the surface clean with a microfiber cloth. However, keep in mind that even the most potent natural products can struggle with the toughest grease and grime, so if the grill hasn’t been cleaned in several years, this may not be the option to help revitalize the grill.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 32 fluid ounces
  • Application method: Spray
  • Type: All-purpose

Pros

  • Eco-friendly formula
  • Nontoxic solution
  • Works in just 5 minutes

Cons

  • May have a hard time with tough, stuck-on grime

Honorable Mention

Best Grill Cleaner Option: Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

Goo Gone has specialized in removing glue, adhesive, and even caulking, so it may come as no surprise that its Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner is amazing at removing tough, caked-on grease. Just keep in mind that it should still be used with appropriate personal protective equipment to prevent the user’s eyes from becoming irritated while cleaning the grill.

The citric acid in this biodegradable cleaner is an effective degreasing agent that comes with a strong orange smell, which makes using it far more pleasant than products that give off a chemical scent that’s strong enough to make your eyes water. This grate-focused cleaner comes at a great price for a substantial bottle, allowing users to keep it on hand through an entire grilling season.

Product Specs

  • Volume: 24 fluid ounces
  • Application method: Spray
  • Type: All-purpose

Pros

  • Biodegradable, eco-friendly formula
  • Safe for grill exterior, interior, grates, and drip pans
  • Pleasant citrus scent

Cons

  • May cause eye irritation

Our Verdict

The sweet citrus scent and powerful cleaning potential of the Citrusafe Grill Cleaning Spray put this product at the top of the list for effective, safe grill cleaners. However, if you have more than one grill to clean or you want to stock up on a product that you really like, then the three-pack of Easy-Off BBQ Grill Cleaner is a great choice.

How We Chose the Best Grill Cleaners

Extensive research into more than 25 different grill-cleaning products went into narrowing the selection of top grill cleaners. Key considerations included the volume of grill cleaner, the application method, the type of grill cleaner, and whether the product was safe for use.

The volume of each grill cleaner helped to balance the price of each product based on the amount of cleaner that the consumer received, while the type of cleaner was narrowed to all-purpose products and more specialized products, like stainless steel cleaners. Most grill cleaners come in a spray bottle or spray can, and they are applied by spraying the cleaner directly on the grill or on a cloth or brush that can be used to clean the grill. While some cleaners do come in cream or even powdered solutions, these products are rare.

Safety was a crucial aspect of the selection process. Products that didn’t have strong chemical smells were typically preferred over powerful chemical cleaners that require masks to use. Additionally, any negative impact on the environment was also considered to be a safety hazard.

FAQs

There is always more to learn about grill cleaners and how to use them effectively to get rid of baked-on food and tough grease. Take a look below to find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about using a grill and grate cleaner.

Q: What is the best way to clean grill grates?

The best way to clean grill grates is with a heavy-duty cleaner that can cut through the grease without damaging the metal. Typically, this involves applying the cleaner directly to the grill grates or to a soft microfiber cloth before wiping with the cloth to remove dirt, grime, oils, and other residue. Once the surface is clean, you can rinse it with a clean, damp cloth and then dry.

Q: Is it safe to use a wire brush on grill grates? 

Wire grill brushes are generally safe as long as you remember to replace them at least once a year. However, the wire pieces on a wire brush can come loose and get stuck on the grill. If you aren’t careful, then the wire can end up in your food, posing a risk to whomever is going to be eating. It’s advised to always check the grill brush before using it to clean the grill and to check the grill after cleaning to make sure that the wires did not come loose during the cleaning process.

Q: Can you clean a grill without a brush? 

A grill brush is one of the most basic tools for cleaning a grill. It gets rid of large stuck-on pieces, but you can clean a grill without a brush. Simply spray stainless steel cleaner on the exterior of the grill or apply it to a cloth to wipe away dirt, dust, and grime. Then spray a grill cleaner on the grill grates and use a cloth to clean off dirt, grime, oils, and other residue. Alternatively, you could remove the grill grates and place them in a large bucket or tub where they can soak for a short period of time in a grill-cleaning solution before being rinsed and dried.

Q: How do you clean the outside of a grill? 

When it comes to cleaning the grill, it isn’t all about scrubbing the grill grates or emptying the drip pans. Like most stainless steel appliances, the exterior of the grill can be sprayed with stainless steel cleaner and wiped down with a clean cloth to remove any dust, dirt, grease, grime, oil, and any other substances. Make sure to rinse the grill with a clean, damp cloth and then dry the grill to prevent any water damage.