The best grill cleaners are specially formulated to dissolve all the stubborn grease left on the grates and all over your BBQ.
A good grill brush can get most of the grime off your grill after daily use. But once in a while, it’s essential that you bring out the big guns, namely cleaning products.
If you ask 20 people, they will likely recommend 20 different products. It seems that everyone has their own idea of which is best. So which ones really are the best for a clean and shiny grill?
In this article we’re looking at degreasers, soaps and solutions for cleaning, not tools you might want to use. You can check our additional guide for the best grill cleaning tools.
But by the end of this article, you should know precisely what to look for in grill cleaning products. We’ll tell you about the different types available, and share our top recommendations for specific products.
At a Glance: The Best Grill Cleaners Discussed in our Guide
- Weber Grill Cleaning Kit
- Bryson Industries Grill Cleaning Kit
- Grill Cleaner Spray – Professional Strength Degreaser
- Citrusafe Grill Cleaning Spray
- Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner
- Easy-Off Professional Oven & Grill Cleaner
- Easy-Off Professional Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish
- Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish
- Mr. Muscle Oven and Grill Cleaner 19 Ounce 1 Can
- Citrushine SH32 EMW1605286
Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.
Best Grill Cleaner – Our Top Recommendations
Read through our recommendations below to get an idea of which grill cleaner you need, keeping your personal needs and preferences in mind.
How often do you need to clean? Does your grill get really dirty? Do you want something quick and easy, or are you willing to go with a time-consuming process but with a more natural product?
With these questions in mind, let’s look at some of the top products available today.
What Type of Grill Cleaner do You Need?
When you’re ready to start shopping for a grill cleaner, you’ll find there is a vast selection available. It’s important to know what the different types of cleaners are, so you’re sure to get exactly the one you need.
Here is a helpful summary of the various types of grill cleaner available:
- All-rounders: These are standard products that can be used on pretty much any type of surface. So whether your cleaning a gas grill, or cleaning an electric smoker, this type of product will do the job. But if your grill grates are coated or plated, or your cooker is made from stainless steel, this might not be the one to choose.
- Stainless steel cleaners: Specially formulated to clean grills that have a stainless steel finish. They are softer than others so won’t damage the surface.
- Soft cleaners: For “lighter” cleaning, where you only need to wipe down with a damp cloth.
- Heavy duty: As their name suggests, heavy-duty cleaners are for when there’s a stubborn build up of grime and grease. These usually require you to wear gloves, and perhaps even a mask, to keep yourself protected.
Now that you understand the various types, it will be easier to choose one that is best suited to your exact requirements.
What to Look for in the Best Grill Cleaner
We all have different needs when it comes to cleaning products for our grill. This includes the type of grill we have, how often it’s cleaned, and the surface material.
But we also have personal preferences, so we should keep some other points in mind.
Some products contain chemicals that are strong enough to scratch surfaces. Others are mild and may even be biodegradable.
Here are a few examples:
- Surfactants: These ingredients are foaming or cleaning agents that help to remove dirt or grease from grates. Contrary to popular belief, a study has revealed that these aren’t as harmful as we previously thought (source).
- Solvents: In grill cleaners, these usually include diethylene glycol monobutyl ether or phenoxyisopropanol.
- D-limonene: This is another solvent you’ll see in some products. D-limonene is a natural agent, derived from various citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, and mandarins (source).
- pH adjuster: This is important, especially when it comes to degreasers. Some products may even contain two — sodium hydroxide and ethanolamine.
There are heavy-duty cleaning products that require you to stay in a well-ventilated room, wear gloves and perhaps a mask. If you don’t follow these safety precautions, you could end up with breathing difficulties or a swollen throat (source).
It’s fair to say that these types of products should be kept far away from your food. If you use these on your grill, you’ll need to rinse the grates thoroughly with clean water afterward.
If you want to stay safe, look for products containing natural ingredients, such as d-limonene. These have very low toxicity and are relatively safe to consume if small amounts come in contact with the food.
Depending on how much time you have, you might want to look for something that is user-friendly. Some products require advance prep, time to work once applied, and perhaps extra equipment. These are not for the busy griller, who prefers something fast and easy.
Some people prefer to have one product that you can use on several different surfaces. A multi-use product is one you can bring out to the grill, but will also keep your kitchen appliances looking clean and fresh.
Some grill cleaners are scented to leave a fresh aroma after cleaning. Lemon scent seems to be a popular choice for many. Personally, I stay away from scented products. Once again, it’s a case of personal preference.
This is perhaps the most important point. Of course, you want something that’s going to succeed in getting the job done.
Some grill enthusiasts don’t like to apply cleaning products after every use. If you use cleaning tools regularly, you may only choose to use a grill cleaner occasionally. Although, at that point, you might need something tougher to clear the buildup.
Size and Price
Depending on which product you buy, the value is likely to vary. Don’t be fooled into thinking the bigger it is, the longer it will last. Some smaller products are more concentrated and therefore could last longer than larger sprays.
Cost is also variable, cheaper doesn’t always mean a poor product. The price may be high because it’s from the grill manufacturer. Generally, though, if there are two size options of a single product, the larger will be better value for money.
Invest in a Grill Cover for Easier Cleaning
We tend to think of grill covers solely for preventing corrosion, keeping out inclement weather, rain, and snow, and preventing rusting. But grill covers serve another purpose too.
Contaminants in the air, bird poop, and more can build up on the outside of your grill if not covered, so a good grill cover actually helps keep your grill cleaner and requiring less cleaning.
So if you don’t already have a cover, check out our article for the best grill covers and consider adding one to your grill.
Finding the best grill cleaner can be a challenge, so keep some key points in mind while searching.
These can include which ingredients you prefer (chemical or natural), whether you’d rather have scented or odorless, different uses and, of course, food safety.
Here we’ve given you some of the best grill cleaners that stand out for us. Hopefully one of them will be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Got a question? Leave us a comment below, and we’ll make sure to answer it. Don’t forget to share our review with your friends, too!