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Five Products You Need To Deep Clean Your Grill

5 Neat Things5 Neat ThingsJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast “Ask a Clean Person.” Each week, she’ll round up five essential cleaning products, tools and organizational systems to help you live your tidiest lives.

The dirty secret of grills is that they don’t require a whole lot to keep them clean! Mostly as long as you brush the grates well before and after each use you’ll be good to go. But from time to time — once or twice a year for average grillers, more often for people who grill regularly — doing a thorough deep clean of a grill will help to keep it in good working order. This week in Squalor, I talked about how to do that job, and so to close out the GRILLING EXTRAVAGANZA arc, here are some products that you might consider using to show your grill some love.

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Household Gloves
Graphic: Shep McAllister

Household Gloves

Fun fact! “Household gloves” is the technical term for those rubber gloves made for washing dishes and scrubbing the bathroom. They’re also a good idea when you’ve got a particularly dirty job ahead of you, and deep cleaning a grill — despite being a straightforward endeavor — is a dirty job. So! Gloves. This set of two pairs of gloves comes in five sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL) and two color choices (blue and brown, blessedly no pink!) They also lined, which is a nice feature when you’re performing longer, outdoor jobs, because the lining will absorb sweat. If you’ve ever worn unlined gloves you know exactly why I’m noting this and if you haven’t, well, trust me on this one!

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Gentle Abrasive Powders
Graphic: Shep McAllister
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Gentle Abrasive Powders

While household gloves are pretty much non-negotiable — I mean, you’ll still want to negotiate with me and many of you will skip them entirely to prove some tired old point about toughness and grit! Be my guest, they’re your hands not mine! — you actually don’t need fancy specialty products to deep clean a grill. Bon Ami, which is a powder cleanser that is much more gentle than similar products like Comet or Ajax (love you both, pals, but you’re too much for grill cleaning!) or even good old baking soda, are really all you need for scrubbing both the interior and exterior of a grill.

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Dobie Pads
Graphic: Shep McAllister
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Heavy Duty Scouring Sponges

Regular sponges are fine to use for the dirty job of cleaning a grill, but a Dobie Pad, which is a non-scratch abrasive sponge, is a seriously better choice. Because of the nature of grill detritus, however, a bit of extra scrubbing power is often needed, but when it comes to the exterior, you need to be mindful to not use a scouring pad that will leave scratches. If you find that there’s stubborn buildup on the grill grates that a regular sponge and even the Dobie won’t touch, try the Scotch-Brite Quick Clean Heavy Duty Griddle Pad — just be sure not to use it on the exterior of the grill, as it’s likely to cause damage.

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Heavy Duty Cleaners

But let’s say your grill is in really bad shape, and even Bon Ami combined with a Dobie isn’t enough to do the job of getting things clean. Enter Krud Kutter Degreaser and/or Super Clean Foaming All Purpose Grill Cleaner, which are heavy duty cleaners. The trick with products like these is to apply it and then allow time for it to do a lot of the work for you. (This is, generally, a helpful tip to bear in mind for many cleaning jobs.) So! Apply it, let it sit for 10-15 minutes and then wipe it away using a rag or sponge. It’s also important to note that you should wear household gloves when working with these products, especially the Super Clean, since they can cause skin irritation.

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DrillBrush
Graphic: Shep McAllister

The Big Guns

Let’s say your grill is in truly bad shape, or that you’d really prefer not to use harsher cleaning products like Super Clean, or just that you’re a power tool enthusiast. (What? Such people exist, don’t look at me like that!) Enter, the DrillBrush! I’m fully obsessed with this thing. Here are some important things to know about the DrillBrush: First of all, drill not included so you need one of those. I mean, also, you need one of those because you’re a grown adult and grown adults should own a drill. Secondly, the DrillBrush has 6 different grades, and the one you want for outdoor use is the heaviest-duty one, “Ultra-Stiff Black.”

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About the author

Jolie Kerr

Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person