No Brush? No Problem. Here’s How to Clean Your Grill

Updated: Apr. 04, 2023

Getting ready for a cookout, but don't have that grill brush on hand? Clean the grill with ease using this clever trick before cooking up those burgers!


There’s nothing more satisfying than a clean grill. Clean grills mean it’s officially time to break out the charcoal, grab the hot dogs and burgers, and have the first cookout of the year. But in order to do so, you need a clean grill first. But if you don’t have a brush, don’t sweat it, there’s an easy solution to getting your grill cleaned in a pinch.

This trick doesn’t require any fancy sprays or tools. All you need is aluminum foil. Yes, that’s really it. Aluminum foil will help to clean up that grill faster than you can say “fire up the grill.”

How Does it Work?

It’s actually pretty simple!

  1. First thing is to warm up your grill. This will help in getting the grime off easier.
  2. Grab a sheet of aluminum foil and shape it into a ball. The ball must be the size of your grates, big enough so that it won’t fall through.
  3. Scrub away! It’s safest not use your hands against a warm grill, so we recommend holding the aluminum with a pair of tongs. Be sure to give it a little elbow grease.

How Do I Keep It Clean?

Another easy trick, actually! Although you could continue using aluminum foil to clean off your grill, you can avoid the number of cleaning sessions by simply applying cooking oil to the grates. Just like a cast iron skillet, cooking oil will help keep the grill clean of excess food.

First, you need to wait for your grill to completely cool after cleaning it. Once it is cool, coat the grill with a high heat cooking oil like canola or peanut oil. Using a spray oil would make the process easy, just make sure you aren’t spraying it at an open flame.

Once the oil is on the grill, use a paper towel to even the coat of oil on the grates. Then light the grill back up for about 30 minutes in order to settle the oil into the grates.

Why Do I Need to Clean My Grill?

Well for starters, your food won’t taste good on a grimy grill. With leftover remnants from last year’s cookouts, your food will carry these tastes right to your plate. Not only the gross taste of your food but the possibility of bacteria-induced illness. Bacteria and viruses can develop on these leftover food particles, which can transfer to your burger.

Cleaning your grill is also good for overall safety and health of your grill. It will prevent chemical reactions and corrosion. A clean grill means increasing the longevity of your grill, which means more cookouts and fewer worries. Giving your grill a simple aluminum foil scrub and a swipe of fresh oil will make a huge difference in the long run.

Now that your grill is ready for the summer, we have a feeling you need these 30 grill tips. They are a game changer when it comes to your overall grilling experience.