How to Clean BBQ Grills with Vinegar. Tips and Tricks

  • By: Peter Allen
  • Date: 10/29/2020
  • Time to read: 9 min.

Most people think that Vinegar is a useful ingredient in the kitchen alone when used as an ingredient in salad dressing. But this is not the case because Vinegar can be much more critical in cleaning surfaces. Some, if not all, people like barbequing, but nobody would like grilling on dirty grill surfaces. If you have never used Vinegar to clean your grill, then you need to give it a try. This kitchen ingredient is an excellent cleaner when it comes to surface cleaning. It can clean many things, including barbecues, and does not leave any dangerous residue that might cause food poisoning.

How to Clean Your Grill with Vinegar

If you are a frequent griller, you can bear witness that it is hard to get rid of grilled foods from oil and grease. These oils and grease usually stick on foods making them dirty. But by following a few simple steps, you can be sure to get rid of these oils in a comfortable and chemical-free way. The following are simple steps on how you can make your barbequing surface clean without using any chemicals.

There are two methods in which you can clean using Vinegar;

Method 1: scrubbing with aluminum foil

Step 1. Mix water with White Vinegar

Take equal parts of the two and mix them well. Put the mixture in an empty spray bottle and screw its top tightly. Shake the bottle well so that the ingredients can mix well for a uniform solution.

Step 2: Spray the mixture on your BBQ grate

To do this, first ensure that your grill is off. Wait until the grills are cool enough, which you can touch comfortably. After confirming that it is cold enough, apply the solution to your barbeque grates using a spray bottle.

Ensure that you spray more solution to crusty spots and allow them to sit for at least five to ten minutes. This gives the vinegar time to dissolve into the grates to leave the grease and oil from them. Moreover, the Vinegar will kill any likely harmful organisms like bacteria left by uncooked foods, hence leaving your grill clean and safer for grilling.

Step 3: mold the aluminum foil into a ball

Do this by cutting the aluminum foil’s manageable size at about three feet long . after cutting the mold, it uses your hands and creates a giant wad than a softball.

You can use a grill brush if you have any instead of the foil ball. But most grillers prefer aluminum foils to a brush because it does not scratch the greats; therefore, no release of harmful metal remains on the grill.

Step 4: Scrub the soaked grates with the aluminum foil and start scrubbing any dirt off the foil.

Congealed grease and Vinegar often become loose after soaking in water. After finishing scrubbing, flip the grates over the surface while scrubbing the backsides.

Step 5: Rinse the scrubbed grates with water

Detach the grates from the grill and wash them with plenty of water to remove any resident chunks available. Allow them to dry by air or use a towel to dry them before returning them to the grill.

Method 2, for deep cleaning

Soaking Vinegar with baking soda

Step 1: Mix vinegar with baking soda

Use a giant garbage bag that can carry all the grates and mix one cup of baking soda with two vinegar cups. Put your cool grates in the solution once the solution starts to foam. You should be careful while doing this because Vinegar is a severe irritant. In case the liquid splashes on you, rinse with plenty of water immediately.

Step 2: Close the bag while the grates are in it

You should seal the bag tightly using a rubber band or tie it with a knot and leave them to soak. Overnight soaking will help soften crusty grill for easy removal of stubborn grease and oil build-up.

Step 3: Remove the soaked grates from the garbage bag

After soaking overnight, remove the grates from the solution and discard the bag and any remaining contents.

Step 5: Rinse the grates thoroughly with water.

Use a large hose or sink to rinse off the residue from the grates. You can srub the residue if it does not lose easily.

Precautions to take while handling Vinegar

Ensure that Vinegar does not touch your eyes as it is so irritative to the eyes, and in case it does, wash your eyes thoroughly with plenty of water.
Always remember to put on disposable gloves and spectacles while handling Vinegar.
Wash your hands thoroughly after finishing your cleaning.

How Vinegar works as a cleaning agent

Vinegar cleans barbeque grates by softening food particles and other stains on the grates for easy and effective removal. It eats through the oil and grease, making them loose hence easy to clean. This is one of the best cleaning agents you should use if you want an effective clean for your BBQ.

Why is Vinegar efficient for cleaning?

Several factors make a cleaning agent useful in performing its task. The Vinegar has some acidic components that eat through the oil, and grease remains after grilling. It is old fashioned chemistry that applies here. It only takes a few seconds for the acid to loosen the build-up of a chunk of grates. Moreover, besides cleaning the barbecue, the acid kills bacteria and other living organisms on the grill making the grill clean and safe for grilling healthy foods free from germs.

Does Vinegar clean barbeque grates?

Yes, Vinegar is an excellent cleaner of bbq grates. Mixing vinegar with baking soda can make the best cleaning formulas that are also environmentally friendly. Vinegar alone, without any other element, can perform the task more efficiently and quickly. However, baking soda increases the efficiency farther and accelerates the cleaning process. The soda adds an abrasive element that eases the scrubbing of the dirt residue for easy removal.

Can you use white vinegar as a degreaser?

Yes, you can use it as a degreaser as it is an excellent grease and oil remover. When distilled or heated, white Vinegar can function as a degreaser by breaking down the ingredients or minerals of any particles it comes into contact with.

What is the difference in cleaning between white Vinegar and apple cider?

Frankly speaking, there is no much difference between the two when it comes to cleaning. The only significant difference is the smell; apple cider gives out a sweet and pleasant smell while white Vinegar has a strong sour odor. So if you don’t like the smell of the white Vinegar, you can use the apple cider because there is no difference in the cleaning.

Note that you can use Vinegar in cleaning other bbq parts. If you use white Vinegar, it will leave some unpleasant smell, so if you dislike this odor, always remember to use a diluted vinegar solution. You can as well decide to use apple cider instead.

Which is the best type of Vinegar to use in cleaning?

Although the two kinds of Vinegar do not have much big difference in cleaning, white Vinegar is the best as it contains the most potent acids. Moreover, white Vinegar cleans thoroughly, leaving no stain on the cleaned surface. Apple cider vinegar has less strong acids.

What you need when cleaning your grill with Vinegar?

  • Lukewarm water
  • A sheet of aluminum foil
  • Kitchen towel
  • Spray bottle
  • White table vinegar

Importance of using Vinegar as a grill cleaner

Vinegar removes all residues from the surface quickly and efficiently because of the acid available in the Vinegar.
Vinegar does not leave any harmful residue on the grates that can pose any danger risk by contaminating the foods. Since Vinegar is edible, there is no risk, even if one ingests it.
Vinegar is an excellent conserver of the environment as it is clean, safe, and environmentally friendly. Regardless of the material, pure Vinegar can clean plastic, ceramic, or plastic without affecting it. Therefore it does not bring any adverse effect to the environment or skin.
Vinegar does not produce any aftertaste to the foods grilled later.
It is safe and clean, as it does not affect foods negatively.

Why is it Important to Clean Your BBQ Grates?

BBQ grates are one of the kitchen tools to prepare some meals, and they frequently require proper cleaning. Roasting meat, for example, leaves some stains and fats on the grill. When they are roasted on the BBQ grates, food such as maize may overburn and stick on the grill’s metallic parts. Sometimes you may wish to grill vegetables and burn up, leaving some residues on your BBQ grates.

The remains of these foods attract bacterias and germs, and after a long time without cleaning, these residue piles can cause health hazards to the human body. Therefore, it is essential to clean the BBQ grates before and after use to avoid health problems brought by these meal residues to get into the human body.

Can you use Vinegar to clean grill grates?

Yes, Vinegar makes the services of the metallic part very clean when used to clean them. As you use other methods to clean your grill gates, it is advisable to consider also using Vinegar as your cleaner. It is healthy to clean your BBQ grates using this method as its residues are not harmful if any remains.

Can I clean grease on my BBQ grates using Vinegar?

The answer to this question is yes. Vinegar content is made to be more robust and wash out dirty contents such as fats, oil, and grease. The acidic contents of the Vinegar usually act as a degreaser by softening and breaking grease bonds. In this way, Vinegar makes you work to wash grease contents on your BBQ grates. After washing, the surfaces of your BBQ grates remain very clean without any stain of grease and free from germs.

What ratio of water to Vinegar do you need when cleaning your BBQ grates?

Do you need to clean your BBQ grates using a mixture of water and Vinegar? Are you warring on how to get the solution to these two contents? Here is the answer. Your BBQ grate needs to be kept very clean as you continue using it. Using Vinegar is the best choice to clean your BBQ grates, and it needs proper procedure, especially when mixing it with water.

The ratio of the mixture will depend on the nature of the residues left on your grill grates. Using 1:1 of Vinegar to water mixture makes the right solution for the standard answer, and when cleaning a low content of the residues on the grill. Sometimes your BBQ grate may not have been in use for a while, and fats and grease stains get too old. The ratio to clean these contents is 1:2, water to Vinegar.

Is it right to rinse BBQ grates after cleaning with Vinegar?

Vinegar is a natural solution used for cleaning; it may not require much rinsing. When you wash your grates using Vinegar to remove grease, fats, or oil contents, the washed residues need to be washed out with water. You may have also used steel holes to help remove the hard residues on your grill. Therefore, it is essential to use water to rinse vinegar contents and the dirt removed from the BBQ grates.

How often should you clean your BBQ grates using Vinegar?

Cleaning your grill grates is always an essential thing as you always avoid getting health problems brought by bacterias and germs. Vinegar, due to its acidic content, kills all bacterias and germs, causing health problems. It may sound tedious to clean your grill now after then, but it’s good to wash before and after using your BBQ grate. You may wash your BBQ grate at least 3 to 5 times during cookouts. This ensures even the dust that may have stuck on the grill gets out and prevents health hazards that may arise due to meal residues.


BBQ grates need proper cleaning to avoid health problems. Using Vinegar to clean BBQ grates cleans out all stains left on your grill, including grease materials, fats, and oil that comes out of burned foods. Choose to use Vinegar to clean your BBQ grates as it is a natural material and environmentally friendly.