The 13 Best Grill Cleaners You Need To Get Ready For Summer Barbecues

Not only is a clean grill a safe grill, but it will perform better and look nicer too. Built-up deposits can also harbor bacteria and leave an unpleasant taste on food. It's possible to clean your grill without a grill cleaner: Dish soap will work just fine, and vinegar can help, too. However, if these methods involve a little too much scrubbing for your liking, you can reach for one of the best grill cleaners on the market.

It's important to clean the grates of your grill after each use (it's best to do so while it's still warm, and make sure to hand-scrub them instead of using the dishwasher). At the start and end of the grilling season, you'll also want to give the whole unit a deep clean. There are plenty of grill cleaners to help with these jobs, including natural cleaning sprays and heavy-duty degreasers. Along with a grill brush, scouring sponge, scraper, or cleaning cloth (and a bit of elbow grease), they can help get your grill spick and span.

The best grill cleaners are safe to use and also effective, helping to loosen up grime and break down grease to make the grill easier to clean. We chose the following top grill cleaners based on their effectiveness, looking at their ingredients and reviews to find top-performing picks. To learn more about how we made our picks, scroll down to the methodology section at the end of this article. In the meantime, get your grill barbecue-ready with the best grill cleaners ahead.

Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray

Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray isn't technically a grill cleaner — it's actually a dish washing spray — but it's fabulous for using on the grill. Press the trigger and the dish soap comes out in a foamy spray that coats whatever you're cleaning. Unlike regular liquid dish soap, it does a good job of sticking to surfaces instead of running down. This helps the soap penetrate the grill grime. Plus, the spray dispersal means you can get it into nooks and crannies that might be otherwise hard to reach. It's safe to use on the inside and outside of most grills.

Since this dish spray doesn't contain any heavy-duty chemicals, those who prefer to avoid harsh ingredients can feel safe using this product. After all, it's designed for your day-to-day dishes and other food prep surfaces, as well. The downside is that it will likely take more elbow grease to remove stuck-on grill residue, due to the lack of harsh corrosive ingredients. Dawn is well-loved for its grease-removing powers, though, so this soapy spray will definitely help remove oil and fat residue.

Natural Elements 30% Vinegar

Vinegar is a tried-and-true natural cleaning substance, and you can use it pretty much all over the house, including for cleaning your grill. For those who want to skip the heavy-duty grill cleaners, it's another alternative we recommend. Consider cleaning in two steps, using a soapy solution (or Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray) to break down grease, then follow with Natural Elements 30% Vinegar to target the residue. This is a great process to deep-clean a grill without harsh chemicals.

With a 30% concentration, Natural Elements 30% Vinegar is stronger than your average grocery store fare. It's very acidic, designed for cleaning and not consumption. You may want to water it down a bit if it feels too strong — we usually recommend a 50:50 ratio with regular vinegar, so you can water down this concentrated option even more. If that doesn't work, lighten up the water ratio and keep it extra strong for eating through stubborn residue. Since it's so concentrated, a bottle should last quite a while, and you can use it for many other cleaning tasks as well. To help you remove pesky rust from a grill at the start of the season, you can add salt to this vinegar for even more scrubbing power.

Traeger Grill Cleaner

Traeger Grill Cleaner is the first dedicated grill cleaner on our list, and though it's made for tough grill messes, it doesn't have very harsh ingredients. The grease-cutting formula is made with natural substances. It forgoes harsh chemicals, so it's biodegradable and suitable for all food surfaces. This means it's safer for both the environment and you.

This spray can be used to clean the inside and outside of a grill. A little soaking time (up to 10 minutes) breaks down grease and grime into a liquidy residue that's easier to wipe away with a soft cloth. Very little scrubbing is necessary. Traeger formulated this cleaner to be used on the brand's wood pellet grills, but it will work on other grills as well. Since it's designed to avoid altering the smokey flavors of wood pellet grills, this cleaner is unscented. It doesn't leave any cloying fragrance behind after cleaning, so you won't notice it the next time you cook.

Carbona Oven Rack & Grill Cleaner Kit

The Carbona Oven Rack & Grill Cleaner Kit is another cleaner that offers multiple uses in one kit. It's useful for cleaning both oven racks and grill racks. Each kit comes with a bag, cleaning solution, and gloves. This cleaner is just for the grate part of a grill: You place the grate or rack in the bag with the solution and leave it to break down baked-on grease and food residue.

Two racks can usually fit inside the bag, but if your racks are too big, it's possible to use large, doubled-up, and heavy-duty trash bags. There's still enough cleaning solution in the kit to get the job done. After eight hours, rinse the residue off for sparkling clean grates — there's no need to scrub. The individual kits are single-use because of this process. Each kit has everything you need to safely clean the grill grate (including gloves for protection), but you'll need to use something else to wipe down the outside of the grill.

Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner

Goo Gone products have a great reputation for removing sticky residue, and the Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner is no exception. The cleaner comes out of the spray bottle as a foaming formula that helps clean grills and is perfectly safe to use on food prep surfaces. It's a strong grease remover, so it will remove that difficult sticky residue from both grills and grates. It also works on stuck-on cooking deposits, as well as carbon residue. Goo Gone just has one warning, which is that this cleaner isn't suitable for aluminum, faux stainless steel parts, or painted metals.

This cleaner is fast-acting, taking just two to 10 minutes to penetrate gunk, and then you can wipe the residue off with a brush or cloth. Despite its heavy-duty capabilities, this cleaner is biodegradable and its ingredients reduce smoke and flare-ups after cleaning (a hassle that can happen from some other cleaners). After using this cleaner, it is necessary to rinse food-contact surfaces before preparing meals, which is an important final step to keep in mind. 

Simple Green All Purpose Cleaner

Simple Green All Purpose Cleaner is suitable for almost any surface, including the grill. This all-purpose cleaner and degreaser is a powerful option, but with naturally derived ingredients. It has a non-toxic and biodegradable formula, and most importantly, is certified by the EPA as a Safer Choice product, which means it is healthier for the environment and people.

It's possible to use this cleaner as-is or to dilute it, depending on how soiled the grill is. This means a bottle can last quite a while, depending on your cleaning habits. This product isn't a dedicated grill cleaner, so you can also use it all around the house. The only surfaces that it's not suitable for are leather, suede, unfinished wood, opals, and pearls. This short, but varied, list really shows how versatile this product is, and you can use it for the grill, kitchen, bathroom, fabric surfaces, and beyond. It's the best grill cleaner for when you want a very versatile cleaner that you can use for both light daily cleaning and heavy-duty grill scrubbing.

Parker & Bailey Grill Cleaner and Degreaser

Parker & Bailey Grill Cleaner and Degreaser is excellent for both light-duty and heavy-duty cleaning, and it's great for more than just grills too. The spray cleaner and degreaser is suitable for getting cooked-on grease and food off of a range of surfaces. The brand recommends it to clean the inside and the outside of your grill, as well as the grill rack, drip pan, grill tools, and even other appliances like your microwave, oven, and stovetop. If you have greasy residue on your countertops, this cleaner can help tackle that mess, too.

To leave all these items clean and gleaming, this spray is streak-free. It's phosphate-free as well. It also doesn't leave behind residue, though it's a good idea to rinse food prep surfaces with water after use. Since the formula is low-odor and doesn't need much time to soak in, it's good to have on hand for daily grill cleaning, too.

Kingsford Heavy Duty Spray-On Grill Cleaner

For a more heavy-handed clean, the Kingsford Heavy Duty Spray-On Grill Cleaner is an affordable choice. This is an easy-to-apply cleaner for grills and ovens. It comes as an aerosol spray, dispersing a foam cleaner that clings onto grill racks. The foam does a pretty good job of staying in place, not running everywhere like liquid cleaners, so it doesn't make too much of a mess.

The cleaner needs a bit of time to sit (at least 30 minutes), so it can penetrate even tough burned-on grease. Then, wipe off the foam and dirty residue with a wet cloth; there's no need to scrub. The spray can be used beyond the grill to clean the interior of ovens, broilers, and some stainless steel surfaces (which includes the outside of most grills). Some reviewers do note that this cleaner has a strong smell and can require a few applications on very dirty grills, but for its affordable price, it's a worthwhile option to consider.

Citrusafe Grill and Grate Cleaner Spray

Citrusafe Grill and Grate Cleaner Spray harnesses the power of citrus to get grills looking sparkling clean. The brand derives this cleaner from citrus peels to create a naturally-based degreaser. Made in the U.S., this formulation is safe, versatile, and powerful. It's a great choice to use on a range of cooking appliances, including gas and charcoal grills, smokers, ovens, and microwaves.

This spray is non corrosive as well as non-flammable, so it won't leave any potentially problematic residue behind. It's also non-toxic and phosphate free, for shoppers who prioritize a more natural approach. This formula comes with a trade-off, though; it isn't as heavy-duty. It needs about a minute of soaking time to do its work, then Citrusafe recommends scrubbing the cooking surface with a non-wire grill brush or scrubber. Don't expect to just wipe residue off with a cloth like with some more corrosive cleaners — that's the trade-off for a less harsh formula.

Easy-Off BBQ Grill Cleaner

Easy-Off is well-known for its oven cleaners, so it's no surprise that the brand makes an effective grill cleaner too. The Easy-Off BBQ Grill Cleaner is intended for BBQs, smokers, and grill grates to help with your outdoor seasonal deep cleaning needs. Similar to the brand's oven cleaner, this grill cleaner is just plain effective. It won't scratch grill surfaces, but it easily seeps through burnt-on food and grease.

Using this spray is also similar to using the brand's oven cleaner. The grill cleaner comes in an aerosol spray that is easy to apply, coats grill surfaces nicely, and penetrates grime deeply. It takes only 40 minutes of soaking to get the job done, and then it's possible to wipe away residue with a wet cloth. Just keep in mind that this product is only for the cooker racks; Easy-Off recommends against using it on the grill exterior, interior, and on sensitive components.

Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes

If you've ever tried to clean stainless steel, but end up with leftover residue and streaks, then this is the perfect product to solve this problem. Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes are cleaning wipes designed specifically for use on stainless steel surfaces. The wipes have a streak-free formula, so they clean and then shine stainless steel without leaving unsightly marks behind. They also protect stainless steel surfaces, leaving an invisible barrier that helps to repel dust and reduce the appearance of new fingerprints.

The wipes come in a sealed container and are already pre-moistened, so all you have to do is take one out and start cleaning. They're great to use on any stainless steel appliance, which includes grills, refrigerators, dishwashers, and more. They can bring the shine back to stainless steel range hoods, backsplashes, and trash cans as well. You'll probably find these most useful for cleaning the outside of a steel grill. These wipes aren't a heavy duty cleaner, so they won't remove burnt-on residue from the racks, but they will restore a nice shine to your grill exterior.

Weber Grill Grate Cleaner

Weber is one of the biggest outdoor grill manufacturers, so it makes sense that the brand makes its own grill cleaner. Weber Grill Grate Cleaner is a spray-on formula that helps you clean up burnt-on residue. Like many of the other sprays on this list, it's suitable to use on grills, smokers, ovens, microwaves, and other similar appliances. It has a powerful degreasing formula that removes excessive oil and grime from interior grill surfaces, which includes stainless steel grill racks and porcelain enamel cast iron grates.

To improve safety, this spray is non-flammable, non-corrosive, and phosphate-free. It won't damage grills, and it won't spark or smoke when it comes time to cook after a deep cleaning. A scrubber is sometimes needed to remove really stuck-on bits. Also, keep in mind that this is a cleaner that's intended for the interior parts of a grill, so you'll want to use a different cleaner for the exterior — some reviewers note it can leave a filmy residue when used on the outside.

Kona Safe/Clean Grill Cleaner Spray

Rounding off our list with another safe-but-effective cleaner, we have the Kona Safe/Clean Grill Cleaner Spray. This grill cleaner has a thicker formula. Despite coming out of a spray bottle, it sticks into surfaces rather than dripping down like some liquid cleaners. This contact time allows the formula to penetrate and clean grills to its fullest potential, removing grime, grease, and food residue. Kona recommends this product for all grill types, including electric grills. It's suitable for exterior and interior cleaning, including on grill grates, glass surfaces, and wheels. Another multi-purpose pick, it will work on ovens, smokers, toasters, air fryers, microwaves, and even cookware too.

The degreasing formula takes as little as a minute to penetrate grime (it needs longer for deep cleaning), but it does so without the potentially-damaging corrosive ingredients. The formula is non-flammable and low-odor, so it's pleasant to use. It's non-toxic, biodegradable, and phosphate-free, so it's a safer choice as well.

How we chose the best grill cleaners

When choosing the best grill cleaners, we kept a few important factors in mind. We chose products from top brands that know a thing or two about either grills or cleaning products (or both!). These brands have a good reputation for their grills, or for making effective cleaning products. To choose the top grill cleaners, we looked at third-party reviews, as well as shopper reviews, to judge real-life performance. All of the grill cleaners on our list had hundreds (if not thousands) of reviews and at least a four-star rating. Combined with their great brand reputations, these are trusted products.

To suit different grillers, we also chose a range of products. Our list includes a few natural and non-toxic options that anyone can feel safe using — with products as simple as dish soap spray and cleaning vinegar. We also included plenty of heavy-duty chemical products — sometimes it's just necessary if there's lots of grime or if you don't have the ability or time to put in lots of scrubbing. Variety means there's a cleaner on this list that should work for you and your grill!