How To Clean Rusty Grill – Easy Methods

It is annoying to have a grill that has started to rust. You might open it up after a few years only to find that thle grill grates are rusted. This is not a good thing and you are going to have to do something about it. When you have a rusty grill, you can not cook on it because it is unhealthy. The best you can do is clean it up and then make sure that it never happens again with some preventive measures. Take a look.

What You Are Going To Need To Clean Your Rusty Grill?

The simplest way that you can use to clean your rusty grill is with salt and vinegar. The chip method is the best one that you can use in the list to clean the grill. It is better to have at hand everything that you are going to need for the cleaning. This is going to make the process a lot easier. So here is the list of things that you are going to need to clean your rusty grill with the salt and vinegar process. 

A cup of regular salt.

2 cups of white vinegar. 

A garbage bag.

Disposable clothes or rags.

This measurement is for one standard grate. If you have to clean more then you need to add more to the amount accordingly. 

How To Clean The Grill With Salt And Vinegar?

Here is how you are going to clean the rust off your grill using the chip method with salt and vinegar.

1. Mix One Cup Of Salt With Two Cups Of Vinegar

You can mix the salt and vinegar as the first step of the process. It is going to be useful since the salt increases the natural acidity of the vinegar. It can then dissolve the oxidized metal. This will not damage the metal that is under the rust which is just what we want. The salt also acts as an abrasive when you are scrubbing the grill grates. 

2. Place Grates In The Garbage Bag

This is where you put the grates in a garbage bag and leave it overnight to soak. The solution of the salt and vinegar is going to do its job and you need a sturdy garbage bag for this. The rule is to only place one grill grate in one garbage bag. This will prevent the solution to leak everywhere. 

3. Add Vinegar Mixture To The Garbage Bag

Add the vinegar mixture to the bag and give it a good jostle around after you are done closing the bag. This will make sure that the grill grate is properly covered in the mixture so that it can do its magic. 

4. Allow The Soak To Happen

Then you need to place the soaked grills in a flat position so that they can be in close contact with the vinegar solution as much as possible. Allow the bag to stay overnight so that it can dissolve all the rust that is present on your grill grates. 

5. Remove Rust With The Cloth Or Old Rag

Next, you need to take out the grill grates from the garbage bags and give them a good rub down with the old rag or clothes. Use the remaining salt as an abrasive to give the grill grates a good rub. It might take a few more spoonfuls of vinegar and a salt bath to get the rust completely off your grill, depending on the amount that is already there. 

Other Methods To Clean A Rusty Grill

If you do not want the rusty grill to be cleaned by the salt and vinegar method then we have just the thing for you. Here are a few other methods that you can try to clean your rusty grill.

Soap and Water

If your grill grates just have a few spots of rusting then you can just go ahead and use soap and water with a little bit of elbow grease. The stiff-bristled nylon brush is going to be my best friend here. It is going to be stiff enough to get rid of the rust but it is not going to damage the metal below. 

Lemon Juice and Powdered Detergent

The lemon juice and powdered detergent work in the same manner as the salt and vinegar. You are creating an acidic solution to dissolve the rust in this method too. The only difference is that this one is less strong. You can use this one if there are only small patches of rust on the grill. Lemon juice can also create a very sticky situation but it does seem effective to a lot of users. 

Vinegar and Baking Soda

If you find rust spots in hard-to-reach places then you can mix a paste of vinegar and baking soda to get rid of them. The ratio of baking soda to vinegar is going to be 2:1. This is going to make a thick paste that you need to apply quickly to the area. This is a very effective solution.

Rust Removers

If there is no option to use the homemade solutions then you can go to the store and buy a safe rust remover for your grill. You should be aware that there are some harmful and toxic cleaning supplies on the market. Try to about them and go for rust removers like Evapo-Rust and Rust Remover which are water-based and non-toxic. 

How To Prevent Rusting?

The best offense is a good defense. You need to have the right steps in the process so that you can prevent rust from happening in the first place. There are a few things that are recommended. Take a look at them. 

Clean Your Grill After Each Use

We know that it is a pain. No one wants to spend their time cleaning up a grill after they ate good food. However, you need to get rid of the stuck pieces of food and other stains to make sure that there is no rusting in the future. This is very important to note. We can understand if you want to wait a bit before you clean the grill but make sure that you are going to do it on the same day that you used the grill. 

Oil Your Cast Iron Grill Grates

Your cast iron grill grates need to be oiled. You have to always oil the cast iron pans and the grill grates are no different. Many people forget to do this. We suggest that you don't if you do not want to see rust on your grill grates. This is a vital part of maintaining your grill to be in prime condition for a long time. 

Buy Ceramic

The ceramic-coated grill grates are excellent in preventing the grill from rusting. This might seem like a trivial thing but it can make a huge difference. Most of the high-end grills are going to have that coating on the top of the grill grates. It is also easy to clean and cook food on such grill grates. We recommend that you go ahead and invest in a grill that has grill grates with ceramic coating.

Weatherproof Cover

A weatherproof cover is a must because it can help you prevent your grill from rusting. There are a lot of grill covers that can help you with the solution. We recommend that you do your research properly before you can buy one. The weatherproof cover is going to be useful against both the sun and the rain. The water is mainly responsible for causing the rust but you also get protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun. 


That is all that you need to know about cleaning up the rust from your grill grates. These methods are proven to be true and you are going to find them to be effective. Always try to prevent your grill from rusting in the first place but if you are ever faced with such a situation then you know what to do to resolve the issue. This is all that we are covering for today. Hope that you gained a little help from it. We tried our best to make it all very simple for you. Thank you so much for giving this article a read. Have a good day! Take care of yourself and the grill.