How To Clean Cast Iron Grills – Simple Techniques


Iron cast grills are the most commonly used grates for good durability. Because of this quality, people buy brand new from the market and also try to purchase these grills at lower costs from garage sales. These grills get rusty and harder to use when they are not properly cleaned and maintained. Cast iron grills get better and better with time. Just like any other equipment, these also need proper care and maintenance to extend its life period. As these iron grills are easily prone to rust, it requires cleaning after every cooking session. Though cleaning and maintaining an iron cast grill is time-consuming and a lot of work to be done, it is worth our efforts to cook delicious food. By using proper grill grate tools, it is much easier to clean it. But don't worry! We are here to teach you how to clean cast iron grills with simple techniques.


The grill grates will naturally have a good seasoning layer with repeated cooking, making the cooking surface non - sticky and becoming ideal for cooking. But with more prolonged exposure to air and water, iron tends to rust and spoil our food. So, it is essential to learn the proper method to clean cast iron grills. It is recommended to clean the cast iron grill after every cooking session. 


Whether you have brought a brand new cast iron grill from a market or an old one from a garage sale, cleaning becomes the first process. First, wash each and every part of the grill with warm water. Air dry it. Season the grill by adding a thin layer of oil and heating it at 400F for 40 to 60 minutes. This will ensure the cooking surface to remain non - sticky and prevent further rusting. Allow the grill to cool and start your cooking.


When it comes to cleaning the cast iron grills, note two things: whether the grill needs just a regular cleaning or has rust formation, which needs to be removed.

First, let's look into how to clean a cast iron grill.

Materials needed

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Warm water
  • Dry cloth
  • Plastic scraper and wrap
  • Plastic buckets
  • Stiff bristled nylon brush or nylon scraper
  • Newspaper or any drop cloth 
  • Gloves


Cleaning the grill grates

1.First, place the newspaper or any drop cloth on the floor and put the cast iron grill on it. This is done to prevent the floor from stains while cleaning and becomes less messier. 

2.Take two plastic buckets. In one bucket, mix the dishwashing liquid with warm water. And have clean, warm water on the other bucket for rinsing.

3.Cool the iron grills thoroughly and disconnect the gas line if you are using a gas iron grill. 

4.Take a Stiff Nylon Brush and remove the excess food particles that are stuck on the grill surface. Or use a Nylon Scraper to remove the burnt food particles.

5.Now dip the Nylon Brush or a Nylon Scraper in the dishwater liquid mixture and thoroughly clean the iron grills. 

6.Next, rinse the grill grates with fresh warm water.

7.Use an old dry cloth to dry the grill grates.

Cleaning the inside and outside of the grill

1.Next, take a plastic scraper and scrape the food particles, oils, and grease stuck inside the grill bowl and its lid. 

2.Use a paper towel to remove all the scrapped mess.

3.Using the Nylon Scraper and Nylon Brush, scrub the inside and outside of the grill grates with dishwashing liquid mixture. 

4.Rinse it with warm water.

5.Use an old cloth to dry the surfaces thoroughly.

Once the grill grates are cleaned inside and out, season it with a thin layer of vegetable oil or any oil of your preference. Reassemble the cast iron grill and keep it ready for the next cooking. 

Now let's look into the method on how to remove rust formation from the cast iron grill.

If you have noticed rust formation on the grill grates, you need to immediately remove them as it may lead to bacterial growth and food poisoning. The following are the different methods to remove the rust formation from the cast iron grill.

1.Steel wool and Soap water

Rinse the grill grate in the sink using steel wool or a stiff brush with hot soap water. This process will help remove the rust from the surface and make it ideal for cooking for the next time. After the rust is the surface is scraped off, use an old cloth to dry it thoroughly. Do not keep it exposed to water and air for a longer period of time.

 2.Vinegar Soak

Place your grill grate in the kitchen sink. Soak it in 50/50 vinegar and water mixture for an hour. Then use a scraper or a brush to remove the remaining rust. Next wash the grill grate thoroughly to remove any vinegar left, dry it thoroughly using a dry cloth, or use an oven.

 3.Self – Cleaning oven or Hot Grill Clean

When the grill grates have a lot of rut formation, using vinegar or steel wool won't work out. You need to place the cast iron grill on the self-cleaning oven or another scorching grill for an hour at a very high temperature of 600F. After this, it still needs to be cleaned once again with soap water to ensure proper rust removal.

 4.Oven Cleaner

If the grill grates have excessive amounts of rust formation, oven cleaner is the best way to remove it. Most of the oven cleaners will have powerful alkaline solutions that are used for cleaning. In a well-ventilated area, spray an even layer of the alkaline solution and place them in a garbage bag or a large container. Make sure to airtight the bag or the container. Store them for 2 to 3 days in a warm place. This will help in breaking down the hard formed rust from the grill grates. After this, clean it with soap water and dry it thoroughly.


  • Do not use cold water to clean the iron grill grates, as it may lead to deformation.
  • Always keep your grill away from moisture and air to prevent it from rusting.
  • While grilling, do not add excessive amounts of sauces and other liquids, as it might make your grilling surface stickier.
  • Do not use dishwashers to clean your cast iron grill. This may leave sticky residue inside the dishwasher, making it double work to clean both the grill grate and the dishwasher.
  • Change your grill brushes annually.
  • Do not use soap water or any other detergents to clean the grill if it does not have rust formation.
  • Do not use steel wool, metal spatulas, or any other hard equipment to clean your grill grates, as it will remove the seasoning layer from it. 


Cast iron grills are the most preferred when enjoying a good grilling with our family and friends. Hence, taking good care of these will make the cast iron grill last longer. Though the cleaning and maintenance process may seem to be a lot of effort, it is worth your time and effort. Proper cleaning and regular maintenance are essential for a proper grill. This article has given steps on how to clean the cast iron grill and various methods to remove rust formation from the cooking grill surface. Follow these steps and the tips provided to learn how to clean cast iron grills and enjoy grilling parties for a longer period of time.