The Best Grill Cleaners

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The annual backyard cookout will most certainly leave your grill looking like a warzone, littered with a mixture of fat, grease, and lots of sauce. While the residue left behind isn’t appetizing, it can add an unappealing taste to whatever you cook if not entirely clean. Furthermore, rust is another enemy that’s always creeping nearby, waiting for grill masters to make a mistake. Enough rust on grated metal surfaces like the grill can attach to the food you cook. We don’t need to tell you that even ingesting small amounts of that rusted metal leads to many physical issues. The ongoing consumption of even small quantities can lead to problems with your digestive system. That’s why it is worth investing in the best possible grill and grate cleaner that money can buy.

The best grill cleaner will ensure that your food tastes like it should while safeguarding the health of your family. However, price alone isn’t a measure of a particular grill cleaner’s effectiveness. If anything, there are lots of factors to consider, too many to list in this article. This is why we’ll save you the trouble by listing the best grill and grate cleaners available today. That said, you want to learn more about choosing the right grill cleaners, we have a section at the very end that you might want to read.

Citrusafe Grill Cleaning Kit

The cleaning kit includes a grid & grill grate cleaner, scrubber, and exterior cleaner. Citrusafe’s kit means that you spend less, but without compromising on the quality that these products have to offer. The kit includes two 16-fluid ounce cleaner sprays with two scrubber pads with handles, which can make short work of even the gunkiest grill on the planet. Though we personally prefer a grill brush.

The best thing about Citrusafe products, and which is worth mentioning, is that they use citrus-based d-limonene, which happens to be an organic and environmentally friendly solvent. In other words, the product is safe and yet every bit as powerful as it should be to remove grease and stains.

Being devoid of any phosphates means that you don’t have to worry about the grill gates being contaminated with harmful chemicals. What’s more, is the fact that both sprays are non-flammable and so there is no risk of them combusting, but that’s no excuse to smoke while you clean the grill! Citrusafe claims that the sprays don’t cause corrosion on the grill, and all products in the kit are biodegradable.

We love the subtle lemon scent left behind on the grill after it has been used. Speaking of which, the cleaner can be used on both a gas and charcoal grill. It also doubles as a professional oven grill cleaner, and be used to clean microwaves.

Unlike some of the many other grill cleaners we’ve tested and which didn’t make it to the list, there is no need to wear any protective gear. All you need to do is spray a small quantity of the formulation on the grates, allow it to sit for around 15 minutes (optimal), and then use the provided scrubber to remove all the stubborn grease. Later wipe it all off using a clean rag.

It is important to clarify if you’ve got a thick layer of grime and grease covering the grill, this kit isn’t going to work. The Citrusafe kit isn’t meant for heavy-duty cleaning but it is non-toxic and can be used on any BBQ grill.

Citrusafe Grill Cleaning Spray

We are fans of the Citrusafe cleaner because it is a non-toxic and natural alternative to a lot of what is currently available. The cleaning spray is the very same you get with the Citrusafe kit above, except that this is the stand-alone spray version.

The Citrusafe Grill Cleaning spray is a tried and true product that does not cost a lot of money. The spray bottle houses 23 fluid ounces of biodegradable, non-flammable, mainly citrus-based formulation perfect for grill grates of all types.

You can use the grill cleaner just about anywhere without the need to wear gloves. However, it works best on stainless steel surfaces in our experience, something that’s interesting because these surfaces can be challenging to clean with other competing cleaners.

While the Citrusafe Grill Cleaning Spray does an excellent job of cutting through grease, it isn’t a heavy-duty cleaner by any measure. So, removing baked-on residue will either require a lot of effort or choose a heavy-duty cleaner also called a professional oven grill cleaner. Some people may prefer putting in the extra effort just for the environment.

Goo Gone Grill & Grate Cleaner – Great for Stainless Steel

On the topic of choosing the best stainless steel grill cleaner, it is pretty hard to ignore the fact that few cleaners make cleaning the grates and interior easy. That’s why finding a product that can easily reach these spots and make them look brand new without having to deal with corrosive chemicals behind it can be challenging.

However, the Goo Gone grill and grate certainly does a pretty impressive job in our experience. The 24-fluid ounces bottle can last you through the entire summer of grilling in the backyard. The formulation is phosphate-free and does an excellent job of cleaning all types of cooking surfaces. All you need is to spray enough of it on the area; after the grill has cooled, leave it for around 15 minutes and then scrub everything that isn’t part of the grill off. Then rinse, and you’re ready for another batch.

The biggest selling point of the Goo Gone Grill & Grate Cleaner is that it is environmentally friendly by being biodegradable. However, don’t let the natural formulation fool you because this here does an excellent job of eliminating smoke and potential flare-ups caused by stuff stuck to the grill. We tested it on our old Weber grill and found that it removed old grease and burnt off pieces of meat easily.

The gel-like consistency of the cleaner easily adheres to residue on the grill. However, the gel layers form a protective shield on the surface, which protects it from corrosion. While it isn’t a heavy-duty product, Goo Gone does come pretty close.

While the Goo Gone cleaner can be used on all surfaces, it shouldn’t be used on aluminum, faux stainless steel, and cast iron. Otherwise, it is perfectly fine for kitchen appliances, grates, drip pans, etc.

The cleaner can be used on nearly all surfaces. However, the company warns that it shouldn’t be used on anything made from aluminum, cast iron, and faux stainless steel.

Easy-Off Professional Oven and Grill Cleaner

We would say that this is the best grill cleaner, especially if you are dealing with stainless steel surfaces. The cleaning solution leaves behind a clean and smooth finish that makes your grill look like new.

The problem with stainless-steel grills is even though they look great, most products aren’t very good at cleaning them. You also simply can’t use just any good grill cleaning product under the sun, because that will leave lots of scratches. Luckily for everyone, with a stainless steel grill, the Easy-Off Professional Oven and Grill Cleaner does an excellent job.

If the mere thought of your grill being covered in watermarks and fingerprints turns you off from grilling, then this Easy-off cleaner will turn you back on. It leaves the stainless steel exterior looking almost spotless and shiny. The cleaner is best suited for brushed chrome in addition to stainless steel surfaces, though you need to be careful not to spray it on the grates or any other areas that the food touches.

Using the Easy-off cleaner is pretty straightforward, but you need to wear gloves. Furthermore, the cleaner can be used anywhere. We found that it works remarkably well as compared to other cleaning products on regular kitchen appliances.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Grill Cleaner?

When you are in the market for a grill cleaner, you have a choice, i.e. either buy an all-purpose cleaner or one that’s focused on a particular cleaning task. Grill cleaners need to be able to clean the cooking area and grates; these areas can be particularly challenging because it’s where all the fat and grease accumulates. The other job is to clean the outside of the grill, which is a major magnet for dirt.

Specially formulated cleaners will do a good job with cleaning particular areas like the cooking surface and grates. While they are highly effective at cleaning the areas they are designed for, they are ineffective for anything else. That’s why you’ll then need to buy another cleaner for the grill’s exterior. On the exterior, you’ll be dealing with stains, residue, dirt, and dust, so you’ll need a separate set of cleaners for them.

All-purpose cleaners work best for cleaning exterior areas and cleaning the grill regularly. They cover most people’s cleaning needs, but they aren’t heavy-duty cleaners. If you want to give the grill a real good deep clean, all-purpose cleaners aren’t the best choice but they are the best overall cleaner.

How to Apply Stainless Steel Cleaner/Polish?

You can clean your grill with a cleaner in many ways. The most common method and the one used by most of the cleaners in our list above only require spraying a good amount over the area and waiting a few minutes before wiping it down. While it is quick and easy, we acknowledge that some areas of the grill might not get enough cleaner on it.

Here are a few other application methods that are a little more effective:

Foaming nozzles – Some cleaners come with a foaming nozzle that allows you to spray the solution. Using a nozzle helps you see where the grill cleaner was applied, and you can easily tell if more is needed. Though you’ll still use a microfibre cloth to clean the grill, which means that the only difference is how much and how evenly the cleaner is applied.

Bags – Some grill cleaners (none of which we listed above) need to be poured into a bag with the grates. The bag is sealed and the grill is soaked for a few hours before being removed and cleaned. The method works if you’re dealing with lots of caked-on grime. But it isn’t the best approach for other parts.

Pads – Some grill cleaners come with cleaning pads or wipes that have the grill cleaner within them. You can tell, this isn’t a popular method as the cleaning pads tear, and they also wear out quicker.

Degreasing Abilities

The best grill cleaner in our books is one that can have excellent degreasing abilities. Both eco-friendly and all-purpose cleaners have a weak formula which makes cutting grease a challenge. However, they are fine for standard grill cleaning.

Cleaners that are focused on the exterior are designed to make it shine. They make it shine by applying a buff on the metal areas of the grill, but they don’t have much, if any, degreasing strength.

If you want the best grill cleaner with strong degreasing strength, you will need to buy a grate cleaner since they are designed to remove grease. Often labeled “heavy-duty,” these grate cleaners can remove the most stubborn stains, but they are often comprised of corrosive chemicals which are hard on both the lungs and eyes. If you are going to use them, then wear mouth, eyes, and hand protection.


There you have it, the best grill cleaners and a couple of the best stainless steel grill cleaners in our books. If you are in the market for a grill cleaner, it is important to make sure what you want and check the cleaner’s formulation before buying it. If all else fails, the products above are more than enough for most grill cleaning tasks.