How often do you think to clean what you clean with? At what point do you start thinking, ‘hm, maybe that grill brush isn’t clean enough to clean my grill?’
How to clean a grill brush is not something that we are usually taught but something we learn through grilling experience.
Cleaning your grill brush will improve its longevity, keep your grill cleaner, and prevent the spread of germs that could get you sick.
When to Clean a Grill Brush?
Most grillers will argue that you should clean your grill brush every time you use it to clean your grill. After all, if you clean the grill after every use, why not the brush?
While a bit of dirt might not worry you—the grill itself will never be perfectly clean—hidden in the brush’s bristles will be plenty of bacteria to spoil future grills.
Elsewhere, though, others may think cleaning a grill brush after every use is too much and it should come down to how dirty it is.
A grill brush will be dirtiest after cleaning a filthy grill or after frequent use. But if you don’t grill too much (or only in small amounts), it may seem unnecessary.
If you don’t clean your grill brush that frequently you might want to clean it when it’s becoming unusable, or you’ll need to replace it sooner than expected.
For example, the amount of gunk and grease that has built up on the brush makes it hard or impossible to clean the grill. Or it might be getting stinky or sticky.
But do note that excessive cleaning could deteriorate the quality of your grill brush, so don’t go too crazy. (Though, this may also be a sign of a poor-quality grill brush.)
How Do I Clean My Grill Brush?
How you clean a grill brush can depend on the type of grill brush you own, so let’s break down the different ways you might clean a grill brush by type.
That said, there are a few things you will almost always need:
- A bucket or a sink.
- Hot water.
- Dishwashing liquid.
Good to have:
- A hose.
- A toothbrush.
If your grill brush has a scraper, you’ll also want to thoroughly clean them too with a steel sponge.
How to Clean a Wire Grill Brush?
The first thing you need to know about cleaning a wire grill brush is don’t be too rough—you could loosen bristles and as we all know they can end up in your food.
Soak the grill brush in soapy hot water for at least 15 minutes to loosen up the dirt, gunk, and grease. If it’s very dirty, consider soaking it for longer.
Once done soaking, if you have a hose, you can hose down the grill brush. If not, rinse it under a tap.
Remember to clean between bristles as this is where much of the dirt will accumulate. This is where having something like a toothbrush may come in handy.
How to Clean a Brass Grill Brush?
You can clean a brass grill brush in much the same way as a regular wire brush by soaking it in hot soapy water and then rinsing it off with a hose or tap.
If you want your brass grill brush to really shine, create a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda, and use a toothbrush to clean the bristles and the gaps in between.
While you can also use vinegar with flour to make a paste to clean brass, a lot of vinegar can damage or even dissolve brass, so use only small amounts.
Cleaning brass grill brushes with bleach is also not a good idea.
How to Clean a Stainless Steel Grill Brush?
Arguably, stainless steel grill brushes are the easiest to clean and are pretty easy to clean with soapy hot water (just as you would with brass or wire grill brushes).
Do note that stainless steel brushes are not all perfect—they can still rust if you’re not lucky so get them dry after cleaning.
When cleaning stainless steel grill brushes, you should also avoid using any bleach, cleaning products with ammonia, or oven cleaner.
How Do You Clean a Nylon Grill Brush?
Christopher Lander of AutoBrush, a toothbrush company, has a rather unusual method that involves mouthwash to clean nylon brushes.
Lander says to soak the nylon brush bristle side down in mouthwash for two minutes but notes that mouthwash can deteriorate bristles, so don’t overuse it.
He also recommends UV sanitization using UV light as a cleaning technique, though, this can be a bit expensive.
Alternatively, hot water can also be used. Though, remember, nylon grill bristles will melt if they get too hot, so don’t use any insane heat.
Do not clean a nylon grill brush with chlorine bleach because it can damage the fibers. Regular bleach is okay to use on nylon grill brushes.
How to Clean Grease From a Grill Brush?
If soaking the grill brush in hot soapy water hasn’t removed all the grease, you can try using oven cleaner spray (though not on stainless steel or any plastic).
Acetone can be used on some metals—aluminum, and stainless steel—but it can damage the metal or leave marks. More importantly, it can be flammable, so be careful using it.
If you’d prefer not to use something as strong as oven cleaner or acetone, you could try lemon juice.
Before you use specific chemicals, make sure you know what material your grill brush is made from and how it’ll interact with the chemicals in the grease cleaner.
Can a Grill Brush Go in the Dishwasher?
Many top-quality grill brushes are designed to be safe for the dishwasher, but you should check any information on how to clean the brush from the manufacturer first.
If you don’t have anything left from the brand you brought, it might be worth Googling the brand and product name to see if there’s anything online.
It is not advised to put brushes with wooden handles in a dishwasher as this can ruin the wood and if your brush is particularly long, might not fit in the dishwasher.
Before sticking the grill brush in the dishwasher, rinse off any dirt that comes off easily. This will help the dishwasher clean it more easily or you may have to clean it a second time after.
Position the grill brush with the bristles up for the best results in the dishwasher.
If you’re lucky, your grill brush will have a removable head that you can place in the dishwasher without the handle.
How Often Should You Replace a Grill Brush?
According to Weber, “You should replace your grill brushes at least every season or more often for frequent grillers.”
So, at the end of the grilling season, it may be time to get rid of your old brush and buy a new one next year.
Though, not to sound cynical but it is pretty useful for Weber to tell people to renew their brush every season—it’s profitable for them if you buy a new grill brush every year.
Arguably, if you don’t grill too regularly and clean your grill brush thoroughly after each use, it could last more than one season.
And if cleaning your grill brush hasn’t worked out too well, maybe is time to change it for a new one. In the end, it is up to you to judge.
What’s the Best Way to Clean a Grill Brush?
Here’s a summary of what to do and what not to do when cleaning a grill brush:
- Clean your grill brush often, ideally after each use.
- Soaking in soapy hot water is the most common way to clean a grill brush no matter the material it’s made from.
- After soaking, rinse your grill brush under water or a hose.
- A toothbrush can be used to clean between bristles and hard-to-reach areas.
- Remember to clean scrapers too—a steel sponge can remove tough dirt.
- Certain chemical cleaners, such as bleach, can be harmful to grill brushes.
- Oven cleaner, acetone, and lemon juice can help remove grease but can be corrosive to some materials.
- Most grill brushes can go in a dishwasher but check the manufacturer for advice first!
- Experts recommend changing your grill brush every season.