Is it really summer if you haven't had your first outdoor barbecue of the season? To get your grill burger-ready, you'll need to give it a good scrub — but not with a wire brush. Every year, unsuspecting eaters chomp down on wire bristles that have hitched a ride in chunks of charred meat, earning themselves a one-way ticket to the ER. One such unfortunate woman recently posted on social media about her near-fatal incident with a wire brush three years ago, sharing a terrifying photo of her grill that was spotted with dozens of thin wires. But staying safe this summer doesn't have to mean giving up your grill. Here's how to clean your racks the all-natural way.
How to Clean a Grill With Vinegar and Aluminum Foil
Vinegar is the holy grail of natural cleaning products. Use vinegar to disinfect laundry, descale a Keurig, or remove scratches from a stainless steel fridge. You can even use it as an alternative to a wire grill brush. The acidity of vinegar will cut through caked-on foods and grease, while the aluminum will exfoliate the grill rack without damaging the metal.
- Pour white vinegar into an empty spray bottle. Make sure the container is clean before using it.
- Spray your grill rack with vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Crumple the aluminum foil before rubbing the grill racks with it.
- Throw away the used foil and marvel at your clean grill.
How to Clean a Grill With Vinegar and Baking Soda
If you'd rather let your grill grates soak overnight so all you have to do the next morning is rinse them off, meet baking soda and vinegar — your new best friends.
- Combine two cups of vinegar and one cup of baking soda in a garbage bag.
- Place the grates in the bag and seal it.
- Let the mixture soak overnight.
- Remove the grates and rinse with cool water. Wipe off any remaining food bits from the racks.
- Pat the racks dry and put them back in your grill.
With your grill clean and bristle-free, you can enjoy your hot dogs and burgers knowing one bite won't send you straight to the hospital. Now that's peace of mind.
The Best Grill Brushes to Keep You Safe this Summer
Now that you know not to use a wire brush, you may need to replace your tools. Scroll down to see five great alternatives to help keep your grill sparkling all summer long. Happy grilling, everybody!
1. Unicook Nylon BBQ Brush
Love the ease of a brush, but don’t want to risk biting down on one of those wire bristles gone rogue? Then the Unicook grill brush is your perfect alternative to a wire bristle brush. Made with thick and difficult to break nylon bristles, this brush not only makes stray bristles easier to spot, it also gives you a better clean thanks to its angled bristles. Complete with a scraper attachment for added cleaning capability, this brush is the multifunction cleaning tool you need this grilling season.
Where to buy: $9.99, Amazon
2. KP Solutions Stone Grill Cleaner
If you’re looking for a more natural way to clean your grill, you’ll love these cleaning stones from KP Solutions. Non-toxic and odorless, this pumice stone is made from chemical-free descaling material, breaking down the remnants on your grill much like vinegar does. And unlike other stone cleaners, this one comes with a no slip grip, making cleaning your grill this summer something that won’t take a toll on your wrists.
Where to buy: $14.99, Amazon
3. CharGon Grill Cleaner
For the most thorough clean this grilling season, you'll want to invest in a CharGon. Made with a patented stainless-steel tip and rosewood handle, this scraper gets deep into the contours of grill grates, cleaning the top, bottom, and sides of your grates without having to remove them first. Safe to use on both hot and cold grills, keeping your grill spic and span all summer long has never been easier.
Where to buy: $19.99, Amazon
4. Velesco Wooden Scraper Paddle
For those worried about the abrasiveness of metal scrapers, go with a wooden one like the Scraper Paddle from Velesco. Where metal scrapers can damage certain grate materials (like ceramic), this oak paddle will keep the integrity of your grill intact, molding to shape of your grill with each use. Coated in a food-grade mineral oil for preservation and made from sustainably harvested red oak, this grill cleaner is one you can (and will) feel good about using for years to come.
Where to buy: $19.95, Amazon
5. Kona Bristle Free Barbecue Grill Brush
If you’re someone who prefers the clean of stainless steel to other materials, don’t settle for a brush that can leave bristles behind, and pick up this coiled grill brush from Kona. With no sharp edges or short bristles, you’ll never have to worry about finding one on your plate. Safe to use on most grills (including ceramic and porcelain) and guaranteed to last longer than other brushes thanks to its tension-wrapped stainless steel construction, this brush also comes with a 10-year warranty, so you can rest assured that this brush is a worthwhile investment.
Where to buy: $19.95, Amazon
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