How to Clean a Very Dirty Stainless Steel Grill

Dirt and grease can damage your stainless steel grill.
A clean grill will last a long time.
In order to prolong its life, you need to keep the grill clean. Stainless steel has a thin layer of chromium oxide that protects it from corrosion. Oxygen in the atmosphere rejuvenates this layer of chromium oxide. Dirt and grease compromise the layer of chromium oxide because they block oxygen, preventing it from restoring the chromium oxide layer. If you don’t remove all the dirt and grease on your grill, the stainless steel will corrode. .

Step 1

Use a paper towel or soft cloth to brush away all the dirt and grease you can. Do not use steel wool, carbon-steel brushes or other abrasive materials. These materials will scratch the stainless steel and possibly cause permenant damage.

Step 2

Soak the grill in a solution of hot water and a mild detergent to loosen hardened material. If necessary, let it soak for several hours.

Step 3

Make a fresh solution of hot water and mild detergent and scrub the stainless steel grill. Use a soft cloth, sponge or soft-bristled brush to remove as much material as you can. If you find that you cannot remove some material, soak the grill again until the material loosens. Repeat the soaking and scrubbing process until it is no longer effective.

Step 4

Use a mild non-scratching scouring powder if the grill is still very dirty. Dor dirt that still remains, scrub the grill with a solution of hot water and a little vinegar.

Step 5

Rinse the stainless steel grill with fresh, hot water. Dry it completely with a clean towel.

Step 6

Use a barbecue grill cleaner to shine up the grill after the heavy dirt and grease buildup is gone. Read the product packaging carefully to verify that it is safe for use on stainless steel grills.

Things You Will Need

  • Paper towel
  • Soft cloth, sponge or soft-bristled brush
  • Hot water
  • Mild detergent
  • Non-scratching scouring powder (optional)
  • Vinegar (optional)
  • Large, dry towel
  • Barbeque grill cleaner (optional)


  • If you aren’t sure if a cleaner will scratch the stainless steel, test it on a hidden area first. The Specialty Steel Industry of North America advises consumers to avoid using cleaning products that contain chlorine. Instead, the group recommends organic solvents, such as those that are available in commercial compounded and blended organic cleaners.

About the Author

Stan Mack is a business writer specializing in finance, business ethics and human resources. His work has appeared in the online editions of the "Houston Chronicle" and "USA Today," among other outlets. Mack studied philosophy and economics at the University of Memphis.