Had fun barbecuing last summer? Barbecues are summer staples, with everyone looking forward to grilling burgers, hot dogs, and more on the outdoor or indoor grill. While grilled food has its charms, it also leaves behind charred food particles, burnt bits, and grease that hardens on your cast iron grates.
Cleaning Grill Grates with Ammonia: A Step-by-step Guide
Important: Working with household ammonia cleaning solutions emits fumes dangerous to the health when inhaled. Always wear protective gear: gloves, masks, and eyewear, when dealing with ammonia to avoid inhaling ammonia fumes.
Step 1: Scrape Off Remaining Grime
Tape a wire brush, grill brush, or steel wool, and scrape off any loose grime. Remove any softened food particles from the grill grate as well. This is best done over the sink or a garbage can to catch the falling dirt.
Step 2: Take Your Grill Grates Outside
Take your grill grate outside. Ammonia releases fumes, which is hazardous, and definitely not something you'd want in your home! Choose a space outdoors where your grill grates won't be disturbed, and where the ammonia fumes can't redirect into the house.
Step 3: Place Your Grill Grates in a Plastic Bag
Place your grill grates in garbage bags, placing one grate per trash bag. You may opt to clean your gas stove grates at the same time, but it is optional. Make sure there is ample space inside the garbage bag to add your cleaning solution in. If using only one trash bag, make sure there is enough space for all the grates to fit in.
Step 4: Pour in Ammonia and Baking Soda
Pour in enough ammonia and baking soda to cover the grates. The grates should be completely submerged in the cleaning solution. Ammonia will work to break down the stains, and soften them, while baking soda will lift the stains to make them easier to remove later on.
Because both solutions are basic, they work well together without becoming counterintuitive, unlike using vinegar that will counteract the effects of ammonia. You may also opt to place the solution in a spray bottle, and give the grates a thorough spritz before sealing them to ensure you cover every nook and cranny with ammonia and baking soda.
Step 5: Shake to Coat, then Let it Sit
Shake the bag slightly to coat the grates with the cleaning duo, then seal the bag tightly. Place the bag in an area where people, children, and animals can't get into, then leave the bag to sit overnight up to 24 hours.
Step 6: Rinse, and Wipe Dry
Remove the grates from the bag using a glove, and give the grill grates a good spray with your garden hose. You should notice the dirt coming off easily, without you having to scrub the grates at all. To clean between the grill grates roll up a piece of aluminum foil, and use it as a scrubber to remove the grime. Wash, rinse, and wipe the grates dry afterwards.
Tips to Keep Your Grill Clean
Keeping a barbecue grill clean is challenging, especially as barbecuing tends to leave burnt bits stuck on the grill. With proper maintenance, however, maintaining a clean and sanitized grill will keep the barbecue going all summer long!
- For a stronger cleaning, use an oven cleaner when cleaning BBQ grills as oven cleaners are meant to loosen and remove burnt bits without needing any elbow grease. This is best done on fresh, burnt food particles, however.
- Wash your grill grates with dish soap to keep them clean, even if there are no burnt food particles on it. Dish soap will break down oils and grease left behind by your barbecue, and will clean out soot as well.
- Wash and dry your grill grates thoroughly before storing them. Leaving the mess for another day may be tempting after a long day of barbecuing, but leaving the burnt food in will allow the stains to harden! Not to mention, storing your grill wet will cause rust to form, which will be difficult to remove.
Cook Up a Clean Summer
Summertime cleaning is a hassle - it's just too hot to clean! When you've already got a lot on your plate, or if you simply dislike doing chores, Luce Home is here to help you with home cleaning and maintenance that will keep your house spotless!
Contact us today to know how you can schedule your cleaning sessions, and forget the worries over the chores around the house!