Cleaning your grill brushes regularly is important to preserving their effectiveness, extending their lifespan, and keeping bacteria at bay.
In this article, I will show you three methods to clean your grill brush and keep it in top shape. It’s not hard to clean these brushes, but it is important.
Why is it important to clean grill cleaning brushes?
As with anything that comes into contact with food, cleanliness is crucial when it comes to grill brushes and cleaning your grill. Although brushes do not directly touch food, they do come in contact with the grill’s grates. Therefore, any bacteria, dirt, old grease, or other contaminants that become lodged in the brush will be transferred to the grates and ultimately to your food.
So in order to have the most clean cooking environment possible, we encourage everyone and teach our readers to keep every tool around the grill clean, including your brushes used to clean grates.
Effective Methods for Cleaning a Grill Brush
Method 1: Soft Cleaning
If you take the time to clean your grill brushes after each use, you will save yourself some hardware later and keep the brush in a better state. I like to heat up the brush using the grill itself. Sometimes you can see old grease and gunk melt away from the brush.
After exposing the brush to heat for a few minutes, I grab a plastic kitchen brush and rub it against the grill brush to dislodge any food particles and old grease. This is a simple cleaning method that you can use every time you use your brush. I like doing it because it keeps me from having to do Method 2.
Method 2: Deep Clean
Use dish soap. That’s right. Just like dish soap breaks down and cleans grease and food residue from plates, it can do the same for grill brushes. To deep clean a grill brush, simply fill a pot or bowl with hot, soapy water and sink the brush in it for 10 to 15 minutes. Once the water cools down, it is no longer as effective, so I like to sink the burhs for no more than ten minutes.
If you need to repeat this process a few times, that is fine. I sometimes find myself going through 3 rounds of hot, soapy water to get my brushes clean. However, this is why I like using dish soap and hot water to clean my brushes.
First, dish soap’s chemistry is designed to remove and dissolve grease from soiled food utensils. That same benefit will apply when cleaning grease brushes. The hot water, combined with the cleaning characteristics of soap, will help soften and dissolve caked-on food and grease off the brush.
Second, dish soap will also help kill bacteria and sanitize the brush.
Last, grab a garden hose to rinse the brush. Make sure you let it dry well and inspect the brush.
Method 3: Deeper Cleaning
This is a more drastic approach, and you should ask yourself if it’s worth cleaning the brush or throwing it away. I still apply this method to some of my favorite brushes.
My “deeper cleaning” method built on Method 2, but it had a power tool, a pressure washer. This method can get messy, and I recommend you pick a grassy area or sidewalk that you don’t care much about, because again, it will get messy.
Just as I mentioned in the method, I use a small electric water pressure washer. Deep the brush in hot, soapy water, and then rinse the brush using water pressure. This method works but, again, it is messy.
Inspect BBQ Cleaning Brushes
There are four types of grate brushes, each with advantages and disadvantages, but regardless of the type of brush, you want to inspect it often. Here are some tips for what to look for when inspecting your brush.
Wire bristle brushes
I have to be honest and tell you that this is my least favorite type of brush. Even good quality brushes tend to loose wire bristles over time which can get logged in your grill grates and thus food.
To inspect these brushes, grab a flashlight and look for signs of missing bristles, bending, or damage. If you suspect the brush is missing a few bristles or they look damaged, it is best to toss the brush.
Stainless Steel Woven Brushes
These brushes are, in my professional opinion, a better option, although not as effective as true wire brushes. To inspect these brushes, use a good light and look for signs of wear or tear. Although these brushes do not have bristles, the woven stainless steel strands wear out and break.
Plastic, nylon, or soft brushes
These brushes are made out of some sort of plastic composite and are for those who do not want any metal around or near the grates and food. These brushes are not recommended to be used on hot grates, but from time to time they do get damaged due to contact with hot surfaces. Look for signs of melting or deforming.
Cloth, kevlar brushes
Ok this are my favorite brushes although one most know how to use them. These brushes no only clean but also steam grates. To inspect look for tears or signs of material melting.
I hope these methods come in handy and help you keep your grill brushes clean. Remember that most grill brushes are cheap products and will not last more than a few months. So inspect your tools, and if it’s better to trash the brush, then so be it, but if the brush is in good shape and the metal bristles look good, these methods will help you clean it.