How to Clean a Flat Top Grill?

Cleaning tips and suggestions to make it shine

Written by Olivia Paxton. Updated on how to clean flat top iron grill

Having a flat top grill in your disposal can make your cooking way more varied. With this useful cooking device, outdoor cooking moves to completely another level. In addition, flat top grills are much safer in comparison to cooking over the live coals that can flare up when oil gets on them.

However, since we have to use a lot of oil for making food on a flat top grill, the issue of keeping it clean becomes essential. In this article, we will explain how to clean a flat top grill at home to keep it both clean and safe for cooking food.

Cleaning Flat Top Grills. Top 10 Ways to Keep It Clean And Shiny

How to clean my flat top grill? Perhaps, this question is asked by every owner of this cooking device sooner or later.

In general, the procedure is more or less the same. You grab a cleaning product (it can be either a liquid for washing dishes or a special cleaning blend), spray it over the grilling surface, scrape if needed, then rinse the greasy residue away, and wipe the grill dry.

Such a cleaning must be done regularly since a flat top grill has a much bigger cooking surface than, for instance, a grate has.

It leads to grease and oil leftovers build-up which makes the food that you cook on such a station unsafe to eat.

In addition, the residue from previously cooked meals can linger transmitting the off-flavor to the food that will be cooked next. Besides, that greasy buildup can cause food to stick to the grilling surface which means the dish will not be cooked evenly.

Finally, the dirtier the cooking surface of the grill is the harder it will be for you to clean it afterward!

This is why we have prepared the top ten simple yet very effective cleaning methods for the flat top grill that anyone can do.

How to clean flat top grill

Acetum And Water

This is the best way to clean a flat top grill without using any harsh chemicals.

Everyone has these two ingredients at home, so mixing the cleaning blend will not be a problem for you whenever you need to make your outdoor grill look like new.

What shall you do?

  1. Simply mix equal parts of warm water and white acetum in a pulverizing bottle.
  2. Then turn the grill on to high heat and pulverize the cooking surface with your cleaning solution.
  3. If there are any particularly greasy areas, feel free to spray more on them!
  4. Finally, spread the acetic blend all over the grill top with a grill brush and scrape if needed.

What you must get in the end of cleaning a flat top grill is the grilling surface covered with black substance that resembles loose tar. Sounds (and looks) gross but it means that the magical spray did its job.

Now turn the grill off, pour a lot of acetic mixture to rinse the black residue away, and finish by wiping the cooking surface dry.

Liquid For Washing Dishes

Yep, this is one of the flat top grill cleaning supplies that we always have at hand! And by the way, this is an ideal solution for those who are too lazy to prepare cleaning mixtures.

Simply squeeze a generous amount of any dishwashing product on a wet sponge, and keep on wiping the cooking surface until you eliminate all the drippings.

Now grab a second sponge, run it under the hot tap water, and wipe away the soapy residue.

Lemon Juice

Do you have plenty of lemons at home that you have no idea what to use for? Then why not clean your flat top grill with them?

Prepare the mixture similar to the one that uses vinegar, only instead of acetum, blend one part citrus juice and two parts warm water.
This approach is the same effective, besides, it is a perfect choice, especially for those who can’t stand the scent of acetum.

How to clean flat top grill with lemon juice
Photo by Birgith Roosipuu on Unsplash

Steam It Out!

This is perhaps the simplest way to make the flat top grill clean again! You will only need water for doing it.

Just turn the grill on to high heat, pour water on it, and scrape the oily residue with a grill brush.

After the dirty greasy liquid is drained, add more water and repeat all the steps once again until the cooking surface is clean.

Treat It With Hot Oil

It might sound ridiculous to you. To clean oily buildup with oil?! But in fact, this remedy proved itself to be very effective. You will need just a little bit of any neutral oil (e.g. canola or peanut) and a pumice stone.

Pour some oil onto the grilling surface and turn the heat on to medium heat. With the pumice stone, scrub that oil into the surface of the grill.

Ensure it mixes up well with all the other fats! Also, try to move in circles, otherwise, you will end up with ugly horizontal scratches all over the flat top grill!

So once the oil is mixed with the buildup you have on the grill, switch it off and let it cool down.

And then simply wipe that mess away!

For those who intend to go for this cleaning method regularly, it can make sense to buy a grill brick. They are designed for cleaning flat top grills specifically and can be used as an option. Besides, they don’t absorb oil which means you will not have problems with cleaning them.

Soda Water For Cleaning the Flat Top Grill

What if you have no chemical cleaning products, and your pantry also lacks acetum?

Well, then a bottle of soda can become your salvation!

The scheme is super simple: you pour it onto the grilling surface and scrub with a pumice stone moving in small circles. Then scrape the remaining liquid to drain.

Soda And Lemon

We don’t mean baking soda here, no. We are talking about soda water.

Yes, it may sound more like a summer party drink, but believe us, this cleaning mixture can make miracles to your greasy grill!

  1. Combine one part lemon juice with four parts soda water in a pulverizer.
  2. Then heat the grill up to medium and scrape away all the burnt particles of food.
  3. Now pulverize your wonder spray and let it do its magic for about ten minutes.
  4. Scrub the flat top clean.

That’s it.

How to Clean the Flat-top GrillHow to Clean the Flat-top Grill


We all are used to drinking coffee to cheer up in the morning before we go to work.

However, this tasty drink can serve as a perfect flat top grill cleaner!

If you happen to have some leftover brewed coffee left, don’t pour it down the drain. Instead, pour it over the grill top and let it soak for half an hour. Afterward, delete the residue with a grill scraper and drain the liquid.


This veggie has a rather peculiar and strong smell, nevertheless, if you are not afraid of your grill smelling onion, use it to clean those ugly greasy marks on the cooking surface of the equipment.

Simply cut the white onion into two pieces and scrub the grill top before it cools. The vegetable will work like a sponge absorbing the oily residue. As a bonus, your grill will get seasoned with savory flavor before the next cooking session!


Another drink to clean your oily grill.

After pouring beer over the grill top, scrub it with a wire brush, and finish by wiping it with a paper towel.

Perhaps, some of these methods could seem awkward to you, but believe us, they are tested by numerous grill owners and have already been approved!

How to Clean a Flat Top Grill When Rusty?

Since flat-top grills have a metal surface, there is always a risk of it becoming rusty after an extended period of use.

Of course, when having traces of rust on the surface, your grill will be way more prone to greasing and oiling than the rust-free one.

And naturally, cleaning a flat top grill with rust on it might be troublesome.

We don’t even mention the fact that cooking on such a surface is dangerous! This is why deleting the rust is a priority task of any responsible grill owner.

The best way to clean a rusty flat top grill is to heat it up to the maximum heat and keep it like that for twenty minutes. Like that, the rust will get loose easier.

Afterward, when the griddle is cooled, scrub it with a metal scraper.

Make sure all the rust comes off! Then you will only need to process the grill top with some oil several times until all the rusty stains are gone.

What’s the Best Flat Top Grill Cleaner?

Cleaning a flat top grill can be done with both natural products like coffee, beer, or onions. Or you can go for chemicals if you are looking for a fast result.

And if it is all clear with the organic remedies that work equally well, with the chemical ones it’s different.

How to choose the optimal one? Which flat grill cleaner is the best?

  1. Carbona 2-in-1 cleaner is good for both oven rack and grill overall cleaning.
  2. Another commercial flat top grill cleaner to pay attention to is Zep Oven And Grill Cleaner. Perfect for stubborn grease since it is a heavy-duty product.
  3. Parker&Bailey BBQ Grill Cleaner is the fastest one on the market.
  4. If you need something acidic, go for a citrus-based product Goo Gone Grill&Grate Cleaner.

With these professional cleaning liquids, your outdoor flat top grill will remain clean longer easily.

How to Keep a Flat Top Grill Clean

Deep cleaning of a flat top grill may only be needed once in a while when the cooking equipment gets badly greased.

In all other cases, a regular light cleaning routine will help you to keep the grill in a proper condition without exhausting effort and extra time waste.

To always keep your flat top grill clean, we suggest you do a light after-cook cleaning each time the equipment is used.

It will allow you to make it last longer, and besides, you will have way fewer reasons to deep clean it.

Luckily, the cleaning routine is very simple:

  • After each use of a grill, scrape the food or grease particles with a griddle scraper.
  • After you are done cooking, wait until the cooking surface is cold, pulverize it with water, and rinse it thoroughly.
  • For drying the grill after you rinse it, we recommend using a paper towel or a paper rag since it will not damage the surface.
  • Re-seasoning your grill is important, but decide yourself whether you want to do it after each cooking session or only after you do deep cleaning. Anyway, in both cases, the cooking equipment will only win.

With these easy tips, your grill will last much longer being in a proper state, and will delight you with delicious dishes!

How to Keep a Flat Top Grill Clean

Well, these were the basic flat top grill cleaning tips for you! Now you are aware of what to do to always keep it in proper condition ready for cooking anytime, and how to prevent this super handy cooking equipment from getting too greasy.

With this guideline, your food will always be delicious and healthy when grilled outdoors.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐How to clean burnt food off a flat top grill?

Heat the grill up and scrape the food pieces off while the surface is still hot.

⭐How to clean a flat top without a grill brick?

You can use dishwashing liquid, lemon juice, or acetum for that.

⭐How to clean a cast iron flat top grill?

Cool the grill down, scrape it with a spatel to delete food pieces, and then wipe it with a paper towel.

⭐How to clean a blackened flat top grill?

While still hot, scrape off the food remnants. Pour on warm water and scrub the surface with a palmetto brush, but use no abrasives!

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
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How To Clean a Flat TopHow To Clean a Flat Top