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How to Clean a Rusty Grill Brush

how to clean grill brush

The average grill, whether gas or charcoal, is very easy to maintain. As most grill owners know, something as simple as a safe grill brush can easily wipe the grates clean and leave your grill racks sanitary and nonstick. Grill racks that have food build-up are not only unsanitary, but they cause food to stick and to even taste nasty, due to the fact you’re getting charred, old food flavor into whatever you grill.

Though this isn’t much of an issue for most grill owners. Practically everyone knows to use a grill brush. But what about when your grill brush gets dirty? When your racks get dirty, you use the brush to clean them. Though when your wire grill brush itself gets dirty, what do you do?

However, let us be clear here: if you have a rusty grill brush, the first thing we want you to do is throw it away! Don’t even attempt cleaning it. If you have rust buildup on your brush, it’s because you have the wrong type of brush anyway. The fact is that “rusty grill brush” is just the popular article for which grill-masters are searching. We’re going to give you all the tips and tricks you need to purchase, clean and maintain the right type of grill brush.

You don’t have to run around searching keywords like “how to clean rusty grill brush.” We’re here to tell you all about how to easily get your brush as clean as new.

4 Easy Steps to Clean a Wire Grill Brush

Step 1: Proper Maintenance

For the best results on cleaning your racks, you may already know to start brushing them when they’re still hot. The food and other gunk scrapes right off. Though the same is also true for your wire grill brush. Right after you’re finished using it, bang the bristles around on a hard surface, like the side of the grill, and that gunk will fall right out. The wire bristles are usually steel, brass, or another type of metal, so they’ll certainly hold up. Just bang it around a bit and dislodge all of those chunks of char and whatnot.

Step 2: Get a Cheaper Second Brush:

One of the best ways to get that grill brush clean is to buy one of those cheap brushes to keep handy. Use the second, cheaper brush to clean your main brush by rubbing the bristles of the brushes together. You don’t have to worry about any sort of grill brush danger here; both of the brushes will be just fine. It isn’t going to damage the bristles at all. You can pick up a smaller, much cheaper brush to use strictly as a cleaner for your main grill cleaner brush.

Step 3: Wash it Like Dishes

Depending on how dirty your grill brush is, you may not want to wash it with your good dishes. So, instead, put it in the sink alone, or get a standalone bucket, and fill it up with hot soapy water. Allow your grill brush to sit in the water for around an hour or so. Now you can use your sprayer on it, run a fork through it, or just rinse it off well. The grease and other gunk should fall away with no problem, leaving your brush looking clean and new.

Step 4: Get the Right Type of Brush

If you are searching terms like “how to clean rusty grill brush,” perhaps your biggest issue is that you bought a grill brush that was too cheap. Stainless steel bristles won’t rust. However, those cheaper ones are made with aluminum and other metals that surely will rust. Most people are leaving their grill brushes outside, hanging off the grill, and so they’re exposed to the elements. If your brush rusted on you, your best bet is to throw it away. Even if you clean it, you don’t want rusted metal cleaning your grill grates. You’re far better off getting a stainless steel brush.


Grill Brushes: General and Care Tips

Here are a few tips to use in general when shopping for a grill brush, and some advice on how to properly care for your brush so that you get a good, long life out of it.

Choose A Long, Sturdy Option

There could be some grill brush danger to your body, if you’re not choosing the right option. Like we mentioned earlier: you need to clean that grill while the grates are hot, for easy maintenance. If your grill brush is too short, you risk burning yourself, so you want something with a long handle. This also provides leverage and allows you to scrub harder. Just remember the handle needs to be quality, or else it will break.

Go with Stainless Steel

Stainless steel isn’t going to rust and will last a lot longer and give you stronger bristles, which make for an easier time cleaning, and a better overall clean. So no matter which option you’re thinking about, remember that you’re going to need to get one with stainless steel. This is very important. These brushes are far easier to maintain and last for years if cared for properly.
stainless steel grill brush

Read Customer Reviews

Check out what others are saying about the grill brush in question. When you want to invest in a grill cleaner brush, the idea is to obviously clean your grill. So you’re making an investment in something that should be able to last you for a really long time. If you check out what other users say, this can help you make the right decision.

Don’t Skimp

Grilling is popular, and millions of people use their grills dozens upon dozens of times throughout the warm-weather months. So a proper grill brush is nothing to skimp on. Just like springing for that ThermoPro Food Thermometer because you know it gives you accurate readings, unlike those cheap probe thermometers, you should also put the same investment into a proper grill brush.

Wash Regularly

In the section above, we spoke about the tip of washing the actual grill brush. This is something you want to do regularly. If you make a habit of this, you’re going to be able to keep that brushing looking and functioning like brand new for many years to come. After a few cleanings, go ahead and soak it in hot dish water, with a quality soap, in order to get any grease and gunk out of the bristles. A clean brush is a brush that’s going to function better at cleaning the grates, and it’s going to end up lasting you a lot longer.

Store Properly

You don’t have to spring for a grill brush so fancy that it comes with its own cover, but you should still store it out of the elements. Although stainless steel doesn’t rust, you still don’t want bugs hanging around in the bristles and other gunk it can pick up by being left uncovered. A good tip here: when your grill cools completely down, store it on top of the clean grates, under the cover/lid of your grill. It’s entirely out of harm’s way here.


How to Choose a Safe Grill Brush

Safety is key here. Most of this stuff has been covered in detail above. However, for the purposes of choosing a safe, effective, long-lasting grill brush, we want to go back over some of it in this section.
safe grill brush
Here are a few things to remember, to help you buy a safe grill brush:

  • Make sure the handle is long
  • Choose a brush with a sturdy handle
  • Buy something with stiff, strong bristles
  • Only buy a stainless steel brush, or you’re just wasting money
  • Read reviews to see what others are saying about the brush
  • Don’t skimp and be cheap; you get what you pay for here
  • Going with a solid name-brand brush is a smart move
  • Follow the tips listed above to ensure you stay safe and that your brush lasts

In Summation

It might seem like something incredibly simple, and even intuitive, but there’s actually quite a bit to understand about proper grill brushes. Truth be told, this is why many people who grill outdoors end up needing a new brush every season. They haven’t cared for their brush properly, or they have purchased the wrong type, and what ends up happening is the bristles bend, fall out, or get covered in gunk and goo.

Long story short, the brush ends up useless and you have to go purchase another one. Not that they’re huge investments, but who wants to go through that if you don’t need to?

Remember to pick a brush that has stainless steel bristles. Get a brush that’s very strong, and that has a long, sturdy handle. It’s also about safety here. Also remember to clean your brush after every use. You want to bang it around to get the gunk out, and then you want to wash it clean with dish soap every few uses. Then when it comes to storing the brush, you want to definitely keep it out of the elements.

If you can follow these few simple tips, you should have no trouble whatsoever in selecting and maintaining a quality grill brush.

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