How to Remove Rust from Grill?

Remove rust for grill

Want to use it for long? Then consider timely removing rust from the grill. They are usually made out of cast iron. Cast iron has the ability to rust quite easily and quickly. Therefore it is not uncommon to find your grill-top getting rusty.

How to remove rust from grill? To remove rust from the grill, select a rust remover from within your home like vinegar, lemon juice, carbonated drink, or baking soda, apply it to the grill, wait for some time, and scrub with a steel wire brush. Once you are done with scrubbing, wash it with plenty of water. For stubborn rust, a commercial rust remover is preferred.

Rusty taste from a rusty grill does not go well together. Accusing only the grill as the cause is not fair (just kidding). The BBQ juices, deposits of coal, and burning fire all subject grill to extreme conditions. After all that misery, they are left to sit outside on a cold and humid night without anyone bothering to clean them. Don’t worry, keep chilling because I have found some brilliant hacks to give your grill a new life again.

Household Methods to Remove Rust from Grill.

Houses are full of supplies that are usually needed for removing rust from grills. You don’t need to rush to your hardware store. We will help you find them in your house right away. Here is the list of items that are needed.

  1. Dishwashing soap.
  2. Steel wool or a steel wire brush.
  3. Vinegar, Lemons, and Baking Soda.
  4. Oil and a piece of cloth.
  5. SandPaper

Vinegar Method to Remove Rust from Grill


Vinegar is an excellent solution for mild to moderately rusted surfaces. It works best in concentrated form. Member’s Mark Distilled White Vinegar from amazon is my personal favorite. Follow the below-mentioned steps for the best results.

Step 1 Before applying vinegar, clean the surface with soapy water and a brush. Then make sure the grill is dry.

Step 2 Using a spray bottle or a cloth apply vinegar onto the grill in generous quantities. Wait for at least 20 minutes.

Step 4 Scrub the grill with steel-brush or steel-wool quite rigorously. Repeat scrubbing if needed.

Step 5 Mope the surface dry with a clean cloth. Once you are done with the procedure apply a layer of oil.

Lemon & Salt Method to Remove Rust from Grill

Lemon and salt

Due to the high citric acid content in lemons, they work nicely in removing rust from the grill. Salt, due to its crystalline structure, works as an excellent abrasive material. We are harnessing the combined power of both in the process mentioned below.

Step 1 Squeeze a considerable amount of juice out of lemons and mix it with salt to make a paste.

Step 2 Using soapy water and a brush, rinse off the grill and remove any left chunks of meat or coal tar.

Step 3 Apply lemon and salt paste to the grill and wait for 15 minutes.

Step 4 Now scrub the grill with a steel brush or steel wool multiple times and wait for another 10 minutes.

Step 5 Wash the grill with water and mop it dry. Apply a layer of oil for protection.

Baking Soda and Oil Method to Remove Rust from Grill

Baking Soda and Oil

Although baking soda is not good at removing heavy rust but can help remove light rust pretty quickly. Combing the softness of oil further helps remove rust. All you have to do is

Step 1 Make a thick paste out of baking soda and oil.

Step 2 Clean the grill with water and soap. Mope the surface dry with a cloth.

Step 3 Apply the paste on the grill and wait for 15 minutes.

Step 4 Rub it with a Steel brush and clean it with water.

Step 5 Apply a protective layer of oil.

Best Available Rust Removers for Grill

You will find many products online and in your retail stores, but here I have shortlisted a few products that will make choosing one easy.

Sandpaper & WD40

If you are looking for a cheap alternate to household items, this is your stop. Sandpaper range from coarse to superfine grits. They should be chosen based on the level of rust. The rustier the grill, the rougher the sandpaper.

WD40 is an excellent lubricant and rust softener. It is readily available in a hardware store and online.

Step 1 Spray a good amount of WD40 onto the grill and wait for it to soak the rust for overnight.

Step 2 Mope the surface dry with a piece of towel.

Step 3 Scrub the rails of grill with a sandpaper and make sure not to leave any rusty points.

Step 4 Once the rust is loose, clean it with a piece of cloth and cover it with a layer of WD40.

Forney Wire Cup Brush

Wire cup brush

If you got a drill, then this is an excellent alternative to sandpaper. It will help you remove rust from the grill very conveniently. Forney provides you with a range of cup brushes ranging from soft steel wires to sturdy ones.

Heavily rusted grills should be cleaned with Forney 72757 Wire Cup Brush whereas lightly oxidized with Forney 72729 Wire Cup Brush. The procedure is quite simple.

Step 1 Apply a layer of oil to the rails of grill and wait for 10 minutes.

Step 2 Mount the wire cup brush to the drill and scrub the surface keeping RPM 100 or below.

Step 3 Continue using the drill until the shiny metal is visible below.

Step 4 Clean the rails with a piece of cloth and apply a layer of oil to keep moisture away.

Note: While using drill mounted wire cup brush, always bear safety in mind. Always use goggles to protect your eyes from the rust fragments.

Grill Brush and Scraper

Grill Brush

This is a customized grill grate cleaner that is developed particularly for cleaning grills. It is effortless to use and needs no special equipment. If you are a regular grill cleaner and want to maintain the grill in its original form, this is for you.

Just apply soapy water and scrub the grill with this brush. Wash the grill grates once there is no more rust.

Evapo-Rust Remover Solution.


This is my personal favorite rust removing solution because it does not leave behind any foul odor. Furthermore, it is also convenient to use due to its non-corrosive nature. To use one, you need

  1. Plastic Container
  2. Metal Brush
  3. A clean piece of cloth

Take a container and pour large quantities of Evapo rust remover solution into it. Once the Grill is cleaned with water and soap, immerse the grill top into it completely. Wait overnight and scrub with a metal brush the next morning.

Once the grill is free of rust, wash with water and mope it dry with a clean cloth piece. Apply a layer of protective oil.

Iron OUT Rust Remover

If you ask me for sound advice on low price and best value, I will recommend this. The best things about this product are its

  1. Clinging property
  2. Spray formulation
  3. Heavy-duty strength

The principle of action is quite simple. Just spray onto the top of the grill and wait. Next, you have to wipe with a piece of cloth, and the job is done.

How to Remove rust from Stainless Steel Grill?

Stainless Steel grill usually don’t rust quite often. Chunks of meat, their juices, and coal deposits are the main culprits behind the appearance of untidy stains on grills. Before we discuss the methods to remove rust from stainless steel grill, it is important to understand that timely cleaning is the best prevention and cure.

Common Methods to Remove rust from Stainless Steel Grill

Vinegar and Salt

Both of them work excellent when combined. Vinegar being acidic helps dissolve rust, and salt being abrasive helps scratch them. The procedure is simple. Clean the steel grill with soap water and then let it dry. Make a solution using salt and vinegar, submerge the grill into it overnight.

The next morning, scrub the grill using a steel wire brush or dishwashing scrub and wash it with water. Using a cloth dry out the grill and apply a layer of oil.

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Making a paste out of baking soda and lemon juice and then applying it on the grill helps remove light rust pretty quickly. For heavy rust, I don’t recommend this. As mentioned previously, the grill should be scrubbed with a steel brush for the best results.

Washroom Cleaner

This is a highly acidic solution and gives excellent results. When using this method, always take safety precautions properly. Once the steel grill is cleaned using soap and water, place it in a plastic container and pour the cleaner onto it. I recommend waiting for at least 45 minutes before you can see the results.

Once the wait is over, scrub the surface vigorously with a steel wired brush or brass wool. Wash the grill with plenty of water. In the end, don’t forget to spray it with vinegar to remove the foul odor of the cleaner.

Commercial rust removers

Star brite Rust Stain Remover

This the best budget rust remover for stainless steel grill. It is effortless to use because of its availability in a spray formulation. Special care is needed because It is irritant to the eyes and skin.

Although it can remove light rust easily without wiping, heavy rust must be scrubbed with a metal wire brush or wool. Spray it on the grill and wipe it away; that is what all is needed.

3M Paint and Rust Stripper Brush – 7771

If you are looking for a drill-mounted rust-removing brush that is both effective and cheap to buy, then this is the product of choice for you. Due to its flexibility, the product’s real beauty lies in its ability to swirl around the grill’s grates.

It is simple to use. Mount it onto the drill, and keep rpm low to 150, scrub the grill’s surface. For best result, apply oil to the grates and then wash with the stripper brush.

Rust-Oleum 300112 Rust Dissolver Gel

The industrial strength and the clinging property of this product make it to the top of the list. If you are in a hurry and want to remove rust quickly, then this is for you. Besides removing rust, it has the property to prevent rust development in the future.

The direction is simple. Apply it on the grill and wait for 30 minutes. Now scrub the grates with a brush and wash them clean with water.

How to Prevent a BBQ grill from Rusting?

Rust on the grill not only looks awful but also makes the BBQ taste rusty. By nature, we humans are lazy enough to leave our BBQ grill in the backyard for seasons to come. This provides an ideal atmosphere for rust development. Here I will be sharing my personal experience on how to prevent a BBQ grill from rusting.

Refrain from Putting Sauce Directly on the Grill

While we love pouring sauce and marinade directly onto the cooking BBQ, we forget that it favors the development of rust in the long run. This may seem impractical but we should at least make sure to clean them at the end.

BBQ Grill

Timely cleaning and Oiling

Once you are done with the party, always make sure to clean the grill timely. Leaving the grill dirty with coal sitting inside acts to attract moisture and leaves the grill rusty. It is better to clean the grill while it is still hot because it helps evaporate water. Soap and steel brush will do the job nicely. Always cover the grill with a layer of oil.

Gas grill should always be inspected for particles siting inside the burner pits. Using a steel wire the particles should be removed out.

Drying out things.

Once the grill is cleaned never leave it wet. Make sure to mope it dry with a dedicated towel for this purpose.

Drying grill

Yearly maintenance

While regular cleaning should be carried out after every single use, grills need to be deep cleaned yearly. The area that requires fair treatment should be identified, sandpapered, and painted with heat-resistant paint.

If the rust is light then consider using household rust remover. Moreover periodic 5 yearly maintenance should be carried out by a professional restorer.

Proper Storage

If you are considering a break, always store the bbq grill properly. Make sure to cover it up with a water-resistant sheet in a dry space. Regularly inspect for humidity and damages.