How to Clean a Grill Using Aluminum Foil and Vinegar

Here’s a simple way to clean the cooking surface on a barbecue grill using aluminum foil and white vinegar. The acid in the vinegar cuts through grease and cooked on food, while the foil acts as an abrasive to remove the food residue.

  1. Pour white vinegar in a clean spray bottle.
  2. Spray the cooking surface on the grill with the vinegar.
  3. Allow the vinegar to remain on the surface for a few minutes.
  4. Rub the cooking surface with crumpled up aluminum foil.
  5. Dispose of the aluminum foil in a garbage can.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information


Joe Truini: No outdoor living space is complete without a barbecue grill. The challenge though is, how do you keep them clean? Doesn’t take too long before they look like this. Now, you may have heard of this trick, where you take a big wad of aluminum foil, crumple it up, and use it to scrub the grill clean.

And that works pretty well, but to enhance that trick, here you go with some vinegar. Just get some white vinegar, put it in a spray bottle, and saturate the cooking grate. The vinegar is actually a pretty powerful acid, and you’d be surprised how it can cut through caked on food. Now, it’s best to let that sit for a few minutes, but I’ll show you how, after just spraying it on, scrub it with some foil. Look at that, comes right out.

Now it’s okay if the grill is warm, but you don’t want it to be hot. Now, you don’t have to do this after very single cookout. But, if you do this four to six times in the course of the summer, by the end of the cooking season, your grill will be as good as new.


  1. Thanks, Karen, we appreciate the kind words and are happy to hear that you like our Simple Solution tips. There are over 260 Simple Solutions available for on-line viewing, with more to come. Thanks again and good luck!–Joe T.

  2. You guys are great! We have a cleaning company here in Dublin, Ireland. We have utilized several of these tips with our business.

    Thanks for all the help 🙂

  3. The truly simplest way to clean the cooking surface on a barbecue grill using aluminum foil is … Forget the vinegar but tear off enough foil to cover the grill then fire up the BBQ with high heat with the foil on top of the grill close the lid and just bake it off… no rubbing required except for a light brushing with your grill brush. Too easy and it does not take long to do.

  4. Take your grill grates put them in a plastic garbage bag. Pour a cup of ammonia in the bag, turn your hose on add some water, just enough to cover the grates. Tie the bag up, leave it on the ground in the sun, next day open the bag, wipe the grates and hose them down, no scrubbing necessary. Works great for oven racks and grates also

  5. I loved your idea on how to clean the grill grates but do you have any ideas on cleaning the inside of the grill and also how to clean the inside of the cover.


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