How to clean your grill inside and out

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PHOENIX – Now that the weather is warming up, more and more people are firing up their grills.

After a winter of disuse, chances are that grill of yours is in need of a good cleaning.

Queen of Clean Linda Cobb suggest you start with the outside. For that, you’ll need a jar of Gojo Original Crème Waterless Hand Cleaner. It’s a fabulous grease remover. You’ll want the original version, which you can find at most hardware stores.

Dip a paper towel in your Gojo and then rub the cream into your grill’s exterior. Use a dry paper towel to buff it off. This will work nicely on any grill – stainless steel, black, or ceramic – leaving behind a great shine.

You shouldn’t come even remotely close to using a whole jar of Gojo on one cleaning session. If you do, you’re using way too much.

If you do have a stainless steel grill, consider trying the new CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner. You can use it on any stainless steel appliance or surface. Just spray it on, and then wipe well with a paper towel. It not only cleans your stainless steel, it protects it, too.

For the racks and burners, start by wrapping them loosely in paper towels, and then slide them into a garbage bag. Pour some undiluted ammonia into the bag and seal it. (You’ll want to do this outside.) Let the sealed bag sit for at least eight hours. You can even leave it overnight.

When you open the bag, make sure to keep it away from your face because there will be fumes. Use clean paper towels to wipe down the dirt and grease and then wash the racks well. The ammonia in the sealed bag warms and loosens the grime, making your racks or burners very easy to clean.

To clean the grill right after you’ve finished cooking, while it’s still warm, grab a piece of aluminum foil and crunch it into a big ball. Use the foil to scrub back and forth across the rack. Watch your hands. You don’t want to burn yourself. Simply toss the foil when you’re finished. This is better than using a regular grill brush because the brush can get moldy and dirty.

For a deeper cleaning, spray water on to the grill, grab your ball of foil and scrub. The steam the water creates will help loosen dirt on the grill. You'll be amazed at the difference the steam makes.

If you prefer to use a gadget, consider the Grill Daddy. Its heavy-duty stainless steel brushes – one for scrubbing and one for scraping nooks and crannies, where most brushes can’t reach -- are removable and dishwasher safe. What makes the Grill Daddy unique is the built-in water reservoir. Flip the switch and it sprays water as you brush so you’re steam-cleaning and sterilizing in a single step. The idea is to clean more with less elbow grease.