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How to fix rusty grates

Rusty grates on your grill can be a real pain. Not only is the rust unsightly and make it difficult to cook food evenly, but it can also be dangerous if left untreated. In this article, we will explain how to restore rusty cast-iron grates, clean rusty stainless steel grates, and offer tips on how to prevent rust from forming in the future.

How to restore a rusty BBQ grill

The good news is that getting rid of rust on your grill grates is not as difficult as you might think. There are several methods that you can use to clean and restore your grill grates, regardless of what material they are made from. Furthermore, you won’t need much more than a few common household supplies to get the job done.

What you’ll need to restore your rusty grill grates

You shouldn’t need to buy any special cleaners or rust-removal products. In most cases, a little elbow grease and some of the following household supplies will do the trick:

-Rust remover (you can use salt, white vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda)

-Abrasive sponge or brush

-Stainless steel wool or scouring pads

-Protective gloves

What you need to clean a barbecue

How to clean rusty cast iron grill grates

As you can see there are a number of different solutions available here so let’s go through them one by one.

Cleaning Rusty Grill Grates with salt and vinegar

If you have a cast-iron grill grate that has a lot of rust, the first thing you will want to do is remove any food or grease that is on the surface. You can do this by scrubbing the grate with a stiff brush or an abrasive sponge.

Once the grate is clean, you will need to apply a rust remover. You can use salt and white vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda.

If you are using salt and vinegar, you will need to mix one cup of salt with two cups of vinegar. Once mixed, put the mixture into a large bag or bowl and then place your rusty grate in there too. You are going to need to soak the grate for at least 12 hours, so make sure you do this step the night before you plan on cleaning your BBQ grill.

What will happen overnight is the salt will increase the vinegar’s acidity and start to eat away at the rust. In the morning, take your grate out of the bag and rinse it off with water. You should then be able to scrub any remaining rust off with a brush or sponge. Once you’ve wiped away all the oxidisation you should dry your grill grates with a cloth and then season them with some cooking oil to prevent rust from returning.

Clean rusty grates with lemon juice

Mixing lemon juice and powdered washing detergent together can also help to remove rust from your grill grates in a similar way to vinegar and salt, although it won’t be quite as effective.

How to clean rusty grill grates with baking soda

If you have a grill grate that is starting to show signs of rust, the best way to remove it is with baking soda. Start by making a paste with 1 part vinegar to 2 parts baking soda. Once you have a thick paste, use a brush or sponge to apply it to the rust spots on your grate.

Let the paste sit for at least 30 minutes, then use a stiff brush or sponge to scrub away the rust. Rinse the grate with water and dry it off before using it again. You can also season your grill grates with some cooking oil after cleaning to help prevent rust from forming in the future.

Click Here for our Ultimate Guide to BBQs, Grills, and Smokers

How to clean rusty stainless steel grill grates

If your grill grates are made of stainless steel, you will need to be a little bit more careful when cleaning them. This is because some cleaners can damage the finish on stainless steel and make it more susceptible to rusting in the future.

As your stainless steel grates are less likely to be overrun with rust like cast-iron grates, the best way to clean rusty stainless steel grill grates is with a mixture of water and baking soda. Start by mixing one part baking soda with two parts water to form a paste. Apply the paste to the rust spots on your grate and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

Once the time is up, use a stiff brush or sponge to scrub away the rust. Rinse the grate with water and dry it off before using it again.

How to keep your grill grates from rusting

The best way to prevent rust is to keep your grill grates clean and dry. After each use, make sure you scrub your grates with a stiff brush or an abrasive sponge to remove any food or grease that is on the surface. Rinse the grates with water and then dry them off before storing them away.

You should also season your grill grates with some cooking oil after cleaning to help create a barrier between the metal and the elements. If you live in an area with high humidity, it is also a good idea to store your grill grates in a dry place when they are not in use.

Another great tip is to use a grill cover when your grill is not in use. This will help to keep your grates clean and dry and prevent rust from forming, but you need to make sure that your grill and grates are completely dry before covering them.

Wrapping up

Rusty grill grates are not only unsightly, but they can also be dangerous. If you eat food that has been cooked on a rusty grate, you could end up with food poisoning.

The best way to remove rust from your grill grates is to soak them in a salt and vinegar solution overnight. In the morning, you should be able to scrub away any remaining rust with a brush or sponge. Once you’ve removed the rust, be sure to season your grates with some cooking oil to prevent rust from returning.

If you have stainless steel grill grates, you will need to be careful when cleaning them as some cleaners can damage the finish. The best way to clean rusty stainless steel grill grates is with a mixture of water and baking soda. Make you sure you check out our deep clean grill guide too!

FAQs

Is it OK to grill on rusted grates?

Technically, yes, it is OK to grill on rusted grates so long as the rust does not come off into your food. The taste will be a little bit different and not as good as if the grate were clean, but it is still safe to grill on them. The main concern with rusty grates is that the rust can flake off into your food and cause health problems. So long as the rust does not come off into your food, you should be fine. The main question, though, is why would you when you can read our easy to follow guide to remove rust from grill grates.

How do you fix a rusty cast iron grill grate?

You can fix a rusty cast iron grill grate with a salt and vinegar solution made by mixing 1 cup of white vinegar with 1/2 cup of table salt. . Soak the grill grate in the solution overnight, then give it a good scrub and rinse it off and dry it thoroughly.