How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

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To keep your charcoal grill in top cooking condition, you should thoroughly clean it at the beginning of each grilling season. For more info on cleaning a charcoal grill, see our guide: The Home Depot is your source for all of your grill cleaning needs. We have grill brushes, grill cleaners, grill cleaning pads, and so much more. You can find out more here:

Need to know the proper steps for cleaning a charcoal grill? In this video, we’ll discuss some of the easiest ways to properly clean and maintain your charcoal grill.

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*Video Transcript*

Everyone loves grilling out, whether it’s with your family or a large gathering of friends.

To keep your charcoal grill in top cooking condition you should thoroughly clean it at the beginning of each grilling season.

Regular cleanings will help extend the life of your grill parts.

The grates can be cleaned using a long handled stiff-wire brush.

If you don’t have a brush you can use a ball of aluminum foil held with long-handled tongs.

Once the grate is clean, apply vegetable oil using folded paper towels or a rag.

This coating of oil will help prevent food from sticking to the grate the next time you cook and it will help prevent rust.

Remove any leftover ash from base of the grill.

Too much ash build up can obstruct the vents at the bottom of the grill; making it difficult to control the temperature during cooking.

Removing the charcoal grate at the base will make getting the last of the ash out easier.

When all the ash has been removed, clean the inside of the cook box and lid using mild dish soap and a brush.

Now place the charcoal grate back into position and you’ll be ready to add fresh charcoal for your next use.

You can then clean the outside of the lid and cook box using soap and water or a grill cleaning spray.

Towel dry and cover the grill until its next use to help prevent rust.

Following each use of the grill, clean the grates while they are still warm and before stuck-on food and grease hardens.

If you grill often, it’s best to replace this grate brush each season as it wears down over time.

Once the grate is clean, apply a coating of oil.

If the grates are still too warm, use long handled tongs or use a cooking oil spray.

If you store your grill outdoors use a weather resistant grill cover between uses.

This will help preserve its appearance and extend the life of your grill.

If any grill parts eventually do fail, there are replacement parts available at your nearby Home Depot store or online at

To find out more about cleaning a charcoal grill, check out our full guide on or to browse our wide selection of grills, click below.

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