4-Ingredient DIY Natural Grill Cleaner
This quick and easy non-toxic DIY Grill Cleaner is a must during summer! Homemade grill cleaner is not only safer and cheaper, but also makes a perfect Father’s Day gift. You just need four natural ingredients, and no harmful ammonia, to cleanse your grill grates, improve taste, reduce gas expenses and prevent rust!
UPDATE: This post was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated.
This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
Father’s Day is coming up June 16 (in just a few days!), and I don’t know about you, but my dad is not an easy man to shop for. He hasn’t bought a new outfit since 1972 (and has no desire for someone else to do it for him), he already owns every techy gadget on the planet, and I’m pretty sure he alone keeps Bass Pro Shops in business.
So this year, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create something unique and special for my dad, that’s also practical and perfect for any man who likes to grill (read: pretty much every man I know).
It just happens to be great timing that Father’ Day falls at the beginning of summer and grilling season. With this DIY Grill Cleaner, you can gift the special father in your life something he’ll get use out of all season long–plus, he’ll fondly think of you at every use. Bonus points! 🙂
If you want to go big and get a brand new grill for your lucky man, I have the Weber Genesis II from Home Depot and love it! If you don’t have the space or budget for an outdoor grill, you can achieve a similar effect in a stovetop grill like Lodge’s Cast Iron Square Grill Pan.
So, why is it important to clean your grill in the first place?
- Removing crusted on grease and food will improve the taste of your food (unlike a cast iron skillet that gets more seasoned and flavorful as you go, a grill gets caked with old food and grease, causing bacteria to build-up–not a tasty or healthy way to prepare food!)
- It’ll save you money in the long run, as you’ll use less gas from having to burn off the extra grease and crud leftover from previous uses.
WHY YOU SHOULD DIY GRILL CLEANER
Summer grilling is all about ease, so why would you want to make your own grill cleaner when you can buy it in the store?
Unfortunately, like most store-bought cleaning products, tons of known chemicals, carcinogens, hormone disruptors and skin irritants make up the ingredient lists of most grill cleaners.
For the skeptics out there (hi! I used to be one of you until my eyes were opened by the Environmental Working Group), I’ve outlined the top toxic ingredients found in some of the most popular grill cleaners (including Easy-Off and Amway + Weber–who by the way don’t even disclose their ingredients–major red flag!) on the market today below:
- Sodium Hydroxide: Skin irritant causing allergic reactions, damage to vision and adverse respiratory effects.
- Ethanolamine: Same as sodium hydroxide, plus exposure to this toxin also causes organ damage and negative nervous system effects.
- 2-Butoxyethanol: Can cause a host of problems including adverse digestive effects, red blood cell damage, cancer, nervous system disruption, developmental and reproductive effects on the endocrine system, and more.
- Sodium Metasilicate: Skin irritant causing allergic reactions and possible damage to vision and adverse respiratory effects.
- Fragrance: Hormone disruptor and among the top five allergens in the world.
- Paraffin: Inhalation is linked to lung cancer and other respiratory problems; can also cause nausea, vomiting and headaches.
- Butane + Propane: Has caused sudden death from sniffing, cardiac arrhythmia, fluctuations in blood pressure, temporary memory loss and drowsiness.
Ick, ick, ick!!!
Potentially even more disturbing is green washing, which is when marketing buzzwords are deceptively used to promote the perception that a company’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly–but they really aren’t.
This is scary because you think you’re making a better decision and getting a safer product for you and your family, but the truth is that the product is still toxic. That’s why I always read the ingredients label, and ignore any claims on the front of the bottle.
Example: Simple Green Heavy Duty BBQ & Grill Cleaner sounds clean, right? Green is in the title…but…turns out, it’s so toxic, it’s rated a D by the EWG.
Convinced that you should make your own DIY grill cleaner yet?
Even if you can find some natural cleaners that aren’t full of toxic chemicals, you’ll likely have to shell out a pretty penny. In fact, most store-bought grill cleaners will cost you at least $10.
Making your own DIY Grill Cleaner is extremely affordable (you likely already have all the ingredients you need on hand so you want have to spend any extra money!) and super effective.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE GRILL CLEANER
This DIY Grill Cleaner recipe is super easy! Like pretty much all of the DIY Cleaning recipes I share on R+R, if you can measure liquid into a tablespoon, you can make this! It’s really that simple.
You can use aluminum foil crumpled up like a baseball to scour the grill clean, or if you prefer a grill brush, that works great too.
When it’s all said and clean, we’ll spray avocado oil (since it’s high heat safe) over the grates to prevent rust and season them. I recommend Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray for ease.
You can find all of the ingredients you need for this recipe at Sprouts Farmers Market, which specializes in healthy, natural and organic food and wellness products at affordable prices!
In fact, their Health section is one of my favorite places to buy affordable, natural ingredients for DIY recipes.
From non-toxic soaps and essential oils to bulk bins for natural powders, Sprouts has one of the best natural wellness sections.
If you try this DIY Grill Cleaner Recipe, be sure to share a photo and tag me @rootandrevel on social media–I’d LOVE to see how it turned out for you!
- 1 tablespoon Baking Soda
- 1 tablespoon Sal Suds
- 1 tablespoon Cleaning Vinegar (can subsitute distilled white vinegar)
- 1 ball aluminum foil (can use a grill brush if preferred)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil spray
Fill a shallow tin (I recommend an aluminum baking tin) with boiling water and stick it in the lit grill. Close the lid and let steam for 10 minutes to loosen any dirt, grime and stuck on food. Remove water pan and turn off heat when ready to clean.
Meanwhile, combine Baking Soda and Sal Suds with 12 ounces of warm water. Pour into a glass bottle fitted with a sprayer and add vinegar. Gently swirl to combine. Spray cleaning mixture onto grill to thoroughly coat the grates. Ball up aluminum foil until it's the size of a baseball and scour the grill to clean. If you prefer a grill brush, that works great too.
Once the grill is clean, spray avocado oil onto a paper towel and give your grill a quick wipe over to stop it from rusting and season it for future use.
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser
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