Simple Solutions

How to Clean a Grill Using Aluminum Foil and Vinegar

By: Joe Truini
clean barbecue grill

All you need to clean a barbecue grill is some vinegar and aluminum foil. (DepositPhotos)

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

Video Transcript

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.


Please Leave a Comment

8 Comments on “How to Clean a Grill Using Aluminum Foil and Vinegar”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    July 29th, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Hi, Kathleen,
    We recommend checking out this video, in case you missed it:

    Thanks for your question!

  • Kathleen G. Says:
    July 28th, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    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.

  • Larry Debrofs Says:
    April 27th, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Will the aluminium foil sratch the porcelain surface?

  • Cyndi DiManno Says:
    August 1st, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    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

  • Parmalee Rasmussen Says:
    June 17th, 2016 at 5:21 am

    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.

  • Kevin McDonald Says:
    July 16th, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    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 🙂

  • Official Comment:

    joe t. Says:
    March 3rd, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    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.

  • Karen Hefner Says:
    March 3rd, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I truly appreciate the tips. You guys are terrific.

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at

 characters available

How to Clean a Grill Using Aluminum Foil and Vinegar