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7 Ways to Maintain Your Grill for Summer

How to Make Your Grill Last Through Every Season

As the weather continues to warm up, many of us find ourselves looking forward to outdoor gatherings and savory grilled meals. A well-maintained grill is at the heart of these memorable summer experiences. With a commitment to cleanliness and a healthy living environment, Merry Maids® has compiled seven essential ways to clean and maintain your grill – before, during, and after the summer season.

1. Conduct an Initial Inspection

Before the grilling season begins, inspect your grill for any signs of wear and tear. Check for rust, cracks, and any parts that might need repair or replacement. This is particularly important for gas grills, as they require a thorough examination of gas lines and connections for leaks. Check components like the ignition system periodically to make sure they’re working.

2. Clean Your Grill for Optimal Performance

Keeping your grill in top condition starts with a thorough cleaning before each use. Always use non-abrasive cleaners and tools to avoid scratching the surface of your grill. Avoid using oven cleaners or harsh chemicals on your grill, as they can leave harmful residue that can get in your food.

Begin by removing any remnants from past cookouts, including ash, debris, and grease buildup. A grill brush works wonders on grates, while a putty knife can tackle those more challenging areas. For a more intensive clean, opt for a mixture of warm water and dish soap, or consider a specialized grill cleaner for the more stubborn stains. It's not just the inside that needs attention – ensure the exterior shines by employing natural cleaners like distilled white vinegar and baking soda to eliminate dust and grime.

When the grilling season draws to a close, it's time for another round of deep cleaning, with added focus on the grill's internal parts such as heat deflectors and cooking grids. Charcoal grill enthusiasts should remove all ashes and give the inside a good scrub.

3. Check and Clean Burners on Gas Grills

Over time, burners can become clogged with grease and food particles, leading to uneven heating and potentially hazardous flare-ups. Remove the burners according to the manufacturer’s instructions, use a stiff wire brush to clear away any blockages in the burner ports, and clean them thoroughly. It’s also important to check the burners for signs of corrosion or damage and replace them if necessary, so your grill can operate smoothly and safely. For propane grills, check the propane tank for any damages and make sure it's filled for upcoming grilling sessions.

4. Preheat Properly

Proper preheating is a critical step in preparing your grill. It involves turning your grill to a high setting for about 15-20 minutes before you start cooking. This process helps to burn off any residual food particles and grease, creating a cleaner and more sanitary cooking surface. Additionally, preheating your grill warms the grates, making it easier to achieve those well-defined grill marks on your food while also helping to prevent sticking and leading to more consistent cooking results.

5. Oil the Grates

Before cooking, lightly oil the grates to prevent food from sticking. This makes for easier cleaning later and contributes to those sought-after grill marks on your food. When cleaning your grates, a high-quality stainless-steel brush works best. After cleaning, apply a light coat of cooking oil to your grates to help prevent rust.

6. Cover Your Grill

Keeping your grill covered when not in use is crucial for protecting it from rain, dirt, and sun exposure, which can lead to rust and premature wear. A high-quality, waterproof grill cover fits snugly over the grill, shielding it from moisture that could cause the metal parts to corrode, and from UV rays that can fade and damage the exterior finish. Additionally, a cover deters pests and animals from nesting in your grill's nooks and crannies. This simple step can significantly enhance the long-term safety of your grill.

7. Prepping and Storing Your Grill Safely

To keep your gas grill in pristine condition during the off-season, begin by detaching the propane tank. Store it outside in a location that is well-ventilated and shielded from direct sunlight and severe temperature changes, which could impact the tank’s pressure. Seal any openings on the gas line with protective caps to keep out insects and debris, safeguarding against blockages or damage to the lines. These steps are crucial for avoiding potential safety hazards and ensuring your grill's gas system remains intact, guaranteeing hassle-free ignition when the grilling season returns.

Before stowing your grill away, conduct a final inspection. Tighten any screws that have come loose over the season and replace components that show signs of wear. The ideal storage location is a dry, enclosed area such as a garage or shed. If outdoor storage is your only option, a durable cover is essential to protect your grill from the elements. Following these guidelines will help extend the life of your grill, ensuring it’s ready and waiting for your next BBQ adventure.

You’ve Got the Grill Covered; We’ll Handle the House Cleaning

A clean grill is the foundation for delicious meals and cherished summer memories, and regular maintenance is key to extending its lifespan. By following these tips, we hope you’ll enjoy a safe and successful grilling season this summer.

While you’re using your culinary skills to create delicious meals, let us help keep your home clean for all your summer get-togethers. Find a Merry Maids location near you for professional cleaning services.

Request a free cleaning estimate today to learn how we can help you enhance your living space!