Residential Pressure Washing pressure wash bbq

Is it possible to pressure wash BBQ grills? This is a question many people ask. While BBQ veterans might know the answer by now, inexperienced cooks likely have no idea whether or not it is safe to clean grill grates using a pressure washer.


Should You Pressure Wash BBQ Grills?

With summer in full swing, backyard parties and outdoor cookouts will multiply. And barbecues are an undeniable staple of summer celebrations. BBQ grills, though, are not as easy to clean as traditional cookware. Pots and pans can be washed in the sink, but outdoor grills often don’t have this luxury.

Moreover, it is usually hard to scrub grill grates clean. Whether you use a gas-powered or charcoal grill, the burnt pieces of food that get stuck on the grates can put up quite a fight. Instead of slaving away scrubbing bits of char, break out that trusty pressure washer.

You might wonder, “Can I pressure wash my grill grates?”

The short answer is yes. It is possible to clean your BBQ grill grates with the help of a pressure washer. The catch is that you must use the right pressure level (PSI), the right nozzle tip, and the right technique.


Pressure Wash Grill Grates: Pros and Cons

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of pressure washing your grill grates.



The first and most glaring advantage of pressure washing BBQ grills is efficiency. It is far more efficient to clean your grill using a pressure washer than it is to clean it using your own hands. A pressure washer can clean your grates within 10 to 15 minutes, whereas doing it the old-fashioned way will take an hour, at least. If you want to save time, use a pressure washer.

Additionally, it takes quite a bit of elbow grease to scrub off the charred bits that get left on the grill. After hours of grilling, you probably don’t have enough energy to slave away with a sponge and a bucket of water. You can save your arm workout for the gym with a pressure washer.

Finally, a pressure washer offers better results. You likely won’t clean off all the bits and pieces that get stuck on the grates by just using your hands and a scrub. Your hands are nothing compared to the strength of a pressure washer.



Clearly, you can achieve a clean grill with a pressure washer. But, as with many things, it also comes with some disadvantages. The main issue people have with grill pressure washing is that it might force items into the burners. If that happens, it will impair gas flow and even push grease to leak into your yard.

This can be easily avoided, though, when you practice caution. Don’t use a pressure level that is too high for the grates to handle. It is also a good idea to supplement your cleaning process with a detergent for more effective results.

Should you pressure wash BBQ grills? How to Clean Barbecue Grill With Pressure Washer

If you want to know how to pressure wash BBQ grills, follow the steps.


1. Prepare Your Grill

When pressure washing your BBQ, preparation is the key to a damage-free grill. Before the cleaning process, make sure to disconnect the electric start and propane tank. Optionally, you can cover the gas regulator connection with a plastic bag once you detach it. Tape down the plastic bag so that no water gets in. If you have removable grates, disconnect them from the grill.


2. Degrease

Degrease your grill using a pressure washer-safe degreaser detergent. Apply this degreaser from the bottom of the grill and work your way up. Make sure not to hit any heating elements and adjust your distance accordingly. After applying the degreaser, let it soak in for 3 to 5 minutes. This will allow the degreaser to work its magic.


3. Rinse

After letting the degreaser sit, rinse it off with clean water. For rinsing, make sure to use a 15- or 25-degree nozzle tip. This will help blast away any remaining grime, oil, and grease. Work your way from the top to the bottom, as you would pressure wash your vehicle. Switch it out with a turbo nozzle if you can’t clean the grease off using a 15- or 25-degree nozzle.


4. Dry and Oil

Let the grill dry completely in the sun before applying oil to the grates. This helps keep food from sticking too much the next time you use your grill.


How to Clean Rusty Grill Grates

There are three ways to clean a rusty grill: using vinegar and baking soda, using salt and vinegar, and using the grill brush method. Let’s dive into each technique below.


How to Clean Grill Grates Rust With Vinegar and Baking Soda

The vinegar-baking soda paste is a classic DIY cleaner, especially against rust. When combined, these ingredients create carbonic acid, a slightly acidic and highly abrasive substance that works wonders in dissolving and breaking up grease, making it easy to scrub away.

To use:

  1. Mix baking soda with distilled white vinegar in a 1:2 ratio until a thick, spreadable paste forms.
  2. Apply the paste to the grill grates and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Use steel wool, a stiff-bristled brush, or an abrasive scrubber to scour the rust from the grates.
  4. Wash the grates with warm, soapy water and allow them to fully dry.


How to Clean Rusty Grill Grates With Salt and Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar and salt, when combined, dissolve oxidized metal.

To apply this method:

  1. In a large utility sink or plastic tub, mix regular table salt with distilled white vinegar in a 1:2 ratio.
  2. Submerge the grates in the mixture and let them soak overnight.
  3. In the morning, you’ll notice that much of the rust has dissolved. Use steel wool or leftover salt to remove any remaining rust.
  4. Wash the grates in warm, soapy water and let them fully dry.


How to Clean Grill Grates Rust Using the Grill Brush Method

If you find that the rust on your grates is only on the surface and easily flakes off, you can employ a high-quality grill brush to eliminate this surface rust before trying any of the methods above. It’s best to brush your grates after each use while they are still warm to deter the settling of dirt and grime.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can You Pressure Wash Grill Grates?

Yes, you can use a pressure washer to clean your grill grates. Just make sure to use the right pressure setting and a 15- or 25-degree nozzle tip to avoid damaging the material.


Can You Power Wash a Grill?

Yes, you can powerwash grill grates. Power washing is the same as pressure washing, using high-pressure water to clean. The only difference is that power washing uses heated water. Heated water works especially well when removing oil, grease, and other stubborn contaminants.


Can I Pressure Wash My Smoker?

Yes, you can pressure wash your smoker. However, you should not pressure wash the smoker as is. Make sure not to get water into the electrical components of the smoker. Instead, focus your efforts on the firebox, the cook chamber, and the exterior of the smoker.


Which Machine Is Best for Pressure Washing Grill Grates?

There are two primary types of pressure washers: gas-powered and electric pressure washers. Gas-powered pressure washers are stronger, so they work best on heavy grillers. A gas-powered pressure washer may be best if you have a grill that has not been cleaned in a long time.

On the other hand, an electric pressure washer is less powerful but more widely available. It is also cheaper in comparison to its gas-powered counterparts. If you regularly clean your grill, an electric pressure washer will do just as well.


Can You Use a Pressure Washer on Grill Grates? Answered!

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy an outdoor barbecue session. As with every occasion, though, you must clean up afterward. If you want a quick and effective job, you can pressure wash BBQ grill grates, provided you do so with caution and using the proper technique.

Washh offers reliable and affordable residential pressure washing services. Call us today at 704.321.8000 or contact us online to get a free estimate!