When rust builds up on a grill it can make for an unpleasant cooking experience, and can also be harmful for your health if you ingest it. However, it’s not uncommon and in most cases is quite easy to remove with safe common household solutions. If it’s more stubborn there are commercial rust removers made for grills that are safe to use, and help restore quality too.
After you’ve successfully removed the rust, it’s best to take some care to prevent it from coming back in the future. This guide will break down the process of how to remove rust from cast iron grill grates easily and simply.
How to Remove Rust From Cast Iron Grill Grates
How to Remove Rust From Grill Grates Using Household Solutions
If rust persists on the grill grate after you’re finished scrubbing it’s time to apply a rust remover. There are several common and safe household items that can be used as a rust remover on cast iron grill grates.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Baking soda is an abrasive, which makes it a great substance to use to fight rust. When mixed with vinegar it makes a thick paste that can be applied on the rusted grill grates to dissolve the rust.
Simply start with ¼ cup of baking soda in a bowl, and slowly add vinegar and mix until you get a thick paste. You can always add more baking soda or vinegar if you need more of the paste. Apply is generously to the rusted spots of the grill and let it sit for roughly 30 minutes. Give it a quick rinse with warm water and the rust should be gone, if there is any left give it a gentle scrub with the grill brush and it should flake off.
Lemon Juice and Detergent
If the vinegar and baking soda solution didn’t rid all of the rust, or you don’t have vinegar or baking soda you can try using lemon juice and powder detergent. This method uses the acid in the lemon to dissolve the rust but tends to take a lot longer to work it’s magic.
Squeeze the juice of a couple of lemons into a bowl and slowly add powdered detergent. Mix with a spoon until it forms a thick paste. Apply this thoroughly to the rusted areas. Make sure to cover the grill grates as best you can with plastic wrap as this will prevent the lemon mixture from drying out. Let it sit overnight and up to 24 hours to dissolve the rust. Once complete simply rinse with warm water and scrub any remaining rust off with the grill brush as it should be heavily loosened or dissolved.
Best Way to Remove Rust from Grill Grates
If the home remedies can’t rid the rust don’t worry, as there are specialised rust remover products that are designed to do just that. These are more heavy-duty and reliable solutions built to break rust down. Just remember, since you prepare food on the grill, make sure to find a non-toxic specialised rust remover product that is safe to use.
The are some, like the Evapo-Rust, that are made for removing rust and restoring cast iron grill grates that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and non-corrosive. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and wash it off thoroughly.
How to Prevent Rust on Grill Grates
Once the rust is gone, it’s important to take some simple precautions to keep the grill rust free and long-lasting. Here are 5 easy and basic steps you can take every time you use it to give your grill the best chance of remaining rust-free.
1) Clean Your Grill After Every Use
Clean your grill when it’s still warm. This is so the food, juices and oils remain warm, and don’t harden onto the grill. First use a grill brush, and once you’ve gotten as much as you can, use a cloth with warm water or a grill wipe.