Cookout season is just a few short weeks away, and if your gas or charcoal grill is still covered with the remnants of last year's cheeseburgers and Hawaiian chicken, now's the perfect time to give it a refresh as part of your spring cleaning routine. These speedy tips from the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab come from years of testing outdoor grills as well as the cleaners and tools you need to keep them working well (and your food tasting great).
When the grill is cool, remove the grates and flavorizer bars and put them into a full bucket of soapy water. Let them soak for at least 15 minutes. Remove anything else from the grill that you can take off without tools, like burner control knobs and the grease tray. This will make it easier to clean. Most gas grill burner tubes are removable as well (look for simple cotter pins on one end, although some models use screws).
Check the fuel lines for visible defects. If any fuel lines have unmistakable damage (like rips, holes, cracks), replace the parts immediately before your next use of the grill. Also be sure that any fuel lines have a smooth trail. You don’t want any of your fuel lines to be bent, because that will prevent the gas from flowing correctly. Check the exterior of the gas tank for any damage as well; things like dents, erosion, punctures, or any evident signs of damage. If you find areas that have obvious damage, you could potentially have a gas leak.