Stove grates can easily become dirty if you have a busy cooking schedule.

Just think about that bacon grease, burnt food debris and spaghetti sauce, all stuck on your precious stove grates.

Constant exposure to fire and grease makes the grates crusty and stained. This can defiantly ruin the aesthetic value of your shiny burner. Fortunately, there are a few simple techniques that can help you in easily restoring the shape and texture of your cast iron grates.

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  1. Scrub with a Grill Brush

The first and probably most effective technique in cleaning iron stove grates is to always make time for it. Even if you intend to skip out on the scrubbing when you’re cleaning the kitchen, you need to do it before all that dirt and grease dries up and becomes harder to remove.

Grill brushes are popularly used for scrubbing steel grills of various types. They have metallic bristles that are generally made using stainless steel wires. These brushes usually have a wooden handle.

  • For cleaning stained and greasy cast iron grates, all you need is a good-quality grill brush. Various types of grill brushes and cleaners are available in the market. So you need to look for a reasonable one. Just make sure that you find a grill brush that will not scratch your cast iron stove grates.
  • Before using the grill brush, soak the grates in hot water for a few minutes. Carefully scratch the surface of the grates with your grill brush.
  • After scraping, leave the grates immersed in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, rinse the grates in tap water.
  1. Clean with Ammonia

Since cast iron grates have an oily shine, many people avoid using soaps and detergents that can reduce the shine over time. If you wish to maintain the shiny coating of your cast iron grates you can use ammonia as a safer cleaning solution. Just make sure to use ammonia with caution, as it could be harmful if not handled properly.

  • Ammonia is a cleaning solution often used for restoring severely soiled cast-iron grates. Ammonia has strong cleansing powers that can easily dissolve grime and grease.
  • For cleaning with ammonia, place the grates in a sealable plastic bag and fill it with water. Add half a cup of ammonia and seal the bag.
  • Leave the bag overnight in your sink. In the morning, safely dispose of the solution and thoroughly rinse the grates using hot water.
  1. Season with Oil

Seasoning is a traditional technique that people use for cleaning rusty cast iron objects. You can use this method if your grates have a crusty layer of rust.

  • Before seasoning with oil, soak the grates in hot water and scrub them thoroughly using a stainless steel grill brush.
  • After rinsing the grates, wipe them dry. Once the grates dry fully, start applying oil. Make sure to cover with oil all the rusted areas of your grates.
  • Pre-heat your oven up to 350°F and place the grates in a baking tray and bake for 40 minutes. Once the grates turn cool rinse them or repeat the process of oiling if they are not clean enough.
  1. Clean with a Degreaser

Degreasers are solutions with a chemical base that are effective in cleaning grease-stained metallic surfaces. They are effective in cleaning burners, grills, and grates.

  • Clean the grates with a grill brush and hot water. Wipe the grates and apply degreaser on their surface.
  • Let the grates sit for an hour so that the degreaser can breakdown and dislodge all the greasy stains. Wash the grates in soapy water and rinse well.
  1. Clean with Vinegar

Vinegar is a popular cleansing agent that can be safely used for cleaning a wide range of kitchen appliances and utensils.

  • Mix a cup of vinegar in a bowl of water and place the grates in the solution for around an hour.
  • If the grates are rusty and badly stained you may need to leave them in the solution for 4 to 5 hours. After that, remove the grates and scrub them with a grill brush and rinse with warm water.


  • Use canola or peanut oil for seasoning. They are cooking oils that are suitable for deep heating.

Seasoning is not required if the grates have a strong coating of enamel or porcelain.

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