You may have recently seen in the news and online that there's been a lot of talk about the risks of using a wire-bristle brush when cleaning your BBQ grill. The good ol' standby for cleaning you favorite summer meal maker isn't as safe as once thought and can lead to some serious injuries.
Really? Yup – maybe you're as surprised as I am?
With the summer BBQ season in full swing, how do we safely clean those gunked up grills without using the traditional wire grill brush?
In this post, I share with you some great alternatives to wire grill brushes as well as some DIY, free and cheap ways to clean your grill!
Why are traditional Wire-Bristle Grill Brushes unsafe?
According to reports, the wire bristles on grill brushes are prone to loosening and breaking off – which can lead to those tiny little wires clinging to your grill, getting transferred to your food and then swallowed… eeek!
These wire grill brush incidents have become so common that Health Canada now warns:
“The metal bristles on your BBQ brush can become loose over time and get stuck to the grill during cleaning. This could result in the bristles getting transferred to the food and potentially being swallowed. Make sure to inspect your BBQ brush before each use and throw it away if you notice that the bristles are loose or stuck to the grill.”
CTV News recently shared a story about a man from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia who had to visit the ER to take care of a wire that had become lodged in his throat when he ate his burger. 🙁
Alternatives to Wire Grill Brushes
|Weber Grill Brush Scrubber – This is similar to those scrub pads that you use to clean your pots and pans at home, but it's much more heavy duty.
|GrillFloss – This one is a popular option for scraping off all those nasty chunks that get stuck the sides and bottom of your grill. Many grilling tools are only capable of removing the stuff that gets stuck to the top surface – this will “floss” your grill so it's clean on all sides.
|Bristle Free BBQ Grill Brush – This handy dandy tool works much like the traditional grill brush however it's made with a special coiled mesh so there's no risk of anything falling off and sticking to your food.
|The Great Scrape The Woody Paddle New All Natural BBQ Grill Scraper – I know of many people who swear that The Great Scrape paddle is the best alternative to wire grill brushes. The paddle is made in such a way that it will develop grooves that fit perfectly with your grill, allowing you to easily scrape all that nasty grime away.
|GrillStone Grill Cleaner – I've personally tried this product myself and find that it works very well. Unfortunately, I found that because of the way it's made, it will leave behind a lot of residue or “granules” since the tool breaks down as you use it. With this in mind, if you use this tool, you may have to wipe the grill down a couple more times afterward.
|Grillbadger – This is a grill brush made from all natural and bio-degradable materials. The bristles are made from plant fibers and if they fall off they'll simply burn up on the grill.
|Unicook Premium Safe Nylon Grill Brush with Scraper – Using a nylon grill brush is also an option but please make sure you only use this on a cold grill. Using it on a hot one will melt the bristles. Rather than using a nylon grill brush, I'd recommend using one of the other options.
Free (or Really Cheap) Ways Clean Your Grill Without a Wire-Bristle Brush
First, heat up the grill any excess bits that are stuck get burned off. Then take half an onion and rub it (cut side down) on the grill. The acidity of the onion will help loosen up any remaining gunk.
Homemade Wood Scraper
Rather than buying a wooden grill scraper like The Great Scrape above, you could try making one yourself!
Karen from The Art of Doing Stuff has an excellent tutorial on how make your own DIY grill scraper for under $5.
Baking Soda and a Damp Cloth
Dip a damp cloth into some baking soda and scrub the grill until it's clean. Rinse.
Crumpled aluminum foil and tongs
Crumple up some foil and using a set of tongs, scrape your grill until clean. This method always works well for me! The Oh aluminum foil… what can't you do?!
Yes, as weird as it sounds, you can use a pumice stone to clean your grill! Typically these are used as a beauty tool for softening skin on rough feet but it also works very well in scraping the gunk off your grill. You can usually find these at the dollar store so they're quite cheap!
So now that we know some safer ways to clean the grill, it's time to toss that wire brush! 🙂
Know a good grill cleaning method that I didn't mention here?
If so, please share below in the comments section so others can try it too! 🙂