How To Clean Cast Iron Grates – The Easiest Way

When was the last time you remember cleaning your stove and the grates? Or your grill grates? It wouldn’t be shocking if your answer would be “I don’t know”! Your cast iron grates can get sticky and greasy due to dirt, dust, grime and food residue. Here are some of the best home remedies for those who are looking for tips on how to clean cast iron grates.

Why do you need to clean cast iron grates

No one wants a sticky, grimy looking stove. You don’t want to invite your friends on a dirty grill either. However, when it comes to giving your oven and grates a real, good, deep cleaning, most homeowners are often confused as to what are the best methods to use. Dirty, grates can not only look ugly but can also damage your iron grates — especially stubborn food residue, baked on grease or even moist and mold in the worst cases. On the other spectrum of reasons is your and your family’s health. Due to the food residue that is stuck on the grates, this can be an excellent place for bacteria to grow. It is why it is essential to clean your cast iron grates regularly and from time to time make sure you put your time in doing it. 

How to clean cast iron grates using baking soda

How to clean cast iron grates using baking soda

Baking soda is a gentle abrasive which can act as an excellent scrubbing solution. It is a natural form of scrub which is not too harsh, thus, will not damage your cast iron grates. Here is how you can use it:

  1. Make sure that your cast iron grates are not hot while you are cleaning them; otherwise, the grates might crack.
  2. Remove the cast iron grates from the stove.
  3. Dip them into a large bowl filled with warm water and dishwashing soap. It will remove the original, top film of the iron grates.
  4. Make a thick paste using water and baking soda.
  5. Using a brush, apply the baking soda and water paste to the cast iron grates. Follow the link to find my selection of best brushes for grates and find out more.
  6. Let this sit for around 20 minutes.
  7. Using a soft scrub brush, exfoliate the iron grates. Any food residue and grime will naturally come off without much scrubbing required.
  8. Rinse off the iron grates and dry them off.

How to clean cast iron grates using a nylon scrubber

Sometimes, all your iron grates need is an excellent old scrubbing down. Using a soft nylon brush, here is what you need to do:

  1. Allow your grates to cool off completely before you do it. Only once they are cool, remove them and place them in your sink.
  2. Pour boiling water carefully over the cast iron grates, making sure not to hurt yourself in the process. The boiling water will help to cut the grease and grime and make the cleaning up process more manageable.
  3. Squirt some grease fighting soap on to the cast iron grates and fill the sink up with clean, hot water. Allow the grates to soak for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Using a soft nylon scrubber, scrub away at the stubborn spots, grime and food residue. If needed, you can add more of the grease fighting soap to the stubborn areas and scrub.
  5. Rinse the grates using warm water.
  6. Dry the grates thoroughly before using again.

How to clean cast iron grates using ammonia

Every once in a while, your cast iron grates need a little more than just regular cleaning and scrubbing. If you find your grates looking particularly greasy and grimy, you know it is time for an in-depth cleaning session. Here is how you can deep clean your cast iron grates using ammonia:

  1. If you have small grates, you can use small plastic bags for this method. On the other hand, if you have larger attached cast iron grates, you need to use a large trash bag for this method.
  2. Remove the iron grates from your stove and place each grate into a plastic bag, or a trash bag.
  3. Add one cup of ammonia to each bag. Now, add water into the plastic bag as well, enough to submerge the grate while it is lying flat.
  4. Tie the plastic bag shut so that none of the mixtures can leak out. If you wish, you can also use Ziploc bags for this.  
  5. Allow this to sit undisturbed overnight.
  6. The next morning, dispose of the ammonia water solution carefully.
  7. Using a scrubbing pad or a sponge, scrub off any food residue, grime or dirt which you can see on the grates. It should come off pretty quickly.
  8. Rinse the grates under warm water and dry them thoroughly.

How to clean cast iron grates using vinegar

Vinegar is one of the most versatile kitchen ingredients that you can use for cleaning almost anything. Using this easy method with vinegar, clean your cast iron grates and make them look as good as new:

  1. In a spray bottle, add white vinegar and water in a one is to one ratio. Make sure to dilute the vinegar otherwise it just might be too abrasive.
  2. Remove the grates from your stove and spray the vinegar and water solution on them.
  3. Allow them to sit undisturbed for about 15 minutes (if the stains and food residue is easy to remove) or for an hour (if the stains and grime are stubborn).
  4. Using a soft brush, scrub the grates to remove any residue or grime.
  5. Rinse the grates under warm water and be sure to dry them off thoroughly.

How to clean cast iron grates using salt

How to clean cast iron grates using salt

If you are looking for something slightly more abrasive to clean your cast iron grates, you can use kosher salt for this method. Here is how to do it:

  1. Using kosher salt and water create a thick paste. Make sure that you don’t make the paste extremely watery for this method.
  2. Apply this paste to the cast iron grates. It works exceptionally well on areas which have rusted.
  3. Using a wire brush or steel wool, scrub away at the rust and stubborn stains. You will find that they are coming off pretty quickly.
  4. Reapply the paste and repeat the process if necessary.
  5. Rinse well with warm water.
  6. Ensure that you dry your cast iron grates well before using them again, as water can cause damage to your grates.


1 Comment
  1. Thank you so much for these useful tips! Cast iron grates really need some cleaning. I’ll definitely try the tips with baking soda. Hope it works

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