How To Clean And Remove Rust From Cast Iron Grates | Detailed Guide

Is it normal to cook on the rusted cast-iron grates? To have a barbecue party at home and find the rust on the grill grate is disgusting. But your worries will end if you follow our instructions. Rusting iron is a spontaneous process that occurs naturally. The process of rusting accelerates when it is exposed to moisture.

Coastal areas have more humid air compared to non-coastal areas or high places. Due to moisture in the air, rusting in the coastal area occurs rapidly. If you leave in moist air, i.e., near the coast, then having cast iron is a much better choice due to its high resistance to rust. Yet it is also possible to rust, even if it is a cast iron grate.

Cooking on the rusted iron grates depends on the degree of rusting. If it is too rusty, the cooking on it is unhealthy, and we cannot cook on it. But grades with minor rust can be cleaned and used for cooking barbecue and other steaks.

By following our passage, you will find all the related questions about rusting cast iron grades and cleaning of rusted cast iron grades. We recommend the easiest way to have lifetime cast iron grades. By following our tips, you can save money on buying a new cast iron grate.

Why is cleaning grills that much important?

Before starting to know how one can clean its grates, we should consider; why we have to clean them. The grates part of the grill is the dirtiest and awful part of the grill as everything that is raw in condition, either it’s fish or raw meat, it touches the iron grates.

 In addition, this place is also the same where charcoal deposits have remained. If not cleaned, the food can be unhygienic and contain germs that directly affect your health.

Carcinogens are another reason to clean the grates as they can cause a severe health hazard. They are accumulated on the surface and contains health risk, which can accompany your food when you eat it.

Cleaning the grill frequently increases its life span as rusting and other damaging substances are removed with cleaning.

And in last if we talk about it can help the grates to retain more heat and get heated up nicely and efficiently, which can help you cook your food and grill it quickly and then hygienically enjoy that heavenly cuisine.

How can we season our grill?

After purchasing cast iron products, the first and foremost work you have to act upon is to season them thoroughly. This activity helps your cast iron to be rust-free and adds to its life. This process requires the usage of oil and fat to develop a thick coating and a surface that is nonsticky in nature. This whole process must be applied first to your grill grates so that it can help them in many ways.

These are the steps to follow for seasoning your grates.


Initiate this procedure by rinsing your grates in warm water nicely without the use of soap; Remember, soap can only be used when you decide to strip your cast iron entirely of its seasoning and start it all over. When you are finished washing, dry the grates well with the help of a towel.

Oiling it 

Creating layers of oil will enhance cast irons’ nonstick capabilities. A natural bristle (paintbrush) or a paper towel or sponge for oiling the grates nicely. Using thin layers of your cooking oil, for example, peanut oil, rub the surface thoroughly in several coats for the first seasoning. Anytime in the future, if needed to season it again, you will have to apply a single layer of oil.


After completing both above steps, bring your grates, put them back in your grill, and heat them until they reach a certain temperature of around 400 F. in the last, cool them down, and yes, you are done with this step also.

Follow these steps to season your grates and increase their durability. It is not as hard as you might have thought. It is now up to you how frequently you season the grates, and many people opt to re-season it after every use while others re-season it after many uses. It all depends on you now. Re-seasoning it frequently will increase the durability and the nonstick feature of grates.

Process of cleaning your cast iron grill

The best way to maintain your grill clean is by cleaning it right after you are finished cooking and grilling. This is an excellent activity to do which makes it rust-free all time.

Moment, when you are finished preparing a meal and have removed it from the grates, quick open all the vents of the grill; when grilling with charcoal or level up your grill to high when gas is being utilized, and then close your lid, allowing the grill to get hot through this process, you can burn off much amount stuck on your meal and the sauce (barbecue)

After you are done doing this whole process of burning your food, either close your gas so that grill can be cool down or close the vents for extinguishing charcoal.

After doing this, all you have to do is scrap the grates with a grill brush. Recommended is a scraper brush that is excellent for this job.

Apply slight vegetable oil to the grates after brushing them; this will help to prevent rusting on the grates.

Rust removing procedures


Brushing the cast iron grates is common to remove the stain and the rusted iron. Specific brushes are made for this purpose. The following brushes are useful for this purpose, which are given below.

  • Barbecue grill brush
  • Char-broil nylon bristle grill brush
  • CUBIT brill brush
  • Grill rescue brush

Before applying the brush to the grade, you have to heat it first, then soak the brush in the soap water and start brushing forcefully. Brush the cast iron grates until the rusted part is removed, and feel the grill frictionless if you feel the rod. The method is easy and time-saving but requires little effort while brushing the grates. It is just time-wasting if the cast iron grates are too rusty.

Being unhygienic is normal in grilling grates as everything cooked touches the cast iron and leaves germs. Apart from this event, rusting is the main and essential danger that can happen to a grill due to its frequent exposure to moisture. Now without further ado, let’s discuss different ways through which we can protect our grill from rusting.


Vinegar is a product that is found easily in every household. This product helps you keep your grills rust-free as it contains many of those substances which prevent rusting and cleans the grill. All you have to do is put an equal amount of vinegar and water in a container; according to the size of the container so that it can accommodate the grill. Afterward, you have to soak your grill for a few hours; this helps erase the rust and softens the deposit. Use a brush to scrape the rust which lingers on the grates still. Rinse it well and dry it.

Baking soda

Just like vinegar, baking soda is also a standard product in the kitchen. Every household’s kitchen comprises this product. This can be used effectively in removing rust from the grates.

Start by mixing baking with water until you get a good amount of paste from the mixture. Moreover, use a brush or sponge for scooping from the combination and then spread it over the grill grates, giving it rest for a few minutes. Cleave a good amount of aluminum foil and crumble it so that you can use it to remove the paste by scrubbing the grates. at last, rinse the grates.

Oven cleaning

If you are done trying every possible way to make your grill rust-free and cant be successful in it, then this one here will help you. There is a perk of using cast iron that it does not comprise harsh and stubborn chemicals, so there may be a contradiction in using harsh chemicals for cleaning its rust through this.

Lye is used mainly in cleaning most ovens, which is very good in erasing the stuck-on-crud; as a matter of fact, it also has a disadvantage that is it can turn your cast iron to bare metal.

Cover the grates with oven cleaner by spraying it over in an open area which should be well-ventilated and then cover it and seal it tightly in black or any colored garbage bag. Give it a rest for two days in this position and consider placing it at a warm enough spot, and also make it away from the reach of children and pets. After two days, rinse and wash it nicely. Afterward, when you are finished cleaning it, season it well as if you are using it in a new condition

Tips for maintaining your grill grates 

Seasoning your grill and cleaning is very important, but it is not like that other than these two activities, there is nothing you can do to maintain your grates nicely. These tips and tricks will help you maintain your grill with other means.

  • check your cleaning brush and its bristles before each use 
  • If somehow food sticks onto your grates in the first few grilling, then don’t you worry because it is expected; after you use it several other times, this thins stickiness will go, and usage of oil will create a coat which will make your grates nonsticky.
  • Protect it from rusting by covering it up so that outside moisture does not contact it.


Before we conclude, we need to know how to prevent our grill grates from rusting. First, you need to clean the grill grate after cooking. Make sure no stain of cooked food remains on the grill, which causes rusting. Secondly, keeping the grills away from moist air and water hastened the rusting process. Finally, exposure to high temperatures also causes rusting. After all these things, you must keep the iron grate in the most suitable place to avoid rusting.

Final Words

In a nutshell, the rusting of iron is an inevitable process, but we can slow it down by changing its structure and taking good care of it. The cast-iron grates are very effective at preventing rusting as they are made up of iron and a small percentage of carbon, which stops the rusting process. It is not a big issue if the cast grate is rusted.

There are many ways to prevent the cast grate from rusting. As we discuss the tips, it is found that baking soda, Coca-Cola, heating, vinegar, and brushing are the best methods to remove the rusted part. We have also discussed the preventive techniques and the common mistakes people have made with the grill grates. Using grease instead of oil is one of the commoner mistakes people make, which hastens the rusting. Oiling After cleaning, the grill is effective.

Last but not least, high temperatures and moist air fasten the grate. Hence, keep in mind all these things while keeping the grill grate at home. We are pretty sure that our tips will be fruitful for you. By following our advice, you will have a cleaner and longer-lasting cast-iron grate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we grill on a rusty grate?

If you do not have any other option, you can, but it is preferred not to grill like that. The small amount of iron oxide will not harm or affect you, but frequent consumption can damage or disturb the digestion system and your immunity.

Grill on a rusty grate once or twice, but don’t make it a habit; later on, it will harm you.

How can lemon be used to clean grill grates?

Yes, you can use lemon. Indeed, a more prominent lemon is preferred, as it will provide more surface for scrubbing. At first, heat up your grill and then leave it for a couple of minutes; cut your lemon in half and pierce the flesh couple of times with the help of a fork.

Later on, dip your lemon into salt or sea salt and then scrub your grates with it nicely and thoroughly; this will help you effectively to achieve your goal of removing rust from grates. Try to replace your lemon when you see its juice is done.

Remember to dip your lemon again when you use a new lemon for scrubbing.

What is the most effective way of keeping iron grates safe?

An effective way is to wash the iron grates after cooking. Make sure no stain from the cooked material remains on the iron grate. This leads to iron-rusting. Keep the iron grate away from moisturization.

Is it unhealthy to cook on rusted-iron grates?

It is okay to cook on the rusted iron grates if they are not too rusty. If it is too rusty, it is better to use it after cleaning the rust from the metal.

Are grease and iron both effective in preventing the iron from rusting?

Many people think that grease and oil prevent the grill grates from rusting, which is not true. Grease causes rusting, while oiling the grill grate prevents rusting. Hence, we need to know the difference between these two things. So I used oil to keep the grill grate safe.

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