Just scrub it.
Scrub it with a stiff wire brush when it’s still hot and most of your regular grill cleaning is done. (if you forget on the cooldown, scrub it after you’ve turned it on the next time but before you put your food on)
As for gear, all you need to keep your grill clean is a nice stiff wire brush. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of cleaning products on the market but this guy will be your best friend.
From fancy brushes to various wipes, all of which they’ve convinced you that you need, but a stiff wire brush and a habit of keeping your grill clean gets you 99% of the way there.
What about the other 1%?
Once a Month During Grilling Season
About once a month (or more), before I use my propane grill, I give it a more thorough cleaning.
First, remove and scrub the grates that make up the cooking surface. Then, scrub any bits off the flame shields (those long folded metal pieces that cover the burner tubes, they’re sometimes called heat shields too). Next, clean off any gunk and grime from the inside of the main chamber.
The goal here is to get rid of all the crap inside – bits of food you’ve cooked, grease and grime that have accumulated, and otherwise get anything that could potentially catch fire and impart off flavors to your food.
Next, check the grease trap. Empty it and wipe it down. You don’t want that to catch fire!
Finally, give the outside and non-cooking parts of your grill a wipe down (this includes the inside of the hood!). Chances are you have some grease splatter and it’s good just to give it a nice wipe to keep things clean.
It’s part cleanliness and part psychological – a clean grill is nice to look at and nice to use!
What about all those wipes and scrubs and everything?
It’s really up to you.
Some of those products are garbage (i.e. you don’t need it, it’s just marketing) but some do make your life a little bit easier. Outside of a good scrub brush, you don’t need anything you don’t otherwise have in your home for other purposes.
Remember, the key is consistency!