How to Clean Mold Off Grill with 5 Steps And Prevent Mold In the Future
A moldy grill is the last thing you want to see during a cookout. This can be especially annoying after waiting for the summertime to start barbecuing. Such an unfortunate situation can ruin a great barbecue with your family and friends. If you wish to avoid these situations, it’s best to learn how to clean a moldy grill, or you can buy an air fryer grill combo to prevent that situation.
The issue of a moldy grill often happens after leaving your grill unused for a long time. Look no further if you’re unsure of what to do after seeing such horrific scenes of mold on your grill. This grill will closely examine how to clean mold off your grill without breaking a sweat. And as experts in BBQ cleaning and repair, you can be sure we’ll offer you useful insights. Without further ado, let’s get started.
What Exactly Is Grill Mold?
Mold is a kind of fungus with many different colors, from white, and black to purple. This fungus can be usually found outdoors and indoors, often in areas where water is yet to dry fully. The common places where you can find mold include kitchens, basements, and bathrooms. With that said, you can also find mold on your grill if it’s humid.
Another reason mold grows on your grill is by placing it under a cover. Doing this traps moisture and, as a result, makes a suitable breeding ground for grill mold. This fungus will grow regardless of whether you use a pellet smoker or charcoal. This is because it only needs warm and humid conditions and will quickly start to grow.
What Are The Health Risks Of Mold On Your Grill?
While it’s easy to assume grill mold is harmless, this is far from the truth. In fact, grill mold can cause several health complications, including breathing problems. This happens because of placing your grill in a moist environment. As a result, this causes the growing molds to have mycotoxins. This compound is dangerous to humans as it can lead to fever and respiratory problems such as a runny nose. Prolonged exposure to mycotoxins can lead to other chronic problems such as:
- Mental retardation
Other health risks of grill mold include fatigue, nosebleeds, diarrhea, and headache. You can also have flu-like symptoms, an upset stomach, and allergic reactions.
5 Steps To Follow When Cleaning Mold Off Your Grill
Since you now understand the health risks of grill mold, you must look to learn how to clean your grill. But before you start cleaning your drill, you must get yourself proper safety gear such as:
- Safety goggles
- Long pants
- Long-sleeved shirt
After getting your safety gear, you should assemble your cleaning tools, including:
- Tile cleaner
- Soapy water
- Grill brush
Once you have the cleaning tools at hand, here are the steps to follow when cleaning the mold of your grill:
1. Wear a Mask, Waterproof Gloves, and Goggles
When cleaning a moldy grill, the first step is to wear your safety gear before starting. You should put on your mask to avoid inhaling the fumes the cleaning solution is producing. This mask is also useful to prevent inhaling its spores if you’re allergic to mold or asthmatic. You thus save yourself from breathing or respiratory complications when cleaning the grill.
Remember to put on gloves to prevent skin irritation when cleaning the grill. Goggles also come in handy to ensure the mold spores don’t find their way into your eyes.
2. Turn On the Grill to at Least 200 ° for 20 Minutes.
The next step is switching on your propane or gas grill to temperatures of at least 200° Fahrenheit. Let your grill remain on for at least 20 minutes to ensure all the mold and its spores die. Firing up your grill to these temperatures also burns away the excess grease.
It’s advised to first fire up your grill before cleaning or scraping off the grill. This is best to prevent inhaling the mold spores and triggering an allergic reaction.
3. (When the Grill Cool down)Use a Brush and Detergent To Remove the Mold
After you’re certain all the mold is dead, and the grease is burnt off, you can turn off your propane or gas grill. You should then give the grill time to cool down completely. Only after this happens can you start to scrub
and remove the inner parts. After you’re done disassembling the grill, use a pressure washer or wire brush to do your cleaning.
Take your time to scrub the grates to remove any mold or grease that might that’s still on your grill. It’s best to do this using warm soapy water to scrub off the grease and mold. If the grates aren’t getting any better, soak them for 30 minutes and then scrub them once more.
4. Rinse the Mold and Detergent
Once you’re sure you’ve scrubbed off all the grease and mold from your grill, you can proceed to rinse it with water. Make sure to do this on both the inner and exterior parts of the grill to rinse off all the mold and grease from your grill. You must be thorough with the rinsing of your grill and then let it dry.
5. Turn On the Grill and Work at the 200°, Remove the Residual Mold
After placing back all the grill parts in place, you should go ahead and switch on the gas for 15 minutes. Doing this helps ensure all the residual grease, mold, water, and soap gets dried, burnt, or killed. This means your grill is sparkling clean and has little risk of mold or rust. After that, let the grill cool down by leaving the valves or vents open to ensure there’s no trapped moisture.
Cleaning Tips To Follow When Cleaning A Moldy Grill
You should observe some things when cleaning your moldy grill, and here’s a look at some of them:
- Start by removing the grates from your grill and soaking them for 30 minutes in soapy water.
- Observe the gas bottle safety tips when cleaning a gas BBQ grill.
- Don’t wash your grill without first confirming there aren’t any dried materials underneath. Only after doing this should you use water to start cleaning your grill.
- Ensure the grates are well rinsed before drying them and putting them back on the grill.
- Never clean your barbecue grill using corrosive items such as chlorine. If you do, there’s a high risk of destroying your grill. You also risk your well-being by not properly washing off your grill due to harmful chemicals.
- Confirm your kids, and loved ones aren’t close when you start burning and scrubbing mold off the grill. You must do this, as mold spores can lead to health complications such as breathing problems.
- Never scrub the grill’s grates with a rough brush.
- Always replace the heat diffusers immediately after they become worn out.
- Mix equal volumes of water and vinegar when cleaning the grill’s interior parts. After that, place the mixture into a spray bottle and spritz it over the grill’s surface. Let this sink in for 10 minutes, and use a damp cloth to wipe it down.
- Ensure the grill and cover are dry once you’re done cleaning it. You can confirm this by checking the grill’s interior to confirm it’s completely clean. And before placing back the cover, inspect the open vents to see the grill’s interior. Doing this will let out any moisture trapped below and reduce the risk of mold growing at a future date.
What Safety Precautions Should You Observe When Cleaning A Moldy Grill?
When cleaning the mold of your BBQ grill, there are a couple of safety tips you need to consider, including:
- Don’t use bleach or any harsh chemicals that may adversely impact your health.
- Rinse your grill after cleaning it using cleaners or chemicals before you use it.
- Make sure to wear a face mask and gloves each time you deal with mold.
- Ensure the area you’re cleaning your grill is well-ventilated because cleaners are toxic.
- Make sure to wear the proper safety gear, that is, a mask, a pair of gloves, and goggles.
- Remove all items from the grill before you start cleaning it. This means all porous components, rocks, and charcoal to avoid interfering with cleaning.
What Are The Benefits Of Regularly Cleaning Your Grill?
The regular cleaning of the grill to remove grease, germs, and mold, to name a few, has many benefits, including:
- It prolongs the grill’s life by reducing the likelihood of future corrosion.
- According to some research, charred meat is carcinogenic. This is why you must clean away the leftover charred meat from your grill to get rid of all the toxic carcinogens.
- The food tastes much better when prepared on a clean grill free from unhealthy charred meat.
- It kills all the bacteria on the grill surface to ensure you don’t eat contaminated food.
- A clean grill is more efficient as it heats up a lot faster. This is so as the accumulation of grease prevents the grill’s optimal functioning.
- An untidy grill attracts pests and insects, more so in warmer regions. Knowing this, you should clean your grill to scare away these pests and their droppings.
How Often Do You Need To Clean Your Grill
There are two types of grill cleaning. The first entails cleaning the grill’s surface each time you’re done using it. Doing this is pretty easy, as you only have to wait for the grates to cool down and brush away the stuck food particles. And to do the cleaning, you need a grill or wire brush.
The other type of cleaning is where you clean your grill twice each year or after every six months. This is usually more thorough as it entails inspecting and deep cleaning the grill. Some of the things you should do during the cleaning include:
- Inspect the gas flow
- Look for signs of rust in the grill grates
- Disassemble the grill
The deep cleaning of your grill should be more than enough to ensure it’s clean and in perfect condition. It’s advisable to do deep cleaning more than twice each year if you use your grill often.
How Can You Prevent Grill Mold From Reoccurring?
You can prevent grill mold from reoccurring by inhibiting its conducive growing environment. This means your grill needs to be free of grease and moisture. And to do this, here are helpful tips you should follow:
- Make it a habit to superheat your grill for at least 10 minutes once your food is ready and taken off. This will prevent the molds from growing once again on your grill. Doing this is effective as it burns off any food remnants on your grill as well as all the grease.
- Clean your grill with a plastic scraper and degreaser. Doing this does a good job of removing any grease that absorbs moisture. You must do this if you intend to store your grill for an extended period before using it. And once your grill is free from mold, it reduces the risk of mold reoccurring.
- Don’t cover your grill with its cover as this traps moisture and, as a result, creates a humid environment. It’s such an environment where mold thrives because of reduced air circulation.
- Ensure proper air circulation in your grill by opening all the vents.
- Turn the grill cover inside-out and clean it with bleach and warm water if it smells funny or damp. After that, give it time to dry off completely before you place it on the grill.
- Store your BBQ grill in a well-ventilated and dry area, such as the garage, instead of under a cover. If you decide to use a grill cover, take it out on a sunny day to dry out any moisture it might have.
- Always burn all the food particles and grease inside the lid, grate, or pan.
- Ensure you always dry the grill completely before storing it. You can do this by heating the grill for 15 minutes or wiping it with a clean cloth to remove all the moisture.
- Wash your grill each time you’re done using it to remove all the food particles and residual grease.
What Temperatures Can Kill Mold On Your Grill?
You must heat your grill to temperatures of 60° Celsius or 160° Fahrenheit to kill all the mold. To kill all the mold, continue heating the grill at these temperatures for about 15 minutes. If you want to be certain, heat your grill to a 400-degree temperature for optimal results. You can also extend the grill’s heating time to 25 to 30 minutes to burn off all the mold on your grill.
With that said, you shouldn’t overdo heating your grill at higher temperatures. You must do this or else increase the chances of destroying the material on which the mold is growing.
Can You Burn Mold off a Grill?
Yes, you can burn mold off the grill. This isn’t surprising considering that fire can destroy it, including mold. This means heating your grill to high temperatures will burn off the sticky grease and mold. When doing this, you must be very careful to avoid inhaling the fumes as they affect your health. This is why you must wear goggles and gloves when burning mold on your grill.
Once you’re through burning the mold, give your grill time to cool down. Afterward, get a scrubber to clean off the remaining mold or grease on your grill.
Does Setting Your Grill On High Heat Substitute For Regular Cleaning And Maintenance?
No, setting your grill on high heat isn’t a substitute for regular cleaning. This is because extreme temperatures cause the formation of two toxic chemicals, namely:
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- Heterocyclic amines (HCAs)
These chemicals are due to failure to clean your grill for months or even years. As a result, the leftover char gradually accumulates on your grill. And by heating your BBQ grill on high heat, you’ll only be burning the grates. The smoke emitted when heating meat fat on such a grill is filled with PACs. So you now understand that heating your grill on high heat can’t be a substitute for regular cleaning.
Seeing mold infecting your entire grill can be frightening as this ruins your hopes of fine BBQ. This is no surprise considering molds contain mycotoxins and allergic reaction-causing spores. These compounds harm humans as they cause stomach upsets or even death. Luckily, all hope is not lost, as you can clean your moldy grill and start barbequing as if nothing happened.
And to help you get started, this guide has outlined everything you need to know about moldy grills. With these insights, you’re now better placed to enjoy grilling all year round. The best thing is all this you can do without using up too much of your effort.
My love for food was influenced by my brother, a chef at a 2-star Michelin restaurant, and we often exchange food knowledge together. It’s been 12 years since I first stepped into the kitchen, and with my vast experience and expertise, I will share many ideas on how to make dishes more delicious!