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  • If you haven’t used your grill in a while, it may be time to give it a good spring cleaning before your first spring barbecue. We asked Matt Keating, Home Depot district manager, to share his go-to grill cleaning tips to get us ready.

    1. Start with a good wipe down.

    Before your first barbecue, give the exterior and interior of the grill a good wipe down with soapy water to remove any dust and build up that may have settled since its last use. Make sure to tackle the grates, burners and anything that may be sitting at the bottom.

    2. Different grill brushes are designed for different types of grills.

    Brass brushes are a lot softer and work well for porcelain enamel-coated grill grates. You don’t want a brush that’s so hard it will scrape the enamel off. Steel grill brushes are good for stainless steel grates. Look closely at the bristles and read the details before buying your brush to make sure you’re getting the right one for your grill.

    3. Don’t underestimate the power of stone bricks.

    Similar to how you use sandpaper, use special stone bricks to rub and clean the grill. The shape of the block will conform to the grates to help make access to narrow areas easy. The bricks can be used repeatedly, until they are too worn down to be effective. Matt recommends them for stainless grate systems, but says to avoid using them on enamel.

    4. No one likes a party crasher.

    Uninvited critters are one of the most important reasons to keep your grill clean between uses. Food leftover in the grill will entice roaming animals and insects to stop by your backyard. If food is still in the grill, they will find a way to get in and clean up anything you forgot—and they are sure to be back for more.

    5. Spiders like to hide in your gas grill pipes.

    Gas pipes are notorious for housing spiders. Matt explains that at the beginning of the spring season, many grill owners complain that they’re not getting gas to their burners. Matt suggests getting a pipe cleaner to remove anything that may be stuck—like spider webs. Be sure your propane tank is turned off before cleaning.

    6. Check the label.

    Make sure the products you’re using are recommended for cleaning grills.

    Many companies, including Weber, make specialty cleaners for your grills. Check the label. If it says it’s not for use on cooking utensils, it’s not for use on your grill either.

    7. Turn it up before turning off.

    After cooking, start the cleaning process by increasing the heat. Matt likes to close the grill and set the control on high for 10 minutes. The extreme temperature will burn off any remaining food items, like cheese or chicken, and their charred remnants will be easy to remove.

    8. Rub don’t scrub.

    Be careful not to over clean. Too much stress on the grill while cleaning can actually remove protective enamel that exists. Follow the instructions on your cleaning tools to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your grill. Taking care of your grill is an important part of maintenance and will help it to function better, longer.