This lazy trick for cleaning your BBQ requires just a few sheets of newspaper

The easy method doesn't take much laborious scrubbing, either...

Corner of garden with tabletop BBQ, festoon lighting and potted plants
(Image credit: Future PLC/Jemma Watts)

It’s BBQ season! The sun is out, which means that many of us are reaching once more for our grills and best BBQ’s, in the hopes that we can enjoy plenty of al fresco meals before the winter returns.

But our one, main bug-bear with our beloved BBQ’s is that they can feel exceedingly difficult to clean (whether you have a portable or freestanding BBQ), with lots of hidden nooks and crannies, delicate grates, and stuck-on dirt and stains from burgers, hot dogs and the like.

Luckily, there are a few super simple hacks out there for how to clean a BBQ which require minimal effort – and one very easy method involves using just a few sheets of your old Sunday newspaper, and almost nothing else. 

How to clean your BBQ using newspaper

So you’ve just pulled your BBQ out of the shed for the first time in months. It’s full of dirt, dust and stuck-on grime – so what should your first step be for getting yours gleaming once more?

'First things first, you should never attempt to clean a BBQ (be it a gas or a charcoal BBQ) when it is cool,' Andrew Lovell, product manager at LANDMANN explained. 'Instead strike whilst the irons are hot - literally. Ensure it is safe for you to do so (meaning you aren't going to burn your hands) and clean your grill whilst it is still warm - but not hot enough to burn you.'

Fire up your grill and allow it to get hot, before turning it off and leaving it to cool down for around 10 minutes. This should be long enough for it to be hot when you return, and cool enough that there's less risk that you'll hurt yourself – as long as you're being careful!

At this point though, you may still want to put on some thick, heat-resistant gloves, to properly protect your hands. 

outdoor kitchen with grill based BBQ, hanging storage, tray table, dining table on left

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Next, grab a couple of sheets of an old newspaper, ready for cleaning. 

Make sure that the newspaper is thoroughly wet before placing it on the grill, Andrew told Ideal Home. He explained, 'spritz each newspaper sheet with enough water that it still holds its shape and doesn’t fall apart when you apply it to the barbecue. That way, you can make sure that you’re maximising your chances of getting the best clean.'

And how much newspaper should you need for the job? 'Four or five sheets of newspaper will work perfectly for this – just make sure you have covered the entirety of your grill,' Andrew said.

After doing this, close the lid of your BBQ and leave it for an hour. Andrew said, 'Once you have shut the lid of the barbecue, the residual heat will combine with the water on the newspaper to create enough steam to melt away the grease and grime. It’s the perfect low-maintenance way to keep your barbecue clean.'

After an hour, wipe the newspaper up along with all of the dirt of the BBQ, and there you have it – a perfectly clean BBQ ready for summer meals!

Sausages cooking on Lumin BBQ

(Image credit: Future / Rebecca Knight)

You shouldn’t need to apply any other cleaning products to your BBQ after using this trick, but Andrew explains that it may be necessary if yours is particularly greasy. 

'A quick wipe-down with a clean cloth will do just fine, but if your barbecue is in need of more deep cleaning, you can also grab some trusty BBQ cleaning wipes, or a specialised cleaning solution, to get it totally spick and span,' he said.


 Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist and editor, now working in a freelance capacity specialising in homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, overseeing the homes, books and features sections of the website. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine