The only hack you need to clean your BBQ this summer - We tried and tested it for you

All you need is a lemon and some salt

Portable gas bbq on a patio with light grey outdoor tiles and a wicker outdoor seat
(Image credit: Weber)

Summer is now so close we can practically taste it. And with the emergence of the sun, comes one of our favourite summer activities - it's almost BBQ time!

Getting out our best BBQ after many months of disuse is one of the most exciting days of the year, and signals much warmer days to come. But if you’re anything like us, yours is likely to be in need of a little sprucing up after months of being sat in the shed or garage.

Luckily, there are some very simple ways of cleaning your BBQ, whether it's your first clean of the summer, or you've already used it once or twice this year. And one very easy method involves a lemon, salt, and just a little bit of scrubbing. It literally couldn’t be easier - and has been tried and tested by Ideal Home's very own Digital Deputy Editor Rebecca Knight.

The lemon trick for cleaning your BBQ

How exactly do you clean a BBQ with a lemon then? Whether yours is covered in dust, dirt or caked-on grease or not, this cleaning hack should do the trick.

First, grab a lemon - a large one is preferable. Then, dip it into salt crystals (rather than fine salt), and make sure they attach themselves to the lemon. 

After this, heat your grill up. Holly Jones, garden expert at Garden Street, said, 'You'll want to heat the grill up so it’s at quite a high temperature. In order for the trick to work properly, there needs to be some heat involved.'

Lemon in white bowl infront of wooden board

(Image credit: Future PLC / Polly Eltes)

'And, as this method is for cleaning the grill plates, it is fine to use on any type of BBQ, be it a gas or charcoal BBQ,' Holly explained.

Then, very carefully glide the lemon across the grates, squeezing as you go, and scrubbing as much as you can, while avoiding the hot grill! 

'Cleaning your BBQ with lemon works well because the acidity from the lemons will cut through the dirt and grease,' Holly said. "Not only will it cut through the grease, but the citric acid in lemons is antibacterial, so it will actually kill bacteria on there too.' A win-win!

Not only that, but Holly assured us that this trick should work well no matter what condition your BBQ is in.

'I tried this method out after cooking on my new Weber Lumin BBQ and was shocked at how well it worked,' says Rebecca Knight, Ideal Homes Deputy Digital Editor. 'I mounted my lemon half on a fork to help keep my fingers well clear of getting burnt.

'I simply wiped it over the grills as they were cooling down and the brown marks all but started to vanish. Stubborn burnt-on bits also started to shift easily.'

Lemon half dipped in salt

(Image credit: Future / Rebecca Knight)

However, if you don't fancy getting that close to a hot grill, cleaning expert Nicki Rodriguez, of Essex House Dolly, explained that she also tried a slightly altered lemon method that also produced great results.

'I made a solution of lemon juice with water and sprayed it directly on the BBQ grill, and left it to soak for 5-10 minutes and then wiped it off with a paper towel.

'The acid in the lemon picks up any grease as well as small specks of dirt, and it is a fantastic degreaser.'

So when life gives you lemons, why not clean the BBQ with them? 


 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