Keeping your outdoor barbecue area clean

Whether you use a courtyard, balcony or deck to barbecue, it’s a good idea to keep both the barbecue itself and the surrounding area tidy. Here are tips on how to do this without resorting to harsh cleaning chemicals.

Keeping your outdoor barbecue area clean

Cleaning your barbecue

A dirty barbecue not only cooks less efficiently but also attracts vermin, so make sure you clean it properly each time you cook.

  • When you have finished using the barbecue, clean off as much food residue as you can.
  • Turn the barbecue to high (or choose the "clean burn" setting, if you have one) to burn off fat and any remaining residue.
  • While the hotplate is still very hot, sprinkle it with salt, leave to cool and then brush clean.
  • Using a wire brush, scrub the grates and hotplate with a paste of baking soda and water. Wipe clean, then dry with a cloth.
  • Once the barbecue is clean, apply a coat of canola oil to the grates and hotplate to help prevent rust.
  • To give your barbecue a thorough clean, try this "steam-cleaning" method. First, heat the barbecue until it is very hot, then dip a long-handled wire brush in water and quickly scrub it across the grates and hotplate. As the water touches the hot surface, it will evaporate and clean.

Quick fixes for stains

Treat outdoor spills and stains immediately. Try one of these cleaning solutions.

  • For oil or grease spilled on concrete or pavers, sprinkle with a clay-type cat litter, leave it to absorb the spill, then sweep it up.
  • Combine equal amounts of fuller's earth and baking soda with enough water to make a wet paste. Spread this over greasy stains and allow it to dry. Sweep up the residue.
  • Wash stains on concrete, brick or pavers with a solution of 15 grams (1 tablespoon) of borax to 1 litre (1 quart) of hot water. Caution: High concentrations of borax will kill plants, so take care.

In addition to great friends and good food, one of the keys to a fun outdoor party is a clean barbecue and barbecue area!

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