How to Keep Your Grill from Rusting (Keep You and Your Guests Safe)

A summer grilling session can be a great way to enjoy a warm night with friends and family. But nothing can ruin the experience like a rusty and decrepit grill. So how do you keep the grill from rusting and from forming in the first place?

Rust can cause structural weakness in the metal parts of your grill, leading to dangerous conditions when using it. Many grills with stainless steel grates or aluminum are prone to rusting. You can take some simple steps to protect the grill from rust and keep it in good condition.

What Causes Rust on Grills?

Let’s look at some of the causes of rust on grills.

Moisture and humidity 

Moisture in the air is one of the leading causes of rust on barbecue grates. The humidity in the air, combined with warm temperatures, creates an ideal environment for rust to form. Heat also accelerates the oxidation process, which can cause rust on exposed metal surfaces. This means grills left outside in damp weather or stored in humid environments are more prone to rust.

 Keep Your Grill from Rusting

Poor maintenance of the grills

Grills that are not regularly maintained and cleaned can also be susceptible to rust. Grease, food residue, and other corrosive substances can build up on the grill, leading to rust. The buildup of these materials also prevents the grill from getting adequate air circulation, which is another factor that can lead to rust.

 Keep Your Grill from Rusting

Low-quality materials used in grills

Grills made from low-quality materials can also be prone to BBQ rusting. Low-quality metals, such as iron, are more prone to rusting. This is because they have a thinner protective coating than higher-quality metals. So if you’re looking for a grill that will last, invest in one made from high-quality materials.

 Keep Your Grill from Rusting

Improper storage of the grills

Grills that are not stored properly can also be prone to rust. A place that is too humid or exposed to moisture can cause the grill to rust. Places with high salt levels, such as coastal areas, can also cause the grill to rust due to salt corrosion. Ensuring the grill is stored in a dry and well-ventilated area will help protect it from rusting.

Tips for Preventing Rust on Grills

Now that you know what causes BBQ rusty grills, it’s time to explore some tips on how to prevent grills from rusting.

Clean and dry the grill after use 

Make sure to clean your grill and dry it thoroughly each time you use it. Any leftover moisture can cause rusting over time, so properly scrub and dry the grill after each use. Some grills may also have removable parts that should be cleaned and dried. This will help keep rust away and ensure stainless steel gas grill grates last a long time.

Store the grill in a dry place

A dry place to store your grill is also key for avoiding rust. If you have an outdoor grill, try to cover it when not in use and ensure the cover is tightly secured. Storing your grill in a dry, covered area ensures it won’t be exposed to the elements. If you have an indoor grill, you should also try to store it in a dry place.

Use high-quality materials

Using quality materials when replacing any grill parts is essential to prevent rust on the grill. Low-quality materials may be cheaper, but they can quickly deteriorate over time, leaving your grill exposed to rust. So when replacing any parts of your grill, use high-quality materials.

Apply a protective coating to exposed metal areas

If you notice any exposed metal areas, you should apply a protective coating. The coating will act as a barrier against moisture and help prevent grill rust. Though it’s an extra step, this coating can help your grill last longer and avoid costly repairs. A spray-on clear coat can be applied over the area to provide protection.

Use a protective cover when not in use

Another way to prevent your grill from rusting is by using a protective cover when not in use. Covers are an effective way of blocking out any moisture or humidity that may otherwise cause rust. Make sure to select a cover that’s suitable for your grill size and fits securely.

Check the grill regularly for rust or wear and tear

Lastly, don’t forget to check your grill regularly for signs of wear and tear. Look at the grates and any exposed metal for rust or damage. The more you inspect your grill, the easier it will be to spot any wear and tear before it becomes a bigger issue. Any areas that are starting to show signs of corrosion should be addressed as soon as possible.

How to Remove Rust from Grills?

If you have already spotted some rust on your grill, don’t worry! You can take a few easy steps to remove the rust and restore your grill.

Use a steel wool pad 

Using a steel wool pad is an easy and effective way to remove a rusty grill safe. Start wetting the pad with water before gently scrubbing it over the rusty area. This abrasive action can help remove any rust that’s built up on the surface. After you’ve finished scrubbing, wipe away any remaining debris.

Apply vinegar or lemon juice to the rusty areas

Another natural and inexpensive solution to removing rust is vinegar or lemon juice. These acidic liquids can help break down any rust that’s built up on the surface. You can apply the vinegar or lemon juice directly to the rusty area and let it sit for a few minutes. After a few minutes, scrub the area with a steel wool pad before wiping away any debris.

Sand the rusty areas

Sanding is another way to remove the rust from your grill. You can use sandpaper or a wire brush to gently scrub away any rust that has built up on the surface. Make sure to use a light hand when sanding to avoid damaging or scratching the metal. This method can be time-consuming, but it’s an effective way to restore your grill.

Use a wire brush

Using a wire brush is also an effective way to remove rust from your grill. The bristles of the brush can help scrub away any rust built up on the surface. It’s best to start with a gentle wire brush before progressing to a more abrasive one. You can also use a wire brush to clean up any debris stuck in the grill grates.

Apply rust remover chemicals

If you’re looking for a faster way to remove rust, using rust remover chemicals may be the way. These solutions are designed to help break down stubborn rust and make it easier to remove from the surface. Always wear protective gear when using these chemicals, and follow the instructions carefully.

Following these tips can help keep the rust away from your grill so you can enjoy delicious meals for years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does covering a Grill Make It Rust?

If you cover your grill, moisture can build up and lead to rusting over time. To prevent this, ensure your cover is well-ventilated or made of a material that breathes (like canvas). You should also clean and dry the grill before covering it and inspect it for any signs of rusting.

Is there a grill that doesn’t rust?

No grill is 100% rust-proof, but stainless steel grill grates are much more corrosion-resistant than other materials. For maximum protection, look for a grill with double-walled construction and an enameled or porcelain-coated surface.

How long do grills last?

The average grill should last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, depending on the type of material and how well it’s been maintained. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help extend your grill’s life, so ensure you keep up with it.

What do you spray on a grill?

Spray oil is a great way to lubricate and keep your grill clean. It also helps reduce sticking, prevents rusting, and adds flavor. You can also use a store-bought cleaner or make your own with vinegar, baking soda, and water. Be sure to use a wire brush to scrub off any buildup.

How do you rust-proof steel?

The best way to make rust-proof grills out of steel is through a process called “galvanizing.” This involves coating the steel with a protective layer of zinc, which prevents oxidation and rusting. You can also paint the steel with a rust-proof paint or sealant to provide additional protection. Keep the steel clean and dry to minimize any chance of rusting.


Rust can be a major problem for grill owners, leading to costly repairs and a shortened lifespan.

Keeping your grill from rusting is important for preserving its longevity and ensuring optimal performance. To know how to keep a grill from rusting, our guide outlines a few essential tips to follow.

Taking the right preventive measures, such as applying a protective coating, using a cover, and inspecting the grill regularly, can help prevent rust from forming. If rust does form, you can use any of the methods outlined above to remove it. You can enjoy delicious meals for many years with proper care and maintenance.

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