How to Deep Clean Your Napoleon BBQ

The kids are back in school and summer is winding down, it’s about time to clean your grill. Whether you plan to store your grill for the winter, or keep it up and running in the cold, it is always a good idea to give your grill a deep cleaning a couple of times per season. Here’s what you need to know.


Tools You Will Need

  • 2 buckets (1.65-liter ice cream tubs fit nicely where the drip pan lives and are ideal for this)

  • 3/8” / 10mm (crescent) wrench

  • box of baking soda

  • spray bottle filled with 50/50 mix of vinegar and water

  • putty knife

  • soft cloths (not microfiber)

  • soft bristled scrub brush or scrubby sponge

  • dish soap

  • hot water

  • gloves

  • drip pan replacements

  • garbage bag

  • Venturi tube brush

  • JETFIRE™ burner brush maintenance kit (came with grill)


Avoid cleaning your grill on the hottest day of the year when it’s been sitting in direct sunlight for longer than an hour. Not only will you sweat more than a cold beer trying to do hot yoga, but you may burn your skin against the hot metal.


How to Clean your Napoleon Grill

  1. Turn off the grill and turn off the gas to the grill – allow the grill to cool completely before cleaning. If you have a propane grill disconnect and remove the propane from the grill.

  2. Fill your sink, or if you have a laundry tub fill that, with dish soap and water. Remove the cooking grids and sear plates from the grill and place them into the tub full of soapy water to soak while you work on the grill.

    It is recommended that you use caution and/or gloves when working on your grill, there are some sharp edges.

  3. Remove the burners from the grill by using the 3/8” crescent wrench (or socket). Carefully place the screws that hold the burners in a safe locaiton. Set the burners aside.

  4. Sprinkle baking soda throughout your grill’s interior and then spray with the vinegar-water mixture. Wait for 5 minutes or so. The baking soda foams up and helps break down any built-up grease. This is an excellent way to safely power off the grime that can build up in the grill. It also works well in an oven.

  5. Using the putty knife, scrape the built-up grease and debris from the inside of the grill into the drip tray of the grill (Not the removable/replaceable drip pan).

  6. Remove the drip pan from the grill either through the front just below the grill head, or from the back, depending on the model of grill you have. Using the putty knife, gently scrape the debris from the drip pan into a waiting garbage bag. Then put the pan back into the grill. This should be done every 4 to 5 uses.

  7. Remove the drip tray and dispose of the filled disposable grease tray. (This should be done every 2 to 4 weeks anyway.) Replace the drip tray with a bucket for the time being.

  8. Fill another bucket with hot and soapy water. Use about 1 cup of dish soap to 2 gallons of the hottest water you can stand to touch. Please be careful not to burn yourself.

  9. Using a soft cloth and a little bit of hot soapy water wipe down the grill burners, removing any buildup from the outside. Set them somewhere safe to dry. Using a soft nylon scrub brush or sponge, use the hot and soapy water to scrub the interior basin of the grill including the drip pan. Don’t worry about using too much water - that is what the extra bucket is for.

  10. Once the interior of the grill is cleaned to your satisfaction, give the drip pan another scrape with the putty knife to remove any additional debris from cleaning with the soapy water. Leave the grill open to dry and drain while you work on the grids and sear plates.

  11. Use the putty knife to scrape any stuck-on debris from the sear plates, then refill the sink with fresh hot and soapy water before you scrub the grids and sear plates with a soft nylon brush, or sponge.

  12. Before reinstalling the burners, inspect each one to ensure that no burner ports are blocked. You can use the small drill bit that came with your JETFIRE™ burner brush maintenance kit to unclog any ports. If you don’t remember where that kit went, you can use an unbent paperclip in a pinch. Use the Venturi tube brush to clean any debris and insect nests from each burner.

  13. Reassemble your grill starting with the burners, when you put the propane back in, remember to perform a quick leak test to ensure that everything is connected correctly. Remove the disposable bucket you used to catch the dirty water and replace it with your drip pan lined with a new disposable drip pan replacement.

  14. Finally do the outside of the grill. Thoroughly clean out the bucket that had the hot soapy water for the interior of the grill, then refill with even more hot and soapy water. You won’t need as much soap as you did when you cleaned the interior of the grill. Using a soft cloth – microfiber will do well here - gently wipe down the exterior of your BBQ following the direction of the grain. Remember to be gentle around the printed text on the control panel. Once grease-free, use another clean and soft cloth to go over things with a stainless steel cleaner. Do not use any scrubbers, or abrasives on the grill or you will damage the surface. For an even deeper clean, remove the burner knobs and clean inside and out as well.

  15. Finally, fire it up. Light your grill and let it burn for at least 30 to 45 minutes. This will dry everything out and burn off any remaining residue. You will need to re-season your cooking grids if you have cast iron – now would be a good opportunity to do that as well.




Why Deep Clean Your Grill?

It may seem like a silly question, I mean, why wouldn’t you. However, a deep cleanse vs. general maintenance is very important. You may not cook overly fatty things but everything drips a little. This develops carbon-like debris in the bottom of the grill, which acts as a sponge for any greasy drippings. It doesn't take much to cause one of those puffy little grease sponges to ignite. Deep cleaning your Napoleon BBQ is also great for ensuring your Napoleon’s longevity and performance.


Giving your Napoleon Grill a deep clean in the spring, and one in the fall after a hard-working grilling season is a great idea. Now that you know all the steps to the dance, will you be giving your Napoleon a scrub down this weekend? Tell us about your favorite adventures in grilling on our social pages like Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtags #BBQAdventure and #NapoleonGrills.