The Dangerous Reason You Should Never Use a Wire Brush to Clean Your Grill

It's important to keep your grill clean, but using a wire grill brush can be more dangerous than helpful.

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Wire grill brushes have always been the standard for cleaning grill grates. However, it’s been found that the bristles can actually break off and wind up in your food. Consumer Reports even issued a warning against using these brushes a couple years ago.

Here’s what you need to know about wire grill brush danger (and here’s a safer alternative—the Grill Rescue brush).

Why a Wire Grill Brush Can Be Dangerous

As you might expect, wire grill brush bristles are sharp. And one study revealed that between 2002 and 2014, around 1,700 Americans had to go to the emergency room after accidentally ingesting wire bristles. And those were just the reported cases! They can cause severe damage internally, and may even require emergency surgery.

Health Canada even pushed for a new national standard to help stop these incidents from happening.

Wire Grill Brush Alternatives

Luckily, this is a problem with an easy solution, because it’s possible to clean your grill grates without a wire brush. There are plenty of other methods that work just as well, if not better.

Use a grillstone

According to Consumer Reports, the highest-rated wire brush alternative is the Earthstone Grillstone, which outperformed most of the traditional brushes in testing.

Get a non-wire scraper

I’ve found that a non-wire scraper does the trick. The Grate Grill Scraper gets right between those grates!

Get a non-wire brush with a scraper

The Grill Rescue Brush has 4.7 stars from Walmart and is everything you need to get your grill as clean as possible without the possibility of any nasty leftover wires.

Try a grill brush and scrub pad

For people with smaller grills, a giant brush isn’t really necessary. This Expert Grill Double Grill Brush and Scrub Pad is perfect for quick cleans between uses and really gets the job done.

Grab your oven cleaner

You can treat your grill grate like an oven grate and use an oven cleaner to clean it. These cleaning methods should do the trick.

Crumple up aluminum foil

You can also brush loose food particles off a warm grate with a wad of aluminum foil. Just make sure to let the grill grates cool down first to avoid injury.

Tools for Cleaning Your Grill

How to Reduce Wire Grill Brush Danger

If you currently have a wire brush, give it a good once-over. If it has any loose or missing bristles, toss it. It’s better to use some aluminum foil on the fly than take a chance with the wire grill brush. Make sure to double-check your grill as well and to check for stray bristles stuck on the grates.

Now that you know how to avoid the hazards of a wire grill brush, let’s get to some great grilling. Here are dozens of grilling ideas to try tonight!

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Melany Love
Having always wanted a career in writing, Melany couldn't have found a better place than Taste of Home to begin. When she's not scribbling in her notebook or working at her computer, she can be found experimenting with new recipes or relaxing with a book and her cats.