Grill CleaningIt's officially spring! And while it might not be warm enough to fire up the propane grill just yet, it is time to give it a good scrub. For help, we took some hints from Huffington Post's Grilling Authority Steven Raichlen.

Banish Bugs
Even if you thoroughly cleaned your grill before you put it away for the winter, you could still be met with a surprise when you uncover it this spring. Dirt, leaves, spiders and all manner of other grimy bits could have made your grill home during the colder months.

So the first step is to get rid of them. Steven recommends an air compressor or canned compressed air for this. Spray the knobs and other parts around the outside of the grill. While you're at it, empty and drain the grease trap or drain pan.

Dive In
Now it's time to tackle the inside of the grill. Use a commercial grill cleaner (Steven likes products like Simple Green). If your grill is polished stainless steel, you'll need a stainless steel cleaner (or a mixture of soap, water, and vinegar) and a soft cloth to use on the outside.

Check it Out
Ensure there are no leaks in the hoses and they are not crimped or brittle. Make sure the propane tank is not rusted, punctured or otherwise damaged. Reconnect the tank and then check for leaks again- this time with a solution of equal parts dish soap and water. Leave the burners off and open the valve. If you smell gas, brush the solution on the hose and look for bubbles. If there are any, replace the affected part and test again.

Replace the Battery
Test it by pressing the igniter button. If you don't see a spark, you'll probably need to replace your battery.

A clean grill might not make barbecue weather get here sooner, but it sure couldn't hurt.

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