BBQ 101: Care and Maintenance of Stainless Steel Areas of Your Grill

Stainless Steel is frequently used in BARBECUE’s because of its quality, durability and attractive appearance. However, all materials, including stainless steel, can become stained, soiled and corroded by dirt, pollution, deposits from inappropriate cleaners and especially grease.

Avoid OUT OF WARRANTY DAMAGES to the BARBECUE’s stainless steel parts with regular cleaning and maintenance.

What is Stainless Steel?

Stainless Steel is defined as steel alloyed with chromium that is highly resistant to staining, rust and corrosion. This does not mean stainless steel will never rust, corrode or become discoloured. All Cuisinart® Gourmet Barbecue’s use 400 series stainless steel, and 300 series Stainless steel hardware. Current technology has not yet developed any steel which is completely, stain or corrosion proof.

How is Stainless Steel protected?

Stainless Steel is protected from corrosion by a thin layer of chromium oxide. Oxygen from the atmosphere combines with the chromium in the Stainless Steel to form this passive chromium oxide film that protects the material from corrosion. Any contamination of the surface, whether if be from the environment, cleaners or other contaminants, hinders the passivation process and traps corrosive agents to the surface.

Why is routine cleaning important?

To protect the appearance and integrity of the surface, routine cleaning is essential. Contaminants vary greatly in their effect on appearance, corrosivity and ease of removal. It may be necessary to identify the contaminant or experiment with various cleaners in order to resolve issues including the removal of free-iron contamination. Routine cleaning should be performed whenever the stainless steel is dirty.


  • Do prolong the service life of stainless steel with frequent cleaning and maintenance.
  • Do always test all cleaners on a small inconspicuous area to ensure that it is beneficial for surfaces
  • Do always use a soft clean cloth, rag, or sponge when cleaning stainless surfaces to avoid scratching polished finish
  • Do use one of the following methods of cleaning:
    • Warm water and Mild soap solution to remove all contaminants.
    • Do use a vinegar and water solution to clean surfaces.
    • Do use Orange glow stainless steel cleaner to remove fingerprints and re-new shine
  • Do remove dirt and contamination immediately to avoid permanent damage to stainless steel do to rust and corrosion
  • Do always rinse thoroughly with clean, warm water after cleaning with any cleaner and dry completely with soft cloth.


  • Do not use oily rags or greasy cloths when wiping the surface.
  • Do not use any chloride-containing detergents.
  • Do not use any abrasive cleaners.
  • Do not use ordinary carbon steel brushes, steel wool or scouring pads as they may leave particles embedded on the surface which can lead to rust.
  • Do not use bleach or cleaners containing bleach. If accidental contact occurs wash immediately with baking soda and rinse thoroughly.


  • Many cleaners contain corrosive ingredients which require thorough post clean rinsing with clean water; however thorough rinsing is recommended for all cleaning procedures.
  • Contaminants, dirt and soil may be corrosive and may damage the passivation and therefore must be removed immediately to avoid damage.
  • The fact that the label states “for stainless steel” is no guarantee that the product is non-abrasive, not acidic or low in chloride.
  • In selecting cleaning practices, consider the possibility of scratching and the potential for post cleaning corrosion caused by incompletely removed cleaners.
  • Choosing cleaners that are specifically for an outdoor stainless steel appliance is very important. Remember that ultra-violet rays paired with an indoor appliance cleaner or inappropriate cleaner can cause irreparable damage. A simple cleaning solution of vinegar and water, or a mild detergent and water mixture is sometimes the best solution. REMEMBER to rinse and dry following all cleaning.
  • For corrosion, rust or stains we recommend NEVR Dull or the Stainless Steel Restoration Kit available by calling the Cuisinart® Customer Care hotline.