How to Clean a George Foreman Grill (Completely Restored)

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Last updated on May 19, 2021


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George Foreman Grills are one of the most popular portable electric grills on the market, and they have been for quite some time. This iconic grill developed by the equally iconic fighter boasts over 100 million unit sales.

If you own one, it’s easy to see why, they're easy to use and even easier to clean. Regardless of your model or its size, let’s take a look at how to clean a George Foreman Grill. 

Types of George Foreman Grills


There are 2 qualities that can differ between George Foreman grill models...

  • 1) Size: This will only change the time it takes to clean
  • 2) Removable or attached plates: We separated the different cleaning methods below. 
  • 3) Grill plate material: Nonstick will inherently be easier to clean, but both materials have the same cleaning process. 

Depending on the model, the material of the grill plates can differ but all have a multi-layer non stick coating. Older models use a Teflon coating while newer models offer a ceramic coating free of PTFE and PFOA.  

George Foreman Grills are relatively easy to clean, regardless of whether or not you have a unit with removable or nonremovable plates.

Not cleaning your plates properly or using the wrong cleaning material can lead to deterioration in the plates and can cause the non-stick layers on the grill to chip or scratch off over time.

In our guide, we’ll take a look at how to clean your George Foreman Grill the proper way so that your unit stays spotless and running like new.

How to Clean George Foreman Grill Removable Plates


Some of the most popular George Foreman Grill units are the ones with removable plates. The removable plates pop out easily and can be cleaned in the sink without worry that water will get in the unit.

Here’s how to clean a George Foreman Grill with removable plates:

  1.  Unplug your unit and allow it to cool down completely.
  2.  Pop out the removable plates and place them in the sink.
  3. Use a nylon scrubber or soft sponge and a degreasing soap (dawn works just fine) to remove food residue.
  4.  For baked on messes, you can let your plates soak in warm water.
  5. Once the plates are thoroughly cleaned, dry them off completely.
  6. Pop the plates back into your grill.

"Never pop wet plates into the grill. Excess water can drip into the unit's inner workings and pose a safety risk to you."

How to Clean George Foreman Grill With Non Removable Plates


Unlike a George Foreman Grill with removable plates, the George Foreman Grills with non removable plates DO NOT need to cool down completely before you clean them.

These grills are easier to clean when they are still warm. 

The heat can help lift away food residue that may get stuck onto the surface of the plates and it can make your whole cleaning experience a lot easier.

Here’s how to clean your George Foreman Grill with non removable plates:

  1.  Start by unplugging your unit so that you can work safely.
  2. Allow your unit to cool down for about 10-15 minutes before you start cleaning it.
  3. Dampen several paper  towels and put them in the grill, then close the lid. The heat will help any grease and food transfer onto the paper towels.
  4. After a couple of minutes, open the lid and remove the paper towels.
  5. Repeat the process until you have removed a majority of the food.
  6. Once all food and grease have been removed, take a damp microfiber towel and do a final wipe down of the plates until they are completely cleaned. You can use a clean paper towel to check for any leftover grease residue.

"Never submerge your George Foreman Grill in water as this will ruin your unit and pose the threat of an electric shock."


If stubborn food or grease residue remains on your plates and doesn't lift away with the paper towel, use a soft, damp sponge to gently work away at the grime.

You can apply a bit of degreasing soap to the plates to help you clean as well.

Once the food is removed, clean away any leftover soap and residue. DON'T clean with an abrasive scrubber as this could scratch your plate's surface and remove the non stick coating. 

Is George Foreman Grill Dishwasher Safe?


With all George Foreman Grills, the removable plates on your grill are dishwasher safe....

HOWEVER, you should do a little prep before you put them in your washer.

  1. Start by removing any large bits of cooked-on-food and grease.
  2. You can use a damp paper towel to wipe away any excess grease as well.
  3. Wash away all the soap if you used any before placing it in the dishwasher.
  4. After the wash cycle, dry your plates completely before you replace them back into your grill.

Although you can pop the removable plates into your dishwasher for faster cleanup, you want to be sure you have cleaned up most of the food and grease first.

Otherwise, this gunk can accumulate in your dishwasher system and harm your dishwasher's inner workings after repeated use. 

Exterior Cleaning


You can try as you might, but the exterior of your grill will get dirty in one way or another as you use the grill. Grease drips, greasy fingerprints, and even food splatter will accumulate on the outside as you cook using your grill.

It's important to clean the mess up after each use of your unit. The good news is, exterior cleaning is simple and easy to do.

  1. Start by unplugging your unit and letting it cool completely.
  2. Use a damp washcloth to wipe away any food residue from the outside. If there are stubborn stains, you can use a gentle cleaning solution like Simple Green. Do not use cleaners containing bleach.
  3. After cleaning up the grime, use a dry paper towel to wipe away any moisture or leftover water droplets.
  4. Store your unit properly and ensure that removable plates are clicked in. Do not store with pots or pans that can scratch the surface of your unit. 

"The George Foreman Grill should never be submerged in water for exterior cleaning. This electrical appliance poses the risk of electric shock if submerged in water.

Pro Tip!

Always clean the grill plates first before you clean the exterior. As you clean the grill plates, food and grease will coat the exterior while you work.

Drip Tray Cleaning


Perhaps the messiest part of cleaning your George Foreman Grill is cleaning out the drip tray. The drip trays vary in size depending on your unit, but the function of the drip trays is all the same from unit to unit.

As you cook using the grill, any excess grease will drip out from your grill and collect in the drip tray.

You should always clean your drip tray each time you use your grill.

  1. Start by letting the drip tray cool down for a bit. This will allow the grease to cool so that you don’t burn yourself as you clean it. Don’t wait too long to clean the tray either as doing so will result in dried up grease that is difficult to remove.
  2. Pour the grease into a container.
  3. Once you have collected the grease, use a paper towel to wipe away any excess grease. Now your drip pan is ready to be washed with soap and water.
  4. Dry the drip pan and replace it back onto your unit.

As with any grease buildup, you want to avoid spilling grease into your sink as this can damage the pipes. This can be difficult to do with other cooking appliances, but with a drip pan, you can easily pour excess grease into a different container so that you can discard the grease properly. Use a small glass container like a mason jar with a lid to collect grease every time you use your grill. 

George Foreman Cleaning Sponges


Your grill plates can be awkward to clean because of their deep rivets. Specially designed George Foreman Grill cleaning sponges can help simplify the cleaning process.

These cleaning sponges will fit nicely into your grill plates, allowing you to easily scrub up and down. These sponges work best with removable plates because you can really get into the nooks of the grill, but they can be used on non removable plates as well. 

These sponges have a soft scouring pad on one side and a polyester cleaning sponge on the other.

The scouring pad is great for lifting cooked on grime, and the cleaning sponge works well in removing grease. This sponge can be used for heavy duty cleaning and you do not have to worry about damaging or scratching the plates. 

Grill Brush Recommendations


Unlike outdoor grills, you should never use a metal grill brush to clean your George Foreman Grill. The metal bristles will scratch up and destroy your grill plates.

If you are looking for a good grill brush for your George Foreman Grill, you should look for one with nylon bristles like the OXO Good Grips electric grill brush or a heat resistant silicone bristle brush.

These will offer you the cleaning power to lift away caked on food. While a grill brush is good to have on hand, with routine maintenance after every use, you will rarely rely on using a grill brush. 


George Foreman Grills are one of the best kitchen appliances to own because you can get the flavorful effects of grilling without dealing with the mess that comes with outdoor grilling.

And while George Foreman Grills can seem intimidating to clean, the reality is it’s easier than you may think. Let us know what easy cleaning hacks you use for your grill. 



About the author, Nadia El-Yaouti

Nadia El-Yaouti is a postgraduate at James Madison University where she studied English and Education. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and three kids. When she's not exploring new and improved ways of cleaning and organizing the kitchen on a budget, you can be sure to find her traveling the world with her little family.