Time to get a barbie out, but what if it needs a thorough clean? (2024)

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Wondering how to clean a BBQ? There's a high chance that you may have had too many beers at your last backyard bash and postponed cleaning a BBQ full of grease and grime.

Throwing away ashes from your BBQ base is the easy bit; it's getting the grill clean that can be a challenge. Grilled-on grub on the grate can be a nightmare to get rid of (if you don't know what to do). But, we've got some smoking tips and tricks so that you can flip burgers and flip kebab skewers on the best barbecues.

Speaking to garden experts and cleanfluencers, we've discovered the best ways to get yours sparkling clean –and not spend hours scrubbing. Cleaning a BBQ should become second nature when getting to grips with how to barbecue so that you, your family and your friends can fully enjoy the fruits of your labor when cooking outside.

How to clean a BBQ

'First things first, you should never attempt to clean a BBQ when it is cool instead strike whilst the irons are hot - literally,' says Andrew Lovell, product manager, LANDMANN (opens in new tab).

'Ensure it is safe for you to do so (meaning you aren't going to burn your hands) and wipe away the mess with a damp cloth straight after you grill whilst it is still warm - but not hot enough to burn you.'

1. Clean a bbq grill with baking soda

Baking soda/bicarbonate of soda is a wonder ingredient for dissolving all kinds of organic substances, and is brilliant at tackling grease and stuck-on food. Sprinkle liberally all over a damp barbecue grate and let sit for 10 minutes. Then activate the soda with warm water and a scourer sponge.Rinse and you should be ready to go.

As well as cleaning a BBQ, you can also extend your baking soda cleaning regime to other areas of your home. You can use this budget cake riser to clean an oven too. Pretty handy if you start off cooking your meats in the oven, or need to keep them warm for guests that turn up late to your backyard cookout.

Despite its powerful cleaning properties, baking soda won't scratch your BBQ which is super-important for maintaining your metal grill.

'Stainless steel is used for barbecue grills as it's hard-wearing and doesn't rust like most other metals - when cleaning it you should be really careful not to use anything too abrasive that might damage the metal coating.' says Paul McFadyen, managing director, metals4U (opens in new tab).

2. Use vinegar to clean a bbq grate

Make a vinegar solution with equal parts white vinegar and water, spray onto your grill, and let sit for half an hour. Then, empty the bottle and refill with a small quantity of neat vinegar. Spray again, let it sit for another half an hour, and then wipe your grate clean.

The magical ingredient in vinegar is acetic acid which degrades dirt and food debris But this is just one of many ways to use vinegar to clean your home.

Add a little table salt and you've transformed your seasonings into a rust remover.

'A common problem is to open up your BBQ after the winter to discover rust on your grill,' says Lovell.

'But all is not lost, simply soak the grill in a mixture of salt and vinegar overnight and then wipe clean. Your grill will be looking good as new in no time!'

Lara Brittain, kitchen expert at Currys (opens in new tab) concurs that vinegar is the way to revamp a dirty bbq. She says: 'Spray the grill with the vinegar from the spray bottle and then take a ball of aluminium foil and use that as a bristle brush to scrape the grime off,'

'If there’s still some hard pieces which are not coming off the grill, scrub them in hot soapy water – use a fresh ball of aluminium foil to get the trickier pieces off the BBQ.'

3. Clean your bbq with coffee

This method works especially well if you know how to use a coffee maker to make filter coffee. Simply refill your un-emptied percolator (also known as a Moka) with hot water, and pour the coffee all over your grate. Coffee is acidic and will break down crusted-on food.

Time to get a barbie out, but what if it needs a thorough clean? (1)

(Image credit: Centaur Archive (V26246))

4. Stick the barbecue grill into your dishwasher

This method obviously only applies if the size of your grill matches or is smaller than the size of your dishwasher, but unless your BBQ is very large, this should be the case.

Stick them in and run your dishwasher on a heavy duty cycle.Find out more weird ways to use dishwashers to speed up cleaning. And, find out how to clean a dishwasher (you might need to afterwards).

Time to get a barbie out, but what if it needs a thorough clean? (2)

(Image credit: Williams Sonoma)

5. Use a specialized barbecue grill cleaning brush

All-purpose brushes and scourers aren't the best option for cleaning BBQs: they're likely to not be heavy duty enough, and you'll need to apply quite a bit of extra pressure with your hands to get a result. A grill cleaning brush, on the other hand, has a longer handle with a rough scourer attached, which means that you don't have to work quite so hard.

The GRILLART grill brush and scraper BBQ brush (opens in new tab) on Amazon is a customer fave with almost 13,000 ratings.

6. Use a pumice stone to clean your bbq

Did you know that the same stuff many people use to exfoliate their feet works magic on a dirty grill? Pumice stone is naturally anti-bacterial and removes stuck-on food very effectively.And you can get ones especially for cleaning charcoal grills.

We found that the long-handled pumice stone from IMPRESA (opens in new tab), available from Amazon works on your barbie surfaces, and, seeing as they come in a 2-pack, you can use the other to clean a toilet – just make sure they're clearly labeled so you don't mix them up.

7. Soak your bbq grate in soapy water

This method is obvious, but the key to its success is patience. Fill a large plastic tray full of hot water and one of the best washing-up liquids on the market. Then, submerge the grill, and leave it be. This will take a while, at least half an hour before the burnt-on food loosens and can be removed with a simple scrubbing brush.

8. How to clean your bbq with lemon

When life gives you lemons – learn how to clean a bbq with them. Yes, they can be squeezed over fish and meats to cut through the rich umami taste of your protein, but they can also be used to clean the surface they were cooked on too.

The bigger your lemons, the better (so to speak). Slice the lemons in half and dip them into salt crystals. Heat up your BBQ, and then rub and squeeze your lemon halves all over the hot charcoal grill. You've got abrasive action from the salt, and cleaning and antibacterial action from the citric acid.

Lemons are useful all around the home; while this is just one way to use lemon to clean your home, these sharp yellow fruits can also be used to get a stain out of a white shirt. Definitely something you need to know if you've spilled ketchup or mustard on your fave light-colored blouse.

They can also be used to clean a wooden cutting board and sanitize it – an essential bit of know-how if you're using it to chop chicken and other meats.

Time to get a barbie out, but what if it needs a thorough clean? (3)

(Image credit: Karcher)

9. How to clean a charcoal grill with a pressure washer

Happen to own one of the best pressure washers? You can use it to effortlessly clean a charcoal grate. First empty the barbecue of ash, replace the charcoal grate, and then stand it away from anything you don't want to splash (the middle of the lawn is perfect; near a compost heap better. Then simply turn your pressure washer on a medium setting, and wash downwards, not up, to avoid making a mess.

If time is of the essence, and you find yourself spending more time cleaning than eating, it's worth investing in something like the Kärcher K2 Power Control Home Pressure Washer, available on Amazon (opens in new tab). Read the Kärcher K2 Full Control pressure washer review for our honest take on the product.

10. Use a dedicated bbq grate cleaner spray

Don't like DIY cleaning? Use a commercial bbq grate cleaner spray. The benefit of these sprays is that they come in spray bottles with 360-degree nozzles, which means you don't have to hold the spray in any particular way to get the solution onto your grill.Then, it's just a case of following the manufacturer's instructions. Our pick? The Goo Gone Grate cleaner from Amazon (opens in new tab) is available as a 2-pack.

Alternatively, cleanfluencer cult fave, The Pink Stuff, available on Amazon (opens in new tab) is a miracle all-purpose cleaner if you prefer the consistency of a paste. It also happens to be one of the best cleaning products, as tested by the Real Homes team.

11. Nuke the nitty-gritty with newspaper

Roll up roll up! We've breaking news on how to clean a barbecue, and it comes from Julia Creasey, product buyer at Home Essentials (opens in new tab). She says:

'A clever cleaning trick for your barbecue grill is to steam it using a sheet of slightly damp newspaper. Once the barbecue has cooled down slightly, spritz some water over a sheet of old newspaper and lay it on top. Put the lid of the barbecue on top and leave it for half an hour to work its magic. The heat from the barbecue and the water from the newspaper will produce a steam to get rid of any grime caked on the grill itself.'

Tristan Sissons, garden buying manager, Homebase (opens in new tab) warns however that you should: 'Keep an eye on the newspaper to make sure it doesn’t burn, as this will cause even more mess!'

And Lovell advises the best time to take action. He says: 'Whilst you are tidying the garden or entertaining friends the wet newspaper will steam the grease away making it easy to wipe clean.'

12. Eliminate grime with an onion

There'll be no tears when you have a bbq that looks like new. So chop open an onion (a brown or yellow one will do) and get to work. The Allium cepa is great at attacking all sorts of substances found on your barbecue be it food, or bird poop (if you've happened to leave your grill uncovered).

'An unlikely cleaning savior, an onion attached to a fork.' says Creasey.

'Whilst there is still heat in the grill, attach half an onion to the end of a fork and use it to rub over the hot bars. The water in the onion steams away any stuck-on food and uses its natural antibacterial properties to remove impurities.'

13. Banish debris with beer

'In the unlikely event that you do have some left-over beers after your barbecue then pour half a bottle over the warm grill and scrub using a bristle brush or some old newspaper,' says Creasey.

'Wire brushes have received some bad press lately over the wire bristles falling into the barbecue and ending up in your food so make sure you chose your cleaning tools carefully.'

14. Keep your bbq clean with ketchup

Whether you call it ketchup, catsup, cetchup or red sauce, this condiment, which is a quintessential accompaniment in barbecued cuisine, can be a useful foodstuff for cleaning a bbq.

'Not only does ketchup spice up our barbecue burgers, it also is a great way to prevent rusting on your barbecue,' confirms Creasey.

'This hack is ideal for barbecues left out in the garden exposed to the elements. All you do is a apply a small amount of ketchup to any areas of rust and leave for a few minutes then wait to see your results!'

And Lynsey Crombie, aka Lynsey Queen of Clean (opens in new tab) says: 'Ketchup is an amazing cleaner for removing rust!'

15. Don't forget the outside of your bbq

'Whilst the grill itself is likely going to take up all of your attention whilst cleaning your BBQ, don't forget to wipe down the outside of it,' says Lovell.

'Simply use hot soapy water to wipe clean and then buff with a dry cleaning cloth to keep it mark free.'

How to clean a gas bbq

We spoke to Sarah Fisburne, director of trend and design at Home Depot (opens in new tab) who ran us through the steps of cleaning a BBQ that runs on propane gas, before and after each grilling season.

  1. Pre-heat the grill for 15 minutes on high heat, then turn off the grill.
  2. Turn the gas off; either on the propane tank or the gas line.
  3. Clean the grill using a stiff wire brush dipped in water. Do not lean over the grill while cleaning, as this will create plenty of steam.
  4. For tough grease spots, add dish soap to the water or a grill cleaner.
  5. Once the surface has cooled, wipe the grate with a damp cloth to remove residue or brush bristles.
  6. Remove burners from the gas supply line and remove blockages to the burner’s gas ports using a dry wire brush. Clean the ports by brushing side-to-side instead of up-and-down, as the vertical motion may push debris into the ports.
  7. Clean the burner valve with soapy water and run water through the inside of the valve.
  8. Clean the inside of the grill using a wire brush and warm soapy water and rinse with water. Towel dry the burners and reinstall.
  9. Refer to the instruction manual for specifics on how to clean the outside of a grill. Certain materials may be sensitive to harsh cleaning agents. For a stainless-steel grill, use a specially formulated stainless-steel BBQ grill cleaner and microfiber cloth. Ceramic, porcelain and painted steel surfaces can be cleaned using soap and water.
  10. If you have a propane grill, you can store it outside with the propane tank attached. If storing inside, remove the propane tank and keep it outside, away from direct sunlight.

Is cleaning a bbq necessary?

As well as being an eyesore, not cleaning a bbq can have severe consequences on your digestive system. But that's not all; it can also affect the performance of your backyard broiler and how tasty your steaks and sausages are.

'A grill can quickly build up grease and smoke residue. This can cause it to not keep a consistent temperature, or can affect the flavor of grilled food.' says Fishburne.

Time to get a barbie out, but what if it needs a thorough clean? (2024)


How do you deep clean a doll? ›

"Soak a cotton ball in the soapy water and use this to clean the doll's body. Repeat as necessary, rinse the doll with another cotton ball soaked in clean water, and dry the doll with the soft cloth." Then move on to any areas with painted-on features, like the face and nails.

How do thrift store clean Barbies? ›

Cleaning Barbie's Clothes

Give Barbie the once-over. Look at her carefully to see what needs attention. Very carefully, remove her clothes and, if they look like they can withstand it, give them a very, very gentle wash in lukewarm water with a little Castile soap dissolved in it.

What was Barbies slogan? ›

Barbie's slogan in the 80s was “We girls can do anything.

Why do old Barbies get sticky? ›

In a presentation at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, Shashoua said that about 15 years after they are made, some PVC toys tend to weep a chemical used in the plastic molding process. "The outside of toys, such as Barbie dolls, get sticky," she said.

How do you get stains out of vintage Barbies? ›

I only use softscrub if there are stains from dark clothing or ink on the dolls. I prefer to use hand dish washing liguid--Dawn or Palmolive works great, and I also buy the Dawn pads for scrubbing. I use the liquid detergent for body and hair and then use half water/downey for hair rinse.

Can you soak Barbies in bleach? ›

Although it is considered safe to submerge the entire doll in color safe bleach, you may want to clean the heads separately. To make it easier to remove the head, blow hot air from a hair dryer on the doll for a couple of minutes to soften the plastic. Submerge the Barbies in the cleaning solution.

Can Barbies be washed in the washing machine? ›

From Beanie Babies to Barbie clothes, the washing machine's gentle or delicate cycle can handle many dolls. However, don't put Barbie herself in the washer, and to keep her tiny clothes from getting snagged, slip them into a small mesh bag that zips shut.

Can I put Barbies in the dishwasher? ›

Action figures and small toys: Barbie and other dolls with hair will not wash well.

What Barbies are worth collecting? ›

Vintage Barbie dolls on the market from 1959 to the late 1960s are especially prized among collectors.
Most Expensive Barbies Ever Sold.
BarbieYear ReleasedPrice
#1 Wonderful Blonde1959$6,600
Marie Antoinette Barbie2003$1,250
Devi Kroell Barbie2010$1,075
Pink Splendor Barbie1996$900
6 more rows
12 Nov 2019

Are Barbies worth selling? ›

Yes, it can be very worthwhile to sell your vintage Barbie collection, as collectible Barbie dolls can be worth a lot of money on the current market. This is especially true if the dolls are mint-in-box — and more so still if it's the original box.

What is the best way to store Barbies? ›

It's best to keep Barbie dolls in breathable containers rather than plastic. Use acid-free archival tissue paper or unbleached muslin to wrap dolls. You can wrap both the doll inside the box, and then wrap the box to keep dust out. Be sure to store the box vertically so that the Barbie is standing and not laying down.

What does the last line of Barbie doll mean? ›

She is in a “pink and white nightie,” and everyone who sees her thinks that she is finally “pretty.” In the last two lines, the speaker declares that by society's standards, the woman now has everything she wanted.

What is Barbie's last name? ›

Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. Barbie was named after Ruth Handler's daughter, Barbara, and Ken after her son, Kenneth.

What is a Barbie in slang? ›

slang, usually derogatory a superficially attractive but insipid young woman.

Why do Barbies turn green? ›

Vintage Barbie dolls commonly wore earrings. If earrings were not removed, they cause a discoloration of the ear area and side of the head known as “green ear.” This is from a chemical reaction between the metal in the earrings and the plastic.

Is it safe to play with old Barbies? ›

Old Barbie dolls, Fisher Price Little People figures and My Little Pony dolls from 1970s and 1980s were among the vintage plastic toys found to contain toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and even arsenic, which means that they wouldn't comply with modern-day US and European safety laws.

How do you remove black stains from dolls? ›

Put a little baking soda in a container with some water and mix it until it's a pasty consistency. Then smear it on the doll's skin, staying away from the eyes. Wipe it off with a wet wipe. If that doesn't work, try applying rubbing alcohol to the stain, as this will remove some types of ink.

How can you tell if a Barbie is vintage? ›

How to Identify a Barbie Doll?
  1. Markings and Stamps. Usually, Barbie doll is marked on the right side hip. ...
  2. Feet and Hands. Usually vintage Barbies have holes in the bottom of their feet and the models. ...
  3. Barbie's Hair Colour and Hairstyle. Hair style and a hair colour can make or break your doll's price. ...
  4. Barbie's Neck knob.
24 May 2022

Is it OK to put Barbies in water? ›

A: Yes but her joints will drain out water so shake the water out. Most of all her legs.

Can you wash Barbies hair? ›

For a Barbie doll, use a mild conditioner and gentle soap. For shampoo, it's best to use baby shampoo. If you have a doll with similar hair to a Barbie doll, consider using these products in that situation as well. If your doll is older and its hair is damaged, consider using a gentle fabric softener.

How do you make Barbie hair white? ›

  1. Undress the Barbie. ...
  2. Fill a small non-metallic bowl with 1/2 cup hot water. ...
  3. Add 1 teaspoon shampoo to the doll's hair. ...
  4. Refill the bowl with 1 cup water and 1 ounce bleach. ...
  5. Remove the Barbie's hair from the bleach mixture. ...
  6. Rinse the doll's hair with cold water.

Can you flat iron a Barbies hair? ›

-it's good if you want straighter hair quickly, or if you're just straightening out the kinks after you unbox a doll. I use boiling water for those kinds of things, but in all scenarios, a flat iron provides the most control and gives the best result.

How do you store Barbies long term? ›

Keeping dolls in airtight plastic containers puts them at risk for mold and mildew. Instead, keep them in closed cabinets, away from pets, dust and sunlight, in a temperature-controlled area of your home.

Can Barbies go in the bathtub? ›

A: This is not one of Mattel's water-play Barbies. You'll probably have problems with getting water into the torso thru joints as well as hair problems if it's submerged in water. Sorry.

What can I do with unwanted Barbies? ›

Mattel PlayBack is a free way to recycle your old Barbie, Matchbox and Mega toys. When it's time to move out of Barbie's Dreamhouse, the next stop doesn't have to be the landfill. Mattel is taking back old Barbie, Matchbox and Mega toys for free as part of a new toy recycling program called Mattel PlayBack.

What is the most popular Barbie ever sold? ›

The best-selling Barbie doll is Totally Hair Barbie, released in 1992. Totally Hair Barbie has sold more than 10 million dolls worldwide.

Are 90's Barbies worth anything? ›

Yes! Collectible Barbie dolls are some of the most valuable 90s toys. But not all barbies from the 90s are worth a pretty penny. One of the most expensive Barbies of all time is the 'Pink Splendor Barbie' from 1996.

How much is an unopened Barbie worth? ›

Original Barbie - The original first edition Barbie from 1959 is very rare. Money, Inc. reports that even in played-with condition, she is worth $8,000. In pristine condition, she could be worth more than $27,000.

What is the oldest Barbie doll? ›

In March 1959, a doll named "Barbie" launched onto the American toy market, sporting a black-and-white striped bathing suit, pouty red lips and a sassy blonde pony tail. The leggy, 11-inch plastic figure—full name: Barbara Millicent Roberts—was the first mass-produced toy doll in the U.S. with adult features.

Are Barbie sales declining? ›

Mattel, the company that owns Barbie, generated nearly 1.5 billion dollars in revenue from the iconic doll. But just five years ago, Barbie was a brand in crisis. Sales were in a freefall: between 2011 and 2015, Barbie sales dropped by a third.

Are people buying old Barbies? ›

Some classic Barbie dolls are worth a lot to collectors today. This list is going to make you wonder if you have saved any of your old Barbies in a storage unit or attic, these dolls can sell for up to five thousand dollars. Since 1959, Barbie dolls have been known to be one of the most popular toys ever made.

Do Barbies appreciate in value? ›

If you have one of the first Barbies that hit the market in 1959 or the early 60s, you've probably got a doll that's worth something. “Barbie herself will be at the highest value of her collectible life now at the 60th anniversary.”

How do you protect Barbie dolls? ›

  1. Find a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit. If your Barbies are exposed to fluctuations in temperature and humidity while in storage, their colour and features can fade, and mould and cracks can form. ...
  2. Clean Dolls. ...
  3. Wrap in Acid-Free Archival Paper. ...
  4. Wrap in Protective Materials. ...
  5. Store in a Breathable Container. ...
  6. Keep Upright.
7 Feb 2022

What is the new Barbie 2022? ›

The toymaker has released this year's new 2022 Barbie Fashionista collection with several new dolls including the first Barbie with behind-the-ear hearing aids, a doll with a prosthetic leg, a Ken doll with vitiligo and much more.

What are the 4 Barbie names? ›

It turns out the sisters — Barbie, Chelsea, Stacie, and Skipper — actually have a last name: Roberts. This means that Barbie isn't a one-named wonder (even though she's iconic enough to be). Her full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts.

Why did they discontinue pregnant Barbie? ›

"It was just that customers had a concern about having a pregnant doll," Wal-Mart Stores spokeswoman Cynthia Illick said. She said the entire "Happy Family" set, which included pregnant Midge, husband Alan and 3-year-old son Ryan, was pulled from shelves of the world's largest retailer earlier this month.

What is Ken's real name? ›

Ken's personal name is Kenneth Sean Carson. His given name comes from the son of Elliot and Ruth Handler. In the 1960s Random House books, his surname is Carson. According to Mattel, his middle name is Sean.

What is black Barbie's name? ›

Many consider Christie to be the first “Black Barbie.” Christie was part of a series of talking dolls. By pulling a string on her back, the doll said things like, “Hi! I'm Christie!” and “Let's go shopping with Barbie.” Christie's hair was black. (The Christie doll pictured has red hair because it has faded over time.)

Whats the opposite of Barbie? ›

What is the opposite of Barbie?

What does it mean when someone says shrimp in a Barbie? ›

"Barbie" is Australian slang for barbecue and the phrase "slip a shrimp on the barbie" often evokes images of a fun social gathering under the sun. Australians, however, invariably use the word prawn rather than shrimp.

Why do they say shrimp on the barbie? ›

Where does “put another shrimp on the barbie” come from? The expression stems from a 1984 television advertisem*nt created by the Australian Tourism Commission for audiences in the United States.

Can I clean Barbies in the dishwasher? ›

We definitely do not recommend washing Barbies or other dolls with “hair” in the dishwasher, since they can come out quite damaged. All other types of toys should be fine, though!

How do you remove stains from dolls? ›

Put a little baking soda in a container with some water and mix it until it's a pasty consistency. Then smear it on the doll's skin, staying away from the eyes. Wipe it off with a wet wipe. If that doesn't work, try applying rubbing alcohol to the stain, as this will remove some types of ink.

Can lice live on Barbies? ›

Head lice require a live, human host in order to feed and survive. However, lice may become dislodged or crawl from the head onto toys or stuffed animals when in close contact with your child.

How do you wash soft toys that Cannot be washed? ›


The best way to do this is with carpet foam or a mild shampoo and warm water solution. Do not get your toy very wet – just enough water to loosen the dirt. A steam cleaner is helpful if you have one. Apply the foam or suds with a toothbrush and wipe down with a clean cloth to remove dirt.

Why is my doll turning black? ›

Why is my doll turning black/blue? Your doll is made from a luxurious vinyl. Unfortunately, certain dyed fabrics can transfer color to your doll's skin. Make sure that any clothing that did not come with the doll is pre-washed to avoid transferring dyes to your doll's skin.

Can you use nail polish remover on dolls? ›

) I do use nail polish remover with acetone to remove nail polish, but I am very careful. Using the cotton pad, wet with nail polish remover gently start rubbing the nails. Once the majority is off, I use a toothpick to get in the cracks for that last little bit.

Does acne remover remove stains on dolls? ›

Benzoyl Peroxide, also known by the trade names Oxy, PanOxyl and Clearasil, is an organic peroxide commonly used for treating acne. Among collectors and the American Girl fan community, it is used for removing ink and dye stains on dolls.

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