George Foreman grills are famously easy to cook with and a great way of making healthy meals. As long as you know what you are doing, they are also relatively easy to clean as well. Follow our complete guide on how to clean a George Foreman grill below – plus, we also show you the best way to clean a sandwich maker too!
How to clean a George Foreman grill
There are two ways to proceed here, depending on whether your grill has removable plates. The other thing to bear in mind is that the plates have a non-stick coating that you want to take care not to damage – that means you shouldn’t use any abrasive chemicals or rough sponges.
Always unplug your grill before you start working on it.
Cleaning a grill with removable plates
How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?
This is the best method for cleaning a George Foreman grill if yours has removable plates. If you have the model with fixed plates, skip to the section below.
Turn off your grill and unplug it. If it’s been in use, allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes.
Remove the grill plates and scrape off any loose scraps.
How do the plates look? If particularly grubby or burnt, put them in a sink or bowl filled with warm water and a few drops of washing-up liquid. Ten minutes should be long enough.
If you have a dishwasher, they can go straight in there (a regular wash programme and detergent is fine, just don’t overload the washer to give the plates the best chance of getting clean).
Hand washing is straightforward: just use warm water and washing-up liquid. Give them a good clean with a sponge. Do not ever use a scouring pad or anything metallic as that risks stripping off the non-stick coating.
Ensure the plates are fully dry before putting them back so as to prevent any excess water short-circuiting the grill.
Cleaning a grill with fixed plates
If the plates don’t come out, follow this method (this process also works if you have ceramic plates.).
If you regularly wipe down the plates with a damp cloth each time you use the grill then you’re less likely to have to do a major clean. Don’t be tempted to dip the whole grill in water to give it a quick clean as you risk damaging the heating elements.
You’ll need the grill to be warm, so switch it on if you haven’t been using it.
Once hot, turn off the grill, unplug it and allow it to cool. Wait until it is warm, not hot.
Soak a few paper towels in water (you’ll need three per plate).
Place them over the grill plates in layers of three for each plate.
Close the grill.
Wait as the damp towels create steam. This will loosen food particles on the grill.
Open up the grill and remove the paper towels. Use a plastic scraper to get at any stubborn bits; otherwise wipe down with warm, soapy water using a sponge (don’t use anything abrasive on the plates as you’ll damage the non-stick surface).
Use a fresh, damp sponge to remove any suds.
Cleaning the exterior and trays
The outside of the grill can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth (make sure it has cooled and isn’t hot to touch). The tray that catches the fat and other melted food bits that drip off can be removed and washed in warm, soapy water – or simply pop them in the dishwasher.
How to clean a toastie maker
Whether you call it a toastie maker, sandwich maker or Panini grill, you can go about cleaning it in the same fashion. Learning how to clean an indoor grill is pretty simple, and the good news is that you don’t need any special cleaning products or equipment to make an easy task of it. As with the George Foreman grill, don’t go near any non-stick coatings with a scouring pad or harsh chemicals.
Before you get started, check the manufacturer’s guide to make sure there aren’t any special instructions on best cleaning practices.
If you’re dealing with just a small amount of food in your sandwich press, you may be able to get it clean by just using a damp, soft cloth.
Use your dishwasher
If your panini press has removable plates and the manufacturer’s handbook gives you the go ahead, then this is the easiest way to get your plates looking spruce again. Just remember to let the plates cool before touching them.
Soak your plates
If your plates are removable and you don’t have a dishwasher or the manufacturer recommends hand washing only, fill your sink with warm water and add a few drops of dishwashing soap. Allow the plates to soak until all the food residue has softened. Then gently wipe with a soft cloth.
Try dishwashing soap on non-removable plates
Non-removable plates? As before, fill a bowl with warm water and dishwashing soap. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the soapy water, and then gently rub at the plates until clean, adding more soapy water as needed. Avoid using too much water so as to protect the electrical components of your sandwich press. Remember to stay away from abrasive sponges or rough cloths and ensure that the grill is switched off and unplugged before putting water anywhere near it.
Dig out the chopsticks
If dealing with a really stubborn piece of melted food that just won’t budge no matter what, you can gently lift it from the plate by wrapping the square end of a chopstick in a soft cloth and using it as a scraper. Never use a knife, steel wool, or anything else that could damage the non-stick plates.
Tip: One way to avoid messy plates is not to overstuff your sandwiches with filling, especially cheese, which has a tendency to overflow when melted. Need to know how to clean a toaster? We have everything you need to know in our guide.
Your George Foreman grill cleaning questions answered
What is the easiest way to clean a George Foreman grill?
It depends on whether your grill has removable plates and how dirty it is. A simple wipe over with a soft, damp cloth might be enough, but if you’re dealing with grime and stubborn residue then you’ll need to use one of our methods above.
How do I get burnt food off my George Foreman grill?
Try the cleaning methods that we have outlined above. If you still have burnt bits that won’t budge then try the chopstick trick: simply wrap the square end of a chopstick in a soft cloth and use it to work on the stuck bits.
Failing that, crack open the baking soda, and sprinkle it on both sides of the grill. Place enough damp paper towels to fully cover the plates and then leave overnight. You should find the leftovers come easily unstuck.
Can you use oven cleaner on a George Foreman grill?
You want to be careful using any harsh chemicals on the non-stick plates as you could strip them of their coating, ruining them. While some milder cleaners may be fine, it’s safer to use one of the methods above. In any case, check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you won’t cause any damage or invalidate a warranty.