How to Clean Rust Off a Blackstone Griddle – The Easy Way!

Blackstone griddles and flat top grills are all the rage these days and for good reason! They offer a convenient way to cook outdoors, and they’re perfect for large groups. But like any outdoor cooking equipment made of steel or cast iron, they can be susceptible to rust.

If you haven’t been using your Blackstone griddle for a while or you didn’t take proper care of it, you may have noticed some rust forming on the surface. While this isn’t a big deal, it can be unsightly and I am sure no one really wants to cook on a rusty griddle.

In some cases, the whole surface may be covered in one huge layer of rust.

Don’t worry though, unless the rust has eaten through the metal (and that may as well take decades), it’s not a big deal and the rusty layer can easily be removed.

How easily? That depends on the tools you’ve got at your disposal or which you are willing to obtain.

The sooner you remove the rust the easier it will be.

Table of Contents

How to Clean Rust Off Your Blackstone Griddle Without Power Tools

It’s perfectly understandable if you don’t have any appropriate power tools and don’t want to go out and buy some just to clean your griddle.

No need to worry, rust can be removed without any power tools whatsoever. It will just take a bit more time and some elbow grease.

Sandpaper wheels

Before you start, you should gather the required materials. You will need:

  • A metal scraper or a metal griddle spatula
  • Sandpaper
  • Seasoning oil of your choice

Also, consider using a dust mask to protect your lungs from the dust.

Step 1: Heat up the griddle

Turn on your grill to medium-high heat and let it heat up for about 15 minutes and then turn it off and let it cool down. By doing this, the rust will loosen up and be easier to scrape off.

Step 2: Scrape away any loose rust bits

Once it has cooled down, start scraping off the rust with the scraper. Try to remove all the partly loose rust. You won’t be able to remove all the rust with just the scraper, but it will make the next step easier.

Step 3: Sand off all the rust

Next, you will have to sand off the remaining rust with sandpaper. Yes, you can sand your griddle, and no, it won’t get ruined. Start with a coarser grit and switch to a finer grit once most of the rust is gone. Don’t use the coarsest grit you can find though, as that may cause deep scratches in the griddle, that are difficult to remove.

Depending on the amount of rust present on your griddle, this step may take a while and may feel like a strenuous workout.

When you are done with this step, the griddle top should look like a shiny piece of silver metal.

Step 4: Wash the griddle thoroughly

Once you’ve removed all the rust, it’s time to wash it to get rid of all of the rusty dust that’s left behind. Unlike what some people say, it’s perfectly okay to use soapy water for this step. Or you can just take the griddle top off and hose it down.

In any case, make sure to dry it with paper towels before the next step.

Step 5: Re-season the griddle

The fifth and final step is to season your griddle. This is a very important step because it will create the trademark blackened non-stick surface and also prevent rust from forming again in the future.

Now you’re done! That wasn’t so hard, was it? Oh yeah, I know sanding by hand can be a bit of a pain, but it’s worth it in the end.

Sandpaper Alternatives

In the step-by-step guide, I said that you’ll need sandpaper to remove the rust. While this is technically true and sandpaper is easily the cheapest option, there are a few alternatives.

Wire brush

Wire brush

Wire brushes come in different shapes and sizes, and they can be used for a variety of tasks, including removing rust.

Grill stones, grill bricks, and co.

A grill stone or a grill brick is basically a big block of pumice. Pumice is a porous volcanic rock that’s often used in beauty products and as an abrasive.

It’s perfectly safe to use on your griddle and will remove rust just as well as sandpaper. The only downside is that it’s a bit more expensive than sandpaper. On the plus side, the shape of a grill stone makes it easier to grip and use than sandpaper.

Steel wool

Steel wool is often used to remove rust as well. It’s slightly more expensive than sandpaper but can be reused multiple times. It can work especially well as the finishing touch after using sandpaper to remove most of the rust. You can even use it with a splash of vinegar, making it a great eco-friendly alternative to commercial rust removal products.

Cleaning the Rust Off With Power Tools

Yes, doing it the hard way is not much fun. If you’ve got an appropriate power tool, the whole cleaning process can be done in a fraction of the time.

Here are some power tools that work well:

  • An orbital sander
  • An angle grinder with sanding discs – one of the fastest ways to remove rust
  • A power drill with a wire brush or wire wheel attachment
  • A power drill with a sanding attachment
  • A rotary tool like the Dremel tool with a sanding attachment – this is obviously a small tool but it can come in handy in the corners of the griddle top where large tools are of no use

Important: When removing rust with power tools, you should be wearing protective gear like gloves, eye protection, and a dust mask. Rust dust is not good for your lungs and repeated prolonged exposure can lead to serious health problems.

The steps are pretty much the same as when cleaning by hand, but the process is a lot faster.

Step 1: Loosen the rust

Heat up your griddle for a couple of minutes to loosen the rust and let it cool down.

Step 2: Scrape off any loose Bits

Scrape off any loose rust. Don’t skip this step. If you leave the partly loose rust on the griddle, the power tool of your choice will make it fly off in all directions and you will end up with a bigger mess than you started with.

Step 3: Remove the rust

Use your power tool of choice to remove the remaining rust. This step will only take a couple of minutes with most power tools.

Step 4: Remove rust from the corners

Deal with the corners. Some tools may have a hard time reaching the corners of the griddle top. In this case, you may have to resort to a hand tool like a wire brush or sanding block.

If you’ve got a detail sander, you can use that.

Step 5: Clean the griddle top

Wash off the griddle top with soapy water and dry it.

Step 6: Reapply the seasoning

Season the griddle top.

And that’s it! You’re done! As you see, it is much easier and faster to remove rust with an electric sander.

Can You Clean Rust Off Your Blackstone Griddle With Vinegar?

Vinegar is a popular household cleaning agent and it can be used to clean rust off just about anything, including your Blackstone griddle. The only problem is that most outdoor griddles are quite large.

White vinegar

When vinegar is used to clean rust off of an object, the object is usually submerged in a vinegar bath. This is not really an option with a large griddle top, because you would probably fill your bath with vinegar before the griddle top was submerged. Buying such a large quantity of vinegar would be quite expensive and it would be a bit of a waste, don’t you think?

However, you could make it work by filling the griddle top itself with vinegar and letting it sit there for a day or so. There’s one obstacle though, and that’s the grease draining hole. You would need to plug it up somehow so the vinegar doesn’t just run out. Anyway, it is an easy and cheap way to remove rust. All you would have to do afterward is wash off the vinegar and reseason the griddle top.

Can You Burn Rust Off a Griddle?

Some people think that you can turn your griddle or grill on high a the heat will magically get rid of the rust. This is however not true. Rust is an oxidized metal, and as such, it cannot be burned off.

You can get rid of rust in two ways:

  • Removing it physically, that is by sanding or grinding it off
  • Removing it chemically, that is by using an acidic solution to dissolve it

Although you cannot simply burn the rust off your griddle, heating it to a high temperature will help loosen the rust layer. As a result, it is then much easier to remove the rust, either with a power tool or by hand.

Why Do Griddles Rust? How Do I Prevent It?

Griddles rust because they are made of metal and are exposed to oxygen and moisture. The combination of these two things will cause the metal to oxidize and form rust.

Sometimes rust is unavoidable, especially if you live in a humid climate.

However, there are things you can do to prevent rust from forming on your griddle in the first place. The most important one has been discussed already and that is seasoning. Without seasoning your griddle, you will see rust forming within days or weeks, depending on the climate you live in.

Other things you can do to prevent rust are storing your griddle out of the reach of moisture, ie. don’t leave the griddle outside when it’s raining. Instead, store the griddle for example in a dry shed or garage, and make sure it is completely dry before storing it.

Also, don’t forget to apply a thin layer of oil after you are done cooking.


Although rust is not the end of the world, it is still something you want to avoid if possible because it may be unsafe to cook on a rusty griddle.

Fortunately, it is not difficult to remove rust from a Blackstone griddle, and with the right precautions, you can prevent it from forming in the first place. So season your griddle frequently and make sure to apply a thin layer of oil after cooking, and your griddle will last you for many years to come!


Can you cook on a rusted Blackstone?

Technically, nothing is stopping you from cooking on a rusted griddle, however, the rust will most likely end up in your food. While by itself it’s not toxic because it’s just iron oxide, it will change the taste of your food. Not to mention that it doesn’t look very appetizing either. So unless you want to scare off your guests or family, it’s probably best to avoid cooking on a rusted griddle.

Can you mix baking soda and vinegar to remove rust?

A lot of myths are circulating on the internet about rust removal, and one of them is that you can mix baking soda and vinegar to create a powerful rust-remitting agent. While you can mix them, they work better on their own. Vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base. When you mix them together, they will essentially cancel each other out in a spectacular bubbly chemical reaction. All you’re gonna get in the end is a wasted bowl of salty fizzy water. So save yourself the trouble and use them separately.

Do I need to season my Blackstone after every use?

It is a good idea to season your griddle after every use, especially if you live in a humid climate. If you for some reason don’t want to do that, then at least apply a thin protective layer of oil on the griddle’s surface without turning the heat up.

Photo of author

John Carder

John Carder is the founder of He loves to cook outdoors, especially over a campfire. John has a lovely wife and two cats who he loves dearly. In his spare time, he likes to play soccer and paint; he's not particularly good at either, but he enjoys the process nonetheless. He also has silly long hair which often gets in his way while cooking!