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CNN  — 

Whether you’re whipping up a batch of hamburgers or slow cooking ribs basted in barbecue sauce on your charcoal grill, you know that grilling can get pretty messy. Cleaning your grill after each use is a key step to ensuring that your grill is well maintained — and also that you’re eliminating any potentially harmful leftover burnt bits from your last cookout. But not all grill brushes are created equal. In fact, using a wire brush to clean your grill could be hazardous to your health, so we set out to find the best grill brush without wire bristles.

We tested a handful of the top-rated, nonwire grill brushes for weeks to find the one that cleans the best. The Kona BBQ Grill Brush is our top pick because it is the most effective and safest way to clean your grill.

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Best overall grill brush

The Kona BBQ Grill Brush features a durable, large stainless steel brush head that effectively and safely cleans your grill.

Best overall grill brush: Kona BBQ Grill Brush ($19.95; amazon.com)

Kona BBQ Grill Brush.

The Kona BBQ Grill Brush features a durable, stainless steel brush head that, according to the manufacturer, works best when dipped in water, This proved true in our testing, and the wet brush melts away any leftover food or gunk on the grill. The solid brush head ensures that no bristles, wire bits, food or any residue from the tool is left behind on your grill. The surface area of the brush head is fairly large, so it doesn’t take long to clean your grill surface. It also features a longer handle than most brushes so that you can clean your grill while it is still hot. In our testing, we found this to be hands down the most effective brush to clean our grills.

How we tested

We spent weeks grilling dozens of burgers and chicken leg quarters to test our pool of grill brushes — but after all that, we decided the grills just weren’t messy enough. For our final test, we slathered racks of ribs with barbecue sauce and let them do their thing on our grills. We used several different types of grills for this test — a three-burner Weber Spirit Gas Grill, which features a flat, cast-iron grate, and traditional charcoal kettle grills featuring both stainless steel grates and porcelain-coated wire grates.

We cleaned the grills with each brush several times to see how effectively they cleaned on the different types of cooking grates. Each brush has a unique way that it cleans the grill, so some of the brushes require extra steps like dipping them in water or wiping down the grill after using a stone that leaves behind residue. We took all of these factors into consideration when selecting the Kona BBQ Grill Brush as the best nonwire grill brush on the market right now.

Other nonwire grill brushes we tested

Char Broil Nylon Bristle Grill Brush ($14.98; lowes.com)
We found the Char Broil nylon bristle brush worked well when it came to cleaning the grill, but because of the material of the bristles, it can only be used on a cooled grill surface. The brush features lab-tested, extra-long red nylon bristles, which work well when cleaning, but we found they hold onto the gunk from your grill when you’re finished. To ensure you aren’t making a mess on any surfaces once you’re finished with this brush, and to avoid gunky buildup, this grill brush requires a thorough cleaning after each use.

EarthStone Grill Cleaning Block ($5.98; homedepot.com)
The EarthStone Grill Cleaning Block is exactly that and nothing more — it’s a stone block that you use to clean the surface of your grill. The one we tested didn’t come with a handle, which means that you need to hold it in your hand while cleaning the grill. It can be used on both warm and cold grill surfaces, but since your hand will be very close to the cooking grate, we would not advise using this on your grill until it is cooled down. The stone cleans well and removes gunk from the grill, but it leaves behind a white residue on both the grill surface and your hand. The stone is said to be made from “recycled material” that is nontoxic and chemical-free. You can opt to purchase an EarthStone cleaning block that comes with a handle, which we’d recommend you do.

Scrubbin’ Stone ($9.74; homedepot.com)
Similar to the EarthStone, the Scrubbin’ Stone is a cleaning block that can be used to clean either warm or cold grills — and it requires that you wipe down your grill once you are finished using it. Scrubbin’ Stone says that its brush is made of recycled, heated glass and that the stone is also nontoxic and chemical-free. The one we tested came with a handle, which was a nice upgrade from the EarthStone cleaning block. Again, these stones require the extra step of wiping the stone residue off the grill when you’re finished. But if you’re comfortable doing that, then this is an effective way to clean your grill.

Grill Floss ($22.30; amazon.com)
Grill Floss is a sleek, nifty tool that, well, literally flosses each individual wire of your grill’s cooking grate. The stainless steel tool wraps itself tightly around each rung of your grill grate so you can get a 360-degree clean. However, this means you need to manually clean every single wire rung, which takes time and can feel tedious. The tool comes with three different head attachments for different sized grill grates, but it’s worth mentioning that this will not work on any Weber gas grills because they feature flat, cast-iron grates. It also comes in at a higher price point than other cleaning tools we tested.

Cuisinart Wood Scraper ($14.99; amazon.com)
The Cuisinart Wood Scraper is a solid piece of beechwood that you rub along your grill and should, in theory, mold itself to fit into the exact grooves of your grill grate. However, in testing this several times over the course of a few weeks, we were barely able to make a dent in the wood and, therefore, found this to be the least effective cleaning tool we tested on our grills. The tool is noticeably larger than other grill brushes, and the gunk from your grill will stick to the bottom of the paddle.

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