How to clean bbq grease off concrete

You cook some delicious ribs on the grill. There's not much that can beat that. But you forget to cover the grill and it rains overnight. Grease spills out of the catch pan all over your concrete; leaving a mess of grease on top and in your beautiful concrete.

To get grease off the surface of your concrete and remove the stain you have to make a two prong attack. First, you have to break down the grease on the surface with a degreaser. Then you have to soak up the stain with granular or powder-based material such as baking soda.

Cleaning the surface

The first thing you have to do is clean the grease off of your concrete. The seemingly obvious step would be to wipe any grease sitting on the concrete up. But this could be a mistake.

Wiping the grease up without treating it with soap or a degreaser will cause the grease from your barbecue to smear. This will make your mess larger and harder to clean up.

Cleaning with water

Grease from your barbecue pit is made up of fats and proteins that fall from meat as you cook it. As you well know, oil and water don't mix. Oil is less dense than water. This causes oil to float in water.

Lifting the grease is the main problem you face with cleaning bbq grease off the surface of your concrete. If you pour water on it, some of the grease will be washed away, but most of it will stay because the oil will resist the water.

To get the grease to come up and wash away, you need something to mix with it. This is where dish soap comes in handy.

Dish soap

Dish soap is formulated to break up tough grease. Take a pot or pan with grease in it, add a little dish soap and water, and watch the grease come off and bind to the soapy water.

We all know oil and water don't mix. So why does soapy water mix with oil. It is because dish soap is a surfactant.

Surfactants allow two substances that don't usually mix together to mix. Dish soap will mix with oil and water. Because dish soap is a surfactant, it provides a way for oil and water to mix.

To get the grease off the surface, you can mix some dish soap with water or put some dish soap directly on the grease. If you put only soap, put just enough to allow it to be worked into the bbq grease and break it up. Then add water and scrub to remove the grease. Finally, wash it away with water.


You can use a commercial degreaser to break the bbq grease up on the surface of your concrete. These basically do the same thing as dish soap. I personally would prefer to use dish soap instead of a degreaser.

You can also try using types of soaps. A good alternative to soap is a mechanics hand cleaner like Fast Orange. It has surfactants in it and also has pumice. The added pumice can help remove some of the grease in cracks and rough surfaces when you scrub.

Soaking the grease up

The longer the grease sits on your concrete, the more it will soak into it. The only way to remove grease that has soaked into concrete is to draw it out.

To draw the oil out you need a sorbent. Some good sorbents to use for getting the grease out of your concrete are baking soda, kitty litter, peat moss, and sawdust.

Baking soda

Baking soda is good for small grease stains. It is a powder and very light weight. It can absorb bbq grease on the surface of your concrete and grease that is soaked into your concrete.

The biggest negative when using baking soda is that it is really light weight. A little bit of wind will blow it away. This makes it hard to use outside unless there is no wind.

If you are going to use baking soda to cleanup your barbecue grease, you should place some directly on the stain. Then cover it and wait at least a few hours before sweeping it up. The longer you wait the more the baking soda will absorb the grease; removing the stain.

24 hours is probably a better amount of time to allow the baking soda to do it's job. At some point, the baking soda will become saturated. Leaving it on the stain after it is saturated is futile. It will not absorb more grease after it is saturated.

Once it is saturated, you should clean it up and throw it away. If there is still some bbq grease stain left, you can put more baking soda on it to remove it. Cover it and repeat the process until all of the grease is out of your concrete.

Kitty litter

Kitty litter is made from various materials including clay, paper, and silica gel. Clay is the most common material used to make kitty litter.

Because kitty litter is used to absorb, it is great for soaking up grease you spill while barbecuing.

Kitty litter is heavier than baking soda. It will hold up well in the wind. But some of it will blow away because of dust particles that break off when it is handled.

Place some kitty litter directly on the barbecue grease stain. Leave it for a few days. Then sweep it up and dispose of it.

In many cases you will only need to apply the kitty litter once to remove the grease from your concrete. If there is still a grease stain present after you remove the kitty litter, put more on top of it again. Then clean it up and throw it away. I have hardly ever seen a bbq grease stain need more than two applications of kitty litter to remove it.

Prevent barbeque grease stains on your concrete

One of the best ways to prevent bbq grease stains on your concrete is to put your pit on a mat. A barbeque mat will protect your concrete by catching all of the grease that falls from your pit.

Another way to protect your concrete from the grease falling off your bbq pit is to put your grill in the grass when your grill.


You can remove that barbeque grease stain off of your concrete. And, you can do it without having to resort to harsh chemicals. Use some dish soap and water to break up and remove any grease on the surface of your concrete. Then use a sorbent like baking soda or kitty litter to pull the bbq grease out of the concrete.