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Why You Might Want to Avoid Wire Grill Brushes This Season — and What You Can Use to Clean Up Instead


"Pain that I had never felt before."

Earlier this month, Cheryl Harrison of Wallingsford, Connecticut, described what she felt in her stomach as "a pain that I had never felt before."

According to WTNH-TV, Harrison had a CT scan and what doctors saw in her intestine had her heading into an emergency surgery: an inch-long wire piece from a grill brush. She had eaten a hamburger cooked on a grill cleaned with a wire grill brush just two days earlier.

Dr. Aziz Benbrahim told the news station that the bristle in Harrison's intestine was found in time that she could be treated and recover, but holes in the intestine can be life-threatening.

Watch WTNH-TV's report:

So what can you use instead of a wire brush to clean off your grill?

The Daily Meal describes several brush-free cleaning options.

For a quick scrub, you can ball up a bit of aluminum foil and rub the grates. The site also suggests using a half of an onion on hot grates to not only loosen debris but add a bit of greasing for your cooking endeavors. For a deeper clean, the Daily Meal suggests taking the cool grates off the grill and soaking them in coffee.

You can always rely on the heat of the grill itself to help clean the grates as well.

Watch this report from WXMI-TV about wire brush alternatives:

If you are going to use a wire brush, Weber suggests the following:

1. Inspect your grill brush for wear.  If the bristles are worn down or clogged up with grease, throw it away and replace it.

2. If your grill brush head is split or warped the bristles can come loose so throw it away and replace it.

3. If your grill brush looks OK you should perform a simple safety check.  Take a pair of pliers and grab a bristle and pull using moderate pressure, about the same pressure as pulling blades of grass out of your lawn.  If the bristle pulls loose, replace your brush.

Front page image via Shutterstock

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