There are some easy ways to clean your barbecue, both post-winter and after each use.
If your cast iron hotplate or grill has a bit of rust, heat it until it is very hot, cover with cooking oil and sprinkle salt on top. Then scrape the 'cleaning mix' off the hotplate with a barbecue spatula or wire brush. Wipe the hotplate/grill clean with a paper towel and spray with a thin layer of oil to have a season-ready barbecue.
When you next use your barbecue, coat it with another spray of oil. This will keep your food from burning or sticking, and make cleaning up much easier. Sauces and marinades can be quite acidic, so clean your barbecue surface while it is still warm - it will be easier to shift grease and food remnants.
Once the residue has been removed, you can wash your grill with a soft sponge, hot water and mild dishwashing liquid. There are also washable, reusable liners you can buy for your barbecue which save you having to clean it altogether.