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How To Clean Your Grinder

by Angel Ferrer 5 min read

How To Clean Your Grinder

How to Clean a Grinder

Your trusty grinder is a handy tool for helping you to have a better session with your favorite herb. But even your grinder needs a little love and care every now and then.

Every once in a while, it is a good idea to clean all the grit and gunk out of your grinder. It will help keep your device sharp and functioning at peak performance, as well as lessen the resistance you encounter when trying to use it.

There are also health risks associated with dirty grinders, with old debris providing a potential breeding ground for bacteria, mold spores and other allergens.

Cleaning a grinder doesn’t take much time, yet is well worth the couple minutes it takes to get the job done right. 

Here are the basic steps to cleaning a grinder….

What you Need to Clean a Grinder

At the first sign of your grinder working less efficiently or when the screen is visibly clogged, that is a good sign that it is time to clean your grinder.

But before we get started, there are a few items you should gather to help with the cleaning process:

  • A paper plate – This will be used to catch loose debris and keep the mess contained.

  • Toothpicks and Q-tips – These can help get into hard-to-reach areas.

  • Toothbrush or paintbrush – This will be your cleaning tool.

  • Paper towels – You can set your grinder on this to try or poke it into the grinder.

  • Isopropyl alcohol – For metal grinders only!

  • Rubbing alcohol – For deep cleans

  • Hair dryer – Impatient for a dry grinder? Put your styling tool to use!

Now that you have all your tools gathered, we can go through the basic cleaning steps for your grinder.

The Steps to Clean a Grinder 

Whether your grinder is metal, plastic, or acrylic, there are a few simple steps you can take to give it a decent cleaning.

Beyond these basic steps, however, each type of grinder has its own step that needs to be applied. We’ll cover both the basics and specifics below. Feel free to skip ahead if necessary.

1. Disassemble Your Grinder

After you completely pull your grinder apart, stick the pieces in the freezer for about thirty minutes. You may need to wait up to an hour. This will allow any dirt that may be sticking to the screen or to the sides to harden. Now take these pieces and tap them vigorously over a paper towel to remove all the debris.

2. Sweep Your Grinder Out

Using a toothbrush, or a soft paintbrush, brush out any remaining particles. Make sure to get in between the nooks and the threads, getting into every individual groove. 

            TIP: If the grinder is in need of a deep clean, apply a little rubbing alcohol to the brush while you sweep.

3. Special Step for Metal Grinders

If you are using a metal grinder, you will also want to clean it with isopropyl alcohol. Place the pieces of your metal grinder into a Ziploc bag, and use just enough isopropyl alcohol to cover the grinder.

Let the grinder soak in the alcohol until the liquid turns a muddy color, and you can see particles floating in the liquid. A higher concentration of isopropyl alcohol will work faster.

After the grinder is clean, rinse it out and let it dry. Then you can re-assemble your metal grinder.

WARNING: Do not use isopropyl alcohol with plastic or acrylic grinders, or even metal grinders that have an acrylic window at the top. For these, use the next method.

4. Special Steps for Acrylic or Plastic Grinders

Isopropyl alcohol can dissolve these grinders, so boiling water is the way to go. You can also choose to use soap and warm water.

Boiling Water Method – Place all the pieces in a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. After this, remove the pot from the heat, and let it cool for 10 minutes. Remove the grinder pieces from the pot and run a toothbrush through each one to remove any particles. Then, set them out to dry.

WARNING: Do not use this method with a metal grinder, or the grinder may rust.

Soap and Water Method– It’s as easy as it sounds! You can use your toothbrush or a Q-tip to scrub soap into every nook and cranny. After this, rinse your grinder pieces with warm water and let them dry.

The Importance of Keeping Your Grinder Clean

Look, we get it…cleaning your grinder is probably the last thing on your never-ending to-do list. And it probably doesn’t seem all that important in the grand scheme of things.

Why bother when it works, am I right? 

But there are actually a number of good reasons for cleaning your grinder on a regular basis. Ones that can affect everything from your health to the flavor of your herb.

Why you Should Clean your Grinder Regularly:

  • You extend the life of your grinder. Allowing your grinder to stay full of gunk increases the risk of parts breaking. By cleaning your grinder, you save money that would be spent on a new one. 

  • You increase the efficiency of your grinder. A dirty grinder becomes hard to work with, and more of your herbs may become stuck within the grinder, meaning that you may lose some in the process.

  • The grinder will not be able to achieve a fine grind. When the nooks and threads get dirty, it will be more difficult to turn large pieces of herb into a small, fine grind. By cleaning your grinder, you ensure that you will continue to get a fine grind to work with.

  • Metal grinders can begin to lose metal shavings into your materials if not kept clean. This poses a variety of health risks.

  • Bacteria can also accumulate in a dirty grinder. These bacteria may end up in your lungs. Keep those grinders clean!

Closing Thoughts

Cleaning your grinder doesn’t take a lot of effort, yet doing so can have a big impact on your next smoking session and frankly is well worth the little time it takes.

If you haven’t done so recently, take a few minutes today to perform this important task. Extend the life of your grinder by taking the time to care for it, and it will reward you with the perfect grind for years to come. 

Not to mention you might just notice your next session is a little bit fresher and more flavorful than before.