How to Clean a Grinder: The Ultimate Guide
Among all the smoking devices available today, the Grinder is, without a doubt, one of the most important. It’s often underrated and misunderstood as a not-entirely-necessary component. But it’s crucial to getting the right kick out of your favorite herb. Grinders can give an even and reliable burn to your blunt, bowl, or joint. And it ensures that you get the most out of your weed or concentrate.
For all the work it does, a grinder can also accumulate gunk/grit over time. And it’s a good idea to clear this debris once in a while. This ensures that it grinds efficiently, and your pulls remain nice and smooth. Also, dirty grinders can potentially affect your health in the long run because of potential dirt, molds, allergens, and bacteria.
So, if you find yourself asking ‘How to clean a grinder,’ you’re in the right place. Cleaning it is easy and necessary. And all it takes is a few items, the right information, and a thorough process. Let’s get into it.
You don’t have to clean your Grinder every day. But if you notice that it’s not grinding as well as before or there are visible clogs on the screen, it’s probably time. Like any other good process, you need a few things ready before you start cleaning. Here are some items you’ll need.
- Small Paintbrush or Toothbrush: This brush will be your primary cleaning tool.
- Q-tips and Toothpicks: They’re useful for those corners that are hard to reach.
- A flat container or paper plate: You need this to collect the debris that will come out.
- Paper Towels: For poking the Grinder and miscellaneous cleaning.
- Rubbing Alcohol: [Optional] For a thorough and deep cleaning.
- Hairdryer: Easier drying during and after cleaning.
- Isopropyl Alcohol: [Specific] This one’s only for metal grinders.
Once you’ve prepped with the items, you can start the cleaning process. Let’s begin.
How to clean a Grinder
These are overall steps that work and apply to most grinders. However, remember that grinders can often vary slightly in design and structure. In these cases, the cleaning technique may have to change depending on the kind of Grinder you have. We’ll take you through a step-by-step sequence for regular grinders. And then we’ll elaborate on other more specific grinder types.
Take apart your Grinder
To start with, you have to disassemble your Grinder. Remember how to put it back if this is the first time you’re disassembling. When you have taken the components apart, put them in a freezer, and let them sit for about half an hour. If there are any gooey bits stuck to the sides, the freezing temperatures will harden them. This will make the bits fall or come apart easier. Take the components and tap them continuously on a paper towel. You should see bits of debris falling off. It’s the best way to eliminate the initial hardened debris that usually clogs the screen or the corners.
Use the brush for a good sweep.
Take the paintbrush or toothbrush, and give the interiors a good sweep. Try to get as deep as possible into the corners and nooks around the Grinder. For best results, try to get through to each individual groove.
If you feel that the Grinder needs a deeper cleaning, apply some rubbing alcohol on the brush’s bristles for a better sweep.
Details for Metal Grinders
Get a zip-lock bag and put your metal grinder inside. Then, put enough isopropyl alcohol into the bag. Make sure the quantity is enough to cover the Grinder. Allow the Grinder to soak in the solution for some time. After a while, you’ll see that the Alcohol turns into a muddy/pale yellow color. You’ll also see smaller particles suspended in the solution. A stronger concentration of Alcohol will make the soaking faster. Once enough dirt and gunk are out, take out the Grinder and rinse it properly. Let it dry fully before reassembling it for a good-as-new experience.
TIP: Do NOT use isopropyl alcohol on grinders made of acrylic or plastic material. You shouldn’t even use it on metal grinders that may have acrylic components. For any grinder with plastic/acrylic parts, skip the Alcohol and use the next steps.
Details for Plastic or Acrylic Grinders
The two most ideal solutions for plastic and acrylic grinders are boiling water or soap with water. Isopropyl alcohol can eat into the surface of these grinders and dissolve them.
Take a pot and place the disassembled parts of the grinder insider. Fill with water and let it reach boiling temperatures. Once boiled, you can remove the pot from the stove/cooker and let it naturally cool for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled, take the grinder parts out and give a thorough brushing with the toothbrush. Finally, let the parts dry out again before reassembly.
TIP: Do NOT boil metal grinders in water. It will cause the metal bits to rust and damage your Grinder.
Soap and Water
Dip the Grinder into the soap and water solution. Then, use the Q-tip or toothbrush to clean out the components as well as you can. Try to get to every nook and crevice of the Grinder. Once done, rinse in warm and water and let it dry.
Why Should I Clean my Grinder?
There are a whole lot of beneficial reasons why you should regularly clean your Grinder. From quality smoking to health benefits, you have a lot to gain. To mention a few:
Grinders that collect gunk and dirt become less efficient at grinding. This means the general quality of your grinds will go down. Also, more of your weed will get stuck in the Grinder as you continue using it. And that’s no way to treat your favorite strain of herb.
Consistent fine grinding
Grinders will usually work great when they’re new and clean. But if you avoid cleaning it, it will eventually start giving poorer quality grinds. One of the most common examples is when it cannot produce fine grinds from bigger herb pieces. Timely cleaning allows your Grinder to maintain this fine grind throughout its lifetime.
One problem with metal grinders is that it can generate metal shavings that fall into your grind. If you don’t clean the insides, it can accumulate and cause you other health issues. Brushing and tapping on the paper towel can make most of these shavings fall off.
Dirty grinders breed bacteria.
Microorganisms can survive in the most unlikely places. And your Grinder is no exception. Regular cleaning ensures that your smoke comes from clean herbs and nothing else. Alcohol (for metals) and the soap solution (for plastic/acrylic) can neutralize any microorganisms that may stay lodged in your Grinder.
Clean grinders not just work better but last longer. The more gunk, debris, and dirt it collects, the bigger the risk of damaging the Grinder. This is especially important if you’ve paid for/invested in a quality grinder. You want your devices and tools to last you as long as possible. And cleaning it regularly is the best way to ensure durability.
Today, we hope you’ve got a better understanding of how to clean a grinder. The items are easy to arrange at home or with a quick trip to the store. And the process is pretty straightforward. But the benefits include better smoke quality, finer grinds, healthier habits, and a more durable grinder. So, if you haven’t tried cleaning your Grinder yet, go ahead and give it a nice and refreshing cleaning.