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How to clean a grinder

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Contents

  1. What is a grinder?
  2. What you need to clean a grinder
  3. How to clean a grinder: Step-by-step process
  4. Bottom line

What is a grinder?

Grinding your weed before smoking is a crucial step in the consumption process. Using a grinder gives you an even and consistent burn when you’re smoking, maximizes efficiency, and lets you get the most smoke out of your bud. While you can always pick apart your weed with your fingers, using a specialized herb grinder is by far the best way to break your cannabis down into smaller, more smokable pieces.

Using a specialized herb grinder is by far the best way to break your cannabis down into smaller, more smokable pieces. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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There are a few different types of weed grinders. The first and simplest model is a single chamber with metal grinding teeth and a lid that either snaps or screws into place. The underside of the lid also has grinding teeth that work in tandem with the teeth inside the main chamber. To use this type of weed grinder, simply press a couple of nugs down into the grinding teeth, put the lid on, and twist. As you twist, the grinding teeth in the main chamber and on the lid chop the herb into small, uniform pieces.

In addition to this simple, single-chamber design, there are grinders that function in a similar fashion but that include multiple chambers stacked onto each other. The top chamber contains the grinding teeth where you place your nugs before twisting the lid back and forth to break up the herb. There are a series of holes in the bottom of this top grinding chamber, through which the herb falls into a catch located directly beneath the grinding teeth. To access the ground-up herb, unscrew the catch chamber from the grinding chamber and pinch or dump out the herb you’re going to use.

There are grinders that include multiple chambers stacked onto each other. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Multi-chambered grinders typically have a mesh screen across the bottom of the catching. The screen filters out the chunks of plant matter from the much finer, powdery kief, which falls through the screen and into a kief catcher. Some grinders have multiple screens to separate out the super fine grains of kief from the larger grains of kief. Either way, these multi-chambered grinders allow you to isolate and keep the cannabinoid-rich kief for future use.

Finally, some weed grinders use rotating blades rather than grinding teeth. These grinders can produce a more uniform final product, as the blades cleanly slice the herb rather than forcefully grinding it apart into small chunks.

What you need to clean a grinder

The problem with grinders is that they eventually get gunked up with small pieces of plant matter, powdery kief, and sticky resin. When this happens, the lid can get stuck and difficult to work with, and it can be a challenge to rotate the grinding teeth or cutting blades back and forth. When this happens, it’s time to clean your grinder. Here’s everything you’ll need to get your grinder into like-new condition:

Assemble what you need to clean your grinder. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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  • Your dirty grinder
  • A toothpick
  • A small, soft-bristled brush
  • A freezer
  • A plate or bowl
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • A toothbrush or some other type of stiff brush
  • A Ziploc bag or glass jar
  • Clean water
  • A towel

How to clean a grinder: Step-by-step process

There are two main ways to clean a grinder. The first way is faster and simpler but won’t allow you to save the plant material leftover in the grinder. The second way takes a bit longer and requires some extra steps but will let you harvest some potentially potent residue for future use.

Method 1: Quick clean your grinder

Step 1: Disassemble the dirty grinder

Begin by taking apart and separating each chamber of your grinder. At this point, you can quickly harvest a little bit of leftover plant material by dumping out and saving as much of the loose leftovers as you can.

Begin by taking apart and separating each chamber of your grinder. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 2: Soak the grinder in alcohol

Place the grinder into a container of some sort—a Ziploc bag or large glass jar work best. Fill the container with enough isopropyl alcohol to fully submerge all parts of the grinder. Let the grinder soak for 20-30 minutes and agitate the container every once in awhile to help break apart plant residue.

Fill the container with enough isopropyl alcohol to fully submerge all parts of the grinder. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 3: Scrub the grinder

Pour out the alcohol and use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub your grinder. Don’t forget to wash each chamber, scrape along the grinding teeth, and scour the lids.

Pour out the alcohol and use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub your grinder. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 4: Rinse and dry the grinder

Use clean warm water to rinse your grinder thoroughly. Be sure to wash away all alcohol and any remaining plant material. Dry off your grinder with a clean towel. Once the grinder is completely dry, you’re ready to start grinding again.

Use clean warm water to rinse your grinder thoroughly. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Method 2: Deep Clean Your Grinder

Step 1: Disassemble the dirty grinder

If your grinder is so clogged up with plant residue that it’s hard to get a smooth back-and-forth grinding or slicing motion, it’s time to deep clean it. Start by disassembling the grinder and removing each chamber from the others. As you do this, be careful that you don’t spill any of the plant matter that’s left over inside the chambers.

Step 2: Dump out residue

Dump out leftover plant matter onto a plate or into a bowl. You’ll save this material for later use. At this point, you’re simply trying to harvest the stuff that’s only loosely caked into the grinder; don’t worry about the material still clinging to the chambers of your grinder. You’ll take care of that in the next step.

Dump out leftover plant matter onto a plate or into a bowl. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 2: Freeze the grinder

Arrange each piece of the grinder to sit upright inside the freezer. Leave the grinder in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Freezing the plant residue this way makes it stiffer and, as it freezes, it will start forming into small clumps rather than clinging tightly to the grinder, all of which simplifies the scraping of the residue out of the grinder.

Freezing the grinder makes the plant residue stiffer and it will start forming into small clumps rather than clinging tightly to the grinder. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 3: Harvest plant residue

Remove the grinder from the freezer. Use a toothpick and small soft-bristled brush to gently scrape away as much of the plant material as you can. As before, use your plate or bowl to collect everything. Remember to scrape around the edges of all the chambers, along the sides of the grinding teeth, and around the circumference of each chamber’s lid. Most of this plant residue—especially the powdery kief—is incredibly rich in cannabinoids and very potent, so be sure you keep everything you harvest for future use.

Use a toothpick and small soft-bristled brush to gently scrape away as much of the plant material as you can. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 4: Soak in alcohol

When you’re satisfied that you’ve harvested as much of the leftover plant material as you possibly can, it’s time to make your grinder spotless. Place each chamber inside a large Ziploc bag or a glass jar. Fill the container with enough isopropyl alcohol to fully submerge the grinder. Let everything soak for at least 20 minutes. Every once in a while, give the container a gentle swirl to help break apart any plant matter stuck to the grinder.

Step 5: Clean off remaining residue

Pour out the alcohol and remove the grinder from the container. Use a toothbrush or another stiff brush to scrub your grinder clean. In this step, you’ll get rid of the most tenacious residue—the stuff that’s really gunking up your grinder and making it hard to use.

Step 6: Rinse and dry

Finally, give the grinder a good rinse in clean hot water, making sure that all the alcohol and plant residue are gone. Use a clean towel to dry off the grinder, including inside the chambers and around the grinding teeth.

Use a clean towel to dry off the grinder, including inside the chambers and around the grinding teeth. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 7: Start grinding again

At this point, your grinder should be pretty much spotless—almost as clean as the day you first got it. You will immediately notice how smoothly the device rotates and grinds, and how much neater and more uniform your small chunks of herb will become. When your grinder is completely dry and in like-new condition, go ahead and load up a few nugs, grind them down, and enjoy your smoke.

At this point, your grinder should be pretty much spotless—almost as clean as the day you first got it. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Bottom line

A clean grinder is essential to getting the most out of your cannabis experience, and you can keep your device in top condition with a few household supplies along with a little elbow grease.

How to clean a grinder Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is a grinder? What you need to clean a grinder How to clean a grinder:

Our Cheap Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Grinder

If you’re like me, you typically clean your smoking accessories only when it’s absolutely necessary. Pipes and bongs are usually the first on the list — when your friend comes by for a smoke sesh and looks at your bong with disgust, you know it’s time to whip out the glass cleaning solution. Yet grinders tend to slip through the cracks despite weeks of gummy resin build-up which make them basically unusable.

It takes true, admirable dedication to keep a grinder clean.

@ the girl dressed in a full suit cleaning out her grinder opposite me on the bus – go off sis

But hey, new year new me, right? This is the year I stop mistreating my grinder (which has been nothing but kind to me and deserves way better). And if money is tight or you just prefer a good deal, no need to splurge on fancy cleaning supplies — sparkling accessories will never break the bank with our cheap and easy guide to a well-scrubbed grinder.

Why clean your grinder?

While cleaning your grinder might be low on your to-do list, you’d be surprised by how much it can improve your smoking experience. For starters, a clean grinder is a more efficient grinder, which can produce more usable weed and more kief. When a grinder is full of gunk, it’s much more difficult to achieve a fine grind and thus, very little magical fairy dust will accumulate at the bottom.

You can also extend the life of your smoking accessories with a little TLC. If you’re guilty of never cleaning your grinder, you’ve probably had to throw one away because of damage caused by frequent use. Over time, too much stickiness will cause the teeth to become dull or snap off, or worse — you can end up with metal shavings mixed in with your flower. Too much strain on the teeth of a metal grinder can cause it to deteriorate without you noticing right away.

Plus, keeping your grinder clean prevents the plant matter inside from breaking down and growing mold or bacteria. While I’ve never noticed anything funky happen to my grinder, this is a genuine fear of mine now that I’ve learned that it’s possible. So to help you help yourself, follow our step-by-step guide below on how to properly clean a grinder.

How to clean your grinder

Depending on whether you have a metal or plastic grinder, you’ll need some items to aid in the cleaning process.

What you’ll need:

  • Hot water
  • Paper towels
  • Small towel
  • Toothbrush or paintbrush
  • Plastic bag or container
  • Isopropyl alcohol (metal grinders)
  • Dish soap (plastic grinders)
  • Cotton swabs (optional)
Step 1

Empty the bud and kief from your grinder before you begin cleaning. Place the pieces in the freezer for 30 minutes. Note: You don’t have to freeze the grinder, but this step is very helpful in loosening the remaining plant matter.

Then, separate all the pieces and stash the contents in a bag or jar.

Step 2

This next step will vary for metal and plastic grinders.

Metal grinders: Place the pieces of your grinder in a plastic bag and fill with isopropyl alcohol — enough to cover all pieces. Soak until the liquid turns muddy, usually about 20 minutes. A higher strength of isopropyl alcohol will typically work faster.

Plastic grinders: Place the pieces of your grinder in a plastic container and fill completely with hot water and dish soap. Let soak for about 20 minutes until particles are floating in the water.

Step 3

Remove your grinder from the soaking solution and rinse with warm water to remove alcohol or soap residue. Scrub excess debris with a brush. Use a cotton swab to make sure to get every nook and cranny. If your grinder was really old and full of gunk, you may need to repeat steps 2 and 3 to achieve ultimate cleanliness.

For grinders with a kief catcher, make sure to pay special attention to brushing the screen.

Step 4

Once you’ve brushed all the debris and gunk, use your small towell to dry off each piece.

Step 5

Lay all pieces on a paper towel or dishtowel to dry. Once fully dry, put your grinder back together.

Now you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Grind up some fresh bud and toke up because you deserve it.

A clean grinder is one of the easiest and cheapest weed hacks there is. In this guide, we breakdown how to keep your grinder clean and your buds fresh. ]]>