How to Properly Clean Your Grinder

by Chris Husong

How to Properly Clean Your GrinderYour grinder is a very handy tool to help you enjoy better sessions. But, just like all smoking gear, it’s important to clean all the dirt and resin out of your grinder. This will help maintain the top performance of your gear and minimize any resistance you encounter when using it.

And there are potential health risks associated with dirty grinders because old debris provides a breeding ground for allergens, bacteria, and mold spores.

It won’t take much time, but it’s worth the few minutes it takes to get the job done. We make it easy for you with our step-by-step guide on how to clean your grinder.

Items Needed To Clean Your Grinder

It’s time to clean your grinder when you first notice your grinder is not working as efficiently or when the screen is clogged.

Gather these items together:

  • Paper plate
  • Q-Tips & toothpicks
  • Toothbrush
  • Paper towels
  • Isopropyl alcohol (for metal grinders only!)

When you have all your items together, we can begin the steps to clean your grinder.

Steps To Clean Your Grinder 

There are a few basic steps to clean your grinder, whether you have a metal, plastic, or acrylic grinder. However, after these basic steps, each type of grinder has its own specific step that should be applied. We’ll cover the basics and the specifics here.

1. Take Your Grinder Apart

Disassemble your grinder completely and put the pieces in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes. Freezing will harden any dirt that is stuck to the screen or to the sides. Now take all the pieces of your grinder and tap them vigorously on a paper towel to remove all the debris.

2. Sweep Your Grinder Out

Brush out any remaining debris with a toothbrush. Be sure to get in all the little nooks, threads, and every individual groove.  You can dip the brush in some rubbing alcohol as you sweep if your grinder needs a really deep clean.

3. Extra Step for Metal Grinders

A metal grinder can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. Take all the pieces of your metal grinder and put them into a Ziploc bag. Then fill the bag with alcohol, just covering the grinder.

Let all the pieces of your grinder soak in the alcohol. When the liquid turns muddy with bits of debris floating in it (the higher the concentration of isopropyl alcohol, the faster it works).

Remove the grinder pieces from the Ziploc bag, rinse them thoroughly, and allow them to dry. Then, your metal grinder can be re-assembled.

NOTE: Do NOT use isopropyl alcohol with plastic or acrylic grinders (or even metal grinders with an acrylic window at the top). Use the following method for plastic or acrylic grinders.

4. Extra Step for Plastic or Acrylic Grinders

Isopropyl alcohol can severely damage and even dissolve plastic or acrylic grinders, so boiling water or soap and warm water are the cleaning methods of choice.

Boiling Water Method: Put all the pieces of your grinder into a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. After reaching a boil, take the pot off the heat and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove all the grinder pieces from the pot and run a toothbrush through each one to remove any debris. Then, allow all the pieces to dry.

NOTE: Do NOT use this method with a metal grinder, or the grinder may rust.

Soap and Water Method: Use your toothbrush or a Q-Tip to scrub soap into every little nook and cranny in the grinder pieces. Then, rinse all the pieces with warm water and allow them to dry.

Final Thoughts

Yeah, we know– probably the last thing on your to-do list is cleaning your grinder. It may not seem important at all. But cleaning your grinder doesn’t take much time, and it is oddly satisfying, much like the feeling you get when you’ve cleaned out your bong. Well worth the little time it takes to significantly enhance your next smoking session!


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