How to clean a grinder
Copy article link to clipboard.
Link copied to clipboard.
- What is a grinder?
- What you need to clean a grinder
- How to clean a grinder: Step-by-step process
- 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
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
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
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
How to clean a grinder made of plastic, metal, wood and more
The cleaning of the weed grinder is very important for its proper working, since the more waste there is, the worse it crushes marijuana. Although we don’t see it at first, every time we grind a bud with the grinder, we break the glandular heads of the trichomes.
These glands release oils that harden and darken as they dry and oxidize, adhering to the teeth and other parts of the grinder. When the layer of dry resin stuck in the grinder accumulates, it interferes with its proper use, so it is essential to clean the grinder regularly.
In this article we will see the best way to clean your grinder, whatever the material, and with elements that everyone can get easy.
▶ Is it possible to use the resin glued to the grinder?
Of course you can, although some people prefer to throw it away, we have friends who only clean the grinder when they have nothing else to smoke. What must be clear is that if we want to take advantage of the cleaning of the grinder to smoke these remains, we must separate them from the grinder with a non-toxic solvent.
One thing we have to take into account before consuming the profitable remains, is that not everything that is stuck in the grinder are remains of cannabis, so we’d have to clean up the dirt first, not to consume substances that can be harmful.
We are going to see separately which can be the best cleaning method for each type of grinder, and the best way to take advantage of any remaining leftovers.
➕ How do I clean a metal grinder?
First of all, the external parts of the grinder should be cleaned with hot water and soap, as it is better not to take advantage of this dirt. Once we have cleaned all the exterior faces, we move on to the interior, which is where the resin we can consume remains.
It is best to dismantle the grinder so that all its parts are separated. If it contains a pollinator, we take out the two toothed parts, since on the part of the spikes or teeth there is an accumulation of resin as well as small pieces of weed. On the other hand, the lower chamber where the kief is and the part that contains the filtering mesh are removed, these 2 parts usually only contain trichome traces.
Image of a grinder taking a shower to remove the resin*.
Alcohol to clean the grinder
We prepare a glass with ethyl alcohol or ethanol, introduce all the parts of the grinder in its interior so that they are submerged and wait at least one hour. We will see that the alcohol darkens, that means that it has extracted the resin, so we can remove all the parts of the grinder and give it one last checkup rubbing with the help of a toothbrush or similar, and pour the alcohol on a plate.
Let the alcohol evaporate at room temperature, and when there is nothing left, you can collect the layer of resin that has remained on the plate and consume it as you like.
This method is valid for any type of metallic grinder, also for those that have the shape of a card.
⛳ What is the best way to clean a plastic grinder?
For the cleaning of the plastic grinder we recommend boiling water better than alcohol or other solvents. This is because plastic can release toxic components during that process, and we are healthy people…
In this case, boiling water does not dissolve the resin, but the heat helps enough to soften it so that it takes less to extract it by rubbing. It is a simple method, just put a saucepan with water to boil, and introduce the parts of the grinder you want to clean. Let the boiling water act for a few minutes, turn off the fire, take out the grinder and let it cool a little, enough to catch it and with the help of a cotton swab or toothbrush rub to remove all the dirt. Then rinse with clean water and leave to dry.
This method is useful to clean the plastic grinder in the best way, but it is not good for cleaning a wood grinder as it can deteriorate, nor for a metal grinder because it could rust.
⭐ How can I clean a wood grinder then?
The wood grinder is oneof the most difficult to clean properly, because this material does not allow long-term contact with water, alcohol or any other solvents..
From our point of view, the best way to clean a wood grinder safely is with the help of the freezer. We put the open grinder, with each of the separate parts, and leave it in the freezer for an entire night, or at least 6 hours. Later we take it out and on a baking paper, an aluminum one, or similar, we hit it so that it releases the resin, that when frozen is very easily removed. It is possible that we need the help of a small needle, blade or some gadget with which we can scratch a little by the difficult areas of access.
✨ Can an electric grinder also be cleaned?
Of course you can, at least the parts that get dirtier. The handle usually has all kinds of dirt, so it can not be used to consume. But the bowl and the blades are often get dirty with resin, so let’s try to extract it.
First, the bowl, which can be placed directly in ethyl alcohol, must be disassembled together with the blades to be unscrewed. Once disassembled the blades, we can clean the inner mechanism with a blade or punch, since it is there where the resin accumulates and gradually is blocking the proper working.
Be very careful when reassembling the electric grinder, remember that it contains blades and if it is not assembled well it can be dangerous.
🧐 How can I clean the grinder with milk?
Many customers ask us if it is possible to clean the weed grinder with milk, because they have heard it and it sounds like an urban legend. But the answer is that you can clean it with milk because it contains fats, and as we know, cannabis is liposoluble, that is, it dissolves in fats.
It is ideal to clean the external parts of the grinder first with soap and water as we saw before, as the grinder on the outside gets dirty with anything. Once the outside has been cleaned, heat whole milk in a saucepan, (Better whole milk because it contains more fat) without boiling. Then we put the open grinder, with the pieces separately, in the saucepan with the hot milk. Let it work for at least 10 to 15 minutes, so that all the resin is removed from the grinder and dissolved in the milk.
This psychoactive milk can be consumed directly as tea, or used to prepare other recipes with a touch of weed.
Image of a grinder inside a glass of milk*.
👾 Tips and tricks to better clean the grinder fast
We have seen many people clean their grinder by scratching hard with a metallic object, dry and at room temperature. This can be dangerous, as wood, plastic or metal components may be removed from the grinder during scratching and their gases may end up in our lungs.
The easiest way to clean a grinder is to put it in the freezer when you go to sleep. The next day it is enough to take it out of the freezer and hit it on a hard surface, where we have placed a paper or similar to collect the resin that it releases.
If the grinder is metallic, it can also be cleaned quickly with the help of cola soda. This is also useful to remove the rust that usually comes out in this type of grinder, but the problem is that then you can not use the resin we obtain. The good part is that the grinder looks like a new one, working spectacularly.
The good maintenance of the grinder is important, without allowing it to accumulate much dirt. It is not necessary to clean it thoroughly after each use, but regularly, every 15 days or 1 month, depending on the frequency of use.
If you have any doubt about it you can consult us in the comments below or with an email, and if you liked the article share it so that it reaches more people, thank you in advance.
Do you need to clean your grinder and don't know how to do it? ✅ In this article we review the best ways to clean a grinder made of wood, metal, plastic, etc.