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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:

How to clean a grinder – 3 simple steps that will save you hours of time!

Your weed grinder is a necessary part of your cannabis arsenal. You invested money in it at the time of purchase and, when kept in tip-top shape, it functions wonderfully. Cannabis (primo weed) is rife with resin that can create a sticky mess in your grinder. All kinds of debris, dirt, and hair can get clogged in the gears. If you don’t practice an effective cleaning process frequently even the best weed grinder turns into an unsightly, unhygienic mess. Getting all the leftover plant matter, gunk and grit out of the pot grinder returns it to its pristine, like-new condition so you don’t have to be embarrassed when you share a few hits with your buddies. These three simple steps will save you hours of time when you clean your grinder!

Looking for a trusty new grinder that’s worthy of some elbow grease to keep it functioning at top form? We’re suckers for this rasta themed 4-part shredder from Santa Cruz and think you’ll understand why once you give it a go!

Grinders enable us to fully enjoy our herb! Photo: @okie.buds

What is a Grinder?

If you are a newbie to the joys of fresh bud, then you might be in the dark about the handy marijuana grinder. There are metal grinders, acrylic grinders, plastic grinders, stainless steel grinders, each with their own pros and cons. A grinder is made up of varying parts, depending on what type you get (and how much money you want to spend). You may have a simple two-piece grinder, which will consist of the teeth and a lid, or you can have more grinder pieces! Some grinders will have a collection chamber, which can come in handy for storing your ground up buds. Others will have a screen that will sift the ground up flower and collect kief, which is a fun addition to up the potency of whatever you’re hitting.

However many grinder parts you’re working with, the best way to keep them functioning at a high level is to ensure you’ve got a reliable cleaning process.

To begin the grinding process, take your large, luscious buds, place them in a pot grinder, twist, and the device effortlessly breaks your buds into small bits and pieces. By doing this, you’ll enjoy a smooth hit from your bowl every time. Also, the tiny pieces are easier to roll into rolling paper and blunt wraps. There are ways to grind weed without a grinder, but by using a cannabis grinder that’s specifically designed to help shred your precious Mary Jane you’ll get the best sizes and consistency to enjoy lighting up.

A few of our favorite grinders:
Golden Gate Grinders Kozo Herb Grinder Black Tie Grinder Death Star Grinder

Why Clean Your Grinder?

After enough uses, residue will build up and lessen the efficiency of your grinder. Photo: @vaxpuffs

Reasons to clean your grinder:

  • Extends the grinder’s life: If your grinder gets clogged up with gunk it could break sooner.
  • Efficiency: The reason you picked your grinder had to do with its efficiency. It is a nice model that grinds your weed into nice, compact sizes. However, a dirty grinder is hard to work with, as your weed gets stuck in the gears. If the nooks and threads are filled with gunk, then they can’t grind down large pieces. Only a clean herb grinder renders fine herb.
  • Shavings: This is a profoundly sincere consideration! If you have a metal grinder then metal shavings can break loose when the grinder fails to perform properly and end up in your weed. The same goes for acrylic and plastic grinders as well. This poses a serious health risk.
  • Bacteria: Bacteria grows in a dirty environment. You certainly don’t want to smoke bacteria or mold spores which could lead to a serious or potentially deadly lung infection. Stay healthy and clean your grinder!

@Budznbeardz does a great job of summarizing this, too! Check out his video if you prefer to watch and listen rather than read:

The Importance of the Kief Catch

The best grinder for weed also has the benefit of featuring a nice kief catch so you can retrieve the potent resin for later use. The best mechanism, like the sabertooth grinders, are 4 stage grinders; these have a grinding chamber, storage chamber, a pollen screen, and pollen chamber. A 3 stage grinder also has an exceptionally fine screen to hoard the trichomes, but has no storage compartment. You must gather the prime kief out of the grinder and store it someplace else. You can later use the captured dry kief and trichome heads to smoke or vape. If you have enough of it then you can even start making your own rosin, hash, or edibles.

The Best Grinders for Kief

Grinders to Avoid Buying

Understanding Grinder Lingo

When shopping for a grinder, remember that they often call them pollen chambers and do not mention kief. This is the ‘down low’ way to market the grinders which are truly designed for marijuana but being promoted for spices and other herbs.

Get the most out of your buds with a quality grinder! Photo: @thagreenkiwi

How to Use a Grinder?

One of the most crucial factors in keeping a grinder clean and operational is to use the mechanism correctly.

Here are the necessary steps to ensure your bud is properly ground and your grinder lasts you longer. We recommend doing these steps with a paper plate or rolling tray underneath you so you don’t loose any precious bud:

  1. Take off the grinder’s lid. It might unscrew or pop off depending on the model you purchased.
  2. Place your bud into the grinder to the side. Remember, the magnets are in the center of the grinder so the weed will not grind if you place it directly in the middle.
  3. Replace the top of the grinder.
  4. Give the device 10 quick rotations
  5. Take off the lid and look. If some weed remains stuck to the sides, then tap it with the lid.
  6. Unscrew the layer so you can reach the ground up material.
  7. Load your pipe or roll your joint and enjoy.

How to Clean a Kief Screen?

Using Alcohol When Learning How to Clean a Grinder Screen:

  • Take the screen and place it directly in a jar of ISO alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol (ISO) is recommended over rubbing alcohol, as it is safer for human consumption. If you find the kief catcher stuck, then place the grinder into the alcohol to loosen the screen.
  • Move the piece around in the liquid and then let it sit for about five minutes. The kief and trichomes will break away from the screen.
  • Remove the screen from the liquid.
  • Pour the alcohol into a Pyrex bowl and allow it to sit undisturbed.
  • Rinse your kief screen thoroughly. Using a toothbrush will help loosen any remaining residue.
  • The alcohol will evaporate and leave behind the kief. Do not smoke the kief until all alcohol has evaporated.

Few sites are as beautiful as a clean grinder full of freshly ground bud. Photo: @the420goodness

How to Clean a Grinder in 3 Easy Steps

The day has arrived. Your beloved grinder is a sticky, dirty mess. You are wondering how to clean a metal grinder or a wood version. Even a small pen grinder can be cleaned using this quick and easy method. By following the simple steps below regularly, you can avoid the need to deep clean your grinder, which takes longer and is harder on the device.

Here are three effortless steps to clean your grinder:

  1. Take your grinder apart so you can reach every nook and cranny.
  2. Using a soft bristle toothbrush, rub all stick area using a combination of isopropyl alcohol mixed with a pinch of salt. Cotton swabs also come in handy when cleaning.
  3. Place your grinder in the freezer for an hour so that the remaining debris falls away when you scrub it with the toothbrush.

If you have an inexpensive plastic grinder then the alcohol might be overly strong. In such a case, you might want to use simple warm water to clean the grinder in place of alcohol.

Cleaning your grinder properly can have it looking and functioning just like new. @rawthailand

5 Steps on How to Clean a Burr Grinder

Conclusion

Sure, cleaning your grinder is a pain in the rear and probably one of your least enjoyable chores, but if you want to keep grinding with ease it’s an important task to keep up on. A clean weed grinder provides you with optimum hits and extends the device’s lifespan. Please make sure to clean your grinder so you continue to obtain the perfect grind and potent kief accumulation. Who doesn’t want a fresh hit that is filled with flavour?

We also love this video tutorial. Check it out for an alternative way to clean your grinder!

Questions? Comments? Drop them for us below!

Cleaning your weed grinder will help keep it functioning at full speed for a long time! It doesn't have to be a chore, either. We've got three simple steps for you to take so your grinder is running in tip-top shape. Included are some of the reasons for why you want to clean your grinder. Check it out! ]]>