How To Clean Your Grinder

Keeping your smoking tools clean is important if you want a consistently enjoyable smoking experience. This is true of grinders as well: a grinder caked in leftover herbs can get stuck and clog the screen. Here’s a few tips on how to remedy that.

What You’ll Need

-cotton swabs
-isopropyl alcohol
-milk or cream (optional)
-stove top (optional)
-saucepan/pot (optional)

    The Steps

    1. Scrape the screen

      Use a toothpick (or an old makeup brush/toothbrush) to scrape the dried material off of the screen. Start off with the perimeter of rim and then begin to scrape off the screen itself. Periodically slam your grinder screen-side first to knock loose the scrapings. Some people put their grinder in the freezer to make the dried material more brittle and easier to scrape off. You can scrape off the remnants onto a white paper and save it in order to re-use later.

    2. Clean with cotton swab

      Make sure to have multiple swabs if your grinder is especially dirty. Dip your cotton swab in alcohol and use it to clean the inside and outside of your grinder. Start off with the threading around the rim, since it is most likely less dirty than the screen. If there is any hardened material on the threading, scrape it with the toothpick. Once the rim is clean, clean the screen, once again focusing on the perimeter before moving to the screen. Use the toothpick on any loosened material. If there is any buildup around the grinding teeth, swab that as well.

    3. Place in alcohol/milk (Optional)

      This step is optional due to the fact that it requires time and resources. If your grinder is only mildly caked, feel free to ignore it. If your grinder is extremely caked, this might be the only way to continue using it.

      If you haven’t done so, disassemble your grinder. Pour either milk or alcohol into a pot and heat (If you feel boiling is unnecessary/not possible, fill a bag with alcohol and shake it with your grinder inside for 5 min.)  If you’re using milk, steep it (put on low heat) so that you won’t burn the milk. Once the liquid starts to simmer, put in each grinder piece and let sit. Make sure there are no plastic pieces on the grinder, as those could melt. Let the pieces sit for 10 min. If you want to infuse your milk with the leftover herb or make an herb reduction in the alcohol, let the pieces sit for up to 45 min. Once removed from the saucepan, wash your grinder pieces with water and hand wash any leftover material with a rag or your cotton swabs. Rinse off the pieces and reassemble.

    Remember that a grinder can be a lifelong friend if you keep it clean! Happy grinding!