How to Clean An Herb Grinder
Herb grinders are staple tools for any serious smoker. And when you’re serious about your tools (and your herb), keeping equipment clean is a matter of respect and crucial for flawless operation.
To clean your grinder, you’ll need: Wooden toothpicks or skewers, a small paintbrush or toothbrush, isopropyl alcohol for metal grinders and/or soapy water for acrylic/wooden grinders, cotton swabs (we recommend Tip Tech but any will do), paper towels and/or parchment paper, and a container big enough to submerge the grinder.
Cleaning an herb grinder depends on a couple of things, like what it’s made of and how many pieces it has. Beyond that, the goal is the same: To remove plant matter where sticky resin has built up on the grinder, creating more friction and less efficiency.
Hand grinders come in two or more pieces. Two piece grinders don’t collect kief (the dust of tasty trichomes that fall from the leaves of ground herb), but multi-piece grinders usually do. In 3, 4 or 5-piece grinders, there’s a fine mesh screen over a collection chamber where kief piles up over time.
NOTE: You’ll want to empty the kief chamber onto parchment paper before Step 1.
- Step 1: Put grinder into freezer for 20 mins.
- Step 2: Place paper towel or parchment paper on hard surface.
- Step 3: Remove grinder from freezer. Disassemble all pieces.
- Step 4: Smack each piece of the grinder on the paper, collecting any debris.
NOTE: Don’t throw away the debris! It can be added to the kief, processed into hash and smoked.
- Step 5: Use wooden toothpicks to clean all nooks and crannies of debris and resin.
- Step 6: Break wooden pick in half, use flat end to gently clean screen.
- Step 7: Submerge all pieces in alcohol for 3 minutes.
NOTE: Acrylic or wood grinders should use soapy water instead.
- Step 8: Use alcohol, cotton swabs, brush and/or paper towels to remove remaining resin.
- Step 9: Allow all pieces to air dry.
- Step 10: Reassemble grinder, clean up.
FOLLOW UP NOTES: Although soaking plastic or wooden grinders in alcohol is not recommended because it can weaken those materials with prolonged contact, you can usually use cotton swabs soaked in alcohol for spot cleaning them. Alcohol is often the only way to effectively and quickly remove caked-on, resinous material. Alcohol works best on non-porous surfaces like metal and glass.
Keeping your grinder clean will make sure it twists as easy at it did the first time. If you develop regular maintenance for your tools, they can perform even better than new as they are broken in over time.
Take care of your tools, and they’ll take care of you.