How to Clean an Herb Grinder

How to Clean an Herb Grinder

How to Clean an Herb Grinder


Remember when you were a kid?  Seems like in every other show, the hero was getting caught in quicksand.  It was a recurring conundrum, seemed like.


Turns out quicksand isn’t that big of an obstacle in adult life.


Unless you’re an herbal enthusiast; then it’s an ongoing reality.  Grinders gumming up is the nemesis of superheroes who smoke.


So what’s a proactive protagonist to do?


The Proper Way to Clean an Herb Grinder


To start with a clean slate, we have to assume that you have a grinder that currently stuck in the quicksand, grinding in slow motion.  So we have to get that sucker sparkly clean and spinning like a top first.


For this feat, we’ll need the following:

  1. (Maybe) some toothpicks
  2. A toothbrush or some q-tips
  3. A solvent: Isopropyl alcohol, Everclear or some type or food-safe oil
  4. Soap & Water
  5. A hairdryer

The toothpicks we’ll use for removing any large chunks of herbal material that has wedged itself into any nooks and crannies between the teeth, magnets, or around the outside edges.


Next, we’ll use the toothbrush or q-tips for a dry brushing of the -- fully disassembled -- grinder.  This will remove any loose material, helping the solvent to work as quickly as possible in the next step.


Step 3 needs a word of caution.  Using any kind of solvent on a plastic or acrylic grinder is not advised.  Clean those types of grinders with water and dish soap only. Then invest in a high quality metal grinder, just saying.


There are two different schools of thought on how to apply the solvent.  One camp says to put a small amount of solvent in a (glass or metal) container, dunk the q-tips or toothbrush in it, and paint the surfaces of the grinder.  


The other camp says to pull out the heavy artillery, get a big ol’ container, fill it up with solvent, and submerge the entire grinder in that bad boy.  This lets the solvent do all the work, but is also requires a lot more of it to do the job.


Once the residue has all been removed, wash everything with soap and water.  Then use the hairdryer to accelerate the drying process.


How to Prevent Grinder Gumming Up


And now we have a smooth-operating herb grinder.  Good as new, unless you notice that the teeth are showing wear.  


If the teeth are showing signs of wear, then you’ll want to consider replacing your grinder.


Wait, what?!  Think about it.  If there is metal missing from your grinder’s teeth, where did those tiny metal pieces go?  It wound up in your herb. Inhaling metal is bad news, so please do yourself a favor and toss that one in favor of a higher quality model.


If your grinder still has a full set of teeth and doesn’t look like it came straight out of The Hills Have Eyes, we can proceed.


Non-stick cooking spray.  You know, the stuff you use to keep cookies from sticking to the tray.  


Yep, it also works on grinders.  Apply a light coating and enjoy!