How to Clean a Weed Grinder?

Grinding your weed is a great way to enjoy a consistent burn, and maximize your herb’s efficiency. There are several ways to grind your weed such as with a knife and cutting board or simply with your two hands, but using a specialized herb grinder is arguably the best option to break up your buds into smaller, easy to smoke pieces.

A weed grinder, just like any other tool you would use needs regular maintenance to deliver optimal performance. Herb grinders don’t have be cleaned as often as pipes, but should be done periodically to maintain sharpness and efficiency.

Apart from longevity and performance of your grinder, another great reason to clean your grinder is to prevent the onset of mold, which generally occurs when you store your herb in dark, warm place for a while, and forget about it.

Moldy cannabis can be harmful to your overall health, and can exacerbate your symptoms if you suffer from certain ailments such as asthma or allergies. That said, here are a few ways to clean your weed grinder.

Types of Weed Grinders

Before learning how to clean a weed grinder, it helps knowing the different types available, so that you can decide on the best cleaning solution. The first, simplest and most common type is a single chamber grinder that is fitted with metal grinding teeth, and a lid that can be secured in place.

The underside of the lid is also fitted with teeth, which work together with the teeth in the main chamber to grind the weed. Using a single chamber weed grinder is straightforward, where you press some nugs down into the chamber with the grinding teeth, secure the lid, and twist.

The best type of weed grinder apart from the single chamber design is one that functions in the same way, but comes with a few more chambers stacked over each other. Just like single chamber weed grinders, place the herb in the top chamber that contains the grinding teeth, secure the lid, and start twisting.

Under the top grinding chamber lies a mesh screen, through which the ground herbs fall, and then accumulate into the bottom chamber. This is where you can access your ground up herb by simply removing the chamber, and emptying out the herb.

The mesh screen with multi-chamber weed grinders is great if you’re looking to make powdery kief. Some grinders even come with two or more screens to separate the ultrafine grains of kief from the larger grains of kief.

Then there are weed grinders use rotating blades rather than teeth to grind the herb, which are a good choice if you’re looking for a more consistent final product.

Clean Weed Grinder Before First Use

Just like cleaning your brand-new kitchen utensils before first use, it is good practice to do the same with your weed grinder. Cleaning your weed grinder before first use can be done easily by using some isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and some cotton buds or a toothbrush to clean between the grooves.

How often you should clean your herb grinder depends on how often you use it, but a clan grinder will offer better performance, and not stick during the grinding process. Another big reason to clean your grinder after each use is to collect the residue left over from the grinding process.

Different grinders need different type of cleaning treatments, so it is best to follow the manufacturer cleaning guidelines in the owner’s manual. While most grinders can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol, those made from ceramic can be effectively cleaned using regular detergent and hot water.

Things You Will Need to Clean a Weed Grinder

  • Dish soap (for acrylic and plastic grinders)
  • Isopropyl alcohol (for metal grinders)
  • Hot water
  • Large plate or plastic cutting board
  • Container to collect the kief
  • Toothbrush or soft paintbrush
  • Toothpick, metal pick, or dab tool
  • Freezer (optional but highly recommended)

Regardless of the type of grinder you have — plastic or metal, you first need to dismantle it to separate each chamber of your grinder, and then use the brush to begin cleaning. During this stage, your goal is to remove the residue (kief), and collect it in a container for future use.

This next step is optional, but it does make the cleaning process a whole lot easier. Place all the pieces of your grinder into a freeze-safe container, and then place it in your freezer for roughly 30 minutes. Placing the weed grinder in the freezer helps loosen up the sticky plant matter that’s clinging on to the surface of your grinder.

After removing the grinder parts from the freezer, hold them over a flat surface such as a large plate or cutting board, and tap each one gently to dislodge every last bit of herb. Next, brush all the parts with a toothbrush to get rid of the stubborn gunk.

How to Clean a Metal Grinder?

You will need to use rubbing alcohol to clean a metal weed grinder, because metal tends to rust when exposed to water.

1. Start by gently brushing or rinsing your weed grinder with the rubbing alcohol. You should ideally do this over a sink for easy cleaning. The rubbing alcohol will further loosen any plant material that’s stuck to the interior of the grinder.

2. Now, use a small toothpick to get rid of any small traces of plant material.

3. Grab a small bowl, fill it with rubbing alcohol, and submerge the pieces in it until a liquid turns a light brown color. Remove the parts, and voila — you’ve got a sparkling clean weed grinder.

How to Clean a Plastic Weed Grinder?

Plastic tends to warp, dissolve or degrade when exposed to rubbing alcohol, so you will have to use water to clean a plastic weed grinder.

1. First, boil some hot water in a fairly large bowl or one that can fit all the components of the grinder comfortably.

2. Submerge the grinder sections in the hot water, and soak them for roughly 10 minutes.

3. Remove the grinder parts from the water, and then let them dry and cool completely. Check each part thoroughly to ensure that they are free from plant material. Use a toothpick to remove any leftover stubborn plant material.

How to Clean a Wood Grinder?

Remember, wood is a natural product, so you can’t really get it wet with water or use rubbing alcohol. What you can do instead is use a toothpick to loosen up as much of the organic matter as you can, and use a slightly damp cloth to wipe down each individual part. For better longevity of your wood grinder, you can apply a coat of canola or vegetable oil to the exterior.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning your grinder is a great way to ensure that you’re smoking clean herb, and for better service life. Once cleaned well, your grinder will work smoothly, and you will have to put in less effort to achieve finely ground flower.

Even though it is best to quick clean your grinder every couple times you use it, you should deep clean it every 30 to 60 days. You should also store your grinder in a case when not in use to keep it free from dust and damage.  

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