Author Michael Fangmeyer
One of the most common annoyances in the Cannabis Community is a dirty/sticky grinder. We cannot stand when it gets tough to grind and pieces of leftover herb stick up a grinder and make it near impossible to grind and enjoy quality cannabis. However, there are quick and simple ways to revive your grinder and even make use of the leftover material without wasting!
Use our complete grinder cleaning guide to save yourself time and money!
Signs You Should Clean Your Weed Grinder
When you should clean your grinder is mostly dependent on how much you use your grinder and how you use it to prepare your herb.
If you grind more heavily and like a more finely ground herb for topping bowls and packing small pieces, you may need to clean your grinder as often as once a week.
If you prefer a more loosely ground herb that is more suitable for rolling up joints (it burns more evenly this way) then you may want to clean your grinder every month or so.
Essentially, if your grinder is making small squeaking noises and has small hard bits of ground up herb stuck to the interior, it needs a good cleaning.
The Grynder by Stache has an innovative design that is meant to reduce the build-up of kief and small pieces of herb while maintaining the quality of the herb. Check out the assorted colors and styles HERE.
Saving the Kief from the Cleaning Process
Before you can salvage the kief, put the dirty grinder in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes. It will make cannabis trichomes brittle and easier to scrape free. Once the grinder is sufficiently chilled/frozen, disassemble the pieces and brush the pieces clean while catching the falling kief somewhere it can be collected and used later. We recommend using a toothpick or toothbrush/pipe cleaner to clean the pieces and avoid damaging the grinder. Collecting onto a rolling tray or similar surface is also recommended.
Kief is like the bread and butter of your cannabis! It is made up of all the active THC compounds and cannabinoids that you are looking for when consuming cannabis. That's why it is important to use a grinder that doesn't strip too much from your herb, and why you should salvage as much as you can when you are cleaning your grinder! It is perfect for adding to a bowl or roll up to take your experience to all new heights!
Solutions for Different Grinder Types
The appropriate cleaning method to use depends on the type of grinder.
Acrylic grinders and Plastic grinders are only safe to clean with warm water and vinegar baking soda blends. Acrylic grinders will melt, and Plastic grinders will deform if the water is too hot. Hard brushes can also damage Acrylic and Plastic models leading to small contaminants to flake from the grinder base. Cotton swabs, tooth picks, and other soft, non-metal tools are recommended for cleaning acrylic and plastic grinders.
Grinder Made From Recycled Materials
Although they are much less common, there are also models that are sometimes made from hemp, or carbon that has been hardened and molded into the shape of a grinder. These models are also susceptible to damage if treated too harshly with brushes or coarse cleaning materials like salt and alcohol, and are also much less durable than a metal grinder.
Here are a few household items we recommend using to clean your metal weed grinder:
Cotton Swabs or Pipe Cleaners
Metal grinders can be cleaned using isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and coarse salt; or simple steam/hot water and some elbow grease with a brush.
The following steps apply only to metal grinders:
5 Steps to Clean Your Metal Grinders
- Before immersing pieces of the grinder into isopropyl alcohol, take a minute or two to give the pieces a thorough hot water wash and then dry them properly. (This should help reduce the amount of necessary isopropyl alcohol.)
- Fill a container or bag with isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt. We recommend a resealable plastic bag that is easily disposed of. Place the pieces that need cleaning into the bag.
- Shake the bag every 10 minutes or so to make sure the pieces are fully soaked and covered and to make sure underlying layers are also soaking.
- Depending on the level of buildup on the pieces, you may need to soak the pieces from anywhere between 20 minutes to over an hour.
- If there is still plant matter/kief remaining, use a brush and/or paper towel to clean the areas until you are satisfied with the results.
WARNING: Do not smoke or consume any material soaked in isopropyl alcohol!
Following these steps every so often will ensure that you are getting the most from your smoking/vaping experience!