A grinder is one of the handiest tools in a pot smoker’s toolbox. It’s probably one of the most frequently used tools, too. It lets you grind down your bud into super-fine shake that you can use to roll a perfect joint or a tasty bowl that will burn evenly, improving your enjoyment – and your high.
If you’ve ever opened up your grinder before, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen the beautiful, super-sticky goodness – the kief – that gets trapped in between the blades. There’s no doubt that you’ve wondered if there were way that you could access that delightful kief so that you can add it to your next water bong or bowl pack, or sprinkle it on top of your next joint.
Of course, you also need to clean out your grinder so that you can continue using it because after a while, when that sticky stuff gets stuck in between the blades, using your grinder can get pretty tough; not to mention unsanitary.
So, how do you go about cleaning a grinder? Sure, you could just toss it into the sink and run some soapy watery over it, but then that delightfully potent kief will just get washed down the drain! No worries! We’ve found the perfect solution! Keep on reading to find out how you can clean your grinder and preserve the terpenes for future use.
What’s a Grinder, Anyway?
For those of you who already know what a grinder is, you can skip over this part; however, this article is intended for all, so if you’ve never used one before, you might be wondering exactly what a grinder is. Let us explain.
Before you consume your ganja, you first need to grind it up. You could take the time to do it the old-fashioned way and painstakingly tear it apart with a small pair of scissors and your hands, or you can use a grinder.
A grinder is a small, round tool that’s powered by hand that is used to tear up cannabis and reduce it to a smaller, more uniform size so that it is ready to be consumed. The tool features two pieces – a top and a bottom – and each piece is equipped with a collection of smoothed or super-sharp teeth, which are fitted along the interior of the device. The teeth are perfectly sized and evenly spaced so that the device will place pressure on the material that has been placed inside without completely crushing it, rendering it unusable.
To use the a grinder, just fill it with bud, close it (make sure it’s well-secured), grab the top half with one hand and the bottom half with the other, and start rotating it. As it rotates, the teeth inside will breakdown the weed. When you open it up, you’ll have perfectly ground ganja that you can sprinkle into a rolling paper, place in a bowl, set into the slide of a bong, or even use to make cannabutter or cannabis oil that can then be used to make a variety of different edibles.
If you are in the market for a quality cannabis grinder we’ve got you covered with this hand-grinder guide. If you’re looking to grind up LARGE quantities of cannabis flower then this commercial-grade grinder guide is better for you.
How do You Clean a Marijuana Grinder?
When you’re grinding the weed, it’s pretty much guaranteed that little bits and pieces of the plant material will collect on and in between the teeth inside the tool; the stick materials from your ganja, like the resin and trichomes, in particular, which are super-valuable.
That stuff that gets trapped on top of and in between the teeth can be pretty sticky, and while there’s no doubt that you’re a fan of the sticky green stuff, it can really gunk up a grinder. After a while, that gunk can become so build-up that the tool can be rendered useless.
Of course, all of that plant matter that’s clogging up the works, it isn’t trash; the plant material is packed with tons of potent THC and cannabinoids, so you really don’t want to just wash it down the drain or toss it into the trash can when your grinder needs to be cleaned.
So, how do you go about cleaning your grinder so that you can continue using it to grind your weed and save the plant matter that’s jamming it up? Here are some tips to follow:
First, you’ll want to collect the materials that will be needed to clean out the potent plant matter that’s clogging up the works. Those materials include the following:
- A clean, small, soft-bristled brush (even a new paintbrush or makeup brush would be perfect)
- A plate or a bowl
- A small, clean stiff brush, such as a new toothbrush
- Isopropyl alcohol
- A clean glass jar or a zip-top baggie
- Clean water
- A clean towel
Cleaning Your Grinder
Once you have all of your tools and supplies assembled, it’s time to start cleaning your grinder. We’re going to share two different methods that you can use:
The Rapid Clean
- Take your grinder apart; all pieces that can be should be disassembled
- Dump out any plant material that you can; gently tap it on a hard surface to loosen it
- Use your soft-bristled brush to brush off any plant matter that’s trapped on and in-between the teeth of your grinder
- Preserve the plant material in the glass jar or zip-top bag
- Place your grinder in a bowl and pour the alcohol over the interior. Make sure that the teeth are fully submerged
- Let the grinder soak for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while to help break off some of the residue.
- Remove the grinder from the alcohol and scrub it down with the hard-bristled brush. Make sure you scrub each chamber, paying extra attention to the areas in between the teeth and the teeth themselves.
- Rinse out and dry the grinder. Run all of the components under warm water and thoroughly rinse off the gunk and the alcohol.
- Dry the grinder. Set it on top of a clean towel and let it air-dry, or use the towel to hand-dry.
- Make sure all of the components are completely dry before you reassemble and reuse your grinder.
The Slow Soak Clean
As above, make sure your kief catcher is completely empty if you have a 4 or 5-piece grinder, then disassemble the entire thing and rinse off any dry debris in the sink
- Place grinder components in a glass container with a lip height tall enough to fully submerge all parts
- Mix a solution of a couple tablespoons of alcohol, 4-5 drops of mint essential oil, a shot of vinegar, and a squirt of dish soap in a glass container
- Add hot water to the alcohol, mint, vinegar and soap mix fully submerging the components of the grinder
- Wait overnight
- Drain cleaning solution (or if you have a larger enough bottle you can safe it for multiple uses)
- Rinse off the grinder pieces with tap water
- Let pieces fully dry before re-assembly
Pro Tip: The above listed cleaning solution will also work wonders for water pipes or hand pipes that have caked on sticky residue that won’t come off with normal soap/water washing.
Herb SEO Summary
Do you have to clean your grinder after every time you use it? Hell no. Must you clean it weekly? That is also probably not necessary. Monthly? Perhaps, depending on if you’re using it every day and how much flower is passing through the grinder.
Generally we clean our grinder twice a year, based off how much cannabis we are consuming, which isn’t as much as some big lungs out there, it literally takes about 6 months to build up enough kief worth “harvesting”.
Nonetheless cleaning twice a year not only ensures that your kief filtering screen stays clean and uh, still functions as a sieve, but more importantly, cleaning will get rid of the myriad of bacteria that can build up in and on the grinder over frequent use.
Think about it, how often do you wash your hands before you use your grinder? How many other people have touched it? Do you want to be putting weed ground with essentially a public doorknobs worth of bacteria in your bowl?
Ultimately the call is yours as to how often you clean ANYTHING you own, and we obviously all have varying levels of cleanliness standards but just keep in mind, germs spread through frequently touched objects and if you’re touching a dirty grinder and rolling papers/bongs/pipes it’s almost assured that those same germs will be coming in contact with your mouth.