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How To Clean A Grinder

February 16, 2022 8 min read

How To Clean A Grinder 2

One of the most overlooked weed accessories is a grinder and that includes knowing how to clean a grinder. Seriously, when was the last time you cleaned your grinder? Probably not any time recently that you can remember, and that is the point. When you don’t know how to clean a grinder screen or just do not want to learn how to clean out a grinder, you will need to learn anyway if you are investing into a solid weed grinder since it should be cleaned regularly. If you have not done so already, grab thebest grinders and be a responsible cannabis user and clean your cannabis products properly! Don’t sweat it, here’s a how to while saving as much kief as you can while you’re at it.

What is a grinder?

If you are new to the cannabis world you are probably overwhelmed with too many options for a weed grinder and do not know where to even begin. Don’t fret, you have come to the right place where we will break it all the way down on the parts of a grinder and how to clean each part while still utilizing that good old kief that we know and love. 

Parts of a grinder

How To Clean A Grinder 3

The parts of a grinder can be confusing if you are new here, and if you are a full blown stoner veteran please be patient with the breakdown and remember when you were also a rookie in the ganja game and still learning the ins and outs. Regardless, here is a refresher on the parts of a grinder that are important to know. Here is what a four-part grinder setup looks like:


  • Grinder lid. The lid of the grinder sits at the top and covers the space where you place your weed nugs then cover and twist to grind. The lid has teeth on it and intersects with the bottom grinding section to create that rip and tear for grinding.
  • Grinding section. This is the section that holds the teeth of the grinder, aka the method that grinds the weed when you twist. 
  • Grinder storage chamber. This is where the grinded weed falls and when you open it, it feels like seeing and smelling fresh snowfall on Christmas every time!
  • Kief catcher. This is one of the reasons longtime stoners do not clean their grinders because they are building up their kief collection. While this holds truth to it, the kief section can be safe from cleaning and set to the side during cleaning so that it can continue to build up and be used for a special occasion. If you do not know what kief is, it is the dust of trichomes in your weed that is very potent and when sprinkled over a joint you are amplifying your high to the max which is why it is usually saved for special occasions or celebrations!

  • Types of grinders

    There are many different types of grinders and it is important to know which type you own so you can handle and care for properly depending on the material. Usually there are metal grinders, plastic or acrylic grinders. For the most part, a metal grinder is preferred because it lasts extremely long and especially when there is a cleaning process in place. The grindin chamber tends to be less sticky as compared to a plastic or acrylic grinder that can naturally create that buildup with too much grinding. 

    How To Clean A Grinder 3

    How to clean a weed grinder

    As time goes on you’ll find it increasingly difficult to grind weed with a grinder that has not been cleaned in a while. This is because leftover plant matter, trap kief and other parts of the cannabis plant like stems can accumulate over time. You’ll notice that the grinder teeth become sticky and that is your biggest sign your grinder needs a good cleaning. It is important to note that it is important to notice these things because you can actually damage plastic grinders if you let it go on for too long it will no longer be functional. 


    First and foremost, you’ll want to gather all supplies when learning how to clean a herb grinder. Since this is not a process many want to be part of anyway, the more you fast track the steps the easier it will be to stop dreading the actual act and like Nike, just do it. 


    How to clean a metal grinder 

    When learning how to clean a metal grinder, you will learn that you do not need to be gentle. It actuallyneeds a good scrubbing so put on some gloves or be prepared to get your hands dirty! Here’s a list of things you need to clean your metal grinder:

    • Dirty grinder
    • Paper towel
    • Solvent based cleaning solutions
    • Soft bristled brush
    • Ziploc bag
    • Large glass dish
    • Boiling water
    • Dish soap

    This might look like a lot but these are usually items you already have in any typical household! Besides the solvent based cleaning solutions, you should be able to find the rest of the supplies in the kitchen or bathroom. If you don’t have these, ask a neighbor or grab on your next trip to the Dollar Tree - even though it is $1.25 now it is still cheaper than most places and no need to splurge on these products.

    1. Disassemble your dirty grinder. This is usually into four parts if it is part of a four-part chamber or you get the deal. This is the step where you scrape as much kief out as you can or set to the side completely if you are not trying to mess with that section. Remove any other leftover plant material like stems that are wedged in etc.
    2. Place the grinder parts into a ziploc bag or large glass dish and pour the rubbing alcohol into it. You will let this mixture sit for about 30 minutes while occasionally shaking to get any solid matter that might have built up over time. 
    3. When time is up you will remove the parts of the grinder one by one and get to scrubbing. This is the part you need to pay attention to because it is what will ensure a good and proper grinder cleaning, so use a good brush or rotate between that and a stiff brush to remove any plant material that did not dissolve in the previous step. You can also use dish soap during this step as it can help remove the rubbing alcohol smell.

    How to clean a sticky grinder

    For a true deep cleaning and knowing how to clean a grinder, you only need to do this if you are needing to know how to clean a sticky grinder and make it look brand spanking new. There are a few extra steps and supplies that come with this deep cleaning method but it works and will still help you save all the kief you’ve been working hard and literally grinding for. You’ll need toothpicks and a freezer for this method, possibly more brushes that are a mixture of soft and stiff to get a better cleaning.

    1. Freeze your grinder. Putting your grinder in the freezer for about 30 minutes will help the plant material to lift up and off of the sticky grinder hard surface. This helps when working with sticky grinders because the grinder in the freezer makes your job easier and there is no need to put your scrubbing skills to the test during deep cleaning! The compressed trichomes will lift easily for you in frozen temperatures and speed up the cleaning process. 
    2. Remove the grinder from the freezer. If the grinder stays frozen it will be easiest to scrape out the remaining plant material that is left in there prior to getting it wet with the alcohol and warm water. This is the step to also use your various brushes and this is how to clean a grinder screen properly. Feel free to use an old makeup brush that is best for this type of job that needs a gentle cleaning when it comes to a lean grinder screen and avoid bending.
    3. Rinse the alcohol out with warm water and scrub with water and a little dish soap if necessary. Wipe down with a paper towel and you are good to go!

    How to clean a grinder screen

    If you are needing a more in depth guide of how to clean a grinder screen, it is a lot easier than you think you just need the right tools. You do not need to go out and buy these tools and they are usually found in your house or through a friend. For a good routine cleaning you’ll need makeup brushes for your metal grinders since the screens can be sensitive and bendable. You can also use a soft paintbrush for a basic clean. 

    The grinding process does not depend on this part of the marijuana grinder, but it is important to clean this part out to get a good grinder clean and a clear pathway to the kief chamber. There is a lot of valuable THC in this section so making sure it is completely dry and clear of remaining particles is important to preserving the best parts of the ganja plant.

    How to clean a herb grinder

    When you have too much plant matter built up in your weed grinder it will become very difficult to continue using and can even interfere with its longevity. An herb grinder can have many grinder pieces that get solid matter stuck and need a deep clean. Using supplies from around the house like a walk in freezer, stiff bristled brush, enough isopropyl alcohol to clean your grinder and a flat surface, you can learn how to deep clean weed grinders with a good grinder soak no matter how sticky of a situation some solid matter stuck can do to you. There’s no worse feeling than trying to use plastic grinders or your weed grinder in general and not being able to because it is too filled up! 


    Be sure to add in some isopropyl alcohol to your grinders to get rid of any plant matter that does not need to be there anymore and let the grinder soak as long as you can before scrubbing. The grinding chamber is what to pay attention to since the grinding chamber is what gets the most buildup, and this guarantees you will know how to clean a grinder in no time once you get this step down! Any leftover plant matter will be saved and gone, you will know how to properly clean a grinder and your herb grinder will be grateful and pay you back in abundance. Weed grinders are a blessing to have and we often take them for granted because we barely think about them. But when you truly reflect on its meaning and usage, you really can’t do half of your stoner activities without it! The time is now to give thanks and gratitude towards grinder pieces and leftover plant matter in general that gives us nicely shredded weed whenever we need it. The least we can do is take care of it occasionally!

    Grinders do not need to be cleaned as regularly as bongs do, but this does not mean that you can’t clean it out when you are cleaning your bongs since they essentially use the same supplies. It is in your own right to make your highly customized stoner self care routine but we highly encourage you to add in cleaning your grinders so you can truly utilize all plant matter with a clear pathway. 

    A clean grinder is a healthy grinder which makes for a healthier you! Whether you are dealing with a plastic grinder, kief chamber, any grinder in general please keep in mind that the more you clean your grinder the less work it will be to clean your grinder as time goes on. The way you clean your grinder and other weed accessories shows how well you take care of yourself and the weed will return that act of kindness with some finely shredded cannabis flowers from a clean grinder. 


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