Weed grinders are really useful for breaking up dry cannabis to use in a vaporizer. With a grinder, you can break your herb into small, uniform pieces that vaporize at an even rate. To get the most from your grinder, you need to remember to clean it regularly.
Why you should clean your weed grinder
A clean grinder not only provides a better vaporizing experience, it’s also important for health reasons. You should clean your grinder at least every few months because damp cannabis can cause mold to grow inside.
Cleaning your grinder also helps it work more smoothly. There are lots of small, moving parts in a grinder, and sticky cannabis can cling to them over time. Regular cleanings ensure your equipment works well for as long as possible.
Another reason to clean your grinder is to ensure that flavors are as pure as possible. Most connoisseurs like to experiment with different cannabis strains, finding the right type for their mood. However, if your grinder's dirty, it's easy to get residue from old batches mixed in with your new cannabis.
Supplies for cleaning your weed grinder
- A soft-bristled brush: A small paintbrush works great. You can also use a very soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Cleaning fluid: For metal grinders, use isopropyl rubbing alcohol. If you have a grinder made from plastic or acrylic, standard dishwashing liquid is fine.
- A multitool, needle-nose tweezers, or a toothpick: You'll need something with a small, narrow point to get in tiny crevices and remove residue.
- A tray or plate: Clean your grinder over something large and flat, like a rolling tray, paper plate, or cutting board. This will catch any loose kief while you clean.
- Hot water: For acrylic and plastic grinders, you can boil them to loosen any stuck-on grime.
- A freezer (optional): Freezing your grinder can make it easier to remove sticky residue.
How to clean a weed grinder in 4 steps
Once you've got all your tools, it's time to begin. Double-check the manufacturer's instructions to see if your grinder has any specific cleaning requirements, and follow this guide for how to clean a grinder.
1. Take apart your grinder
To get into all the crevices of your grinder, you need to take it apart. Depending on the grinder, this can be simple or tricky. Some grinders break apart into just two pieces: a grinding bowl and a lid. However, there are also four-piece versions with a kief collection chamber. If you've never disassembled your grinder, make sure you check the manufacturer's instructions to see how it's done.
Pro Tip: After disassembly, put all the pieces in the freezer for around half an hour. This turns sticky cannabis into a firmer material that flakes right off the grinder. Just be cautious with plastic grinders since they can get brittle in the freezer.
2. Start removing cannabis residue
Hold your grinder over your tray or plate and start removing plant residue. There are all sorts of ways to do this. Many people begin by lightly tapping the grinder on the tray. They use a small brush to start cleaning the grinder teeth and the kief screen. If you notice any small pieces stuck in the grinder, use your multitool or toothpick to gently poke them out.
Pro Tip: Save the material that comes off your grinder. It contains a lot of kief. These sticky little crystals on cannabis contain a lot of cannabinoids. They break off easily during grinding and tend to stick in tiny corners. Vaporizing the kief residue can provide a very intense experience.
3. Clean each part with a cleaner
After removing all the visible residue, you can give your grinder a deeper clean. The best cleaning agent depends on your grinder material. For metal grinders, try soaking the parts in rubbing alcohol for 30 minutes. If you have an acrylic or a plastic grinder, you can just scrub the parts with hot water and soap.
Pro Tip: For acrylic or plastic grinders, putting them in a pot of hot water and simmering on low heat for 10 minutes can help clean the grinder further. Just avoid a high boil that can damage the plastic. And always practice cooking safety when boiling water. Use tongs and a towel to handle the hot items until they cool.
4. Put your grinder back together
After you finish step 3, the hard part's over. Gently pat your components dry with a towel, and then let them air-dry further. Once everything's thoroughly dry, reassemble the pieces and enjoy how smoothly your grinder turns now.