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How to Clean An Herb Grinder?

Sarah Jackson
Published November 19, 2021

After many sessions with hemp flower, it is inevitable for your grinder to get clogged up with sticky resin and other pieces of plant matter. When this happens, the cutting blades will stop rotating efficiently, along with the endless battle of getting the lid unstuck.

Instead of dealing with this nightmare daily, set aside time to learn how to clean an herb grinder properly. In this guide, we will give you step-by-step directions on three different methods to use when cleaning your grinder.

Three Methods for Cleaning Your Grinder

The beauty of grinders is the luxury of not having to clean it as often as other hemp accessories. But after a while, it starts to get stuck and stops working correctly, which means it’s time to wash it. We have three different methods to approach this job.

weed grinder

The first method takes the most time but will preserve the residue for future use, while the second is for those in a time crunch that don’t want to save any plant matter. And lastly, the third method will not only leave your grinder spotless, but it will give you a THC-infused drink. Either route you choose, you will be left with a like-new grinder that works just as it did before. To begin, let’s focus on the ideal approach—method one.

Method 1: Freeze It

In this process, you are going to put the grinder in the freezer before cleaning it. By doing that, you will preserve the incredibly rich, powdery kief for further use. The tools you need for this will include:

  • Freezer

  • Toothpick

  • Soft-bristled brush

  • Plastic bag or glass jar

  • 91% isopropyl alcohol

Step 1: Put Your Grinder in the Freezer

Grab the grinder that needs to be cleaned, and start disassembling it. After you have everything separated, put the leftover plant matter into another bowl on the side. If you have resin or other material stuck to the chamber, don’t worry, you will remove this during the next step.

Step 2: Time to Go in the Freezer

Inside the freezer, you need to lay each piece upright and separate from one another. Leave it in the freezer for 30 minutes minimum.

By putting the grinder in the freezer, the leftover plant residue will start to clump together as it freezes, making removal much easier.

Step 3: Remove the Plant Material

Taking out your grinder from the freezer, it is time to save the kief left behind. Using a toothpick and a brush, start by gently scraping the plant residue from every edge of the grinder pieces. After all the chambers are cleaned and the plant material is set aside, it is time to give it a thorough clean.

Step 4: Bathe It in Alcohol

To bathe your grinder, you can fill up a mason jar or plastic bag with isopropyl alcohol. Then, place each piece into the alcohol, fully submerged. Have it soak for 20 minutes or longer. If you are using a plastic bag, you can occasionally shake it up and down to break away the grime.

Step 5: Clean It Some More

Remove all of the chambers from the alcohol. Using a toothpick, scrub away any stubborn material left behind. This step should be pretty quick.

Step 6: Rinse, Dry, and Grind

We made it to the end! Take the grinder and rinse it under hot water for 30 seconds. Use a clean paper towel or washcloth and dry down each piece, including the grinding teeth. After it has been completely dry, you can put the grinder back together. From here, it should be sparkling while smoothly rotating in each direction.

Method 2: A Quick Alternative

We will admit that the first method does take more time, so if you’re in a time crunch, this alternative may fit you better. In these directions, we will skip the freezers and go straight into washing it. To start, you are going to need:



  • Toothpick

  • Soft-bristled brush

  • Plastic bag or glass jar

  • 91% isopropyl alcohol

  • Toothbrush

Step 1: Disassemble Your Grinder

Start by disassembling and separating each chamber of the grinder. After everything has been divided, dump out the remaining plant matter onto a plate. You can take a toothpick to scrape away any resin you find. But keep in mind, by not freezing it, you won’t be able to save all of the residue.

Step 3: Bathe in Alcohol

Grab a plastic bag or glass jar and fill it with alcohol. Then, fully submerge each piece inside the container for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Step 4: Time to Scrub

Time is up, which means grab your toothbrush and grinder from the alcohol. Laying down everything in front of you, one by one, take the toothbrush and scrape any plant material that you see.

Step 5: Rinse, Dry, and Grind

Once your grinder is polished to perfection, rinse it under hot water. Then, grab a clean rag, and dry it thoroughly. Now, grab some hemp flower and get to grinding!

Method 3: Cleaning Your Grinder with Milk

There is nothing worse than wasted material that could have been used for future use. Instead of cleaning herb grinders with alcohol or the freezing method, we have the easiest way to save those powerful particles while also not taking too much of your time—THC-infused milk.

In this method, you will place your metal grinder in milk and let it boil. After it has been there for a sufficient amount of time, you will not only have a spotless grinder but a refreshing drink afterward, too! This brilliant hack only needs three tools:

  • A dirty grinder

  • A cooking pot

  • Milk

Step 1: Fill the Pot with Milk

Grab any pot in your kitchen and fill it up until it is enough to cover the grinder. For this recipe, we use milk, but you can use similar liquids such as almond milk, soy milk, etc. Once you decide the drink to make, submerge your grinder with it in the pot.

Step 2: Let it Reach A Mild Boil

Set the burner on medium-high heat, wait until it reaches a mild boil. Once it has, set a timer for 20 minutes and watch as the resin begins to decarboxylate and remove itself from the grinder.

NOTE: You do not want to put the heat too high. Doing this will result in the milk evaporating too quickly, which could end up leaving you with a sticky grinder. Don’t rush the process.

Step 3: Grab a Glass

After boiling grinder in milk, carefully set it on a towel and grab a glass. Pouring the leftover milk, you are left with THC infused drink, along with a clean ‘weed’ grinder. Going this route is ideal for those who don’t want the plant material to go to waste but also don’t want to spend the time scraping it.

Takeaway

We can all agree that there is nothing as satisfying as using a freshly washed grinder. While this task is easy to place on the back-burner, we have shown you different methods to maintain your grinder based on the amount of time and effort you are willing to spend. Hopefully, at the end of this guide, you have found that learning how to clean a sticky grinder isn’t too difficult after all.

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