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How to clean your grinder

Treat your grinder to a spa day and it will repay you tenfold

Grinders are the red-headed step-child of cannabis accessories. They are crammed full of weed, slapped together and treated like an obstacle to a good time. They are built tough, but take far more abuse than they should. Unlike pipes, dab rigs, bongs, vaporizers, or even the humble rolling paper, grinders aren’t part of the smoking experience; they are a necessary tool to prepare your weed for the main event. This is why, unlike the aforementioned accessories, no one bothers to clean their grinder. We just accept that the lid jamming, leaving you slamming it on the table repeatedly, is just part of the process. The grinder we are going to be cleaning for this tutorial hasn’t seen a cotton swab in nearly 10 years. Yup, it’s caked on with the remnants of 10 years of bowls and joints – this should be fun.

What You’ll Need

  • Cotton swabs
  • Bong cleaner or isopropyl alcohol
  • Gloves
  • Small bowl or container

Before we dive into cleaning, we’ll start by separating both halves of the grinder and removing the kief catcher.

This particular grinder has definitely seen better days, but hopefully, a good cleaning is all it needs to see many more. If you haven’t cleaned out the kief catcher in a while, it’s a good idea to scrape this out and save it. The higher THC content of the loose trichomes can be a great addition to joints and bowls if you’re looking to get a little extra baked.

Now we can carefully fill our bowl with a cleaning solution. You’ll want a deep bowl for this as we need to make sure we can fully submerge each part of our grinder so it gets a good soaking.

How long you soak your grinder for is going to depend a lot on how long you’ve allowed it to get caked in weed. Since I’ve chosen to wait 10 years, this purple guy is going to sit for at least an hour; partially to allow the cleaner to do its thing, and partially because I am dreading the inevitable elbow grease needed to get it clean. If you don’t have enough room to fully submerge your grinder, giving the bowl a little swirl partway through the soak will ensure that everything gets a good coating.

Once you pull your grinder pieces out of the bowl, they should look significantly better. While we were expecting to put a lot of manual work into wiping everything down, the bong cleaner did a good job of loosening up even the most stubborn bits of weed. 

Using just a few cotton swabs, we had no issue removing the previously caked gunk around the threads connecting the two halves and the kief catcher. 

As with any accessory, the final step is to give each part a good rinse in warm water. This will remove any leftover gunk and cleaning solution. You want to rinse until you no longer see any bubbles and don’t feel any residue left on any of the surfaces. The leftover cleaner will contaminate any weed you put in the grinder, making it unsafe for consumption.

Not all accessories are the same; for more cleaning tips and to keep all your peripherals looking new, catch up on our series below

How to clean your vaporizer
How to clean your bong
How to clean your pipes