We’ve discussed the numerous benefits of using a grinder to prepare your cannabis and that it should be a part of any weedist’s toolkit. A grinder, like other cannabis paraphernalia we use, should be kept clean and well-maintained for efficiency, health and presentation purposes.
When is It Time to Clean My Grinder
The good news is that grinders don’t need to be cleaned anywhere near as frequently as the paraphernalia we use to consume marijuana: pipes, bongs, stems / slides, or whips.
Remember how easily your grinder first turned and the rate at which kief built up in the catcher? If pieces of bud are getting stuck in the grinder’s teeth or if your kief screen/filter is getting clogged, it’s time for some cleaning.
Keeping the grinder’s teeth free of plant matter is much quicker and simpler than cleaning the entire grinder, so this should be done regularly as needed. In my experience, buds tend to get stuck less often on the teeth if you place your cannabis on the outer part of the teeth (versus placing in the inner circle).
This article assumes you are using the Weedist recommended aluminum or titanium, 3 or 4 piece grinder. 2 piece grinders will not capture and store kief for you, which is one of the few actual cannabis crimes I’d entertain in the penal code!
How to Clean My Grinder
What You’ll Need to Clean Your Grinder
- Paper plate or sheet of paper
- Freezer (optional)
- Cleaning Tools (use whatever tool(s) you prefer)
- Isopropyl rubbing alcohol (I use 91% +)
- Glass container (large enough to fit and soak the largest piece of your grinder, I avoid using plastic containers)
- Sink with hot water
- Paper and/or dish towels
- Hairdryer (optional)
Instructions to Clean Your Grinder
- Optional: Place your grinder in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to help loosen up the plant materials.
- Close your grinder, tap/bump it on both sides and shake vigorously.
- Gently empty each grinder piece onto your paper plate by tapping or using a tool to guide, to collect as much kief and shake as possible.
- Use your pointier Cleaning Tool(s) (i.e. toothpick or 3 piece pipe tool) over your paper plate to save that kief and shake. Go around the teeth, grooves, nooks and crannies of each grinder piece.
- Do not use sharp Cleaning Tools on the kief screen (#3 in above picture) that can damage it! You should clean the around the metal ring where the screen meets the metal, but do not scrape the actual mesh screen with anything that can damage it.
- Extremely gently use a non-sharp-edged Cleaning Tool (i.e. toothbrush) over your paper plate to get and save as much kief off the screen as possible. Do not risk tearing or denting the kief screen.
- Soak each grinder piece in a glass container full of the rubbing alcohol for 5-10 minutes.
- Use Q-tips on each grinder piece to get rid of any remaining plant matter. Dip the Q-tips in rubbing alcohol if necessary.
- Rinse each grinder piece under hot water and lay them on a clean towel.
- Blot each grinder piece dry with a towel and let thoroughly dry before putting it back together. If you’re jonesing to use it asap, you can briefly use a hairdryer.
Bonus Points: I’ve read that some people pour the used rubbing alcohol into a glass dish afterwards and wait for it to evaporate. You’ll be left with some extra kief and shake that is supposedly completely fine to smoke. I’m not that hard up for cannabis, but I’d love to hear what people’s success have been with this.