How To Clean A Grinder (Weed Grinder)

Cleaning a weed grinder is a must if you want to keep enjoying your grinder on the long term. Why buy an expensive, luxurious grinder, and then not maintain it? Cleaning your weed grinder is easy, cheap and very rewarding. In this guide we will discuss how to clean a grinder properly, and what NOT to do. 


Cleaning a weed grinder before first use

Should you clean a new grinder before first use? In most cases, no. But does it hurt? No! If you want to be on the safe side (i.e. not consuming any chemicals used in the production process of your grinder), just give it a good clean before using it for the first time. If you don't have anything to clean it, simply rinse it with some water, let it dry and in most cases this will be more than sufficient.

Cleaning the grinder screen

The part of your herb grinder that often requires the most attention is the screen. Clean your grinder screen regularly to maximize the collection of kief (trichomes). How to clean the grinder screen, you ask? Simple! There are various ways to clean your grinder (screen), and there is not a single right way. We discuss the different options in the next paragraph.

We prefer to use grinder cleaner (by Black Leaf). This is 100% safe to use, leaves no funky flavours, and gets your grinder looking like new again.


What can I use to clean my herb grinder?

There's various products you can use to clean your grinder, and not everyone agrees on what is the best option. It also depends very much on the material of your grinder. If you have a titanium grinder, you can use different products than when you have an acrylic or wooden grinder. 

Whatever product it is you want to use for cleaning your weed grinder, it's always a good idea to use a bong cleaning brush to safely remove any dirt or residues.


Cleaning your grinder with (hot) water

Perhaps the safest way to clean your (metal) grinder is by using hot water. You can even use boiling water to clean aluminium and titanium grinders. But be sure not to clean your acrylic grinder with hot or even boiling water, because it can deform or even melt! Most acrylic grinders will be resistant to melting, but do you really want to risk destroying it?

Acrylic grinders aside, hot water is a good way to clean your grinder if you don't have any cleaning products. Hot water (combined with a brush) can remove most of the residues without damaging your grinder or leaving any funky smells behind. But it probably won't get your grinder 100% clean, and it will be harder to remove dirt. To improve the cleaning power, you can use a little bit of dishwashing soap. Just be sure to flush it out really well, but dish soap is a good option if you don't want to spend any money cleaning your grinder. 


Cleaning your grinder with acetone (or nail polish remover)

Cleaning a grinder with acetone or nail polish remover is very effective, and also fairly cheap. Just be sure to flush it very well with warm water afterwards, because you don't want to smoke acetone.


Cleaning your grinder with alcohol

Can you clean a weed grinder with alcohol? YES! And it's often a very good solution, although pure isopropyl or ethanol alcohol (that's safe for consumption) is quite expensive.

So, does it work? Definitely, but your wallet might not be too happy when you clean your grinder with alcohol. Grinder cleaner is cheaper than alcohol, but alcohol does the trick very well.

There is only one thing that could go wrong when cleaning metal grinders with alcohol. There is a plastic ring around the edge to make it turn more smoothly, and some sorts of plastic can dissolve when they come in contact with alcohol. So you might want to take off the ring before you clean your grinder with alcohol.


Cleaning your grinder with vinegar

Vinegar is an effective and safe way to clean your weed grinder. Simply put a few tablespoons of vinegar in a glass of water, stir it a little, and use it to clean your grinder together with a bong cleaning brush to easily get out all of the dirt and residues. You can also use pure vinegar, but that can be a little too aggressive for some grinders and it's not needed. As an added benefit, vinegar will leave a nice shine after you're done cleaning.


Cleaning your grinder with milk

Cleaning a weed grinder with milk? Yes, it's possible! And it works well! Because milk has fats in it, THC and other cannabinoids dissolve in milk very well. Although it's not the best solution (we'd take grinder cleaner over milk any day), it's cheap and works well enough. Simply put some milk in a pan, heat it but try not to boil it, and after 30 to 60 minutes you take out your grinder and remove any dirt with a bong cleaning brush (or even a toothbrush). Very safe, no health risks, and if you flush it with water there will be no funky flavours or smells.


Cleaning your grinder with a lighter

Don't have anything with you to clean your grinder? Try using a lighter! You can use a simple lighter to burn the residue blocking the screen or gauze, and clear it up again. Now this is not an ideal method to clean your grinder screen, because it can leave behind a funky smell or even damage the screen if your grinder is made of cheaper metal. So we do not recommend this method, although many people swear by it.


TIP: Want to make your grinder turn more smoothly, with less noise and less friction? Simply put a little drop of natural olive oil between the moving parts (and the screw thread), and it will be better than it ever was. This also works to clean out the residues in your grinder, because the oil mixes with the residue. Simply wipe off the oil with a dry paper towel, and the residue is gone! Just don't use too much, or it might influence the flavour of your herbs and actually make your grinder dirty.


How NOT to clean your weed grinder

There's several things you want to avoid when cleaning your grinder. Using the wrong product to clean your herb grinder can ruin the look and functionality of your grinder, or even completely destroy it. So we've listed a few things you definitely don't want to do. 

  • Do NOT clean your grinder with bleach or chlorine. Metal grinders will no longer look nice and shiny, and acrylic grinders may even dissolve completely.
  • Do NOT use alcohol, benzine or cleaning spirit to clean your acrylic grinder.
  • Do NOT clean your acrylic grinder with very hot water: it can melt!
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