In order to keep your grinder in optimal shape, you need to do some occasional maintenance. This involves a consistent light cleaning as well as a thorough cleaning from time to time.
Components of a grinder
Grinder types can vary but they are all cylinder-shaped and come with grinding teeth. Single chamber grinders have teeth on two separate lids that snap together.
Using this type of grinder is easy, just place enough weed (not too much) into the bottom lid and take the top lid and connect them together. Start twisting back and forth allowing the teeth to do their job. The result should be finely ground-up cannabis.
Grinders are available as a single chamber, two-piece device, or as robust as a 3 chamber, 5-piece that includes two mesh screens in order to sift out extra fine kief.
A grinder with two separate mesh screens may be unnecessary but having at least a 4-piece grinder with one mesh screen is nice for separating out the kief which is a highly potent form of cannabis.
There are also cannabis grinders that use rotating blades instead of grinding teeth. Some people have a preference for the rotating blades over the grinding teeth but in general, the differences in the final product are negligible.
Why clean your grinder?
If you are using your grinder often then expect it to build up with sticky weed residue. This can possibly affect the way it operates, making it more difficult to twist or screw and unscrew. It could also affect the flavor of your bud by getting mixed with some of the old weed residues.
For irregular cannabis users, keeping an eye on your grinder from time to time is important to prevent any possible mold development. If you are in a humid climate, it is especially important for people who smoke infrequently to monitor the cleanliness of their grinder. If there is moist flower sitting in the grinder for a while in dark and cool conditions then expect some possible mold.
Consuming moldy weed can exacerbate symptoms of pre-existing conditions such as allergies or asthma. You could also become exposed to bronchial and lung irritations. Make sure to throw out any moldy weed and give your grinder a deep clean afterward.
Items to help clean your grinder
Many items that are used to clean grinders are commonplace in people’s homes. They are also easy to find in drug stores or super stores.
- Small, soft-bristled brush
- Bowl or plate
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Toothbrush or some other type of stiff brush
- Ziploc bag or plastic storage container
Soak your grinder in isopropyl alcohol
The first thing you need to do is disassemble your grinder piece by piece. Empty out any remaining weed into a separate container and try to scrape out as much kief as you can.
Put all pieces of your grinder into a Ziploc bag or plastic container, Tupperware works perfectly. Fill the bag or Tupperware with isopropyl alcohol. You need just enough alcohol to submerge all grinder pieces. Soak the grinder for 30-90 minutes, shaking the bag or container every 30 minutes or so to break off any weed residue.
Your alcohol should have turned green from the weed residue coming off. When this happens, drain the alcohol out of the bag or container. Next, grab your little brush and scrub all parts of the grinder.
After brushing off all remaining plant material, rinse each piece under hot water. Dry off the pieces using a clean towel. Wait for the grinder to completely dry before using it again. You may want to let it sit disassembled overnight so that each piece gets thoroughly dry.
Freeze your grinder
Just soaking your grinder in isopropyl alcohol may not be enough depending on how much material is trapped inside. If the alcohol method did not work effectively enough then try putting your grinder pieces in a freezer.
First, empty out any remaining weed material into a separate container or onto a plate or bowl. Next, place each piece of the grinder upright inside the freezer. Let them sit in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. When you freeze plant material it becomes stiff and loses its adhesion.
When it is ready, take the grinder out of the freezer. Use a paperclip and small brush to remove as much weed material as possible. It should be much easier now that everything is frozen stiff. Brush everything out onto the same plate or bowl; you want to keep this because it is some quality kief left behind by countless different weed strains.
When you have scraped out as much as possible, try soaking it in alcohol to remove any remaining residue. Soak it for 30-90 minutes and then rinse it with water after the grinder appears to be free of residue.
Again, dry the grinder thoroughly before using it. You do not want to try and grind buds with a wet grinder because it will be a total disaster for you.