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How to Clean a Grinder Of Cannabis?

clean grinder cannabis

Your weed grinder is a necessary part of your cannabis arsenal. You invested money in it at the time of purchase and, when kept in tip-top shape, it functions wonderfully. Cannabis (primo weed) is rife with resin that can create a sticky mess in your grinder. All kinds of debris, dirt, and hair can get clogged in the gears. If you don’t practice an effective cleaning process frequently even the best weed grinder turns into an unsightly, unhygienic mess. Getting all the leftover plant matter, gunk and grit out of the pot grinder returns it to its pristine, like-new condition so you don’t have to be embarrassed when you share a few hits with your buddies. These three simple steps will save you hours of time when you clean your grinder!  So after reading this you know about how to clean your grinder?


Looking for a trusty new grinder that's worthy of some elbow grease to keep it functioning at top form? We're suckers for this rasta themed 4-part shredder from Santa Cruz and think you'll understand why once you give it a go!


grinder weed bowl bongGrinders enable us to fully enjoy our herb! Photo: @okie.buds

Please continue reading to learn the ins and outs of cannabis grinders, how to maintain the device, and how to clean it so you have fresh, finely ground weed every time! 


What is a Grinder?

If you are a newbie to the joys of fresh bud, then you might be in the dark about the handy marijuana grinder. There are metal grinders, acrylic grinders, plastic grinders, stainless steel grinders, each with their own pros and cons. A grinder is made up of varying parts, depending on what type you get (and how much money you want to spend). You may have a simple two-piece grinder, which will consist of the teeth and a lid, or you can have more grinder pieces! Some grinders will have a collection chamber, which can come in handy for storing your ground up buds. Others will have a screen that will sift the ground up flower and collect kief, which is a fun addition to up the potency of whatever you're hitting.

However many grinder parts you're working with, the best way to keep them functioning at a high level is to ensure you've got a reliable cleaning process.

To begin the grinding process, take your large, luscious buds, place them in a pot grinder, twist, and the device effortlessly breaks your buds into small bits and pieces. By doing this, you'll enjoy a smooth hit from your bowl every time. Also, the tiny pieces are easier to roll into rolling paper and blunt wraps. There are ways to grind weed without a grinder, but by using a cannabis grinder that's specifically designed to help shred your precious Mary Jane you'll get the best sizes and consistency to enjoy lighting up.

A few of our favorite grinders:

 Golden Gate Grinders Kozo Herb Grinder Black Tie Grinder Death Star Grinder
grinder weed kush grind marijuana joint grinder blunt cannabis star wars grinder


Why Clean Your Grinder?

By knowing how to clean a grinder? People may wonder about why clean your grinder, here is the answer. After a long, grueling day at work, the thought of cleaning your grinder is probably the last thing on your to-do list. You don’t even consider the act a necessary function. If the grinder keeps working, why take the time?  There are several good reasons, some of which are listed below, as to why you should clean your grinder regularly to free it from remaining plant matter. Ideally, you should clean your grinder every 30 to 60 days depending on the frequency of use. It's easy, so don't worry, and supplies are as simple as boiling water and picking up some easily sourced isopropyl alcohol, q tips, and/or paper towels.


grinder marijuana herb fresh
After enough uses, residue will build up and lessen the efficiency of your grinder. Photo: @vaxpuffs

Reasons to clean your grinder:

After knowing the reason, people have a question in their minds: how to clean weed grinder?

  • Extends the grinder’s life: If your grinder gets clogged up with gunk  it could break sooner.
  • Efficiency: The reason you picked your grinder had to do with its efficiency. It is a nice model that grinds your weed into nice, compact sizes. However, a dirty grinder is hard to work with, as your weed gets stuck in the gears. If the nooks and threads are filled with gunk, then they can’t grind down large pieces. Only a clean herb grinder renders fine herb.
  • Shavings: This is a profoundly sincere consideration! If you have a metal grinder then metal shavings can break loose when the grinder fails to perform properly and end up in your weed. The same goes for acrylic and plastic grinders as well. This poses a serious health risk.
  • Bacteria: Bacteria grows in a dirty environment. You certainly don’t want to smoke bacteria or mold spores which could lead to a serious or potentially deadly lung infection. Stay healthy and clean your grinder! 

The Importance of the Kief Catch

After knowing the importance of kief catch . We know there is question taht comes into your mind. How to get kief out of a grinderThe best grinder for weed also has the benefit of featuring a nice kief catch so you can retrieve the potent resin for later use. The best mechanism, like the sabertooth grinders, are 4 stage grinders; these have a grinding chamber, storage chamber, a pollen screen, and pollen chamber. A 3 stage grinder also has an exceptionally fine screen to hoard the trichomes, but has no storage compartment. You must gather the prime kief out of the grinder and store it someplace else. You can later use the captured dry kief and trichome heads to smoke or vape. If you have enough of it then you can even start making your own rosin, hash, or edibles.

The Best Grinders for Kief

People wondering about how to get kief out of a grinder? So All top weed grinders are focused on precious kief retrieval. You need at least a 3 chamber grinder. Premium models are fashioned from aluminum or aluminum with acrylic. A straight acrylic grinder might have a cheaper price tag but not stand up to the demands placed on the device. If you want the device to get more kief then you really shouldn't scrimp! Aluminum models have an impressive titanium coating. The second choice would be a wood model like a Sweet Leaf grinder. If you can’t afford high-dollar alloy, then a metal Sweet Stone grinder might be a viable choice.


Grinders to Avoid Buying

If you want a grinding apparatus that is going to last and perform well then abstain from buying a plastic grinder unless you have no other choice. Sure there are cool grinders that aren’t expensive, but do they truly give you a nice, even, and smooth grind on your herb? Such models usually have only one chamber so you can give up the dream of harvesting your bud’s kief. In addition to needing more chambers, there should also be a screen on which the kief collects. Often plastic grinders don't have these features, which means you won't get the most out of what your flower has to offer.


Understanding Grinder Lingo

When shopping for a grinder, remember that they often call them pollen chambers and do not mention kief. This is the ‘down low’ way to market the grinders which are truly designed for marijuana but being promoted for spices and other herbs.

grinder cannabis nug smoke
Get the most out of your buds with a quality grinder! Photo: @thagreenkiwi

How to Use a Grinder?

One of the most crucial factors in keeping a grinder clean and operational is to use the mechanism correctly.

Here are the necessary steps to ensure your bud is properly ground and your grinder lasts you longer. We recommend doing these steps with a paper plate or rolling tray underneath you so you don't loose any precious bud:
  1. Take off the grinder’s lid. It might unscrew or pop off depending on the model you purchased.
  2. Place your bud into the grinder to the side. Remember, the magnets are in the center of the grinder so the weed will not grind if you place it directly in the middle.
  3. Replace the top of the grinder.
  4. Give the device 10 quick rotations
  5. Take off the lid and look. If some weed remains stuck to the sides, then tap it with the lid.
  6. Unscrew the layer so you can reach the ground up material.
  7. Load your pipe or roll your joint and enjoy.

How to Clean a Kief Screen?

Now you may be wondering exactly how to get the kief out of grinder and how to clean a kief screen. Place the grinder in a freezer and leave it alone for about an hour. The trichomes become brittle and break away from the screen in the cold. Your grinder may have come with a kief scraper, which can be used to aid you in this process. If it didn't, then a small paint brush or q tip could also be useful, especially if you froze your grinder first. This more gentle method won't risk the structure of the kief or any precious trichomes that may be hanging on. This is one of the easiest ways to learn how to clean the screen in your grinder.


Using Alcohol When Learning How to Clean a Grinder Screen:

  • Take the screen and place it directly in a jar of ISO alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol (ISO) is recommended over rubbing alcohol, as it is safer for human consumption. If you find the kief catcher stuck, then place the grinder into the alcohol to loosen the screen.
  • Move the piece around in the liquid and then let it sit for about five minutes. The kief and trichomes will break away from the screen.
  • Remove the screen from the liquid.
  • Pour the alcohol into a Pyrex bowl and allow it to sit undisturbed.
  • Rinse your kief screen thoroughly. Using a toothbrush will help loosen any remaining residue.
  • The alcohol will evaporate and leave behind the kief. Do not smoke the kief until all alcohol has evaporated.

grind weed herb 420
Few sites are as beautiful as a clean grinder full of freshly ground bud. Photo: @the420goodness

How to Clean a Grinder in 3 Easy Steps

A million dollar question: how to clean a grinder? Here is the answer so the day has arrived. Your beloved grinder is a sticky, dirty mess. You are wondering how to clean a metal grinder or a wood version. Even a small pen grinder can be cleaned using this quick and easy method. By following the simple steps below regularly, you can avoid the need to deep clean your grinder, which takes longer and is harder on the device.

Here are three effortless steps to clean your grinder: 

People after buying a grinder have a question: how to clean a grinder? So stop wondering, here are the complete  steps of your question.

  1. Take your grinder apart so you can reach every nook and cranny.
  2. Using a soft bristle toothbrush, rub all stick area using a combination of isopropyl alcohol mixed with a pinch of salt. Cotton swabs also come in handy when cleaning.
  3.  Place your grinder in the freezer for an hour so that the remaining debris falls away when you scrub it with the toothbrush.

    If you have an inexpensive plastic grinder then the alcohol might be overly strong. In such a case, you might want to use simple warm water to clean the grinder in place of alcohol.


    clean grinder marijuana cannabis
    Cleaning your grinder properly can have it looking and functioning just like new. @rawthailand

    5 Steps on How to Clean a Burr Grinder

    In case what you’re working with is a Burr Grinder, here at the steps needed to effectively clean the machine.
    1. Unplug the grinder
    2. Take out the hopper and grind chamber
    3. Twist the burr so that it lifts out of the grinder
    4. Clean the burrs with a brush covered in isopropyl alcohol.
    5. Reassemble your pristine grinder.


    A million dollar question how to clean weed grinderSure, cleaning your grinder is a pain in the rear and probably one of your least enjoyable chores, but if you want to keep grinding with ease it's an important task to keep up on. A clean weed grinder provides you with optimum hits and extends the device’s lifespan. Please make sure to clean your grinder so you continue to obtain the perfect grind and potent kief accumulation. Who doesn’t want a fresh hit that is filled with flavour?


    Questions? Comments? Drop them for us below!

    Megan Medeiros Written by Megan Medeiros (BA)

    Megan Medeiros has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently working on a master’s in English at James Madison University. She's the owner and operator of Medeiros Writing, and has been working as a cannabis writer for the past three years, mostly following the legal climate of marijuana, especially in areas like California, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, and other legal areas.

    This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. All photos were sourced from | updated 2021

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