Quick test – open your cannabis grinder. How does it look? Spotlessly clean, hopefully. No? Well then. Shame on you. Get that grinder cleaned out this instant because your lung health is paramount. What’s that? You don’t know how to clean your grinder? Well, you’ve come to the right place because we do.
Pull up a seat, and we’ll talk you through the why, the when, and the how of cleaning out your weed grinder, and your lungs will thank you for it. New year, new you, right? Start with a clean grinder!
Types of Grinder
Grinders usually come in the form of metal devices or plastic/acrylic types, and there are different protocols for cleaning each. Metal grinders are naturally more durable, so they can withstand a deeper clean than their lighter, plastic counterparts. Herb grinders usually always comprise a lid and a base, or a lid, a base to catch your ground-up flower, and a third compartment underneath to catch the precious kief that falls loose during the grinding of your buds.
Why You Should Clean Your Cannabis Grinder
Firstly, to protect your own health. Remember that those tasty buds you grind were once-living plant matter, and as such, that matter will decompose over time. That leads to bacteria, and bacteria can make you sick. Even worse – if you keep your stash and equipment in a warm, dark place, chances are you’ll get mould, and that can cause a multitude of health problems.
Secondly, your grinder can get clogged up with old, dried chunks of weed, and that can cause a problem with the efficiency of your grinder’s ability to break up buds. If you’ve ever tried to grind some bud and found it didn’t break up nicely, you may have blamed the bud – but it’s easily just as likely that your grinder’s functionality is no longer operating at the peak of its powers.
You need to clean your grinder fairly frequently, but you also need to check your grinder pieces regularly. If you use it daily, you’ll find that over time, the resin will build up and gets trapped in the teeth or the nooks and can hurt how well it works. Like anything else, routine maintenance is necessary.
How Often Should I Clean My Grinder?
Grinder cleaning frequency will vary depending on how frequently you use your grinder. Keep an eye on things, and if it’s looking filthy, clean it at once, much like you would a bong. Schedule a clean for every 6 weeks or so to prolong the life of your grinder and keep everything tip-top.
How to Clean your Grinder
You’ll need the following tools:
- Some zip-loc bags (to put your residue in, if needs be)
- A bowl (to put your grinder in for cleaning)
- A tray or clean surface (to catch your resin)
- A toothbrush, or some type of small, soft brush – even a clean (previously unused!) paintbrush
- A toothpick, cocktail stick, or a similar item
- If your grinder is acrylic or plastic, some warm water (not hot water) and dish soap
- For a metal grinder, some Isopropyl rubbing alcohol (do not use this on plastic/acrylic grinders!)
- Paper towels, or a clean dish towel or cloth (for drying)
To begin the cleaning process, empty your grinder of any contents (cannabis flower and THC rich kief) and put them in a safe place of your choosing (a ziploc bag or baggie of some sort, or another small clean container). Separate the different parts of the grinder; give each section a good knock on the surface of your tray to release as much of the stuck-on resin and plant material as you can.
Put your dirty grinder in your freezer for about 30 minutes. This will make any remaining residue easier to remove. Remember, though, that plastic becomes brittle at freezer temperatures, so handle your plastic grinder with care.
Give your grinder a few more gentle taps to see if you can free off any more dry herb. Then, get to work with your toothbrush or similar type of brush, or a q-tip/cotton bud, loosening off as much of the remaining gunk as you can from the various grinder parts. Work the teeth of the grinder well, and the grinder screen. Follow up with a toothpick/cocktail stick if needs be to remove the stubborn pieces.
The method changes depending on whether you have a plastic grinder or a metal one. Pay close attention here, please – your grinder’s life is in your hands, and if you use the wrong substance, your grinder goes to the excellent stash box in the sky. Metal rusts in water and plastic warps in solvents like Isopropyl alcohol.
If you have a metal grinder, submerge the separate compartments in a bowl or bag of Isopropyl alcohol. This will loosen off any last remaining remnants of debris and give your grinder a really good deep clean.
If you have a plastic or acrylic grinder, submerge the separate compartments in a bowl of soap and water. Remember, there’s a fine line with boiling water, and you don’t want it so hot that it starts to melt your grinder. You don’t need your grinder in there for hours.
If your grinder has both plastic and metal parts, Godspeed. Submerging it is not a great idea, and you’ll have to get real busy with that toothbrush.
Keep an eye on things until you see the colour of the alcohol (or water) changing to a darker, murkier colour – dirty water equals a clean grinder, and this should take a matter of minutes.
Use tongs to remove your grinder from the bowl, and if it looks clean, proceed to give it a nice quick final rinse and leave it to dry, or dry with paper towels (a clean kitchen towel or cloth will do just as nicely). Then re-assemble your shiny, clean grinder, and enjoy your now finely ground nugs!