How to Clean a Grinder
As long as you want your herbal grinder to last and get the best bang for your buck, you need to learn how to take care of it. There are several different types of herb crusher grinders in the market, some made of plastic, others metal. Your taste and budget will influence the kind of herb grinder you can get. But enough blubbering; here’s how to clean a grinder.
How to clean your grinder
The first clean
Cleaning and caring for a herb grinder takes a little more time and attention. Most herb crusher grinders are usually made of metal and can break down into several components, typically four. The first part in cleaning this type of grinder is disassembling it.
Rub Isopropyl alcohol (Rubbing alcohol) on all separate parts before using, inserting a Q-Tip to clean all the hard-to-reach areas and crevices. Some people prefer simply dipping the components in alcohol to speed up the process. Clean the exterior surface using a paper towel.
Remember to tackle the grooves at the screw cap before rinsing with warm water. Set the tool aside to dry.
Note: Refrain from using Rubbing alcohol, boiling water or freezing if your four-piece grinder has an acrylic clear top lid or acrylic body. Acrylic parts should only be cleaned using soap and warm water.
Getting the slime out
There are numerous different ways you can clean a dirty grinder. However, freezing and boiling are the two most common ones. When using the freezing method, start by disassembling it first and then leave the loose components in a large freezer bag for about one hour. When you take out the freezer container, the herbal residue accumulated in the grinder will fall off by just tapping the pieces on a paper towel. Sweep out any remaining pieces using a toothbrush. You can also add rubbing alcohol to the toothbrush to clean the grinder thoroughly and then rinse with warm water.
Place all the parts in a large pot of boiling water, and then bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and leave the pot for about ten minutes to cool before removing the grinder components with a pair of tongs. Wash using a toothbrush if necessary, and place outside to dry.
If you want to hang on to the green material still hugging the grinder, use a plastic object to scrape these pieces off (for instance using a guitar pick). Place a tray or cookie sheet below the grinder to catch the herbs. Wash with rubbing alcohol or hot soapy water, based on whether your grinder has any acrylic components and how dirty it is.
Cleaning the screen
You probably don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know how to clean a grinder, but you need to pay particular attention to how to clean your grinder screen. This is especially because it is designed with a thin mesh of resonant wires. This means damaging or simply bending it would reduce your grinder to almost uselessness. Here is how you should tackle this part of the job:
First, remove the screen carefully and put it in a sink to clean off the dirt while washing. Pat one side of the screen with a few pinches of table salt or Epsom salt, and then apply a generous amount of rubbing alcohol to loosen the solid salt crystals.
Wipe your finger gently across the screen to allow the crystals to move through the membrane. This motion will create enough friction between the mesh and the solid crystals to loosen the tiny plant residues and pollens in the thin wires.
Turn the screen over and repeat the same process on the opposite side. Take about 2-3 minutes rubbing the screen on either side before rinsing with warm, running water until all the solid crystals are removed and dissolved. Finish by gently flicking your finger against the grinder screen to eliminate any streams of water in the mesh. Do this gently to avoid damaging the screen or leaving any dents. Use a clean towel to pat it dry, and then place it outside to air off completely.
Collecting the residue
Most people tend to let their herbal residue accumulate in the grinder to save for different purposes. If you are in this group of people, chances are your grinder is sticky most of the time. To preserve your resin, start by using the freezing method to remove as much plant residue as possible, and then transfer all the grinder pieces into a plastic bag.
Next, cover the pieces with a moderate sprinkle of rubbing alcohol. Be extra vigilant here, as applying too much rubbing alcohol can ruin your product. Get rid of the excess air, and then zip the bag. Shake until the alcohol becomes greenish-gold. Also, avoid over-soaking as this can also destroy your resin residue.
Next, look for a Pyrex container (for instance, a custard cup) to transfer all the liquid. Refrain from using ceramic because, once the alcohol dries, you will need to use a ceramic can chip and razor blade to scrape the product. You can also use a hair dryer to accelerate the drying process. Gather the dried residue using a piece of parchment paper. To turn the product into a blond hash, just fold over the paper and apply pressure for a couple of minutes (you can simply place a book over the top instead of holding the paper all this time). You can use the same technique for your vapes too.
Extending your grinder’s lifespan
In order to keep your grinder fit and in perfect working condition, you need to clean it on a regular basis. The tips explained above will make the overall cleaning process much easier. Make a point of cleaning the grinder whenever you notice some resistance; otherwise, you’ll be forcing your tool against the gunk that may eventually cause its damage.
The best part about cleaning a grinder is that your herb will taste a lot better, and your grinder will function more efficiently. While the quality of materials will play a significant role in determining how long your device will serve you, knowing how to clean a grinder will go a long way.