The grinder is a very important tool used to help make smoking cannabis easier and more enjoyable. Keeping your grinder clean is extremely important so you get the most out of your device. After every use sticky resin gets stuck in the teeth of the grinder. Over time this will cause the grinder to be less and less effective. Here are several reasons why keeping your grinder clean is important.


  1. The more you use your grinder the more often you will have to clean it.
  2. A good baseline is cleaning your grinder every 1-2 months.
  3. If you are using your grinder every day, consider a weekly cleaning regimen.
  4. Cleaning will extend your grinder’s lifespan.
  5. There are several ways to clean your grinder.

A Filthy Grinder Can Be Bad For Your Health

When you think about cannabis and break it down it’s simply just organic matter like all other flowers and plants. Just like ordinary plants over time bacteria and mold can build up on the residue sticking to your grinder that marijuana leaves behind. Suddenly when grinding your cannabis you are unintentionally introducing mold and bad bacteria to your herb. Nobody wants to be smoking mold, that’s just bad news.

A Clean Grinder Just Works Better

This is not rocket science, cannabis is a sticky icky plant and sticky resin, trichomes and other parts of the plant will get stuck in the grinder after use. Over time if the grinder is not cleaned it becomes harder and harder to use. Grinders with a lot of sticky resin in it tend to not spin as easily and can become quite challenging to use.

Keeping a Grinder Clean Extends its Lifespan

Plant matter, sticky resin and crude get in all over your grinder after use. This can clog up the mechanisms in the device and make the teeth of the grinder quite dull. Without proper cleaning the grinder can become ugly and useless and I know you don’t want that. To avoid your grinder becoming obsolete clean it out and treat it with love. Just like you would your pipe or your bong.

So, How Often Should You Clean Your Grinder?

Well, it depends on how often you are using your grinder, of course. That will ultimately be the judge of just how often you should clean it out. But if you need some guidelines have no fear you have come to the right place. A base guideline on how often you should clean your grinder is every month, 2 months at the longest.

Now if you are putting your grinder to work every day, it may need to be cleaned more often. If you are an avid smoker and use your grinder several times a day you may want to consider cleaning it on a weekly basis.

The Parts of a Grinder

Just like anything in the cannabis space, grinders come in all different shapes and sizes made with all different types of materials. The most common and in my opinion the best type out there are the strong metal grinders with 3 different chambers. One for grinding, one for catching the cannabis and a final chamber below to hold all your kief.

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As I mentioned before there are other variations. Some have only 2 chambers without the kief catcher at the bottom and some even grind directly onto a tray or into a joint. I recommend you find a 3 chamber grinder as the kief can be a special treat on a rainy day. There are also grinders out there with 4 and 5 chambers but I wouldn’t recommend seeking those out as good sturdy 3 chamber grinder’s work perfectly if they are clean.

Now the teeth inside the grinder are also known as pegs and come in many different shapes and sizes. Those are what is used to actually grind the cannabis into easier material to roll up and/or put into your smoking apparatus. Some grinders are obviously better than others so be your own judge when purchasing one.

It is important to know how many pieces make up your grinder and exactly how it works. This will help during the cleaning process. So before you start cleaning your grinder make sure you know the ins and outs of your specific grinder.


What You’ll Need to Clean Your Grinder Metal Plastic
Isopropyl alcohol (for metal grinders) X
Grinder Cleaner X
Salt X X
Sealable plastic bag X X
Tray or plate to collect kief X X
Container for your kief X X
Toothbrush X X
Towel X X
Toothpick or dab tool X X
Freezer (optional) X
Screwdriver X


Before Cleaning Take You’re Grinder Apart

After gathering all your cleaning tools together the last thing you want to do is half-ass your way through the cleaning process. So what you’ll want to do is disassemble your grinder. Be careful while doing this, make sure to take your time it’s important to pay attention so you can put your grinder back together properly when you are finished.

When disassembling your grinder be especially careful not to poke holes in the screens as the grinder will no longer work properly without them. Some parts of the grinder may be fragile so it is crucial to be cautious and pay attention.

How to Clean Your Grinder

Ok, so you have all the tools needed and you have successfully disassembled your grinder. Now comes the fun part actually cleaning your grinder. Here I will go over a couple different ways you can clean your grinder and you can decide which one would work best for you. Certain methods work best for specific types of grinders. Metal grinders are best cleaned with specific grinder cleaners such as Purilizer or alcohol. Plastic grinders on the other hand work best with soap and water.


Cleaning Metal Grinders

This method works for metal and acrylic grinders, and provides excellent results.

  1. Place all the parts of the grinder on a flat surface or a tray. A rolling tray works best, but any flat surface will work fine.
  2. Toothbrushes and/or toothpicks are used to scrape the larger pieces of the grinder.
  3. Make sure to save your kief as you’ll want to keep that safe and smoke later! This is why it is helpful to use a tray, so you don’t lose any of the stuff that falls out.
  4. After you’ve scraped and brushed out all the good stuff onto a tray or surface put the parts of the grinder onto a towel.
  5. Spray all the parts, the screens, the chambers, and the lid with a grinder cleaner or alcohol.
  6. Wait a minute or so and then use the toothbrush to brush the parts of the grinder, making sure the mesh screens in particular are properly cleaned. After this your grinder parts should look as good as new.
  7. Wash everything off with warm water afterwards and lay out the parts so they can completely dry.
  8. Reassemble the grinder, and you’re done.
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It’s really that simple.


 The Alcohol Bag Method

Another good cleaning method, especially for metal grinders, is the “alcohol in a baggie” method. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get a large sealable bag that can fit all the different parts of your grinder inside.
  2. Put all the parts, except the screens into the bag.
  3. Pour about 1–2 tbsp. of salt into the bag.
  4. Fill the bag with isopropyl alcohol or 70% rubbing alcohol. Make sure that all of the parts are submerged in alcohol.
  5. Close the baggie and make sure the bag is tightly sealed so no alcohol can come out.
  6. Next take the bag and swish the whole thing around for 30 seconds to a minute. Be careful though, you don’t want any parts of the grinder to break or tear the bag.
  7. After some thorough shaking take all the parts out of the bag and they should look brand new.
  8. Rinse the parts under some warm water.
  9. Lastly, use a toothbrush and alcohol to give your screens a good scrubbing. After that rinse them under warm water and make sure you let it dry.
  10. Reassemble your grinder, and you’re done!

The Boiling Pot Method

  1. Take a pot full of water and place it on a stove. Put all your parts of the grinder in the pot.
  2. Heat the water until it boils. Once the water begins to boil immediately lower the temperature so you don’t destroy your grinder. Keep pieces of the grinder in the warm water for a few additional minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and remove parts of your grinder with some tongs so you don’t burn yourself.
  4. Allow hot pieces to cool on a towel for a few minutes.
  5. Once pieces are cool enough to touch set them somewhere they can fully dry.
  6. Reassemble your grinder, and you’re done!

Bonus Tip: Freeze Your Grinder to Make the Process Easier

Now you don’t have to do this but if you have the time it can make the process easier. Put your grinder into the freezer for about 30 minutes and the cannabis material stuck to your grinder will harden making it easier to scrape or brush off. Try it out, it can make a big difference.

Keep all of your smoking apparatuses clean to make the smoking process more enjoyable and better for you. Cleanliness is the way to go when it comes to smoking cannabis. If you clean your tools they will take care of you for years and years to come.

If you don’t have a grinder and are looking to by one take a look at the top 10 grinders of 2019:

Now that you have a clean grinder, roll one up and puff, puff pass.