At this point, you may think we are cleaning freaks, but that’s not the case at all. We just can’t stress enough how important it is to clean your smoking accessories. It's like anything else involving all natural products. They can get moldy if not cleaned.
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- Use your freezer to remove all the debris from your grinder
- Use isopropyl alcohol to deeply clean a metal grinder
- Use boiling water and dish soap to clean a plastic/acrylic grinder
Time to get out the gunk
You might think that since you are lighting and burning the ground up buds in your smoke pipe, its doesn't really matter. The heat kills almost anything harmful anyways. But, there is more to cleaning your smoking accessories than just sanitizing them.
For instance, a grinder could get so gunky, that you can't even use it anymore. Moldy herbs can build up in between the teeth of the grinder. The close space between the lid of the first compartment and the teeth compartment (the party you spin back and forth) can have mold build up there as well. If it's too difficult to turn, then a grinder becomes a useless, frustrating and disgusting tool.
Clean smoking accessories = Great smoking sessions = Happy folks
This time we’re gonna talk about grinders. Like any other “tool”, a grinder needs maintenance and care every now and then because otherwise, it will get sticky and gross. This is why we’re here to give you some awesome tricks on how to properly clean a grinder.
Don't procrastinate cleaning it up!
If you’re a smoking enthusiast, then most likely you have a grinder. If not, you should definitely get one. It’s a handy accessory that will significantly improve your sessions.
You’ve probably had that ‘Oh, dang!’ moment when your grinder clogged up and stopped working. I mean, we both know that you “occasionally” smoke herbs every single day. So it’s a good idea to clean all the dry resin once in a while.
You know that moment when you procrastinate cleaning your room and you keep coming up with all kinds of excuses for yourself to avoid it? You’re busy, you’re tired, you’re everything but not in the mood to clean. And then your room, it’s just a mess and it takes a longer time to clean it.
Oh well, the same thing happens when you procrastinate cleaning your grinder. It will be just a mess, and it will not work properly even if it’s a high-quality smoking accessory. So clean it regularly if you want to keep it in top shape.
Without further ado, here are a few useful tricks on how to keep a grinder nice and clean:
The 3 Tricks
Put it in the freezer
First of all, take your grinder apart. Disassemble it into as many pieces as possible, because this way the whole process will be easier.
After you do this, place all the pieces in the freezer for about 30 minutes. You can also wait for up to an hour. This will allow any sticky plant matter to harden, making it easier to dislodge.
Then take out the pieces of your grinder and grab a paper towel or maybe a plastic cutting board. If you don’t have any of these, that’s not a problem, honestly, you just need a surface where you can collect the leftovers.
Next, hold the grinder parts over whatever surface you use and tap them gently to remove all the debris. Sweep off any remaining leftover bits with a toothbrush or a soft paintbrush. You may need a toothpick or a small needle to scrape any gunk that refuses to come off.
Use alcohol for metal grinders
We aren't talking about some nice bottle of single malt scotch or even the cheapest handle of vodka. It's the rubbing alcohol that you find in your medicine cabinet and at your local pharmacy.
If you are using an all-metal grinder, you can deeply clean it with isopropyl alcohol. Take the grinder apart and put the pieces in a bowl or a Ziploc bag filled with isopropyl alcohol (make sure to use enough alcohol to cover all the pieces).
With this method, you will kill any bacteria that might be hiding in the grinder.
The next step is to lightly shake the bowl or bag to loosen up the plant matter. Let the grinder parts soak in the alcohol until the liquid darkens and you can see the particles floating - this means that the resin was extracted.
If you want to be extra careful, you can give it one last checkup by scraping the pieces with a toothbrush. Once everything is clean, rinse the pieces with warm water and let them dry.
In the end, re-assemble your grinder. It should be good as new!
Make sure to not use isopropyl alcohol for cleaning plastic or acrylic grinders.
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Use boiling water and soap for acrylic or plastic grinders
If you use a plastic or acrylic grinder, just go old school: use boiling water and soap.
Put the grinder parts in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil the metal herb grinder for about seven to ten minutes, then turn off the fire and remove the pot from the heat.
Let it cool for a few minutes, then take out the pieces and wait for a little while to make sure they reach room temperature. Then, use a toothbrush or a Q-tip to scrub with dish soap in order to remove any particles.
Finally, rinse thoroughly with clean water and set them out to dry.
Don’t use this method for a metal grinder because it may rust.
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Pro Smokers Tip:
If you get a chambered metal grinder, make sure you check for a nice collection of kief in that bottom chamber before you start any cleaning. That stuff rocks!
What are you waiting for?
There’s no doubt that good maintenance of your grinder is essential. Periodic cleaning ensures that it will function at peak performance. It doesn’t take much time or a lot of effort to keep it in good condition, so you might do it right now!
However, if you’re looking for a new grinder and you also want to freshen up your smoking kit, check out the Atomic Blaze Standard Smoking Bundle.