Tired of your old, dirty grinder screen ruining your morning coffee? It’s time for a deep cleaning session. Coffee grinders will keep collecting residue from your grinding sessions, which can later interfere with the taste and quality of your new batch.
Today, we’ll share six easy ways to clean your grinder screen until it’s sparkling clean and smells pleasant.
How to Clean a Grinder Screen
Here are some easy ways that explain how to clean a grinder screen:
1. Freezer Method
This is probably one of the easiest ways to clean your grinder screen. For this method, you need to put the entire grinder inside your freezer.
After about 15 to 20 minutes, all the wet remnants will dry up and freeze, making them contract. As the debris reduces in size, it will be much easier to get them out with a little shake.
Remember, the efficiency of this method also depends on how dirty your grinder screen is to begin with. If it’s too dirty, you might still have some coffee bean residue stuck inside. In that case, try this next trick.
2. Soak the Grinder in an Alcohol or Hot Water Solution
If you’re trying to loosen up greedy coffee remnants from the grinder, try soaking it for a few hours in rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or warm water. After 20-30 minutes, when the grime has softened up, use a stiff brush to scrub off the residue.
After using the alcohol, rinse the grinder once again and leave it out in the sun for a few hours to get the smell of alcohol completely off the grinder screen. This method should clean your grinder screen — almost making it look like it’s brand new.
If your grinder screen is extremely dirty and hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you can combine the two methods to get a better result. Start with the freezing method to get most of the residue out, followed by the alcohol method to remove the toughest of leftovers.
NOTE: This method only works for stainless steel and metal grinders. Don’t use it on plastic grinders.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a fantastic and popular cleaning agent that is particularly effective when it comes to the greedy stains of a coffee grinder screen. Baking soda is alkaline in nature, meaning it reacts with the dirt and grease of your coffee grinder and easily dissolves it.
All you have to do is disassemble the grinder and coat it well with a thick paste of baking soda and water. Leave it on for a few hours to give it enough time to dissolve the dirt and wash it off with clean water. Next, use a dry cloth to wipe and clean any baking soda residue.
4. Plain Rice
Coffee residue and dirt aren’t the only things you might need to remove from your old grinder. Sometimes, your grinder might look clean at a glance, yet your coffee grounds could end up clumping anyways. If this is the case, your grinder needs to be cleaned of coffee oil remnants.
For this, you will need about ¼ cup of plain white rice. Pour your rice into the grinder and turn it on. As it pulverizes the rice and grinds it into fine dust, the rice will absorb the coffee oil from the blades. Rice is hygroscopic in nature, meaning that anytime it’s exposed to something with higher moisture content, it’ll automatically absorb the moisture.
If you don’t have white rice available at the moment, or you simply don’t want to waste food, you can use stale bread too. You just need to cut the bread into small pieces, put them into the grinder and turn it on. After a few rounds, dump the bread crumbs and wipe the interiors with a damp cloth.
5. White Vinegar
If the biggest issue with your coffee grinder is smell, try white vinegar. Vinegar is rich in acetic acid, which is known to neutralize alkaline odors. For this method, grab a paper towel and dip one end in white vinegar or distilled vinegar. Next, wipe your entire grinder screen with the paper towel and leave it out in the sun for a while to get rid of the vinegar smell.
If you’re not a fan of white vinegar, try washing the grinder with water and dish soap after the vinegar wipe to get rid of the smell faster.
PRO TIP: If you’re more focused on removing the smell than the debris stuck on the blade, you can also try sugar or salt. They work just as well as white vinegar — without the lingering smell. They’re also much easier to dump after cleaning.
6. Coffee Grinder Cleaning Tablets
Not a fan of messy and tedious DIY solutions? Try a coffee grinder cleaning tablet. They look just like regular tablets and are usually odorless. You put them in your grinder and turn them on at moderate speed.
Just like rice, the grinder will pulverize the tablets, which will then soak up the smell, moisture, oiliness, and dirt from the grinder. After a few rounds, dump the contents of the grinder and rinse it with soapy water.
Why Do You Need a Clean Grinder?
Wondering why you should put any effort into cleaning your grinder when a dirty grinder works just fine? Let us tell you how a clean grinder will benefit you:
1. Better Grinding
Grinders use blades to slice up coffee beans repeatedly until they’re finely ground. The cleaner you keep it, the sharper the blades will be. Imagine this: if your grinder blades are already laced with old coffee grounds, they won’t be able to come into direct contact with new coffee beans.
2. No Contamination
Do you want your fresh coffee beans to grind against stale residue from your previous batch? Keeping the grinder clean ensures that your coffee grounds are pure and flavorful.
In addition to that, coffee residue, when allowed to accumulate over a long period, can turn into an active site for yeast and bacterial growth, making this match with coffee completely unfit for drinking.
3. No Clumping
Clumping is one of the most common problems you might face while grounding your coffee at home. Old coffee grounds will turn hard and sticky after a time. When they come in contact with fresh coffee beans, they’ll mingle and stick to them, disrupting the entire cleaning process and possibly even ruining the whole batch of beans.
4. Increases Longevity
At the end of the day, the biggest reason for maintaining kitchen appliances is to extend their service life. A good grinder should last at least 3 to 4 years. However, if you are constantly forcing it to work harder and with dirty blades, it’ll not only take up more energy, but also slowly wear down over time from the excess mechanical stress and heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you need to clean your grinder screen?
Of course, cleaning your grinder screen is absolutely uncompromisable. Give it a quick rinse on a regular basis and a deep cleaning every 2 to 4 uses, depending on how dirty it is. This will not only keep your coffee hygienic, but also work better and faster while keeping the taste of your coffee intact.
2. When is it time to get a new grinder?
There’s no hard and fast rule on how frequently you need to change your grinder. It all depends on the quality of the product, how often you use it, and how well you maintain it.
Some grinders last for only 6 months, while some make it for 2-3 years. Instead of changing them out at fixed intervals, look for signs of damage and inefficiency before making a call to buy a new grinder.
3. Why is my grinder clumping the coffee?
If you’re struggling with clumpy coffee powder, your sticky grinder might not be the only one to blame. In most cases, it’s excess moisture and humidity. Try cleaning your grinder screen and drying it before you put in the beans.
Also, ensure that you store the beans properly in a cold and dry place. If these don’t work, you can also try installing a dehumidifier in your kitchen.
4. Can you grind coffee in a blender?
Yes, you can grind coffee in a blender. After all, a blender is a lot like a grinder — with the same working principles, container and blades. However, the size and shape of a blender’s blade are quite different from a grinder, so one can’t guarantee how fine the coffee will be.
Now you should know exactly how to clean a grinder screen. Coffee enthusiasts cannot start their day without a fresh cup of coffee. Now, do you want your mornings to be troubled by a malfunctioning grinder? Surely not!
To keep away complications, cleaning your grinder screen is a must. And when cleaning your grinder screen is this easy, you don’t need any more excuses for stalling. Get those gloves on, grab our guide, and get started cleaning your grinder the right way!!!