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How to Clean a Coffee Grinder

on May 25, 2024

Whether you're a casual coffee drinker or a seasoned barista, knowing how to properly clean your coffee grinder is essential for maintaining its performance and ensuring the best taste in every brew. In this guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of coffee grinder cleaning, from understanding different types of grinders to the reasons behind regular maintenance. We'll delve into step-by-step instructions for both blade and burr grinders, along with general tips to keep your grinder in top condition. Additionally, we'll address common mistakes to avoid and answer questions like 'Can I wash my hand coffee grinder?' and 'How to clean a grind coffee machine?'

What is a coffee grinder?

A coffee grinder is a device used to crush coffee beans into fine grains or powder. There are several types of coffee grinders, with the most popular ones being burr grinders and blade grinders. Burr grinders offer a more consistent grind, making them suitable for brewing espresso or specialty coffee, while blade grinders are more convenient but may not offer the same level of precision. The grind size is set by adjusting the distance between the two burrs in a burr grinder. Commercial coffee grinders are also available, designed to meet high-volume demands, with capacities ranging from 200 to 20,000 lb/hr.



Reasons for regularly cleaning a coffee grinder

Regularly cleaning a coffee grinder is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Removes residues: Coffee oils accumulate in the grinder, potentially going rancid and affecting the flavor of fresh coffee.
  2. Maintains grind consistency: Residues can clog burrs, leading to inconsistent grind size and poor extraction.
  3. Prevents flavor contamination: Stale residues can transfer off-flavors to new coffee beans.
  4. Extends grinder lifespan: Build-up strains the motor and burrs, reducing the machine's life.
  5. Ensures optimal taste: A clean grinder allows the true flavors of freshly roasted beans to shine.


What's the best way to clean a coffee grinder?

Cleaning a coffee grinder is essential to maintain its performance and ensure your coffee tastes its best. Here are the key steps to properly clean both burr and blade coffee grinders:

Blade Grinders:

  1. Unplug the grinder and carefully remove the blade assembly if possible.
  2. Tap out any loose grounds from the grind chamber onto a surface or towel.
  3. Use a dedicated grinder cleaning brush or microfiber cloth to wipe away oils and residue from the blades, chamber walls, and lid.
  4. For hard-to-reach areas, use a toothpick or cotton swabs.
  5. Avoid getting the grinder wet, as moisture can lead to clogging and damage over time.

Burr Grinders:

  1. Unplug the grinder and remove the burr assembly according to manufacturer instructions.
  2. Brush out any loose grounds from the burrs and grind chamber using the included brush or a dedicated cleaning brush.
  3. Wipe down the burrs, chamber, and exterior with a dry microfiber cloth to remove oils and residues.
  4. For stuck-on residues, use grinder cleaning tablets or granules - grind them through to absorb oils.
  5. Avoid water unless explicitly allowed by the manufacturer.

General tips for cleaning a coffee grinder

- Clean frequently - weekly for heavy use, monthly for occasional use.

- Disassemble the grinder as much as possible for thorough cleaning access.

- Never use water or damp cloths unless the manufacturer approves, as moisture can ruin burrs and motors.

- After cleaning, grind a few beans through to re-season the burrs with fresh coffee oils.


How to deep clean a COMMERCIAL coffee grinder?

  1. Unplug the grinder and remove all removable parts like the hopper, burr assembly, and grind chamber according to manufacturer instructions.
  2. Use a dedicated grinder brush, toothpick, compressed air, or vacuum hose attachment to dislodge any stuck grounds from the burrs, grind chamber, chute, and other crevices.
  3. Wipe down the burrs, chambers, hopper, and exterior with a dry microfiber cloth to remove oils and residues. Avoid water unless explicitly allowed.
  4. For stuck-on residues, use dedicated grinder cleaning tablets/pellets - grind them through to absorb oils, then discard.
  5. Optionally, use a damp cloth with baking soda to scrub removable plastic parts like the hopper, then dry thoroughly before reassembling.
  6. Never use rice or abrasive materials that can potentially damage the burrs and motor.
  7. After cleaning, grind a few beans through to re-season the burrs with fresh coffee oils.
  8. For heavy use, deep clean every 1-2 months. For occasional use, every 3-6 months.


Coffee grinder cleaning routine

To maintain your coffee grinder and ensure optimal performance, follow this cleaning routine: Daily, use a small, dry brush to remove coffee grounds from the burrs and wipe the exterior with a damp cloth. Weekly, disassemble the grinder to wash the hopper and catch cup with warm soapy water, and brush the burrs thoroughly, ensuring all parts dry completely before reassembly.

Monthly, perform a deeper clean using grinder cleaning tablets or grinder cleaning rice if recommended by the manufacturer and consider grinding a small amount of uncooked rice to absorb residual oils and particles. Always ensure all parts are dry and periodically inspect for wear or damage, replacing parts as needed to keep your grinder in excellent condition for consistently flavorful coffee.


Common mistakes to avoid when cleaning a coffee grinder:

  1. Many people mistakenly use soap and water to clean their grinder, but this can cause corrosion, especially in metal grinders. Soap residue can also negatively impact the taste of the coffee. Dry cleaning methods are recommended unless the manufacturer explicitly states the grinder is water-resistant.
  2. Excessive disassembly: Over-disassembling the grinder beyond what is necessary for cleaning can lead to difficulty reassembling it properly and potential damage. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and only disassemble the parts required for thorough cleaning.
  3. Using abrasive materials like rice: Abrasive materials like rice should be avoided as they can potentially damage the grinder's motor and burrs. Instead, use dedicated grinder cleaning brushes, microfiber cloths, and cleaning tablets/granules designed specifically for coffee grinders.
  4. Washing burrs or electrical components with water: Never wash the burrs or any electrical components with water, as moisture can cause rusting, corrosion, and potential hazards like sparks or permanent damage.
  5. Not cleaning frequently enough: Neglecting regular cleaning leads to a buildup of old coffee grounds and oils, affecting the coffee's taste and potentially shortening the grinder's lifespan. Frequent users should clean weekly, while occasional users should clean monthly.
  6. Using harsh cleaning products: Avoid aggressive cleaners like bleach or those containing high amounts of alcohol, as these can damage the grinder. Stick to dedicated coffee grinder cleaning products.
  7. It's important to clean all removable parts of the grinder, not just the visible ones like the hopper and grind container. Oils and residues can build up in hard-to-reach areas as well.


Can I wash my hand coffee grinder?

Yes, you can wash your hand coffee grinder by following these steps to ensure it is cleaned properly without damage. First, disassemble the grinder, removing the hopper, burrs, and any other removable parts. Wash the hopper and catch cup with warm soapy water, then rinse and let them dry completely. Use a small brush to clean the burrs, removing any stuck coffee grounds, and avoid using water on metal burrs to prevent rust. Wipe the grinder body with a damp cloth to remove coffee residues, ensuring all parts are thoroughly dry before reassembly. Clean the burr mechanism if very dirty, drying it immediately to avoid rust.

Regular cleaning every few weeks or when there is noticeable buildup will help maintain your grinder, and for deeper cleaning, you can grind a small amount of uncooked rice to remove residual oils and particles.



By following the proper cleaning routine outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your grinder remains in optimal condition, delivering consistently flavorful coffee with every grind. Remember the importance of regular maintenance to remove residues, maintain grind consistency, prevent flavor contamination, and extend the lifespan of your grinder. Avoid common cleaning mistakes and always refer to manufacturer instructions for specific cleaning recommendations. With a well-maintained coffee grinder, you'll savor the true essence of freshly ground coffee beans, elevating your coffee experience to new heights.

At Vancouver Restaurant Supply, we understand the importance of maintaining your equipment!