Grinders are essential for consuming cannabis, but regular use can leave them dirty, clogged, and difficult to handle. Do you know how to clean a grinder? Frequent maintenance ensures a consistent burn, damage-free buds, and maximum efficiency.

Ready to learn how to do it right? Join us to discover the various methods of cleaning this essential piece of cannabis kit. You’ll also find out how to wash different types of grinders and save the accumulated kief.

Let’s jump in!


What is a grinder?

A grinder is a tool that breaks cannabis buds into small, similarly-sized pieces. Crushing the nugs into a semi-fine texture makes adding them to joints, bowls, bongs, and pipes easier. The benefits of using a clean weed grinder include a smooth and even burn without canoeing.

Most weed grinders are circular. This shape allows you to rotate them and break down the cannabis. They can fit into your hand and are typically 26 inches in diameter.

Grinders consist of numerous materials, including metal, wood, plastic, and acrylic. Learning how to clean a weed grinder made of these components is a straightforward task.

The most common types of grinders consist of four separate pieces:

  • A toothed lid
  • A toothed grinding compartment with holes for the crushed bud to fall through
  • A chamber that collects and stores weed with a screen to filter kief
  • A bottom compartment that collects kief

To use a grinder, place a nug in the toothed grinding compartment, close the lid, and twist it a few times. As you rotate, the teeth push against each other to chop the weed into uniform pieces. Then, open the main storage chamber to retrieve your ground cannabis.


What do you need to clean a grinder?

The good news is that cleaning a weed grinder is just as simple as using it. Our tried and tested method keeps your kief safe and only requires a few items:

  • A freezer
  • A paper plate
  • A plastic 
  • A soft toothbrush or paintbrush

Keep in mind that slightly different cleaning strategies exist for metal, plastic, and acrylic grinders. We cover all the commonly used techniques for each type of material below.


How to clean a grinder: Step-by-step guide

You know it’s time to give your grinder a clean when the lid gets stuck, or the teeth struggle to rotate. These issues come from built-up plant matter, including sticky resin and powdery kief.

Ready to learn how to clean your grinder? Keep your crushing tool spotless and save your kief with these two simple steps:


Step 1: Put your grinder in the freezer

Start by emptying all the visible cannabis pieces from your grinder. Once it’s bud-free, place it in the freezer for about an hour.

This action makes the kief brittle and hard instead of its typical soft and sticky texture. Cleaning weed grinders in the freezer also help any stubborn plant matter fall off the inside walls and screen.

put your weed grinder in the freezer


Step 2: Use a brush to clean your grinder and collect the kief

Remove your grinder from the freezer after one hour and carefully take it apart. Tap each piece over a paper plate or similar item to loosen the particles and secure the kief.

The best way to clean a grinder is by using a soft brush. Dust off any leftover particles and sweep them onto the plate. We recommend bending the paper to create a cone shape for a better grip. Make sure to clear out the teeth, grooves, walls, and screen.

You might be surprised at the amount of kief, or dry trichomes, that accumulate after a proper grinder cleaning.

We recommend holding on to this powdery substance, as it has numerous uses. Add some kief to your joints and bowls for a potent kick, or consider making rosin from weed.