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Whether you use a French press or a drip coffee maker, we agree that the perfect cup is made from freshly ground coffee beans. As soon as the bean’s shell breaks open, the oils inside that provide the flavor and aroma begin to disappear.
This is why grinding coffee beans at home using a good grinder ensures that more of their flavor is retained.
Most of us tend to use electric grinders, although you can still get ones that allow you to grind the coffee beans by hand. But whatever kind of grinder you have, it will need to be cleaned out on a regular basis.
But before we provide you with advice about how to clean your grinder, let’s explain a little more about the differences..
What Is a Grinder?
If you drink coffee regularly, you already know how important it is to own a good grinder. But did you know that there are two kinds of coffee grinders? You can either choose to use a burr grinder or a blade one — either one will grind down the beans to make fresh, flavorsome cups of coffee for you.
Although manual burr grinders are easy to use and affordable, many households prefer using machines to grind their coffee with grinders that use blades.
How Does a Burr Grinder Work?
Inside this type of grinder, also known as a burr mill, are revolving burrs. Once you place your coffee beans inside it, they get crushed between the grinder wheel and a surface that doesn’t move.
How Does a Blade Grinder Work?
The machines you use to carry out the coffee bean grinding process have a blade in the center. As you look at it, you will see that it resembles a propeller, which is very similar to the blades used in food processors and blenders.
Just as in a blender, the blade will chop up the beans rather than crush them. So you will find that the coffee bean breaks up into more uneven pieces. It is best to select such equipment with a pulse function to prevent this from happening.
It doesn’t matter what kind of grinder you use when grinding beans to make coffee. With any essential tool such as a grinder, you’ll need to clean it regularly.
Below, we will provide you with advice and a few simple steps to clean your dirty grinder to keep it in tip-top condition. But before we do that, you need to know how often you should clean yours.
How Often Should An Electric Grinder Be Cleaned?
If you use yours daily, you should give it a quick clean once a week. If not, the oils released by the beans will become rancid, affecting the flavor and aroma of the coffee.
Even if you are only using yours a couple of times a week, you still need to give it extra attention at least once a week.
Ideally, if you can, you should clean it after every use so any oil released from the beans is removed and will reduce the risk of you having to try and clean out a clogged grinder.
How To Clean Your Coffee Grinder
Before we show you the correct steps to clean a grinder, you must ensure that you have all the right tools available.
The problem with any grinder is that a layer of stale grounds can build up inside the grinding chamber over time. Once this happens, you’ll start to notice that the blades or burrs aren’t as effective at helping to produce reasonable coffee grounds.
Therefore, it is best to spend time cleaning yours so you can continue to enjoy great-tasting cups of coffee.
Equipment Needed for Cleaning Grinders
When it comes to the basic grinder cleaning procedures, you need to ensure that you have the following equipment and materials on hand:
- Microfiber towel
- One stiff-bristled bottle brush
- Non-abrasive sponge
- A quarter cup of rice (uncooked)
- Some dishwashing liquid
- Coffee grinder cleaning tablets (optional)
- A bowl into which you can put warm water
Now that you have all the necessary equipment for carrying out the grinder cleaning process let’s take you through the steps. We will show you the steps you need to take for cleaning grinders fitted with blades.
How to Clean Grinder With Fitted Blades
Step 1 – Remove Any Oil Residue
To do this, you need to use a microfiber or damp paper towel to remove oil from the coffee beans clinging to the blades and inside the coffee grinder.
WARNING: Please be careful when wiping the blades as they are extremely sharp.
Step 2 – Place Uncooked Rice or Cleaning Tablet in the Grinder
Pour dry uncooked rice or cleaning tablet into the grinder’s hopper. If you’re using a cleaning tablet, the box packaging should tell you how many tablets to place inside the grinder.
Step 3 – Run Your Grinder
Turn it on and let it run until the rice or coffee grinder tablets have turned into a fine powder.
Step 4 – Turn the Grinder Off
As soon as the rice or tablets have become a fine powder, turn the grinder off and unplug it from the main supply.
Step 5 – Empty the Grinder
Simply turn the grinder upside down and throw the pulverized rice or tablets into the trash can. It’s vital that you give your grinder a few taps on the side, as this will help loosen any powder trapped inside the grinder hopper.
Using a stiff brush will help remove any powder inside the hopper more efficiently.
Step 6 – Wipe Clean
Take a damp microfiber towel immersed in hot water with a few drops of dishwasher liquid to wipe around the inside of the grinder’s hopper. Take extra care when you are wiping around the blades.
After rinsing out the damp towel, use it to clean the exterior of your entire grinder, as this will help to remove any grime or fingerprints from its surface.
You can also take a dry microfiber cloth and wipe all the outside surfaces to remove any soap residue.
Above, we have shown you the coffee grinder cleaning strategy for fitted blades. Now let’s show you the steps needed to clean a burr coffee grinder.
Steps for Deep Cleaning a Burr Coffee Grinder
You will find that these types of grinders are a little more complicated to clean. Before starting the grinder cleaning process, you need to take the machine apart.
It is vital with these types of machines that you always refer back to the manual provided regarding the instructions for cleaning them.
Let’s go through the steps you need to follow so your dirty grinder is ready to use again.
Step 1 – Turn the Grinder On
Turn it on and let it run for around 10 to 15 seconds. This will help pulverize any bits of coffee beans that have become caught between the burr blades.
After doing this, turn it off and unplug it from the main power supply.
Step 2 – Remove and Wash Certain Components
Before carrying out this step, you must look at the manual that came with it to tell you which parts you can remove.
After removing the appropriate components, you need to wash them in a bowl of hot soapy water using a non-abrasive sponge. Then, rinse each part in hot water before wiping them with a dry cloth.
Step 3 – Remove the Burr and Clean It
Remove either the conical burr or flat burr disks from inside the grinder. You may need to use a screwdriver to carry this out. Once removed, take the stiff-bristled brush and use it to loosen and remove any coffee grounds stuck on their surface.
Then take a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down the burrs in your dirty grinder. This will also help to remove any stale grounds and oils from their surface.
Note: You should never wash the burrs from these types of grinders in soap and water. If you do, then they could start to rust.
Step 4 – Reassemble Your Grinder
As soon as each component is thoroughly clean and dry, you can reassemble the grinder and start grinding coffee once more.
Knowing how to clean grinder appliances is essential for getting the most flavor and aroma out of your coffee bean. Plus, it will also help keep your grinder in optimal condition, so whenever you want to enjoy a delicious tasting cup of freshly brewed coffee, you can.
We hope we have provided some valuable information on cleaning a grinder.