How Do You Clean A Grinder And Save Kief?


If you have been using an herb grinder for several weeks to at least a month, you will realize when to clean. However, even though it is straightforward to know when your grinder needs cleaning, you want to ensure that you scrub it well the best way you can. You do not want to risk removing that precious kief where the goodness is. That is the resin where the bulk of the THC is. That is when cleaning your grinder may be a tricky thing to do.

However, the good news is that you can clean your grinder the safest way possible where the precious gold will not get in the way. First, let’s go over what a grinder is and some of the basics about it, and some helpful tips and tricks to keep it clean.

What Is The Purpose Of A Grinder?

You know what a grinder is, and in case you did not, it is a hand-held circle-shaped device for grinding cannabis or other herbs. There are various types of grinders, but the basic one comes in two parts. First, there is a top and bottom half that matches and fits together effortlessly. Each half consists of teeth in addition to the interior, which tears up the cannabis. It can tear any other plant trapped inside of it.

You need to have the cannabis ground up so you can pack it into your bong. Or, if you roll a joint, you need to place the pieces into the wrapping. You never want to grind it down so much that it becomes powdery. You want your weed in small pieces so you can smoke it well!

Each time your grinder does its job grinding, parts of the plant will stick to its teeth, and the resin which contains the THC is sticky and will be the most difficult to remove. Therefore, that attaches to the grinder’s teeth the most. That is the gold you do not want to waste as you clean your grinder.

Is It Typically Difficult To Clean A Grinder?

If you do not care about leaving the precious kief behind, then cleaning your grinder is a piece of cake. As you know, the more often you use your device, the dirtier it will become, and more of the kief will attach itself to it. Therefore, that gold cakes itself onto the teeth and the interior. You will know when your grinder needs cleaning, and that is when it becomes resistant to rotating. When it does turn, it makes a high-pitched sound. That right there tells you that you need to scrub your grinder.

However, as you know, it is straightforward to clean it if you do not care about the kief. If you don’t care about it, you can wash it away with soap and water. Do you want to do that, though? The kief is rich in the good stuff that it would be too bad to waste it. So, if you should not wash it with soap and water, how do you clean your grinder without compromising the gold? Let’s talk about that now.

The Important Steps You Must Take Before Cleaning Your Grinder So You Can Save Kief

You can always freeze your grinder the night before you clean it out. The purpose is to make the kief brittle, so it falls off quickly. That is what most weed smokers do when they want to save their kief before cleaning the rest of their grinder. So that method is okay to do. However, remember that when you freeze your kief and take it out of the freezer in the morning, it begins to thaw at room temperature. Unfortunately, the thawing after freezing can lessen the potency of the kief. That is not what you want to happen.

Fortunately, there is a better way to clean your grinder when saving the kief than freezing it overnight. You will need to have a few tools to clean it effectively, including tweezers or an icepick, a glass or metal flat surface, and a hard-bristled brush.

The first thing to do is to prepare your work area. Sit at a table as long as it’s glass or metal. If not, you can get a glass cover such as a glass cutting board and put it in front of where you work on the table. Or, you will want to put a cookie tray on your table. The bottom line is that you don’t want the surface to have pores because the kief will fall onto the surface as you clean it out. If the area is porous like wood, then you will lose a lot of your goods. You also don’t want kief trapped in your wood either.

After the preparation, begin to disassemble the grinder. After taking each piece apart, then set the pieces aside because you want to clean one piece at a time. Look into each piece, and you will see a lot of sticky matter stuck to the teeth and notches. Take your tweezers or whatever tool you have and begin scraping the kief away. As you keep chipping away, the good stuff will fall onto the surface. Ensure that you do not miss any parts area because you want to cover every bit of it. If there is any trapped kief in a groove of the grinder part, then knock it until it dislodges.

Your gold is out, and it appears that there aren’t leftovers in any of the parts; you can scrub then clean the chamber and other pieces with your brush. A stiff-bristle brush is essential to use because if there are tiny kief particles you miss during the cleaning, those pieces will fall onto the surface after you brush them.

You know that there aren’t any ounces of your kief left, and now you will want to scrub your grinder with soap and water. Just use some mild soap and warm water and wash each part with a brush. If you have a plastic or metal grinder, then this is the best way. However, if you have a metal grinder, ensure that you dry it well because it can rust otherwise.

Then polish it with rubbing alcohol after washing each part. Dry the pieces well with a paper towel, and then you can reassemble the grinder. Now your grinder is cleaned up and ready for you to use again!

Detailed Techniques for Cleaning Various Grinder Models:

  1. Routine Cleaning: Regular cleaning is recommended to prevent mold, bacteria, and to maintain grinding efficiency. For daily users, weekly deep cleaning is advisable, while less frequent users can do it monthly.
  2. Cleaning Different Grinder Types:
    • Plastic/Acrylic Grinders: Clean by freezing, as most solvents can damage them.
    • Metal Grinders: Clean with boiling water or isopropyl alcohol.
    • Automatic Grinders: Disassemble and brush off residue.
    • Multi-Chambered Grinders: Soak in isopropyl alcohol, then rinse, dry, and reassemble.
  3. Deep Cleaning Methods:
    • Freezing: Includes shaking the grinder with a coin inside to dislodge kief.
    • Boiling in Milk: Suitable for metal grinders, where the fat in the milk absorbs THC.
    • Soap and Water: Basic cleaning method using dish soap and hot water.
    • Isopropyl Alcohol: Ideal for metal grinders; soak parts and then scrub clean.
  4. Reusing Kief: Kief can be added to cannabis bowls, joints, or turned into hash.


You know that your grinder needs a good cleaning when you see that solids are sticking onto the teeth and other parts, and it is difficult to rotate. When it does turn, it makes a loud squeaky sound. You also know it is time to clean it if you cannot remember the last time you gave it a good wash. However, the essential thing is that when you clean your grinder, you want to ensure that you don’t waste away the precious kief. That kief is golden because that is where the majority of the THC is‘, and if you follow the instructions in this article about how to remove it, you will be able to save it and enjoy it for future use.