How to Clean a Burr Grinder

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Coffee drinkers who grind their own beans may, from time to time, find the need to clean the grinder. Cleaning can be warranted when using beans with a heavy oil content or by using flavored coffees. Buildup of the oils can slow the performance of the grinder. Cleaning a burr grinder can be part of routine maintenance if you use a lot of coffee.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cups white rice Soapy sponge Hot water Dry towel Stiff bristle brush Cotton swabs (optional) ¼ cup sacrificial coffee beans
  • Pour a ¼ cup of the white rice into the grinder. Turn the grinder on. Grind the rice for 45 seconds to one minute. Observe the rice granules it should appear like a salt and black pepper mix.

  • Discard the rice and coffee mix and add another ¼ cup of the white rice. Grind again for about a minute and observe the granules. Continue with the rice cleaning until the mix is pure white in appearance. You may not have to use the full two cups of rice.

  • Unplug the grinder and carry over to the sink. Remove the plastic covers and wash them with a soapy sponge and rinse with warm water. Allow the plastic covers to fully dry. Wipe down the exterior of the grinder housing and dry with a towel.

  • Tip the grinder over the sink and use the stiff bristled paintbrush to work in and around the grinding mechanism. Dump any residue into the sink. Take the cotton swab and work into smaller crevices if need be for the final cleaning.

  • Dump ¼ cup of sacrificial coffee beans into the grinder. Grind the beans until you have a fine powder. This will condition the grinder from any leftover rice or cleaning particles. Throw the grounds away.

Tips & Warnings

  • A small stiff-bristled artist brush can be used instead of the cotton swab.
  • Never wash the interior of the grinder with solvents, water or soap. Most burr grinders are not made to immerse in a liquid and damage to the motor can occur.

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