A fully functioning grinder is a must-have tool for the cannabis enthusiast. A grinder eliminates the time-consuming process of picking your herbs apart by hand. Whether you are rolling or packing a bong, a grinder will give you an even burn, allowing for a pleasant smoking experience – provided that you keep it clean.
Why Should You Regularly Clean Your Grinder?
Ideally, you should clean your grinder once per month, especially if you’re not a frequent smoker. The stickiness of cannabis plant residue can affect your grinder’s functionality. If you don’t clean your grinder, the fresh product will cling to the old product, and you won’t get a consistent burn.
Over time, mold grows on the plant material residue in a grinder, especially if you live in a humid climate. Inhaling the smoke from burning mold can cause several respiratory health issues, including allergies, asthma, and lung irritation. Regular grinder cleaning eliminates this risk.
What You Need to Clean Your Grinder
You’ll need the following for a grinder deep-clean:
- Your grinder
- A soft-bristled brush
- A Ziploc bag or container
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Clean tap water
- A paper towel
- A freezer
How to Clean Your Grinder
Step 1 – Disassembly: Before cleaning the grinder, take it apart by separating the chambers from each other. Disassembly will allow for easy access to all grinder surfaces.
Step 2 – Remove the plant materials: Gently tap all grinder components against a paper towel on a hard surface to get most of the residual plant materials out.
To remove the stubborn, caked-on plant residue, place the grinder components in the freezer for an hour. As the materials freeze, they will form loose clumps that are easy to remove. Remove the remaining residue using a toothpick or cotton swab.
Step 3 – Soak the grinder in alcohol: After removing the residue, you may still find mold spores or bacterial growth on the grinder surfaces. Soak the grinder chambers in isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to kill the contaminants. If you don’t have alcohol, you can place the grinder pieces in boiling water for around 10 minutes.
Step 4 – Scrub: Remove the sterilized grinder pieces from the alcohol or boiled water. Then, loosen and remove any leftover particles using a clean, soft-bristled brush.
Step 5 – Rinse thoroughly and let dry: Rinse the grinder pieces thoroughly with lukewarm water. Place the grinder components in a sunny, well-ventilated spot where they can dry. Then, reassemble your grinder.
The Quick-Clean Process
The quick-clean process is ideal if you have a metal grinder and are looking for a fast and straightforward sterilization method.
Disassemble your grinder and remove as much of the plant material as you can. Then, place the pieces in a Ziploc bag and fill it with isopropyl alcohol, submerging all the components. Let the pieces soak for at least thirty minutes, shaking the bag now and then to loosen the sticky residue.
Remove the grinder pieces from the bag and give them a thorough scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush to remove the remaining debris. Rinse the grinder thoroughly and let it dry completely.
What NOT to Do
When cleaning your grinder, don’t use an abrasive or hard-bristled brush. A stiff brush can loosen the grinder’s acrylic or metallic particles, which will contaminate your cannabis. Inhaling microscopic pieces of plastic or aluminum can be highly detrimental to your respiratory health.
Don’t use bleach or other cleaning product that includes chlorine as an active agent to clean your grinder. Bleach releases volatile organic compounds, and smoking weed that has been in contact with these chemicals can cause several health concerns, including:
- Asthma and other respiratory diseases
- Allergic reactions
- Headaches and migraines
- Abdominal discomfort
- Irritation of the lungs, eyes, and skin
By following the above steps, you can rest assured that your grinder will be safe to use.
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