Keeping your kitchen appliances and other tools clean is a great way to ensure that they stay in tip-top shape for a long period of time.
Plus, washing your appliances prevents the spread of diseases and mold growing. If you use your coffee grinder every day or almost every day, you’re probably wondering if you should be washing it.
If you use your coffee grinder for more than just coffee beans, this question probably pops into your head more often than someone who only uses theirs for coffee beans. So, do you need to wash your coffee grinder?
You Don’t Wash Your Coffee Grinder, But You Need to Clean It
You don’t technically need to wash your coffee grinder, regardless of if it’s a blade or burr grinder. Just because you don’t wash your coffee grinder with water and dish soap like you would many other kitchen appliances, you do need to clean it.
If you want to get technical, with a burr coffee grinder, there are parts you will wash with water, but the part that actually grinds the beans does not get washed with water.
Cleaning your coffee grinder often helps to keep the blades and burrs working well. When you don’t clean your coffee grinder every so often, oils and other particles get stuck in every nook and cranny, depleting the quality of your coffee grinder.
When your coffee grinder is performing at its best, you’re going to have the perfect coffee grounds for the perfect cup of coffee every morning.
You’ll need to clean your coffee grinder more often if you use it to grind more than coffee beans. Grinding spices, wheat, and other grains without cleaning the grinder can alter the taste of your coffee when you grind coffee beans the next time.
Now, if you have a burr coffee grinder that has a hopper, you will need to wash this by hand with soap and water.
How to Clean Blade Coffee Grinders
The majority of people who own a coffee grinder have one with stainless steel blades, even though they’re not recommended for proper coffee grinding. Since these somewhat resemble a blender or food processor, it can be tempting to wash the blades with dish soap and water. You’ll want to avoid that temptation, though.
The best way to clean your blade coffee grinder is with uncooked rice. You’ll need about a fourth cup of rice or 20 grams. You’ll add it to the coffee grinder and begin grinding. You’ll let the grinder run until the rice has turned into a very fine powder.
How long this will take is dependent on the condition of your grinder, but it usually takes about a minute or a minute and a half. Once the rice is a fine powder, dump the rice out and wipe down the grinder with a damp cloth or paper towel.
After you’ve done this step, you’ll want to repeat it with a dry cloth or paper towel. You can repeat this cleaning process as often as you like. But you’ll know when it’s definitely time to clean the grinder if the grinder has a foul smell to it.
How to Clean Burr Coffee Grinders
Burr grinders are superior coffee grinders. These grinders can get your coffee beans ground very finely and consistently, unlike blade coffee grinders. Not every burr coffee grinder is made equal, so how you clean it may be different than someone else. This process is the same for burr coffee grinders and manual hand mills.
The first thing you need to do is take apart your coffee grinder. Most burr coffee grinders come with a hopper to hold the beans. You’ll need to remove the hopper and wash it and its lid by hand with soap and water.
While the hopper is removed from the grinder, run the coffee grinder for a couple of seconds. This helps to remove any coffee that’s still in the burrs.
After you’ve done this, you’ll need to unplug the grinder and remove any rubber or plastic parts. If any of these parts come in contact with coffee beans, you’ll need to wash these by hand as you did with the hopper.
This includes the bid that catches your coffee grounds. Now it’s time to clean the burrs. You’ll need to remove the inner burr and use a stiff brush to remove any coffee grounds that have gotten stuck to the burrs.
After this, you’ll use a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe down the inner and outer burrs. This helps absorb any oils that the coffee beans have left behind. It’s important that you do not let the burrs get wet or wash them with any water. You’ll need to let all the other parts of the coffee grinder dry completely before you put the grinder back together.
If this sounds like more work than you care to do, that’s okay. You can also purchase cleaning tablets. These cleaning tablets run through your coffee grinder, and they remove any lingering oil from coffee beans for you.
To use cleaning tablets to clean your coffee grinder, read the instructions, put the appropriate amount of cleaning tablets into the coffee bean hopper, and begin running the grinder. You’ll keep the grinder running until the tablets are out of the hopper.
Once the cleaning tablets have run through the grinder, you can run about an ounce of coffee beans through the grinder. After this, clean out the coffee bin, and you have a fresh and clean burr coffee grinder. You’ll want to clean your burr coffee grinder every few months but maybe even less if you don’t use it every day.
What Happens When You Don’t Clean Your Coffee Grinder
Everything we own needs to be cleaned at some point. Coffee grinders need to be cleaned regularly to ensure you’re getting quality coffee grounds. When you don’t clean them, you’re potentially setting yourself up for bitter, stale, or foul-tasting coffee.