Making coffee from beans that you have ground yourself is a big joy for many coffee lovers. Some people will only drink coffee that they have ground themselves, with nothing else being good enough. Others love learning about the different tastes of different beans, and grinding them is part of the fun.
When cleaning your grinder, it’s not necessary to completely dismantle it and scrub it down inch by inch. If that’s the kind of clean you want, it’s recommended that you ask an experienced person for help as this can be tricky, especially when putting it all back together.
The main thing to focus on when cleaning your coffee grinder is oil buildup, which you will find in the dosing chamber as this is where the ground coffee ends up. The hopper is also important to clean as that is where the beans sit.
The oil that gets left behind can, and will, go sour and stale over time, and this will significantly affect the flavor of your coffee, and not in a good way.
How Often Should I Clean My Coffee Grinder?
There are two ways to decide when it’s the right time to clean your coffee grinder.
You could set a schedule for cleaning your grinder, which will be determined by how often you use the grinder and how many beans you grind.
Alternatively, you could keep an eye on your grinder’s appearance and look out for a buildup of oils on the grinder’s surfaces. When you notice this oil buildup, that’s when you’ll want to give your coffee grinder an excellent clean.
How Do I Clean My Coffee Grinder?
The dosing chamber
Your grinder’s dosing chamber might have a screwed-on top, in which case you’ll start by taking out the screws before getting access to the chamber.
With the use of the dosing handle, empty your dosing chamber. Use a small vacuum cleaner to suck up any residue that might be sticking to the top of the chamber.
You can clean the internal sides with a hot, damp cloth. You’ll then want to dry out the chamber with a lint-free cloth.
Once you are satisfied with how clean the chamber is, you have to make sure that it’s completely dry. Then replace the tops and put the screws back in.
You should keep an eye on your hopper, especially if you’re in the coffee-making business, because customers will see when it doesn’t look clean, and they’ll likely be able to taste it too.
To clean it, get a strong paper towel and wipe it after every grind to prevent a buildup of oils. If you do this, you won’t have to completely clean your grinder that often.
To do this, turn off the grinder at the wall and unplug it. Shut off the slide at the base of the grinder’s hopper so you can stop beans from spilling as you lift it from the grinder. Empty the coffee beans into a bag or container.
Now, scoop out the beans from the top of your grinder. This is why the grinder should be unplugged. Use a small vacuum cleaner to get out all the residue and remaining beans from the top of your grinder’s blades.
Using a mild detergent, wash your hopper in warm water to remove all the oil. The plastic can be damaged, so be careful when cleaning it.
If you’re going to use the grinder again soon, rinse it thoroughly and make sure it’s completely dry before you put it back onto your grinder. If you won’t be needing it immediately, you can place it somewhere safe to dry.
Once your hopper is dry and replaced, you can refill it with coffee beans, plug it back in and give it a quick test to make sure everything is running smoothly.
What about the blades?
It’s recommended that you get cereal-based pellets to help get rid of smells and residues on the grinder’s blades. You’ll simply empty your grinder of all the coffee and add the pellets to the hopper, set it to medium (essential), and grind them through.
Use a cap for a small grinder and two for a bigger grinder. Once this is done, empty the dosing chamber and brush out any residue. You can ‘re-season’ your grinder by resetting it to your preferred setting, adding coffee beans again, and grinding them. Do this once a month.
Whatever your motivation is for grinding coffee beans, you’ll have to take care of your grinder. A grinder that isn’t cleaned often enough can lead to a taint in the taste of your coffee, and that’s never a good thing.
So how often should I clean my coffee grinder? While it’s not necessary to clean your entire grinder after every use or even every day, getting into a habit of doing it often is a good idea. The hopper might need a wipe after every batch of beans you grind.