When it comes to versatility, you will find some coffee grinders that offer more than others. Besides grinding coffee beans, you can also use them to process raw ingredients like herbs and spices.
The problem with this setup is that the flavor and aroma tend to stay on even after thorough washing. And if you’re like most coffee lovers, you don’t want your coffee to give off a hint of taco seasoning, do you?
For this reason, it’s very important that you learn how to clean a coffee grinder after grinding spices. This way, you can take full advantage of your coffee grinder’s versatility.
How To Clean a Coffee Grinder After Grinding Spices
Regular cleaning may help remove large spice particles. However, water and dish soap alone may not be enough to eliminate the residue that has stuck on your coffee grinder. Here are two tricks you can try to solve this problem:
Spice granules can stay in your coffee grinder for a very long time. One technique to remove them is by using bread.
To do this, grab a baguette or a loaf of bread and break it apart into smaller pieces. Place these smaller pieces onto the bean hopper and turn on your coffee grinder. Let the blades or burrs pulverize the bread.
The leftover spice granules on the coffee grinder will attach themselves to the pulverized bread and breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs, along with the spice residue, will drop to the container at the bottom of the grinder.
You can then rewash the grinder or wipe it down with a clean piece of cloth as an extra measure. Additionally, you can also grind a small batch of coffee beans just to suppress the aroma of the spice.
If you don’t have an extra loaf of bread at home, you can also use uncooked rice. This method works pretty much the same way as the one above.
Pour about three to four tablespoons or a quarter of a cup of uncooked rice into the bean hopper. Then, turn your coffee grinder on and let it run for about 30 seconds.
The rice powder attracts the spice granules or residues and gets discarded onto the container below. The only difference is that uncooked rice has a better chance of neutralizing the aroma of the spice.
Do the same cleaning methods as when you use bread, and be sure to include the container. If you can still smell a hint of spice, grind a small batch of coffee beans.
How To Remove Spicy Smell Out of Your Coffee Grinder
Even if you repeatedly use bread or uncooked rice, they might still be inadequate in removing the smell of cumin or other spices from your coffee grinder. For this, you need a stronger, more efficient method.
Baking soda is often placed in refrigerators to absorb foul odors that might have been trapped inside. It is more than enough proof that it can also do wonders for your coffee grinder.
You need around two full tablespoons of baking soda and pour it into the bean hopper. Run your coffee grinder for 30 seconds or more, depending on the strength of the spice’s aroma.
Doing this can significantly reduce the smell of the spice. However, we can’t guarantee that it will all be completely removed.
If the baking soda method is still not enough, perhaps this last technique will do the trick. Keep in mind that you should only use this if the methods mentioned above don’t work.
Before doing anything, make sure that there are no spice residues and granules left on the coffee grinder. This method is only used to remove the smell of the spice.
Grab a paper napkin or a clean piece of cloth and dip it in white vinegar. Use this to wipe the insides of the coffee grinder and maybe a tiny portion of the burrs.
One major downside of this technique is that while it’ll take away the smell of spice, you will have a powerful smell of vinegar in your coffee grinder. That’s why after you’re done wiping the hopper and container, you’ll want to air dry your coffee grinder for a few hours.
How To Prevent Coffee Grinder From Smelling and Tasting Spicy
If you regularly use your coffee grinder for grinding spices and other ingredients, make sure that you use these cleaning methods every time you’ve finished using the device. Otherwise, letting the spices sit on your coffee grinder for days will eventually make it harder to remove the residues. Furthermore, the smell would almost be impossible to get rid of.
Using uncooked rice on your coffee grinder is also an effective method of maintaining the equipment. Even if you use it solely for coffee beans, cleaning with uncooked rice will help prolong its lifespan.
Your best bet is to do it at least once a week. If the grinder accumulates coffee buildup quickly, increase your cleaning frequency to twice or thrice every week.
Should You Grind Spices in Coffee Grinders at All?
Many prefer using coffee grinders to process spices because they are usually smaller and more efficient than traditional spice grinders. However, using it on both ingredients might affect the quality of your coffee or spice.
So, should you grind spices in coffee grinders at all? You can, but you have to make it a point to clean your coffee grinder right after using it. Additionally, it’s best to check the instruction manual or consult the grinder’s manufacturer to guarantee you can use it for spices.
Coffee grinders with glass hoppers are better at reducing the chances of spice residue and aroma from sitting in the device. If you’re planning on replacing your old one, you’re better off with a glass coffee grinder.
Using a Coffee Grinder for Spices
Grinding your own coffee beans is still the best way to prepare a cup of coffee, but is it the same when preparing spices for your dish? Make sure that you know how to clean a coffee grinder after grinding spices so that it stays as efficient and as fresh as when you first had it.