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How to Clean Your Gunked Up Weed Grinder

After a few ounces of the sticky icky, it’s inevitable that your grinder will get gunked up to the point of annoyance or even failure. Even the best grinders need a little maintenance to keep them grinding smoothly, with the exception of the Brilliant Cut.

There are several different ways to clean a grinder, but these two methods will cover everything you need to get your weed grinder back to new.

video also available on youtube – please go like and subscribe


All of that caked on gunk? That’s a naturally occurring cannabis concentrategrinder hash.

dirty weed grinder before cleaning
To clean your grinder you will need: a large flat surface, wooden pick tools, old toothbrush, isopropyl alcohol

Amazon has what you need
Can’t find what you need around the house? Amazon to the rescue:
wooden picks (salon quality)
isopropyl alcohol
cleaning brushes (anti static)
big-bottomed ziplock bags (*giggity*

Your grinders teeth have been chewing up trichomes and precious cannabinoids for months or even years. Harvest as much as possible first without any solvents, the resulting kief dust will be rich in THC and flavor.

Step 1. Put your grinder in the freezer
Freezing your grinder will help the trichome heads and grinder hash release from the metal surface. As the grinder’s aluminum surface freezes, the grinder hash will become less sticky and it will be easier to remove.

Step 2. Brush and Pick
With a freshly frozen grinder, use an old toothbrush or other soft bristled brush to sweep out the loosened trichome heads and grinder hash. Use a toothpick or broken chopstock to pick the tight crevices. I usually avoid metal picks because they can damage the Aluminum grinder, but sometimes I’ll pull one out for tougher cleaning jobs.

pick cleaning a grinder with a toothpick
Toothpicks and bamboo bbq skewers work great for picking out sticky grinder hash without damaging the soft aluminum

Old toothbrushes work really well for brushing the grinder teeth and surrounding areas, but try to get as much loose debris out of the grinder before using a toothbrush as the toothbrush bristles often hold onto as much kief as they sweep out.

Cleaning your grinder too often? Get a better grinder!! The Brilliant Cut grinder NEVER NEEDS CLEANING! See my full review.


Step 3. Isopropyl Alcohol Bath Time
When you’re satisfied with your harvest, or just fuckin tired of picking, it’s time to give your grinder a bath! Ispropyl Alcohol is the bathwater of choice for cleaning your grinder. THC doesn’t dissolve in water, but it does dissolve in alcohol. I like to use 91% isopropyl alcohol. 71% isn’t strong enough and 99% is too strong.

Put your grinder in a thick ziplock bag or a mason jar and cover it with alcohol – don’t worry, you can re-use this alcohol over and over again and it won’t go to waste.

cleaning a grinder with isopropyl alcohol
You can re-use isopropyl alcohol many times. I keep a grinder cleaning jar full of ‘dirty’ alcohol on my shelf

Be careful with glass jars. I’ve use the technique in the video dozens of times – but shortly after shooting this video the jar IN the video shattered and dumped dirty ISO all over myself. It was scary and dangerous and it could have been avoided.

Gentle shaking and stirring will help the alcohol wash away the stubborn grinder grime.

Appreciate my honest and objective approach to cannabis products? Support me on Patreon

Step 4. Dry Your Grinder
I actually don’t do this religiously. Alcohol evaporates really fast. Lab workers often use alcohol to dry their glassware so it doesn’t have streaks and water spots. It leaves surfaces clean and dry with no trace or alcohol or any other contaminate.

That said – you’ll probably want to wipe down your grinder anyway. Use a paper towel to wipe off any remaining alcohol or remnants of weed juice.

Let it air dry for 5 minutes or so before grinding your first nug just to be sure there is no alcohol remaining in the teeth.



I've been medicating with vaporizers, legally, since 2012. I started reviewing dry herb vaporizers and other cannabis products in 2015. I fell in love with creating content around vapes and cannabis vaporization. I'm passionate about the topic and the community. I love bringing people together and I love helping them understand the ins and outs of vaping weed.


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