How To Clean a Coffee or Spice Grinder

How To Clean a Coffee or Spice Grinder

Faith Durand
Feb 11, 2014
(Image credit: Cambria Bold)

I use my blade grinder a lot for grinding coffee and spices, and I used to find it almost impossible to keep it clean. The oils from coffee build up into a residue that can go funky and rancid, and if you switch it up and grind some spices, well, then things can get really messy.

Then I learned a quick trick for blotting up those oils and spice fragments. It won't return your grinder to a pristine state, but it's a good method for weekly or monthly cleaning and maintenance.

Just like coffee, spices have oils that are released by toasting and grinding, and over time these can build up on the grinder, muddying tastes. Since the grinder can't be washed, I used to painstakingly wipe mine out with a damp towel, but now I do this instead! It's quick and effective, especially for cleaning out spice residue, but it also works for grinders that are used exclusively for coffee.

What You Need

1/4 cup uncooked rice, any kind
Paper towels

Blade coffee or spice grinder


1. Put a 1/4 cup of rice in your blade grinder and grind for about a minute, or until it's pulverized. Once pulverized, the oils should cling to the rice, leaving behind just a thin dusting of rice flour.

2. Dump out the rice flour.

3. Wipe out the grinder with a damp paper towel.

4. Repeat weekly or whenever your grinder looks like it needs a good cleaning.

What's your recommended way to clean a coffee or spice grinder? Do you follow this method, or do you have some other smart trick up your sleeve?

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