How to properly clean your coffee grinder - 3 steps to a clean coffee grinder

Written by: Smilla H.



Time to read 6 min

As we already know, having your own coffee grinder is a must-have when it comes to specialty coffee and simply good coffee in general. Because the art of perfect extraction lies to a large extent in the right degree of grinding. And the right degree of grinding is fundamentally determined by your coffee grinder. Would you like to know more about the grinder and coffee grinding? Here you will find a few helpful tips on what you should consider. Are you still looking for the right coffee grinder? We can also help you out with a small guide!

Have you already decided on the right coffee grinder and are you already using it every day? After a while, another question arises. Today I want to get closer to your coffee grinder with you, which you have chosen with a lot of love. She came to stay! In order to keep your coffee grinder alive for as long as possible, it needs to be looked after. In the following I will show you 3 simple but effective steps on how to get your coffee grinder really clean again!

Why should you clean your coffee grinder regularly?

Your coffee grinder has a very important job, which is why it definitely deserves your regular attention. Because roasted beans contain a lot of fats and oils. Dark roasted coffee beans in particular are responsible for oil films in your grinder, as their water content is lower and the oil content higher. This residual oil oxidizes on the surface of your coffee grinder and becomes rancid over time. Of course, this contaminates your grind, because coffee beans absorb aromas from the environment very quickly. This is how your coffee will taste at some point. Rancid. We definitely want to prevent that!

There is another motivation for taking good care of the coffee grinder. If your grinder no longer works due to clogging or if the grinder is no longer intact due to careless care, the manufacturer's guarantee will no longer apply. So it's worth taking care of your beloved grinder. After all, you have also invested a little money in the coffee grinder.

How often should you clean your coffee grinder?

As a rule of thumb, you should clean the grinder after about 15 kilograms of ground beans so as not to contaminate the great coffee aromas. Are you unsure whether it's time for a little cleaning action? Just open the bean container of your coffee grinder. If it smells rancid, then it's about time! And: The darker the roast and oilier the coffee beans used, the more often you should clean your grinder. You can go there once a week!

How can you clean your coffee grinder?

First of all, how best not to clean your coffee grinder. There is a cheap trick to simply cleaning the coffee grinder with grains of rice. Although rice has the property of binding oils, its hard texture can easily damage your grinder. So keep your hands off of this! How to clean your coffee grinder thoroughly can be found here in a short step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Empty and clean the bean container

If your external coffee grinder is connected to electricity, always switch off your coffee machine first and pull the plug from the socket.

First of all, let's look at the bean container. By the way, it's also called a "hopper". If there are still coffee beans in the hopper, you can simply store them in an airtight container until we're done here.

If there are oil residues here, you should remove them as soon as possible. You can simply empty the bean container and wipe it out with a damp microfiber cloth. If the hopper is very oily, you can also use soap here. However, detergent should be used very sparingly. We really want to prevent soap from getting into the grinding discs or grinding cones. Before you fill the container with new, fresh coffee beans, make sure to wipe the container really dry.

Step 2: Clean the coffee grinder

Now that may sound a bit crazy, but in fact the best way to do this is with a conventional vacuum cleaner. Simply remove the bean hopper and vacuum the interior of your coffee grinder on a low level.

If you don't feel comfortable using the vacuum cleaner, you can alternatively use a coarse-bristled brush and thoroughly brush away all oil and ground coffee residue.

Portafilter under electric coffee grinder

Step 3: Grind the cleaning beans

A cleaning granulate is used here that is visually reminiscent of coffee beans, which is why it is called cleaning beans. In contrast to rice grains, you won't go wrong with these special cleaning beans. This effective method binds coffee oils and unwanted residues. They clean your grinding discs thoroughly and are also odorless and tasteless.

The white-yellowish granulated beans are simply placed in the grinder like the coffee beans and ground thoroughly (preferably on a medium level). To ensure that the cleaning beans are removed from your coffee grinder without leaving any residue, you can "re-grind" them with a few real beans. And done. A super easy way to dramatically extend the life of your coffee grinder!

Digression: Clean the coffee grinder of your fully automatic machine

Now, of course, there are very different types of coffee grinders, but almost all of them can be cleaned in this way. Here, however, you should take into account certain peculiarities in the construction of the mill. The coffee machine, for example, has an integrated coffee grinder. Now you could be thinking, isn't there an automatic cleaning function for this? Unfortunately, your grinder is not cleaned here!

The integrated coffee grinder must therefore be maintained separately. Some manufacturers even swear that the grinders of their fully automatic machines do not have to be cleaned. However, I believe that rancid oil residues unfortunately do not stop at your fully automatic machine.

You can also use the step-by-step instructions for cleaning the grinder on the coffee machine. It only becomes a problem if you can't get to the grinder on your fully automatic machine. With some models you may need a screwdriver to remove the bean container! When buying the cleaning granules, you should also make sure that they are also suitable for the fully automatic machine.

I hope this article will motivate you to get your beloved coffee grinder to work this year's spring cleaning!

FAQ Cleaning the coffee grinder

Why is cleaning your coffee grinder important?

Hand grinders and electric grinders collect fats and oils, especially when using dark roasts. Oil residues can become rancid and negatively affect the taste of the coffee. Also, clogging or lack of care can affect the warranty.

How often should you clean your coffee grinder?

Approx. every 15 kg ground beans for the finest coffee taste A rancid smell or oily residue are indicators that it's time for a clean! For dark and oily beans, clean more often, about weekly.

How do you properly clean your coffee grinder?

hand mills: Shake loose bean scraps out of the grinder. Dismantle the coffee grinder, if possible, and clean it with a brush. Gently brush the burrs and wipe dry. Reassemble the coffee grinder. Electric mills: Switch off the machine and disconnect from the power. Empty and clean the bean container as described in the instructions. Use a vacuum on low or a brush to clean the grinder.

How do you use special cleaning beans?

Special cleaning granules make your coffee grinder ready for fresh coffee aromas again. They clean the grinding discs effectively and neutralize unpleasant odours. Simply grind the granulated beans like real beans. Finally, grind with real beans to remove residue.

How do you clean the coffee grinder in your fully automatic machine?

You should definitely maintain the integrated grinder separately, as the automatic cleaning function is not always sufficient. Observe the manufacturer's instructions here - because some fully automatic machine manufacturers do not recommend cleaning at all. You can also use our step-by-step instructions for fully automatic applications.