There are also some lesser health known advantages to keeping your grinder clean. A dirty grinder can get stuck, and loosening it can cause the teeth to grind against each other, creating invisible metal shavings that can get mixed into your ground herb – and nobody likes smoking metal. If you keep old flower in a grinder long enough, it can even begin to accumulate bacteria which is harmful to your lungs.
The screen is the most delicate, and one of the most important parts of your grinder. Once the rest of your piece has been scraped and emptied of any flower, it’s time to take your brand new toothbrush and get a little more gentle. Since the screen can easily tear or bend, it’s best to be less aggressive with this step. Rub the top of the screen with the toothbrush, making a circular motion from the middle to the outside. After a little while, the toothbrush will push all of the clogged kief from the screen onto the paper plate you are cleaning it on. Brush and brush until you have another nice pile on our plate, and when you can see through the screen more clearly.
Don’t know how often to clean your grinder? It all depends on how much you smoke. There is no dead-set timeline as to when you should be cleaning out your cannabis grinder, but there are a few warning signs. The first flag that it’s time for a cleaning will be when you realize your kief catcher is no longer working as well as it did when the grinder was new. Over time, your screen can get clogged with ground up weed, and this is the first sign that your new grinder is getting some good use.
After the bath, take your grinder out and swab it thoroughly with the Q-tips. If one soak did not completely dislodge all of the plant matter, then throw it back into a fresh bath and try again – if your grinder is especially old, it may take a few soaks.
- A paper plate (for collecting plant matter from the grinder)
- A freezer (for 3 or 4 piece grinders only)
- A new, dry toothbrush
- Picker Packer Poker
- Isopropanol alcohol
- Large glass container (large enough to fully submerge the grinder)
- Clean kitchen sink
- Paper towels
- Hair Dryer
Now it’s time to give it a little more of a deep clean. With all of the grinder pieces taken apart, scrape the inside of the entire grinder (except for the screen) with the toothpick or Picker Packer Poker. This process should be done on top of your paper plate to keep growing your kief pile. Make sure you pay extra attention to any surfaces that are prone to friction – these should be free of any plant matter.
With your grinder still unassembled, it’s time to move on to the final soak. Take your glass container, and fill it with enough rubbing alcohol so that your grinder can be fully submerged. The unassembled grinder should remain fully submerged for at least 20 minutes. If you’re cleaning an acrylic grinder and not a metal one, then make sure to soak it in a solution of hot water and dish detergent instead.
This tutorial will cover the basics of cleaning any grinder, regardless of the material or number or chambers. The biggest difference between grinders will be the inclusion (or lack thereof) of a kief screen, and whether it’s made out of acrylic or metal. The general process, however, will always be the same.
Before you start cleaning out your grinder, you’re going to want to collect your sweet, powdery kief so you have something to smoke during the process. If you have a three or four piece grinder, keep it together and place it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes, this will help loosen the ground flower from the teeth and other metal parts. After some time, take the grinder out of the freezer, and (while still put together) give it a few taps on a table to loosen the rest of the kief inside. Tap every piece onto the paper plate so you can collect all of the flower that falls out.
Learn how to clean your travel smoke case marijuana grinder with our step by step instructions. Works for metal, acrylic and multi chamber grinders!
This method is ideal for medium-sized batches of plant matter. One downside to using silk screens is that they can tear easily from stems. It’s best to be gentle and work slowly, picking out any jagged pieces that might tear. Metal screens are available in this size as well, but can be harder to come by.
Silk screens can help you collect a pretty decent amount of kief in a short amount of time. To do so, you’ll need to take a trip to your local art store to grab a silk screen, the very same you might buy to DIY a few band t-shirts. For this method, a basin or clean surface is set to catch the kief underneath (a pane of glass or mirror works well) and then ground or shredded cannabis plant material is gently run over the screen to separate out the kief.
The oldest kief method is to create a drum with a silk screen. The screen is stretched over the whole drum basin (often just a plastic bucket), and then covered with a selection of bud or trimmings. Next, a tarp is secured over the top with a rubber band or tight rope, locking the plant material in between the tarp and the silk screen. This is then beaten with sticks and the kief falls through the silk screen. With the right micron-gage silk (the unit of measurement for small particles), one could easily make a traditional Moroccan kief drum at home. This is an ideal setup for larger amounts of plant matter, but also easy to scale in size.
Many utilize the “coin trick” to get better efficiency out of their grinders’ kief catchers. Putting a coin in the middle chamber helps to knock trichomes off of the flower as well as push them through the screen to the collection chamber below. It’s important to wash the coin well before putting it in with your flower to avoid contaminants and ridge-less coins tend to work best (better surface contact).
Ask your budtender to help select well-sugared strains in order to maximize yield. Also, wearing gloves, or using an object to manipulate the plant matter is ideal to minimize oil residue from your hands (which will also make the kief clump up). Happy kief collecting!
However, submerging the plant in an ice bath with get the most out of it, one just needs to be able to collect the kief back out. To do so, hash producers use a dry ice bath and what’s known as a “bubble bag,” a type of sieve sleeve (say that five times fast) traditionally used for making bubble hash. Plant matter is put in the middle of the bag then stirred in the ice bath forcing the bud against the screen. The resulting kief is collected underneath the screen.
H ere at PotGuide, we recently covered some of the ways to put your kief collection to good use, and we figured that it might be a good time to go over some of the ways to collect that kief in the first place. In general, there are three ways of collecting kief without the use of solvents: shake it off, freeze it off, or force through a screen to be caught in some form of reservoir. The best collection methods combine these methods to capture as many trichomes as possible. Take a look below to learn more and start collecting that precious kief!
Small pollen boxes, can be slightly time consuming for getting large yields, but are easy and tidy for small personal batches. Simply put some buds in the top and shake. The biggest benefit of pollen boxes are that they keep everything nicely contained, so you don’t have to worry about a gust of wind or clumsy roommate coming by and scattering your work to the wind. However for larger yields, you’ll want to scale up.
Do you have any experience collecting kief? Let us know some of your favorite methods in the comments below!
In general, there are three ways of collecting kief without the use of solvents: shake it off, freeze it off, or force through a screen to be caught in some form of reservoir. Take a look below to learn more and start collecting that precious kief!