How to Clean a Burr Grinder

How to Clean a Burr Grinder

Jake Bonneman Jake Bonneman
3 minutes of coffee drinking

Burr coffee grinders are the pinnacle of modern coffee-grinding technology. They're also a pain in the ass to clean.

I mean, who wants to clean burrs, of any kind? (Some jerk, probably.)

It’s like brushing your teeth: time-consuming, annoying, and to be honest—kind of gross. But it's absolutely essential.

If you want to keep your burr-ground coffee tasting fresh and flavorful, that is.

And since you've made the smart decision to leave the blade grinding riff-raff behind, and enter the brave new world of burr grinding—I'm willing to bet that you probably do, in fact, want to keep your coffee tasting fresh and flavorful.

So here's the thing: Whatever type of coffee grinder you have—regardless of whether it’s a Kitchenaid, a Krups, a Kapresso, a Kuisinart, or a Khefman—you need to keep that thing clean if you want to get the most out of your (thrice) daily dose of java.

So with that in mind, here are some step-by-step instructions for cleaning a standard burr coffee grinder. Keep in mind these will apply to a lot of burr grinders, but they might not apply to yours—especially if your burr grinder has an untraditional design. So clean at your own risk and if in doubt, always consult the manufacturer's directions.

How to Clean a Typical Burr Grinder:

  1. Unplug the grinder and remove the beans (if any).

  2. Take off the top burr and brush it with a soft, dry brush. Be sure to get rid of any coffee grounds that are stuck in there.

  3. Remove the bottom burr and do the same thing—brush it with a soft, dry brush.

  4. If your grinder has any removable parts, take these out and clean them as well (using soap and water or a damp cloth, whichever is appropriate for the part).

  5. Wipe down all of the other parts of your grinder with a damp cloth.

  6. Let your grinder dry completely before putting it back together and turning it on again.

Burr Grinder Maintenance Tips:

Maintaining your burr coffee grinder is just as important as regularly cleaning it. So here are a few tips for keeping your burry little friend in tip top grinding condition.

  • Avoid using metal objects to clean your grinder. This includes brushes with metal bristles. Why? When metal comes into contact with the burrs, it can damage them, leading to a decrease in performance over time. Also, maybe this is just me, but I'm not the biggest fan of metal shavings in my coffee. In fact, I'd even say I don't like it.

  • Unless you specifically enjoy the lighter end of the roasting spectrum (like me), you can actually save yourself a lot of hassle by not grinding coffee beans that are oily. Oily coffee beans can cause ground coffee to stick and build up on your burrs, which makes cleaning more difficult.

  • Like most brewing equipment and electronics in general, store your grinder in a cool, dry place when you're not using it. This'll help to prevent the build-up of dust and other unwelcome particles on your grinder.

Cleaning and maintaining a burr coffee grinder isn't as daunting as it may seem. By following these simple steps, you can keep your grinder in good working condition and ensure that your coffee tastes great—every grind, every time.

So go ahead and brew a freshly burr-ground cup of joe, on me*!

(*Disclaimer: Cup of joe may not actually be on me.)

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