One of the keys to great coffee is a great coffee grinder. So, if you’ve bought yourself a new grinder, you may be wondering if you should clean it before using it.
As a general rule, you should always clean a new coffee grinder before first use. Since these devices are assembled in factories, they may contain residual chemicals used during the manufacturing process. A thorough cleaning before first use can prevent these chemicals from getting in your coffee.
But, of course, there are different types of grinders out there. And the best way to clean your grinder depends on which one you just bought.
If you want to read more about what you should do with your grinder right after buying it keep reading!
Should I Clean My Coffee Grinder Before First Use?
Generally, you should clean your new coffee grinder before you use it for the first time. But what happens if you don’t? If you just start grinding coffee right out of the box, will you get sick?
However, there are several good reasons why you should clean your coffee grinder before using it.
Remove Chemicals That Remain From Manufacturing
The primary reason for cleaning your grinder is to remove any residual chemicals or items that may be on your new grinder.
Most coffee grinders are made in factories using automated processes. And these factories may use chemicals and lubricants while building your grinder.
Besides that, manufacturers also purchase their supplies (plastics, metals, wood, glass, etc.) from other companies. These other companies have their own processes that may leave residual chemicals as well.
Not All Countries Have The Same Manufacturing Standards
You may imagine that most factories have sanitization standards and basic regulations they have to follow. And they probably do. But keep in mind that coffee grinders are made all over the world and the factory that made yours may not follow the regulations you’re expecting them to.
There’s also the issue of storage and shipping.
While being stored, the grinder may be exposed to chemicals in the warehouse or exposed to less than sanitary conditions during shipping from one country to another.
It may seem like I’m exaggerating or being overly paranoid about manufacturers and shippers. But the point is that we don’t always know where our products have been.
Even if they turn out to be sanitary and free of chemicals, it doesn’t hurt to clean them off.
What’s The Best Way To Clean A New Coffee Grinder
The best way to clean your coffee grinder depends on which one you’ve bought.
Let’s take a look at the 3 types of grinders available and the best way to clean them.
- blade grinder
- manual burr grinder
- automatic burr grinder
Cleaning Your Blade Grinder Before First Use
Blade grinders typically aren’t meant to be taken apart and deep cleaned, but they do have a removable chamber that should be cleaned regularly.
Because of how these grinders are built, the best way to clean them is by detaching the chamber and carefully washing it with soap and water. Just make sure you thoroughly dry it before using it.
However, many people reject the idea of washing the grinder with water. If you prefer, you can wipe the inside of your grinder with isopropyl alcohol to clean it.
One last option is to use old coffee or uncooked rice to break in your new grinder. By doing this any residual chemicals that would get in your coffee can be thrown out with the ground rice or old beans.
Cleaning Your Manual Burr Grinder Before First Use
Manual burr grinders like the JavaPresse are small but complex machines, and the only way to really clean them is to disassemble them and wash them by hand.
(If you’re interested in manual grinders, you can find the JavaPresse and others on Amazon.)
However, if that seems like too much work just to start using a new grinder, you can grind some old beans to break your grinder in.
Just like with the blade grinder, doing this will let you throw out any residual chemicals or particles that are in your grinder.
Cleaning Your Automatic Burr Grinder Before First Use
Automatic burr grinders are electric grinders, so the entire device can’t be washed. Instead, you’ll have to focus on a few key areas:
- the hopper – the funnel you introduce the beans into
- the burrs; the abrasive metal surface that actually grinds the beans
- the chute or area your grinds will come out of
When first using your burr grinder, you can detach the hopper and wash it with soap and water. The chute or dispenser can also be washed with a wet cloth.
However, it’s the burrs that present the difficulty.
Some coffee lovers believe that cleaning the burrs off with soap and water is fine as long as you completely dry them.
Others completely reject the idea of wetting their burrs. Instead, they prefer to dust them off with a brush or wipe them off with a dry cloth.
Seasoning Your New Burr Grinder
When you get a new burr grinder, you may or may not clean it, but it is recommended that you season your burr.
Seasoning involves grinding large quantities of beans until your grinder reaches peak performance.
But depending on who you ask, there are multiple reasons for doing this:
- seasoning takes the harsh edges off the burrs
- seasoning coats the burrs with coffee oil
- Breville vs DeLonghi: Best Espresso Machines 2022!
- Turkish Coffee Grinder – How To Choose The Best!
- Best Way To Grind Coffee- For The Perfect Cup Of Coffee!
- Best Blender For Bulletproof Coffee: The Most Complete Review!
Seasoning Burr Grinders To Take The Edge Off
In the first case, seasoning is done because new burrs have harsh corners and sharp edges. And if you don’t season the burrs, they will wear down during the first few grinds.
This fact will make it difficult to get a consistent grind size and extraction yield until your grinder is broken in and reaches peak performance.
The amount of grinding you need to do to properly season your burrs depends on whether you have a flat or conical grinder and the burr’s size. But you can typically expect to grind a few pounds of beans before they’re properly seasoned.
Seasoning Burr Grinders To Coat With Oil
Some say that seasoning is done to coat the burrs with coffee oils. (I’m specifically referring to a YouTube video where Whole Latte Love interviews a manufacturer of burr grinders)
In this case, the purpose of seasoning is to improve the friction of the grinder.
So, why does friction matter?
If there’s too much friction, the amount of grinds produced per second will vary. But less friction means the flow of coffee grinds is more consistent. Which means a consistent coffee dose.
- You should always clean new coffee grinders before first use
- Blade grinders have a detachable chamber that can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol or water
- Manual burr grinders can be disassembled and cleaned
- Automatic burr grinders have certain parts that can be cleaned with soap and water. Some people choose not to wash the burrs themselves with water and instead brush them or wipe them down.
Cheers Coffee Lovers!
- Best Bedroom Coffee Maker (Top 6 Picks!)
- Are Blade Grinders Really That Bad?
- 16 Moka Pot Mistakes To Steer Clear Of!
- What Are The Parts Of A Moka Pot? (Easy Assembly Guide!)
- Do Moka Pots Work On Induction Stoves? (Why Or Why Not?)
- What’s The Best Induction Moka Pot? (Top 5 Picks!)
Idalmis is co-owner of Coffee Break Lovers. She is a Cuban coffee enthusiast that is passionate about coffee and coffee culture.