Mr. Coffee Burr Grinder
[1] Large or small, a coffee grinder needs regular cleaning (photo courtesy Mr. Coffee).

Coffee Grinder Bread Crumbs
[2] Clean the grinder regularly with bread or rice (photo courtesy Coffee & Tea Newsletter).

Coffee Grinder Cleaning Brush
[3] Brush out fine grounds with a soft brush (photo courtesy Alibaba). You can also repurpose a clean makeup brush.


If you care enough about the freshness of your coffee to grind your own beans, you need give the grinder a regular cleaning.

Just as oils collect in the bottom of the coffee pot, they leave their oily residue in the well and on the blades of the grinder.

Over time, the oil becomes stale and affects the flavor of the coffee.

You may or may not notice oil on the lid or blades of the grinder. If you do, you know it’s time to act. But even if you don’t, plan to clean the grinder a few times a year. If you use the grinder daily, clean it once a month.

Here’s the technique from TODAY Home:

  • Unplug the grinder. Always unplug any appliance before cleaning it.
  • Fill the grinder halfway with plain bread cubes or raw rice and process it in the grinder (photo #2). The abrasion cleans the blades while the starch in absorbs the oils.
  • That’s why simply wiping the surfaces with a paper towel isn’t optimal. Toss the crumbs.
  • In fact, when you find yourself with two-day-old bread that can’t be otherwise repurposed, use it to clean the grinder.
  • Dust with a brush. Use a small, soft brush as needed (photo #3). Many grinders come with the brush for cleaning. Use them to give the grinder a quick clean every time you use it.
  • Wash the lid with soapy water.
  • Never submerge the base of an appliance in water.

  • Bread crumbs
  • Flours: almond flour, oat flour, etc.
  • Garnishes: chocolate, citrus peel, coconut, etc.
  • Herbs and spices
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Peppercorns and coarse salt
  • Powdered sugar
  • Rubs
  • Superfine sugar
    In fact, if you have a second coffee grinder—an older one you haven’t tossed, for example—clean it thoroughly and use it for these non-coffee purposes.

    However, you still have to clean it thoroughly, so the dried chile residue doesn’t meld with the powdered sugar.

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