How to Clean a Manual Coffee Grinder: 3-Step Easy Guide (2023)

For coffee enthusiasts, nothing beats the freshness and consistency that comes with grinding your coffee beans right at home. One popular tool to achieve the perfect grind is a manual coffee grinder. Not only does it give you control over the coarseness of your coffee grounds, but it also adds a satisfying, hands-on element to your brewing routine. However, to maintain the quality of your grinder and the taste of your coffee, it’s crucial to keep your manual grinder clean.

Over time, oils and excess coffee grounds can build up in your grinder, leading to inconsistent grinds and even unpleasant flavors in your coffee. Regular cleaning ensures your device runs at its best and produces the freshest and most delicious coffee possible. Keeping your grinder clean may seem daunting, but don’t worry! With a few simple steps, you can ensure your grinder is always grinding like a champ.

Just follow these easy guidelines, and you’ll have your manual coffee grinder sparkling clean and ready for action in no time. Remember, a well-maintained grinder is the key to extracting the best flavors from your favorite coffee beans and enhancing your overall coffee experience. So, let’s dive right into the cleaning process and give your grinder the care it deserves!

steps to clean a coffee grinder

What Is a Manual Coffee Grinder?

A manual coffee grinder that allows you to grind coffee beans with precision. Unlike an electric grinder, it gives you full control over the grinding process, allowing you to customize the texture and size of the grounds to your preference. Additionally, manual coffee grinders are often more compact, portable, and affordable than their electric counterparts.

Components of a Manual Coffee Grinder

There are a few key components that make up your grinder:

  1. Core Cylinder: This is where you put your coffee beans. Indeed, in the case of a manual device, the core acts as the hopper.
  2. Burr set: Located at the bottom of the grinder, this is where the magic happens. The burrs are sharp blades, usually made from stainless steel, that crush and grind the coffee beans into grounds. One burr is set in a fixed position, while the other moves manually when you rotate the crank.
  3. Dial: A simple rotary switch that easily lets you dial between fine and coarse grind settings. On manual coffee grinders, the dial is usually located at the bottom of the core cylinder and accessible by removing the bean jar.
  4. Cranking mechanism: The handle, connected to a central axe, you turn to grind the coffee beans. The cranking mechanism transfers your manual energy into the rotation of the burr set, creating the much-desired coffee grounds. Most of the time, the crank is directly connected to the lid that covers the core cylinder.
  5. Bean jar: The receptacle at the bottom of the grinder, where the freshly ground coffee collects, ready for brewing. The bean jar screws directly into the core cylinder on manual coffee grinders.
  6. Other steel parts: springs, rings, and bearing spacers; these steel parts ensure that the manual grinder works smoothly.
burr coffee grinder

As you can see, a manual coffee grinder, although simple by design, has a few components that you need to understand to ensure proper maintenance.

How to Clean Your Manual Coffee Grinder

Cleaning your grinder is essential for maintaining its performance and preserving the flavor of your coffee every day for many years. In this section, we’ll guide you on how to clean it properly, with easy-to-follow steps, the necessary tools, and essential precautions.


You’ll only need a small brush to clean your grinder. It can be a regular toothbrush or a special coffee grinder brush like the ones recommended by manufacturers. The most important is that it’s clean and dry.

Burr grinder dirty with coffee grounds stuck

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Disassemble: Carefully take the grinder apart, following the instructions of your grinder’s manufacturer. Ensure you keep track of all the pieces.
  2. Brush the burrs: Use a clean and dry toothbrush (or a brush specifically made for coffee grinders) to scrub all the parts gently. Pay special attention to the burrs.
  3. Reassemble and test: Carefully put your grinder back together and give it a test run to ensure it’s functioning correctly.

Things to Avoid

  • Do not use water: do not let any liquid near your grinder (even soap or a cleaning solution). Humidity can cause your burrs to rust, which would irreversibly alter the performance of your grinder.
  • Avoid losing parts: Keep track of all parts while disassembling and cleaning to avoid losing any essential components. We recommend recording yourself disassembling the grinder to ensure you don’t forget any parts and remember the order of assembly.

By following this guide, you’ll keep your device in excellent condition, ensuring the perfect grind every time.

Why It’s Important to Clean Your Manual Coffee Grinder

Maintaining clean burrs comes with numerous benefits that you don’t want to miss out on! In this section, we’ll discuss how regularly cleaning your grinder extends its lifespan as well as improves the taste of your coffee.

view of inside the cylinder with view burr coffee grinder

Extend Lifespan of Your Grinder

First and foremost, properly cleaning your coffee grinder helps to extend its lifespan. Over time, coffee beans can leave behind oils and small particles, which may create a build-up on your grinder’s components. This build-up can lead to damage and make your grinder less efficient.

By cleaning your manual coffee grinder regularly, you’ll prevent the accumulation of these residues, ensuring that it works smoothly for a longer period. A well-maintained grinder also reduces the need for costly repairs or replacements, ultimately saving you money!

Taste of Your Coffee

Another significant reason to clean your manual grinder is that it directly impacts the taste of your coffee. Old coffee grounds and oils can get stuck in the grinder. These remnants can mix with freshly ground beans, affecting the aroma and flavor of your brew.

To achieve the ultimate coffee experience, clean your grinding device routinely. This will help eliminate any residual particles, coffee oils, and impurities that may compromise your coffee’s freshness, aroma, and taste.

clean coffee grinders comandante

How Often Should You Clean Your Manual Coffee Grinder

It’s essential to clean your grinder regularly to ensure that your coffee grounds stay fresh and free of any built-up coffee oils or debris. But how often do you need to clean it? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you figure it out!

As a general rule, cleaning your manual coffee grinder every two weeks is a good idea. However, if you’re grinding coffee daily or using oily beans, you’ll want to clean your grinder about once a week. Frequent cleaning will keep your coffee tasting delicious and maintain the grinder’s performance.

Purists who want to enjoy their coffee beans to the fullest generally clean their grinder every time before trying new beans to not miss out on any subtle coffee taste notes.

But what if you’re not using it every day? In that case, cleaning it once a month should be enough. This will prevent any build-up of stale grounds or lingering oils that could affect the taste of your next cup of coffee. Remember, a clean and dry coffee grinder will stay fresher for a longer time!

If you have a small manual grinder for your travels that normally stays in the cupboard at home, cleaning the grinder after each trip is good practice.

burr grinders

So now you know how often to clean your manual coffee grinder. Regular cleaning will not only improve the taste of your coffee but also prolong the life of your grinder. Enjoy your fresh, delicious coffee with pride, knowing you’re taking care of your equipment! Happy brewing!

Leave a Comment