HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


getting rid of the spice smell from my coffee grinder?

So I ground some cumin seeds in my Braun coffee grinder which I normally use for coffee. Now it reeks of cumin. What's the best way to neutralize the smell and make sure my coffee doesn't taste like cumin the next time I grind my coffee beans? I was thinking of spinning some baking soda in it, but I wonder if someone has a better idea?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Grind some rice in it until the smell is gone. The baking soda couldn't hurt though too.

    1. I grind fresh bread that has been cubed to remove the tastes and smell.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kelli2006

        I also vote for fresh bread it wipes out the oils from the spices make sure it is a moist bread like wonderbread or a potato bread

      2. I have 2 coffee grinders, 1 for coffee, 1 for spices. Grind bread cubes to clean, but it doesn't completely get rid of the smell/taste.

        2 Replies
        1. re: pikawicca

          here's another vote for two grinders. You never completely get rid of those pungent spice smells.

          1. two grinders is the way to go. if you are sold, i'd buy a new one and make it coffee only, keep the old one for spices.

            that said some things you can grind to get the smell out - rice, salt, baking soda, dry bread - grind them all together, several times? also wipe it out with a cloth soaked in a little white vinegar. you should do pretty well getting the smell out that way.

            1. I'm going to have to agree with most of the posters so far. Blade grinders are pretty cheap and I would never want to grind my coffee in what I grind spices in. I do back to back spices but coffee you drink will really get tainted by any previous spices. I always grind my cumin fresh and I use it a lot. It does leave a oily residue. The top of my grinder is etched from the spices. I use instant rice in my coffee grinders and it does help to clean the blade grinder. Instant rice is dessicated rice puree and so it doesn't leave any oils that are present in raw rice.

              1 Reply
              1. re: scubadoo97

                Good idea about the instant rice. I just can't bear to buy one more "special purpose" item for my tiny kitchen, so I make due with my coffee grinder doing dual purpose - and I really don't taste any lingering spices in the beans.

              2. Rice and baking soda together did a decent job on mine, but if you really love coffee you may want to just use the blade grinder for spices and pick up a burr grinder for coffee. Thoroughly cleaning the blade grinder all the time is going to be too much hassle every time you want fresh ground spices.

                1. Grind a few coffee beans down to fine and dispose. Good to go for the rest of the coffee.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Ah - that is very clever too - don't know why I never thought of it - the obvious choice!

                  2. Option #1: Get a better coffee grinder (burrs, not blades), and continue to use that Braun for spices only.

                    Option #2: Get a second blade grinder and use that for coffee only.