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Best Way To Clean a Cheapo Coffee Bean Grinder

Breadcrumbs Mar 10, 2013 09:30 AM

A recent clean-out of the dreaded Tupperware cupboard unearthed an old White Westinghouse coffee bean grinder.

We bought it years ago when our old grinder died and we were still deciding what to purchase next. Now I'm thinking it would be ideal to repurpose for spice grinding but I'd like to give it a good clean out first since there's some slight coffee residue in there and it smells of coffee.

Does anyone have a suggestion for the most effective way to do this?

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  1. grampart RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 10, 2013 09:34 AM

    I've heard running through a few batches of raw rice does the trick.

    2 Replies
    1. re: grampart
      ohmyyum RE: grampart Mar 10, 2013 09:42 AM

      White bread then raw rice.

      I've also ground up some rolled oats in it into oat flour for cookies and the hint of coffee flavor was great.

      1. re: ohmyyum
        jpr54_1 RE: ohmyyum Apr 1, 2013 09:29 AM

        I alsouse a toothpick to clean screws on bottom

    2. petek RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 10, 2013 10:03 AM

      Raw rice....rinse-repeat a couple times.Works great.

      5 Replies
      1. re: petek
        thimes RE: petek Mar 10, 2013 10:24 AM

        +1 on the rice, but "rinse"???? I do a wipe with a damp paper towel, I don't think I'd "rinse" or you're going to ruin the motor.

        1. re: thimes
          grampart RE: thimes Mar 10, 2013 10:25 AM

          Def no rinse!

          1. re: grampart
            Veggo RE: grampart Mar 10, 2013 10:38 AM

            Then of course the best way to get rid of the rice residue is to run some coffee beans through it.....

          2. re: thimes
            petek RE: thimes Mar 10, 2013 10:53 AM

            <+1 on the rice, but "rinse"????>
            I meant like shampooing minus the water..and shampoo :)

          3. re: petek
            poser RE: petek Apr 3, 2013 05:44 PM

            Raw rice works great! But what is better is just put the damn thing in the dish washer!!!!!

          4. Eiron RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 10, 2013 10:43 AM

            Actually, you'll want to use a short-cook 'minute rice' type of product. What you're looking to do is absorb oils & displace old grounds. Raw rice is extremely hard on the grinding surfaces & not great at absorbing stale coffee oils. 'Minute' rice (generic is fine) is much more friable & porous, making it a much better grinder cleaner.

            Alternatively, you can buy a product called Grindz, but it's much more expensive & is basically the same thing as generic 'minute' rice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Eiron
              grampart RE: Eiron Mar 10, 2013 11:03 AM

              That makes sense and I would be relieved of any guilt for wasting good rice. ;-)

            2. d
              dickgrub RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 10, 2013 11:07 AM

              In her excellent book on Thai food, "Cracking the Coconut", Su-Mei Yu advises, " (put) 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar in it and grind for a couple of seconds. Discard the sugar and wipe clean with a paper towel."

              3 Replies
              1. re: dickgrub
                grampart RE: dickgrub Mar 10, 2013 11:15 AM

                I'd stay with the rice. Why bring something with a possible "sticky" aspect into the operation?

                1. re: grampart
                  bear RE: grampart Apr 3, 2013 07:26 AM

                  I wonder if salt would work?

                  1. re: bear
                    poser RE: bear Apr 3, 2013 05:42 PM

                    Pardon my frustration, but the blade 'grinder' is not even a grinder. it is a 'chopper'. It does not need rice, bread, or any other thing but a clean towel to clean the insides.

              2. e
                escondido123 RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 10, 2013 11:13 AM

                I've always used a piece of chewy white bread. Run a small chunk through, dump out the crumbs and repeat until the bread stays white.

                1. grampart RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 10, 2013 12:38 PM

                  We are talking about a burr type grinder here, no?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: grampart
                    Breadcrumbs RE: grampart Mar 10, 2013 12:45 PM

                    Not a burr grinder grampart, just an inexpensive entry-point grinder similar to this one:


                    1. re: Breadcrumbs
                      poser RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 10, 2013 05:08 PM

                      People are replying to you,thinking you had a burr grinder. Just wipe the insides down. it will be perfectly good for spices.

                      1. re: poser
                        thimes RE: poser Mar 10, 2013 08:06 PM

                        I use rice in my blade grinder to clean it too - especially after I've used it to grind a lot of chili peppers so that I don't get the residual heat/oils in whatever I'm grinding next.

                        1. re: poser
                          escondido123 RE: poser Apr 2, 2013 08:32 AM

                          I assumed it was a non-burr grinder when I recommended the bread.

                    2. Breadcrumbs RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 10, 2013 12:47 PM

                      Big thanks to everyone for your help. I'll go with the bread first since I think the slight moisture in the bread will pick up any of the dusty coffee residue. Then I'll move on to the rice. I don't have any quick cook rice so I'll roll the dice and go w regular rice.

                      I'll let you know how I make out. Thanks again!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
                        Breadcrumbs RE: Breadcrumbs Apr 1, 2013 10:01 AM

                        Just an update on this. Thanks again for all your suggestions. I started out running the rice through. After two batches, the interior stainless was looking bright and clean. There was some coffee residue still sticking in the seams where the steel met the plastic casing. I then ran some bread through and the moisture picked up some of the residue but not all. Finally I ended up using a toothpick and that did the trick. I haven't ground any spices yet but I'm good to go when I need to.

                        Thanks to all for your suggestions.

                      2. c
                        Cheffer12 RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 11, 2013 07:26 AM

                        Yea, I also heard about using rice.

                        1. n
                          NVJims RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 16, 2013 04:06 PM

                          I use the regular rice, I let it grind to a powder and save it in a jar to use in thickening sauces.

                          1. k
                            kagemusha49 RE: Breadcrumbs Apr 2, 2013 08:47 AM

                            Since spices all have different flavors, why are you bothered? Surely you won't be cleaning the grinder each time you switch to a different spice? Just wipe it down with a paper towel - slightly moist if necessary.

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