Why buy store-bought herbs when growing and drying them at home is so economical? Growing and drying herbs is a great way to have delicious seasonings year-round. An herb grinder is a handy kitchen gadget that makes grinding dried herbs much easier. When purchasing a new herb grinder, it is important to clean it before first use, as materials left inside the grinder from the manufacturing process could be dangerous if mixed with ground herbs. After the first time, however, it is only necessary to clean it when the grinder becomes difficult to turn or the screen becomes clogged. When this happens, there are several methods for cleaning an herb grinder at home.
1. Clean an Herb Grinder Using a Toothbrush
Disassemble the herb grinder, and shake off all extra plant matter onto a paper towel. Gently use a soft-bristle toothbrush to brush off anything left in the grooves or screen of the grinder. Use a q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol to remove any matter that is still stuck on. Rise off every piece under warm water, and then set it out to dry. Make sure all pieces are completely dry before reassembling.
2. Clean an Herb Grinder Using the Freezer
When there is a lot of buildup inside the grinder, stick each of the pieces in the freezer for about an hour. This freezes all of the plant matter, making it easier to remove. Directly after removing the grinder from the freezer, simply tap each piece on a paper towel on a table or countertop. All of the buildup should fall off easily.
3. Clean an Herb Grinder Using Household Cleaner
To clean grinders that get frequent use, it is easiest to soak them overnight. A household cleaner that one would normally use to clean kitchen counters works well. Take a glass or dish that every part of the grinder
can easily fit into. Fill it about half full with the cleaning solution and half with water. Drop in all of the grinder parts, letting them soak overnight. In the morning, rinse each piece under warm water. Lay out to dry before reassembling.
4. Clean an Herb Grinder Using Boiling Water
Boil water using an electric or stovetop kettle. Pour the boiling water into a glass or other suitable container that can fit each piece of the herb grinder. Gently drop each piece of the grinder into the glass of hot water, using a spoon to stir the pieces around occasionally. After ten minutes, or once the water has cooled off and the residue has mostly lifted off the grinder, remove each of the pieces. Rinse them under warm water, gently scrubbing them with a soft-bristled brush if necessary. Let dry before reassembling.
5. Clean an Herb Grinder Using a Scraping Tool
If collecting and reusing the built-up material inside the grinder is important, then using a scraping tool is the best option. Plastic gift cards or credit cards make great scraping tools, as they are strong enough to scrape away any plant matter without scratching the metal or plastic of the grinder. After disassembling the grinder, use the card to scrape off as much residue as possible. Those that want to collect this material should remember to do this over a plate or bowl. This may be enough to get the grinder is working order again, but for those that want to do a deep cleaning, follow it up by washing each piece under warm water.
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Herb grinders are a small yet handy kitchen tool that people use for grinding a wide variety of herbs and spices. To keep your herb grinder working well for years to come, however, remember that proper maintenance is necessary.