Coffee grinder - how to clean it and cope with jamming


There are three types of manual grinderson the market , depending on the material of the stones - with ceramic stones, steel stones and titanium stones. The ones with ceramic stones are usually sold at a lower price because ceramic is cheaper. Steel stones are more expensive, but they are also more durable and the investment is definitely worth it. Hand coffee grinders with titanium stones are made by the well-known brand Timemore, but their product portfolio also includes grinders with steel stones.

Most of the hand grinders are mainly suitable for grinding coffee for alternative preparations, but there are a few exceptions with which you can also grind coffee for espresso, such as theComandantegrinder or the K-PLUS grinder from 1ZPRESSO, which even offers 90 degrees for adjusting the coarseness of the coffee grind.

You won't go wrong with a manual coffee grinder from Timemore, besides looking great they are also very practical for travel. You'll also appreciate the ease of adjusting the grind coarseness, just remember how many clicks you're comfortable with for a given coffee brew.


When grinding coffee beans, oils and microscopic particlesbuild up on the grinders . Both of these deposits can have a negative effect on the subsequent coffee preparation, as the dull particles and rancid oils settle on the new coffee beans and travel to the final cup of coffee.

How do I go about cleaning my Hario manual coffee grinder?

Although hand grinders differ in many ways, their maintenance is quite similar. It needs to be disassembled. Disassemble all the parts you take apart, preferably on a white cloth or rag. Start with the ground coffee container. And then unscrew the stones and other parts. Take out the stem and the center rod. You should be left with just the hopper and no other parts.


  • A napkin
  • A soft brush
  • Soapy water

First, grind theparts with a brush. The hopper and ground coffee container usually only need to be rinsed with water. To get rid of oils on the stones, you need touse soapy water. Dry the parts well afterwards, or better still, leave them to dry on a cloth for some time. Definitely avoid washing in the dishwasher. You might not be able to reassemble the grinder because of missing small parts, and washing in the dishwasher is rougher. The grinder and especially the stones should be handled gently.

When everything is done and the parts are dry, it's time to assemble the grinder. First, you reinsert the metal rod into the top of the grinder. Then insert the plastic washer and spring. Then slide the stones along the rod into the outer section. Put the adjustment knob on the thread of the rod and turn it until the stones are completely closed. Now you can loosen the stones again, count the clicks and find the right setting for your coffee brewing method.

You will notice that the click your grinder makes when switching settings is more audible and that the adjustment knob feels more secure. This is exactly why you should keep your grinder clean and in tip-top condition.

Timemore's C1hand grinder cleaning video can serve as a demonstration .


For electric coffee grinders, in addition to the material from which the grinding stones are made, we also distinguish between conical and flatgrinders according to the shape of the stones . In manual coffee grinders, we always find conical grinding stones, as they are better suited to the small size of manual grinders.

Grinders with flat stones are more often found among electric grinders. However, thediameter of the grinding stonesis also important , as is the aforementioned finish. Grinders with conical grinding stones are mainly found among those designed for household use from the Wilfa and Baratza brands . These work on the principle of crushing the coffee beans as they pass through the stones. You'll find alternative grinders and universal grinders that can grind everything from espresso to French Press.

Flat stones can usually grind about 250 kg of coffee, after which they need to be replaced. However, in a titanium finish, they can handle twice that amount. You can tell in layman's terms that it's time for a replacement by the whistling sound the grinder makes when grinding, the grinding is slow, and even if you have the machine adjusted, the coffee tastes burnt because it's already burnt in the grinder.

Coffee grinders are also distinguished according to their purpose, into filter coffee grinders, universal grinders or espresso grinders. Universal and espresso grinders are easily recognisable at a glance by the portafilter holder. Source.


Whether it's a grinder designed for grinding espresso coffee, filter coffee, or an all-purpose grinder, it needs to be cared for, and most importantly, cleaned. A dirty electric grinder, in addition to bad coffee, can give you a malfunctioning grinder motor and, in a worse case scenario, nausea from rancid oil that can build up in the grinder.

Electric coffee grinders can become clogged with ground coffee residue that leads to bad tasting coffee. Coffee dust tends to find its way into every nook, cranny, crack, and crevice in the grinder, which over time can lead to damaged components, reduced performance, or even a malfunctioning motor if the buildup is large.

Another problem is oils. Even if your coffee beans aren't dark roasted and don't have an oily sheen, there is still a lot of oil in them. Wherever the ground coffee touches parts of the grinder, oil starts to build up, causing stains and stickiness, if allowed to settle, these oils will spoil over time. This causes unpleasant tastes in the resulting cup of coffee.

You can clean the electric grinder in three levels.
  • Easy cleaning with just a cloth and brush
  • deeper cleaning with cleaning tablets
  • Deep cleaning with a vacuum cleaner


For this cleaning you only need a soft brush or cloth. Simply wiping away visible dirt and oils with a brush or cloth will reduce the build-up of dirt. This can be every day or a few times a week, depending on how often you use the grinder.

1. First, unplug the grinder.
2. Then remove the hopper, or the top cover of the grinder, and anything else you need to access the stones (be sure to check the grinder instructions, it can save you a lot of time).
3. Once you've loosened these parts, just wipe them all down or clean them with a soft brush to remove any dust and dirt.
4. If you want you can fold the grinder back at this stage or proceed to deep clean.

Don't forget to clean other parts of the grinder, such as the hopper, in addition to the grinding stones. This is where coffee also leaves oils. The darker the coffee is roasted, the more oily it is. Source.


The next step of cleaning is to use special tablets in our case it will be Cafetto Grind Clean. The tablets are shaped and sized like coffee beans, made from substances safe for the gastro area and specially formulated to help remove coffee dust and oil deposits. Using the tablets is simple, just grind them in the grinder.

1. Grind about a handful of tablets.
2. Then, before you use the grinder again, grind a few grams of coffee to remove the tablet residue.

A great tip during the grinding of the cleaning tablets is to vary the coarseness of the grind. Start at the highest grind coarseness that the grinder will allow. This will loosen even the largest particles between the stones. Then slowly adjust the grinder to finer grinding grades. In this way, you will gradually remove the smallest particles that are stuck in the grinder. Jumping too quickly to the fine grind setting could potentially cause further clogging of the machine.

With regular use of the Cafetto Grind, you will use your grinder for many years. It will take care of removing deposits that are not entirely desirable for the proper functioning of the grinder.

For home use you only need to do this cleaning about once every two weeks, in use it should be at least once a week. To maintain regularity in operations, I recommend setting aside one day a week to clean the grinder with the tablets, or creating a schedule to do so.

We also have a short video on how to clean your electric coffee grinder with cleaning tablets.


You might have also come across the tip to clean the grinder with rice, which while it can be effective, can also be dangerous. Baratza even states that the warranty on their coffee grinders does not cover damage caused by the use of rice. This is because rice is often harder than coffee beans, and as a result puts more stress on the grinder than the coffee for which it is designed. Another problem is the starch that is released from the rice grains and can end up weighing down the grinder. So you'd rather get the right tablets to guarantee the long term performance of your grinder than listen to all the old wives' advice and end up with a broken grinder.


You should ideally do this deep cleaning once a month. Ideally, start with the previous steps to remove the biggest buildup.

  1. After unplugging the grinder, remove the hopper and any parts needed to access the grinding stones and set them aside.
  2. Using a toothbrush or wooden toothpick, clean the teeth and screws of all deposits and dust. Depending on the grinder model, you can also remove the upper grinding stones from their holder and clean dust from hard-to-reach crevices and slots.
  3. After cleaning the upper grinding stones, move on to the lower ones and repeat the process.
  4. Use a wooden or plastic brush to remove deposits, especially in the grinding area.
  5. Now comes the fun part. You take a vacuum cleaner with a hose and suck up the remaining bits of dirt. Be careful, though, and avoid vacuuming around loose screws or parts of the grinder. In no time at all, your grinder will be almost as good as new.
  6. Before reassembling the grinder, wipe down the hopper, where coffee also tends to leave oils, especially if you have the grinder in the sun.
  7. Wipe the coffee hopper with a damp cloth to remove any dirtas well. A very mild cleaner such as soapy water can help with the more stubborn oil stains here, just remember to rinse and dry these parts thoroughly before putting them back into operation.Moisture should be avoided near the grinders and grinding chamber, especially if you have steel grinders. You don't want rust or corrosion near the moving parts or motor.

I recommend grinding a small amount of coffee (roughly 10-20 grams) before returning to brewing. The grinder settings may be a little off when disassembled. Grinding a few beans will help adjust everything as it should be. Another reason to grind a little coffee is a bit of a paradox, although you have now removed the coffee oil, a small amount is needed in the grinder, just to protect it from corrosion. We don't want the oil to go rancid and make your coffee taste awful, but we do want a little of it to stay in the grinder and keep oxidation in check.


Whether you've just bought a new coffee grinder or you've been using it happily for a few months but suddenly it won't grind, the beans are jamming or you have some other problem, there's no need to panic. There are a few things to keep in mind when troubleshooting your grinder.

Just because there's a problem with your grinder doesn't mean you should throw it in the trash. One possibility as to why your grinder isn't working isclogged coffee grounds. Not because it's broken.

The job of the grinder is to grind whole coffee beans into smaller particles, but these can get stuck in the lower or upper ceramic or steel stones, as well as other hard-to-reach places in the grinder. Even if these particles don't initially destroy the grinder, over time you will start to hear a harsh grinding sound coming from the grinder. This can indicate a damaged component or even a ruined motor. If the grinder gets stuck, it cannot spin the grinding stones and grind. Over time, the grinders accumulate oils from the coffee beans in addition to the coffee grounds. If you have your grinder set to a very fine grind there's all the more reason why it can jam when clogged. The solution then is quite simple, disassemble and clean the grinder , you will know the difference immediately.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you need tochange the grind grades on the fly, especially if you are switching to finer grind grades. If you were to change to a different coarseness with the grinder off, the grains will get stuck in the grinder and although you may have the timer running, nothing will come out of the grinder. Then the grinder would need to be disassembled and cleaned, otherwise you might damage the motor.

And ideally pour the coffee beans into the grinder while it is running. This will have the positive effect ofgrinding only the amount you need and youwon't have to reweigh your coffee several times afterwards. In addition, the coffee beans will definitely appreciate it if you storethem in asealable container or in a vacuum container instead of a hopper . When in use, do not leave the beans in the hopper at least overnight. In addition, you can combine the emptying of the coffee from the hopper with the daily maintenance of the grinder.

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