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Should You Use Rice to Clean Your Coffee Grinder?

A man grinds coffee in a coffee bean grinder.
Creative Family/Shutterstock.com

If you love grinding your own coffee, you probably already know you have to clean the grinder. But it can be a real pain, so you might be tempted to turn to cleaning hacks. One specifically suggests tossing rice into your coffee grinder, but does it work?

While this method may seem like a quick fix for cleaning a coffee grinder, it can actually be detrimental to the longevity and effectiveness of your machine.

Now, if you have a blade grinder, you’re kind of in luck because rice can be used to clean it (though use caution as it’s not exactly an approved cleaning method from a manufacturer). But for those with a burr coffee grinder, put down the rice.

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This issue is that rice is much harder than coffee beans, and a grinder with burrs isn’t designed to handle it. Forcing your burr grinder to chew up rice can result in chipped and broken burrs, giving you uneven grinds and overall poor performance. Plus, doing so can damage the motor or starchy rice could clog it up. None of these scenarios are great.

If you want to clean your burr grinder, try using a gentle cleaning brush or a soft cloth to wipe down the grinder and burrs. You can also use compressed air to get in tight spaces. The number one rule, though, is not to use water. Moisture can mess with your grind.

If your burr grinder has seemed to be less effective lately, it might be time to get to cleaning.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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