Thread Number: 81760  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Sanitizing a used coffee grinder
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Post# 1057707   1/15/2020 at 19:05 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I've got a second hand coffee grinder (one of those cheap ones with a blade that spins around a cup holding coffee beans--the style one sees everywhere). I'd like to use it, but I'm wondering about if there is a way of sanitizing it without harming the coffee grinder. It is, as I say, second hand, and who knows where it was or what it was used for previously.


Thanks for any answers!

Post# 1057709 , Reply# 1   1/15/2020 at 19:38 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

run rice through it.

Post# 1057733 , Reply# 2   1/15/2020 at 21:18 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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I've washed them well with soap and water. Water and electricity may not mix, but I've found that most smalls can be washed and scrubbed as long as I give them several days to dry out before use.


Post# 1057736 , Reply# 3   1/15/2020 at 21:39 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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After running some rice in it, wipe it out with some rubbing alcohol. The alcohol will evaporate and sanitize the inside, without damaging the electrical wiring. It will also help to remove any rancid oil residue.


Post# 1057737 , Reply# 4   1/15/2020 at 22:44 by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
Listen to



Post# 1057753 , Reply# 5   1/16/2020 at 02:55 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Have purchased several of those whirly gig grinders

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Over years, Braun brand mostly.

Just wipe down insides with a clean barely cloth. You can use some type of soap/liquid detergent in water that dampens cloth, but make sure no residue remains. Otherwise your coffee will taste like dish detergent. *LOL*

Quite honestly if going to use grinder to make coffee, the resulting hot water should be more than enough to kill off most nasty things.

Post# 1057777 , Reply# 6   1/16/2020 at 10:22 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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I`d go with the rubbing alcohol and I`d use loads of it.
Suppose from a rational point of view it wouldn`t even be necessary to wash hands after using the toilet and then preparing food as long as the food gets thoroughly cooked.
But I`m not always a rational person, sometimes I just listen to my guts instead because it makes me feel better this way.

Post# 1057796 , Reply# 7   1/16/2020 at 15:28 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
We're talking about a grinder here

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So unless it has been used for purposes other than grinding coffee, nuts, spices, etc... there shouldn't be a huge issue with "germs". Well other than what normally can be found on or inside certain things.

Have a Bodum coffee grinder that hasn't been "washed" ever. When empty of beans simply refill with fresh; no one has become ill, died or otherwise suffered harm.

Post# 1057813 , Reply# 8   1/16/2020 at 17:31 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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The point is how do you know what a used grinder of unknown origin has been used for so far.
Did it come from a roach infested hoarder or is it from a rather clean and caring person?
This is not about refilling our own coffee grinders without washing it before.
How can you tell when you buy used stuff at a flea market, thrift store or Ebay?

Post# 1057814 , Reply# 9   1/16/2020 at 17:49 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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The original question was also how to sanitize a used coffee grinder, not how to just clean it. Rubbing alcohol won’t cause any damage to the wiring because it evaporates within seconds. When I was a Cosmetologist rubbing alcohol is what we were trained to use to sanitize a comb for instance that may have been dropped on the floor, razor blades, scissors and electric clipper blades.

Stefan makes a valid point in that who knows what may have been used in the appliance by the previous owner. I use mine to grind marijuana in preparation to decarb it and then make canna butter to make my own pot edibles. If I was going to use this grinder again for grinding coffee I wouldn’t want the oils from the pot to contaminate the flavor of coffee ground in it. I believe that rubbing alcohol would remove any rancid oil residue, where just a dampened cloth with water and detergent may not. And stale coffee oil residue will certainly become rancid over time.


Post# 1057883 , Reply# 10   1/17/2020 at 09:15 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

There are some fascinating pieces of equipment called ozone generators that could be used in a closed space to dry-disinfect pieces of equipment that can't get wet. They come indifferent sizes and prices. Amazon has them.

Post# 1057887 , Reply# 11   1/17/2020 at 09:54 by Iej (Ireland)        

If it's from a reasonably reputable source and not some kind of dumpster, I would clean it by just giving it a good wipe out with alcohol wipes and then grinding a bag of inexpensive coffee beans.

I wouldn't add anything that might taint coffee.

Not much can survive in a dry coffee grinder and coffee itself is actually evolved as a natural insecticide/repellant to stop insects munching on coffee plants. That's what the caffeine content is! It gives us a mild buzz :)

In general I can't see how it would be a high risk device from a bacterial or viral point of view and rubbing a bag of coffee through it should shift any old grounds.

Post# 1057895 , Reply# 12   1/17/2020 at 10:53 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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you could always try Google, and search "Grinder"......but that may lead you to a whole different site!...

I dont see the down way or another there will be something to PERK you up!

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