10 Second How-To: Cleaning A Spice or Coffee Grinder

Coffee and spice grinders are pretty great— they allow you to create fresh, awesome tasting coffee and seasoning on the fly without needing to worry about a super short shelf life. On the other hand—they can also be a huge pain in the neck, especially if you use them frequently for different coffees and spices. The last thing you want is cumin-flavored coffee. Luckily, food writer and chef extraordinaire Julia Turshen was on hand to give us some pointers on proper spice grinder cleaning and—surprise, surprise—it couldn’t be easier! All you need is a handful of white rice. Pour a bit into your grinder, turn it on, and watch as the rice magically scrubs away old spice/coffee residue and removes any taste/smell residue. BLAM-O! Instantly clean and ready for your spice-grindin’ pleasure! —Max

  1. LASingh says:

    This is awesome. How did I not know this before? Thank you.

  2. Jill says:

    Awesome! Was wondering this myself just yesterday!
    Love Julia Turshen!

  3. eileen says:

    Years ago I was watching Jacques Pepin’s cooking show and his tip, which I’ve used many times, is to toss a piece (or small pieces) of bread into the grinder and whirl it up. The bread acts like a sponge and picks up flecks and oils. Voila. C’est bon.

  4. Monica says:

    But it’s so simple! I don’t understand! Does the rice actually clean away the residue/smells or just the visible big chunks? I’ll be trying this out tonight.

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      it cleans out smells AND residue :)


  5. Bernie says:

    Great 10 second “How To”! there are others, yes? Can we find them all in one place? Brilliant idea.

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      yep! right here: http://www.designsponge.com/category/10-second-how-to

      you can always click the series name next to the post title to see more in the series :)


  6. Sarah C. says:

    Haha! I have that exact grinder and have always been puzzled about how to clean it without destroying it or electrocuting myself! :)

  7. Lauren says:

    I love this new 10-second series! My cast iron pans are now pristine and next up is the spice/coffee grinder which still smells like cumin. Thanks y’all!

  8. Ann says:

    A compressed air can works just as well too.

  9. Cassy says:

    Has anyone tried this with burr coffee grinders? I always have a hard time cleaning mine out.

  10. Juan Carlo says:

    This is awesome! I can’t imagine it’s just easy! Out of my curiosity I tried it and yes it scrubs away old spice or coffee residue and removes the taste and smell residue. Great Tips. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Elle says:

    This is great! My coffee grinder definitely needs this!

  12. Laura says:

    Brilliant! That’s the exact same grinder we have and it looks just like that every morning when my fiance grinds his coffee beans. Cleaning has been a beastly task with wet paper towels up until now. This is completely wonderful!

  13. Bonnie kim says:

    Super! I will try this right away!

  14. Vela says:

    It’s also very easy to clean bottles with rice – put some water, soap and rice in a dirty bottle and shake it well :)

  15. Rob says:

    Wow! Awesome stuff. I’ll try this. Much easier than trying to wipe it clean with a damp cloth. Thanks.


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