How to "Dry-Clean" Your Spice Grinder

Dry-cleaning may conjure images of removing grease and oil from clothes. The same idea can apply to your spice grinder.

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If you've ever ground dried chiles in your spice grinder, you may be familiar with this issue: The oils from the chiles cling to the sides and blades of the grinder, and unless you manage to thoroughly remove them, you might get a hit of searing heat in your next cup of coffee. 

Most electric blade grinders can’t be immersed in water. And the usual approach—wiping out the machine with a damp cloth—isn’t always enough. 

Luckily, we have a creative solution for this sticky situation: “Dry-clean” your grinder. 

Dry cleaners sometimes use a powder to remove oil stains from clothes. The same principle can apply to ridding your grinder of oils and residue from dried chiles and all kinds of spices. 

This approach is particularly helpful on humid days when spices absorb moisture from the air and are even more prone to clinging to the sides and blade of a grinder after processing. 

Not only is our method effective, it's simple. All you need is some rice. Emily Rahravan

How to Clean Your Spice Grinder

1. Add a few tablespoons of dry, raw rice to your sticky grinder and blitz it to a fine powder. Run the grinder for about 1 minute. As the tacky powder spins around, it picks up residue and absorbs excess oils. 

2. To finish this process, dump out the powder and give your grinder a wipe down. Then pack it away, and it will be spice-free for the next use. (And it won’t cost $5 a shirt.)

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