I have a hand-powered Hario burr grinder. I occasionally rinse out the lower chamber with hot water and a sponge as it gets quite dirty over time. Should I clean the rest of it, and if so, how? I'm assuming the burrs get dirty but I'm hesitant to get them wet.
There are two options.
Get yourself some grinder cleaner (Grindz, Urnex and probably other brands), that you just grind through. You can buy it online. It cleans the burrs, removes oils and other residues. Afterwards you need to grind some beans so that you don't have the cleaner in your cup of joe. This is a rather convenient way to clean your grinder, however definitely more costly and wasteful than the second option.
Disassemble your grinder according to the instructions provided by Hario and use any kind of brush (toothbrush, pipe cleaner, as long as the bristles are reasonably rigid anything works) to clean the burrs. All the other parts you could also wash with a mild detergent.
That's it, it's easy and should be done once every other month in my opinion. I suggest brushing the burrs and rinsing the rest. It's easy, quick and clean enough.
There are products on the market that are made for just this purpose, two examples are:
- Grindz Coffee Grinder Cleaning Tablets White
- Capresso "Clean Grind" Grinder Cleaner
But neither seem to have any better effect on cleaning my grinder than when I compare it to running parboiled rice*(not regular rice!) through it.
*A word of caution, only use parboiled rice which is not regular rice which is too hard for your grinder and can damage it!
Hand grinders are usually very simple to disassemble. Read the instructions on this but most are fairly straightforward.
Rice can be good but the starchy powder can get into places you can't clean.
Here is a good link.. https://prima-coffee.com/learn/video/maintenance/how-clean-your-burr-grinder
Here is another link... Look at the bottom of "detailed commentary " http://www.coffeegeek.com/reviews/grinders/harioskerton/fwtechwiz