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Thread: Rice as Grinder Cleaner

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    pwp
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    Rice as Grinder Cleaner

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    For years my cleaning technique for my Compak K3 T and Rancilio Rocky before that has been an expensive dose of Grindz, an occasional vacuum and a FAR more occasional disassemble and clean.
    But sheesh! Grindz is a pricey item, especially if you use it as often as you should. What is the current consensus on cleaning a grinder with uncooked 2-minute white rice?

    -PW

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    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwp View Post
    For years my cleaning technique for my Compak K3 T and Rancilio Rocky before that has been an expensive dose of Grindz, an occasional vacuum and a FAR more occasional disassemble and clean.
    But sheesh! Grindz is a pricey item, especially if you use it as often as you should. What is the current consensus on cleaning a grinder with uncooked 2-minute white rice?

    -PW
    Mine hasn't changed. I also tried 2 minute microwave grindz Chicken noodles. They were crap!

    Most of us here paid plenty for our grinders. <$5 (when purchased in bulk) is a very small investment in doing things correctly.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Save the rice for your curry PW, it may or may not work but I'm never gonna know Would rather spend half an hour every now and again cleaning it (Mini Mazzer) manually, it's an easy job.

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    I've been using rolled oats (not as hard as rice) bought from supermarket it seems to do its job. never used Grindz so really can't compare though.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Mine hasn't changed. I also tried 2 minute microwave grindz Chicken noodles. They were crap!

    Most of us here paid plenty for our grinders. <$5 (when purchased in bulk) is a very small investment in doing things correctly.
    It still doesn't make it a necessary one, and I'd rather buy half a pound of coffee...

    There are three questions here, yeah?

    - Does it do the job?
    - Does it damage the grinder?
    - Does it leave residue?

    I've not heard much "why" from anyone opposing the use of the "popular alternatives", but then I've never tried it myself since the burrs on my Preciso are easily-cleaned/accessible.

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    I ran par boiled rice (bought at my local Asian grocer) through my HG one. I was using it to season the burrs but I'm sure that it would do a fine job of cleaning them too. I'd much prefer to run it through an electric grinder... it was quite a workout with a hand grinder!

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Rice has no more place in a coffee grinder than coffee does in a rice cooker!

    It's easy enough to clean most grinders by hand so harden up and give it a go.
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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    Rice has no more place in a coffee grinder than coffee does in a rice cooker!

    It's easy enough to clean most grinders by hand so harden up and give it a go.
    Too right...

    Takes about 10 minutes after every roast session while I've got the vacuum out cleaning up in general. Too easy...

    Mal.

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    pwp
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    Well thanks for the cleaning viewpoints and for the rice-related humour.
    Like most things, there are generally no shortcuts.

    -PW

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    I bought a large pack of Grindz years ago. Still going. Though I only use it every few months, and only a small amount. If you do use rice, I think it should be cooked and hardended rice, not "raw" rice.

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    I have always cleaned my breville smart grinder with raw medium grain rice and never had a problem with it the breville happily chomps away at rice. The rice is very good at absorbing moisture and oils and cleans the grinder a treat. I also pull apart the grinder burrs and inspect for damage every time as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkfalz View Post
    ..... If you do use rice, I think it should be cooked and hardended rice, not "raw" rice.
    ?? What sort of "cooking" are you thinking of ?...some form of roasting ?
    Most people think of rice cooking as boiling , which certainly wont harden it !
    I have used "raw" (dry..as it comes in the packet) rice to clean my grinder several times with no issues.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I'm not sure exactly why people have this great desire to feed rice into their much loved and cared for grinders, removing the burr carrier every now and again and giving the grinder a good clean out is a quick and simple process.

    I suspect the rice/Grindz solutions are used by those who don't feel confident in pulling the top off the machine, or, perhaps it's simply a lazy way of doing the job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I'm not sure exactly why people have this great desire to feed rice into their much loved and cared for grinders, removing the burr carrier every now and again and giving the grinder a good clean out is a quick and simple process.

    I suspect the rice/Grindz solutions are used by those who don't feel confident in pulling the top off the machine, or, perhaps it's simply a lazy way of doing the job.
    OR..It may just be a good way of getting the stale oily coffee residue out from in the fine groves of the burrs whilst using a safe, cheap, organic product, and avoiding any risk of equipment damage or invalidating the warranty..
    Another option i have contemplated would be to use a hopper full of dry ice ( CO2) pellets as used for industrial cleaning !
    They are hard enough to mechanically clean the components without damage, but evaporate quickly to leave no residue at all.

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I'm not sure exactly why people have this great desire to feed rice into their much loved and cared for grinders, removing the burr carrier every now and again and giving the grinder a good clean out is a quick and simple process.

    I suspect the rice/Grindz solutions are used by those who don't feel confident in pulling the top off the machine, or, perhaps it's simply a lazy way of doing the job.
    Well I certainly used Grindz exclusively while my grinder (k3) was under warranty. Didn't feel like potentially voiding the warranty, and the Grindz stuff seems to do a great job (and when purchased in a 500g container is not expensive).

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Well I certainly used Grindz exclusively while my grinder (k3) was under warranty. Didn't feel like potentially voiding the warranty, and the Grindz stuff seems to do a great job (and when purchased in a 500g container is not expensive).
    G'Day Barry, if your happy with using Grindz who am I to argue, while I doubt it will do any harm I simply see it as unnecessary.

    As far as voiding the warranty, don't know about the K3 but my Mazzer manual gives detailed user instructions as to how carry the process out, including removing and replacing the burr carrier (grinding blade holder) as they refer to it, so cleaning the machine in this manner doesn't void the warranty as far as Mazzer are concerned.

    Not sure about the dry ice process, there is no mention of it.

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    No worries Yelta...I've pulled it apart subsequent to the expiry of the warranty....was in good nick. The instructions that come with a K3 are not the best....but they outdo the instructions that came with my Gene Cafe which recommended that I wash the roasting chamber in soup. Haven't tried that yet....probably go for a Laksa.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    Another option i have contemplated would be to use a hopper full of dry ice ( CO2) pellets as used for industrial cleaning !
    They are hard enough to mechanically clean the components without damage, but evaporate quickly to leave no residue at all.
    hmm I'm not sure how well the grinder is going to deal with -80 degree temperatures. That ought to void the warranty!

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    I tried using rice...

    Mr-Wongs-special-fried-rice-with-pork-and-prawn.jpg

    ...but now all my coffee tastes like week old prawns.

    Anyone know how to remove the prawn smell?
    Will the purpose designed (and often supplied from the factory with many grinders) Grindz help?
    Or maybe I should just remove the top burr set and brush it out with a pastry brush / toothbrush?




    Another option i have contemplated would be to use a hopper full of dry ice ( CO2) pellets as used for industrial cleaning !They are hard enough to mechanically clean the components without damage, but evaporate quickly to leave no residue at all.
    As long as you are an expert in metallurgy and will know that you won't make the tool steel burrs brittle by subjecting them to -80C
    Maybe you should just remove the top burr set and brush it out with a pastry brush / toothbrush?

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burr View Post
    hmm I'm not sure how well the grinder is going to deal with -80 degree temperatures. That ought to void the warranty!
    I suspect you may well be right.

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    SNAP - Burr!

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post


    Anyone know how to remove the prawn smell?

    Maybe you should just remove the top burr set and brush it out with a pastry brush / toothbrush?
    A KG of fortnight old fish guts should take care of the prawn smell Andy

    Wish I'd thought of removing the burrs and cleaning with a brush, sometimes my wife reckons I'm a bit slow.
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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    I tried using rice...

    Mr-Wongs-special-fried-rice-with-pork-and-prawn.jpg

    ...but now all my coffee tastes like week old prawns.

    Anyone know how to remove the prawn smell?
    Will the purpose designed (and often supplied from the factory with many grinders) Grindz help?
    Or maybe I should just remove the top burr set and brush it out with a pastry brush / toothbrush?

    Toothbrush should do it……….. and using colgate will give you a nice ring of confidence! ;-D
    No more prawn smell ;-D
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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    Toothbrush should do it……….. and using colgate will give you a nice ring of confidence! ;-D
    No more prawn smell ;-D
    A splash of mouthwash wouldn't go astray either
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    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    As long as you are an expert in metallurgy and will know that you won't make the tool steel burrs brittle by subjecting them to -80C
    Maybe you should just remove the top burr set and brush it out with a pastry brush / toothbrush?
    Seem to recall Andrew Lew said that someone was hardening Robur burrs in liquid nitrogen and that it added significantly to the life of them. Dry ice at a hopper? I'd think CRAAAACK and then kaching? As for any plastics in the coffee path- who knows...

    I'll let someone else go first thanks. For mine, disassembly and sometimes Grindz if I am feeling lazy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    I tried using rice...

    Mr-Wongs-special-fried-rice-with-pork-and-prawn.jpg

    ...but now all my coffee tastes like week old prawns.

    Anyone know how to remove the prawn smell?
    <snip>
    I'm thinking rice and prawn Smoothie... Just add Milk to taste....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Dry ice at a hopper? I'd think CRAAAACK and then kaching? As for any plastics in the coffee path- who knows...
    Ahh, yes ! thats the problem with all this modern equipment...always plastic somewhere in it.
    ....but i guess the Spong would come through OK ?

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    By cooked rice I meant, cooked and and dried, as opposed to raw which is much harder. But Grindz is not that expensive (leaves a white powder everywhere though).

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Woildnt rice leave white powder everywhere too
    unless you use brown rice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod View Post
    Woildnt rice leave white powder everywhere too
    .?
    Yes it would....But, it is tasteless, safe, organic, edible, and it flushes out with the few gms of coffee.
    Does any one know what Grindz is made of ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    Yes it would....But, it is tasteless, safe, organic, edible, and it flushes out with the few gms of coffee.
    Does any one know what Grindz is made of ?
    It's a uranium / asbestos compound I believe. But seems to work well.

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    The standard grindz is made of grains and cereals, including wheat and pharmaceutical binders.

    They make a gluten free, organic one now, as well.

    Here is a link to the msds. (materials safety data sheet)

    http://www.urnexbrand.com/attachment...t)_(GB)_v1.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    The standard grindz is made of grains and cereals, including wheat and pharmaceutical binders.
    Thanks chokkidog.
    .... sounds like a Kellogg's "by product" !

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    An air compressor seems to do the job for me.
    The rice option sounds interesting, but I hate wasting food .

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusbrutus View Post
    An air compressor seems to do the job for me.
    The grindz (or dried cooked rice) is for removing oils from the burrs, not coffee grinds. Your air compressor won't do that For getting rid of the grinds for me, nothing beats the vacuum cleaner over the spout!

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusbrutus View Post
    An air compressor seems to do the job for me.
    The rice option sounds interesting, but I hate wasting food .
    Don't. You will blow ground coffee into places where it shouldn't be. Use a vacuum if you choose, but never blow into a grinder.

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    Don't use uncooked rice. Changed burrs on a rocky, noticed some surface rust on the burrs so ran uncooked rice through. Opened it up to clean out residual rice, ran fingers across the burrs and they are now somewhat blunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bloop View Post
    Don't use uncooked rice. Changed burrs on a rocky, noticed some surface rust on the burrs so ran uncooked rice through. Opened it up to clean out residual rice, ran fingers across the burrs and they are now somewhat blunt.
    Maybe they were "somewhat blunt" before you ran the rice through ! ?
    Maybe the rust had something to do with their condition ?
    OR do you really believe that uncooked rice is harder than heat treated carbon steel..or harder than roasted coffee beans ! ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    uncooked rice is harder than heat treated carbon steel..or harder than roasted coffee beans ! ?
    Believe it or not, but uncooked rice is very abrasive. If for what ever reason, you are unable to gain easy access to the burr-set and grinding chamber, then your best bet is to use the stuff that is designed to work in this situation, i.e. Grindz or one of the clones...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    Maybe they were "somewhat blunt" before you ran the rice through ! ?
    Maybe the rust had something to do with their condition ?
    OR do you really believe that uncooked rice is harder than heat treated carbon steel..or harder than roasted coffee beans ! ?
    Just to clarify, by change I meant replaced with brand new sharp burrs with a little surface rust, that became not so sharp immediately after running rice through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Believe it or not, but uncooked rice is very abrasive. If for what ever reason, you are unable to gain easy access to the burr-set and grinding chamber, then your best bet is to use the stuff that is designed to work in this situation, i.e. Grindz or one of the clones...

    Mal.
    Oh yes , i believe it... but then again a plastic scourer is "abrasive" as are toasted bread crumbs and coffee grounds, but neither of them are "hard" enough to damage tempered steel burr sets.
    Rice is a grain (seed) 100% organic and orders of magnitude softer and weaker than steel.
    I dont get this prejudice against rice as a alternative to "commercial" cleaners ?....i sure it was being used successfully before Grindz was even though of !

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    I sure it was being used successfully before Grindz was even though of !
    Yep, some people did try it and maybe they used too much for too long, but the end result was a set of buggered-up burrs, good for nothing at all. And I do understand the hardness relationships between different materials though it isn't my particular area of expertise...

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    Rice is a grain (seed) 100% organic and orders of magnitude softer and weaker than steel.
    I dont get this prejudice against rice as a alternative to "commercial" cleaners ?....i sure it was being used successfully before Grindz was even though of !
    Go ahead guys. Use rice as much as you'd like. We'd much prefer the margin on sales of replacement burrs over the margin made on 35g of Grindz...

  44. #44
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    I dont get this prejudice against rice as a alternative to "commercial" cleaners ?....i sure it was being used successfully before Grindz was even though of !
    No prejudice B52, if your preference is rice then use it, reading through the thread you don't seem to have many knowledgeable supporters.

    I would hate people to get the idea that cleaning a grinder with rice is the accepted way to go when there are better methods available.
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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    Oh yes , i believe it... but then again a plastic scourer is "abrasive" as are toasted bread crumbs and coffee grounds, but neither of them are "hard" enough to damage tempered steel burr sets.
    Wrong, wrong, wwwrrrooonnnggg & WRONG!

    The fine edge of any cutting instrument can be dulled (damaged) by pretty much anything over time. These microscopically thin edges are bent, chipped, sheared and otherwise deformed as the beans (or rice) are ground and these damaged edges are then subject to oxidation as well as newly exposed steel is exposed to oxygen and acidic oils.

  46. #46
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    No prejudice B52, if your preference is rice then use it, reading through the thread you don't seem to have many knowledgeable supporters.

    I would hate people to get the idea that cleaning a grinder with rice is the accepted way to go when there are better methods available.
    Following B52's lead, I have decided to forgo the archaic toothbrush as an implement for cleaning my teeth and will instead chew rice from now on after each and every meal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    Following B52's lead, I have decided to forgo the archaic toothbrush as an implement for cleaning my teeth and will instead chew rice from now on after each and every meal
    Good luck with that Vinitasse, I'll opt for the less tiresome method and use rice, ground in my coffee grinder, and run it through an air compressor.
    My teeth should come up a treat. ;-D
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  48. #48
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    This thread is the biggest amount of nonsense I have read in a long time. Anyone forking out $500 plus on a grinder, needs to have their head examined if they use rice as a cleaner. The amount of people with OCD here is unbelievable! Use a brush and a vacuum, that is all that is needed. Do not feed it oily stale beans. My M4D is over a year old. I only clean it with a brush. I have vacuumed it once. It works perfectly. Please get over yourselves with all of this nonsense and insecurity of keeping your grinder spotless. If it is very dirty and clogged up, then use Grindz. Do not be a cheapskate. I certainly would not buy a second hand grinder from anyone advocating the use of rice as a cleaner.
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  49. #49
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    Following B52's lead, I have decided to forgo the archaic toothbrush as an implement for cleaning my teeth and will instead chew rice from now on after each and every meal
    Cheapskate, I'm gonna go the whole hog and chew Grindz.
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    I'd like to see if you could grind the rice in the grinder to a nice coarse consistency then bung it in a milk jug with some good quality chicken stock and steam up a nice Risotto.
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