Cannabis 101

How to boil your grinder to clean it and get high at the same time

Published on January 31, 2023 · Last updated February 7, 2023
Stainless Steel Weed Grinder Image #11
The stainless steel Herb Ripper grinder, made in Cincinatti, Ohio. (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

Did you know you can catch a buzz while cleaning your grinder? Here’s how.

A good grinder is an essential accessory. It can save you time compared to grinding your stash by hand.  Plus, it can offer you a better smoking experience because grinding improves both the flavor and potency of your weed. But over time, deposits of kief and bits of weed can get stuck in the holes and other parts of your grinder, making it less effective.

When your grinder gets hard to turn or you notice that less kief is collected in the bottom of the grinder, it’s time for a serious cleaning.

What is a cannabis grinder?

Boiling has become a popular way to clean a weed grinder – and get high at the same time. (That sounds like a win-win to us!) We’ll walk you through the process of boiling your grinder in milk, as well as water, and how to get the best results.

Can you boil your weed grinder to clean it?

(Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

There are a few different ways to clean a grinder. One method is soaking the parts in isopropyl alcohol to loosen plant bits and scrubbing off the remaining material with a toothbrush. There’s nothing wrong with that method, but boiling your grinder works just as well and provides benefits that alcohol cleaning doesn’t.

Before you decide to try boiling your grinder in milk or water, it’s important to know that cleaning it this way should be done with a metal grinder only. Plastic or painted grinders may leach toxins into the liquid when boiled.

Boiling a grinder in milk

milk and weed

While it may sound a little weird, boiling a grinder in milk is quite an effective weed hack. The results? You get a clean grinder, no wasted kief, and THC-infused milk – perfect for a cup of hot chocolate (more on that later).

Here’s the science behind it: Milk contains fat that breaks down and absorbs the THC that’s on the grinder’s surface. The simmering milk will loosen all the stuck plant in the submerged grinder, making it easier to scrape out.

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How to boil your grinder in milk

First, gather your materials: a dirty grinder, a double boiler for cooking, a strainer, and milk. Because of its higher fat content, whole milk works best. If you’re vegan, grab your favorite type of milk (cashew, oat, coconut, or almond milk.), but opt for higher fat versions instead of reduced fat.

Not sure how to use a double boiler? It’s simply a large pot filled part way with water and a smaller pot that sits in the larger pot, where you will place the milk. The water in the large pot will create steam, which will heat the milk, while lowering the risk of scalding it.

Now you can get started:

  1. Fill the bottom of the double boiler halfway with water
  2. Add the milk to the top pot – fill about halfway
  3. Disassemble your grinder and submerge in the milk
  4. Turn the burner to medium-high heat. Bring the water to a boil (the milk will start to simmer). Lower the heat so that the water continues to steam and the milk simmer. You do not want the milk to continue to boil and scald. 
  5. Gently heat the milk for about an hour.
  6. Turn off the heat and allow the milk to cool.
  7. Take out the grinder parts and wash them with soap and warm water.
  8. Strain the THC-infused milk.


cannabis use survey, youth cannabis consumption
(Iuliia Kanivets, CSA-Printstock/iStock)

Does boiling your grinder in milk get you high?

Having a sparkling clean grinder is cool, but that’s not the reason we’re here, right? So, let’s answer that question. Drinking THC-infused milk probably won’t get you super stoned, as the amount of THC is fairly low. A lot depends on how much kief has built up in your grinder. Adding the leftover milk to your coffee or favorite beverage could get you a little ripped.

Is boiling your grinder in milk safe?

As we mentioned earlier, you don’t want to try this method with a plastic grinder or one that’s painted. Toxins can leach out during the boiling process, contaminating the milk. Nobody wants to drink a big glass of plastic.

You’ll also want to be sure the outside of the metal grinder is clean so that you don’t introduce dirt or other yucky non-weed material to the milk.

If you follow these precautions, the milk that’s left after the boiling and straining process should be safe to consume.

Can you boil your grinder in almond milk or other milk alternatives?

Milk made from almonds

If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant (or just don’t like the taste of milk), you have options. Almond milk can be substituted in the boiling process. Make sure you choose a milk product that has a high fat content (3 grams per serving) to allow for as much THC absorption as possible. You can also create your own cannabis almond milk with this recipe.

How to use your cannabis-infused milk

Picture it: it’s a cold night, you’re bundled up in your favorite sweats, and ready to binge-watch your latest streaming fave on the couch. To help you enjoy your THC-infused milk, we have a hot chocolate recipe you might want to try. Simply substitute two cups of your infused milk for whole milk.

If tea is more your thing, try making cannabis-infused tea and add a dash of your THC-infused milk for a little extra kick.

Boiling a grinder in water

Stainless Steel Weed Grinder Image #11
The stainless steel Herb Ripper grinder, made in Cincinatti, Ohio. (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

Boiling your grinder in water works a little differently than boiling it in milk, but the good news is that it’s super-simple to do. This cleaning method works especially well for plastic or painted grinders, which aren’t suitable for boiling in milk or cleaning with alcohol.

On the grind: Best weed grinders for bowls and blunts

Can you boil your grinder in water and drink it?

Because THC is not water-soluble, your water will likely not be cannabis-infused unless you add some fat to the water – like coconut oil or butter. Once filtered, this water can then be used to make infused tea. But you’ll have to take an extra cleaning step and use soap and water to clean out the fat from your grinder.

How to clean your grinder with boiling water

If you can boil water, you can clean your grinder.

Let’s walk through the steps:

  1. Disassemble your grinder by taking the chambers apart.
  2. Gently tap all the grinder parts against a paper towel on a hard surface to loosen and remove plant material.
  3. This is optional, but if your grinder has stubborn, caked-on plant material, you can add this step: Put your grinder in the freezer for an hour. Freezing creates loose clumps that are easier to remove.
  4. Bring a pan of water to a boil.
  5. Add the grinder and let it soak in the boiling water for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the grinder, let it cool for a few minutes, and then scrub with a clean toothbrush to remove any leftover bits.
  7. Rinse your grinder thoroughly in lukewarm water and set the parts on a paper towel to dry.

Here’s what you don’t want to do: Don’t use a hard-bristled brush or any kind of abrasive cleaner. Also, steer clear of cleaning products like bleach or anything that contains chlorine. These chemicals are detrimental to your smoking experience.

Keeping your grinder clean and gunk-free is just plain good weed housekeeping. Not only can it  improve your smoking experience, but it also reduces waste.

Looking for a new grinder or thinking of trying one? Check out our selection of top-quality grinders.

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Amelia Williams
Amelia Williams
New York-based freelance cannabis journalist Amelia Williams is a graduate of San Francisco State University's journalism program, and a former budtender. Williams has contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle's GreenState, MG Magazine, Culture Magazine, and Cannabis Now, Kirkus Reviews, and The Bold Italic.
View Amelia Williams's articles
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