Before you start using your Porlex Grinder spend a few minutes taking it apart, setting it up properly and getting to know how to adjust the grind settings. Clean the grinder before the first use to remove any residue from the production process. Get the best from your coffee grinder right from day one.
Warning: Don’t take your grinder apart anywhere you could lose small parts, like over a plug hole, or a deck with gaps between the planks, or hanging off the side of a mountain.
Getting at the ceramic burrs (for adjustments, cleaning and replacing parts):
- Break the grinder in half. Well, separate the two halves anyway by holding each half and twisting them in opposite directions as you pull. The top and bottom halves of the grinder should come apart smoothly.
- The top half of the grinder contains the ceramic burr. Unscrew the large four-sided ‘adjusting wheel’ holding the burr in place (hold the burr still to completely unscrew the adjusting wheel).
- Remove the conical burr (also known as the lower burr or female blade).
- At the pointy end of the burr, inside the hole that the metal shaft goes through, there is a two-piece sheath. Pinch the two sides of the sheath together and push down. This will force the inside and bottom parts of the burr out the bottom of the assembly.
- You can now clean the burr assembly with warm, soapy water and a soft toothbrush. Make sure that all components are totally dry before you reassemble them.
We recommend cleaning your grinder about once a month but some people prefer to do it more or less frequently. If it gets too clogged it can effect the size of the grind or you might get lumps coming through. So if you use your Porlex grinder on a daily basis you should keep an eye on the buildup on the burrs. If you think they need a clean it’s probably already too late.
TIP: Some people question the use of detergents to clean a coffee griner. Given the oil build up from the coffee beans, particularly on the burrs, we think detergents are necessary. However!, washing the detergent off the grinder is crucial as any residual detergent will effect your next grind, dispersing those important oils. But hey, even if you don’t rinse the grinder properly it will only take a few grinds to get back to normal. No biggie, but do rinse.
Removing Coffee Stains from your Porlex Grinder
You may have cleaned your grinder to perfection and polished the stainless steel to a shiny gleam, but the burrs remain discoloured, stained by the coffee oils. Grrr. It’s not a problem in terms of the operation of the grinder and, really, the burrs are not visible once you have reassembled the grinder. But it might just bug you. Or you are selling the grinder and want it to look good. Or you have a new partner who loves coffee and you don’t want them to think you’re a dirty grub.
Either way, reach for the trusty ol’ baking soda. Mix the baking soda with enough water to make a wet paste. You want it pretty wet and make sure to mix it really, really well. The thing is, baking soda cleans by abrasion. At a micro level it is essentially scratching the stains off your burrs, causing them to wear, if only by a minute amount. (Baking soda is a base, it has a high pH, so it also has some corrosive cleaning properties. This is also the reason you shouldn’t mix it with things like lemon, which is acidic/low pH, which will neutralise the effects of the baking soda).
This abrasive stuff all sounds rather concerning, but if you rub the mix between your fingers and you can feel any grit, just keep mixing until you get a smooth paste. Once you have a smooth paste the wear factor will be insignificant, plus it’s not something you need to do that often.
But you will have nice, clean burrs!