Tutorial: Cleaning Your Porlex Grinder
This is a tutorial I wrote a couple years ago that I'm reposting here. The Porlex is still going strong, and is still my favourite manual grinder! This article contains affiliate links to supplies you may find useful in maintaining your grinder.
Porlex grinders are built to be rugged. Ours always goes along when we're camping.
Despite their sturdiness, however, they require routine maintenance like any other piece of coffee gear to ensure they are in tip-top shape. It is important to clean them regularly to keep coffee oils from building up on the ceramic, prevent premature wear and tear, and to keep your freshly ground coffee tasting.. well.. fresh! It is also a good opportunity to inspect the burrs for any damage.
(There is debate on whether detergent should be used for cleaning ceramic burrs. I find it is a gentle and effective way to loosen and lift coffee oils with minimal effort. Rinsing well prevents transfer of unwanted scent from the detergent.)
Open up your grinder. Loosen the adjustment nut that holds the burrs in place. Carefully tap the parts out into your hand and separate them.
The conical part of the burr has a second piece inside of it. Gently pinch the top and push it out.
Using the toothbrush, carefully brush any loose grind from the pieces.
Grab the toothbrush again and use it to brush out the storage canister and the hopper. Wipe with a clean cloth when done.
Insert the centre back into the conical burr piece. If it doesn't seem to be going together easily, pop it apart and make sure that the bumps are lined up correctly inside.
Insert the collar section of the burr into the bottom of the hopper. Make sure to line up the grooves.
Pop the conical section in place and then thread on the adjustment nut.
Tighten the nut completely, then test it with 1/4 turn of the handle. If you hear a screeching noise, it is too tight and the burrs are touching. The burrs should never touch -- this can damage them. Back it off one click for the finest grind.
I recommend a thorough cleaning of your Porlex grinder every 4 - 6 weeks, more frequently if you use yours regularly.