How to Clean and Maintain an Antique Coffee Grinder Mill

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A coffee grinder is a great way to prepare fresh coffee.
Image Credit: Valeriy Elistratov/iStock/GettyImages

Many true coffee aficionados favor a manual mill to create their perfect cup. And for those who enjoy a vintage aesthetic, opting for an antique coffee grinder can add that retro flair to their brewing experience. Alongside their pleasing aesthetics, many praise vintage coffee grinders for offering superior quality in terms of function too. But to ensure your retro grinder works to the best of its ability, you need to know how to clean and maintain your antique coffee grinder mill.

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Vintage Coffee Grinder Benefits

In recent years, an older style of manual coffee mill has had a spike in popularity, particularly famous vintage brands like Parker coffee grinders and Enterprise coffee grinders. While one large reason for their prevalence has to be their "olde world" style, there are multiple benefits to this type of coffee grinder. Handground claims they offer a more even grind consistency, lower noise pollution and can be an enjoyable part of a morning routine.

Vintage coffee grinders are also portable, meaning they can be taken on trips, and tend to be far better value for money, too. Driftaway Coffee also points out that the slower grinding reduces any heat damage to beans, which can result in a tastier cup of coffee. But to keep your coffee as tasty as possible, you need to take care of your vintage coffee grinder.

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Clean an Antique Coffee Grinder

The first step to cleaning a vintage coffee grinder is removing any old grounds or coffee buildup within the mechanism. You can do this with a small brush or even an attachment to your hand-held hoover. After the bulk of the visible detritus has been removed, Javapresse recommends disassembling your grinder to make it easier to clean the individual parts.

If your grinder hasn't been cleaned for a long time or is very dirty, Coffee Bos recommends soaking the parts overnight in gentle dish soap or dedicated coffee grinder cleaner. The next day, you can reassemble your grinder and polish the outside to give it a clean and shiny finish, as Javapresse encourages.

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Coffee Grinder Mill Maintenance

You should repeat this deep cleaning process on your vintage coffee mill regularly. If you use it every day, around once a month should suffice. But it's also important to do regular maintenance cleaning to your mill to keep it working to the best of its ability.

After each use, you should fully pull out the drawer and vigorously shake out any lingering coffee grounds. With the drawer still out, you should also turn the machine fully upside down and shake out any loose grounds into a bin or compost receptacle. It can also be handy to use a coffee grinder brush to gently clean out any nooks and crannies and remove coffee buildup. Keeping your mill as clear of old grounds as possible can help keep it functioning well in between your deep cleans.

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Annie Walton Doyle is a freelance writer based in Manchester, UK. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Daily Telegraph, Professional Photography Magazine, Bustle, Ravishly and more. When not writing, she enjoys pubs, knitting, nature and mysteries.

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