Urnex "Grindz" Review
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2005 - All rights reserved

Clean Grinders the Easy Way!

     Urnex has long been known for quality cleaning products related to coffee. From coffee pot cleaners to back flushing agents, their name is synonymous with clean coffee equipment. One area that seemingly has been missed by the coffee-equipment-cleaning-product industry in general is the grinder. Many of us have been regularly disassembling our grinders' burr assemblies for cleaning- a job that takes time and on the surface would seem to cause unnecessary wear and tear to the grinder's adjustment threads.

     That has now been addressed by Urnex, and their newest product, "Grindz."

     As seen here, these little, coffee-bean-like pellets are made from a proprietary mixture of grains and cereals, held together with a pharmaceutical-grade binders. Everything in Grindz is food grade. in the name of science I tested them, and can tell you they taste like food as well- a taste that is a bit like unsweet flour or oatmeal or rice. A bowl of them mixed in hot water and sweetened a little would not be unpleasant. Most of it dissolved quickly in my mouth, and there were a few harder bits mixed in.

     It couldn't be easier to use Grindz:

- Empty the grinder of beans and ground coffee (turn over and shake for most home grinders).
- Set the grinder for a "Medium Setting."
- For an espresso grinder (and most any home grinder) pour in one cap full of Grindz.
- Grind.

The powder created is easy to clean out when the grinding is over.

- When done, shake out the ground Grindz and grind one or two cap fulls of coffee to clear out remaining Grindz.

     Sounds easy enough- too easy. For those of us who have been manually cleaning our grinders it would seem that simply passing through some sort of grain couldn't possibly clean the recesses of the burrs' valleys.

     So, here are some before shots of my Rocky's burrs. The grinder had been in use for just over three weeks since the last cleaning. All I did was to turn the grinder upside down, give it a shake, and then took the pictures:

Top Burr Before Cleaning
Bottom Burr Before Cleaning

     I used Grindz as instructed and when the grinding ended I turned the grinder upside down, shook it a bit, removed the top burr carrier, and took these pictures:

Top Burr After Cleaning
Bottom Burr After Cleaning

     Amazing! Simply amazing! This is how clean the burrs were with no brushing or blowing off whatsoever!

     That's certainly the good news. The bad news (if there is any) is the price. A bottle of "Grindz" large enough to clean our grinder about 12 times will cost you $34 (currently only available directly through Urnex), which works out to about $2.83 per cleaning. For a shop grinder you can double the cost per use.

     For shop use, this stuff would be amazing. When you are paying employees it costs time (and thus money) to disassemble a grinder, and then add the cost of the broken parts they would add to the job as well as the down time while the grinder is out of service. So, in my opinion, for commercial work, Grindz is a great investment. For home use, although totally effective, you will have to decide if the cost is worth it to you. If used every three months or so, it is an effective way to keep your grinder clean, and not everyone is comfortable in disassembling their machines.

     Bottom line- it works great, and exactly as advertised