Coffee Facts

How to Clean a Cuisinart DBM-8 Coffee Grinder: 2 Easy Ways


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Your Cuisinart Supreme Grind burr coffee mill has been serving you well, and you’ve been enjoying some of the most delicious coffee, thanks to freshly ground beans. But lately, it’s not been grinding as well as it should, and it keeps stopping up. We get it. It happened to us, too. 

We started getting very frustrated about our Cuisinart grinder not wanting to grind, and we almost tossed it. Then, we learned that your burr coffee grinder can get stopped up by super fine coffee grounds and the oils from coffee beans. 

The solution to this problem? Clean your burr mill.

It sounds simple enough, but if this is the first burr coffee mill you’ve owned, you may be hesitant to tear into it and just start scrubbing. It’s a fair concern. You don’t want to damage your Cuisinart coffee mill, but you also don’t want to toss out an item that cost you hard-earned money.

Cleaning your Cuisinart DBM-8 coffee mill isn’t a difficult process, but if not done correctly, it can end in results that won’t make your morning coffee routine a happy experience. On the not-so-bad side of things, you could end up with your coffee tasting funky. At worst, improperly cleaning your Cuisinart coffee mill can result in damage that will render it useless.

This article will show you how to clean a Cuisinart DBM-8 burr coffee mill. Each option will have step-by-step instructions, so you don’t have to worry about tearing apart your coffee grinder and accidentally causing damage. We’ll even give you a cleaning option that doesn’t require you to take apart your coffee mill. 

Need to clean your coffee machine too? Here’s our guide

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How to Clean a Cuisinart Coffee Grinder by Hand

Cuisinart DBM-8 Coffee Grinder, two towels, and toothbrush on the table

The best way to clean your Cuisinart DBM-8 coffee grinder is to break it down and clean it by hand. Properly cleaning your burr coffee mill is a basic maintenance activity that will extend the life of your Cuisinart DBM-8.

Taking the proper steps to clean your Cuisinart coffee grinder is the best way to ensure that every cup of coffee you make tastes great and provides you with the flavors and aromas you enjoy.

Before you start cleaning your Cuisinart coffee mill, you’ll want to gather the cleaning items you need, so they are available and ready to go. For this process, you’ll need the following:

  • A soft, dry cloth (or a couple, just in case).
  • A soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrush (preferably one you’ve not used to clean your teeth).
  • Mild dishwashing detergent.
  • A tub or sink of warm water.

Steps for cleaning your Cuisinart DBM-8 burr coffee mill by hand

Removing bean hopper of Cuisinart DBM-8 Coffee Grinder
  • Remove the bean hopper from the base by carefully unscrewing it. 
  • Run the grinder for about five seconds to loosen up any coffee that is still between the burrs.
  • Unplug the grinder from the outlet. We don’t need any unintentional accidents.
  • Using your toothbrush, gently scrub the coffee residue from the inside and outside of the feed tube and the surface of the upper burr. 
  • With your soft cloth, wipe down all the feed tube and upper burr parts.
  • Take a moment here to remove any other plastic or rubber parts from the burr grinder, including the grinds chamber. Along with the hopper, wash all of the plastic and rubber parts thoroughly with soap and warm water. 
  • Rinse the parts with clean water, removing any remaining soap or foam (these will make your coffee taste wrong).
  • With the toothbrush, clean inside the grinder base where you’ll find the lower burr. You’ll want to also clean inside the chute where the coffee grounds are pushed into the grounds chamber.
  • Take the burr grinder and shake it out over your trash can.
  • Wipe out the base as best as possible with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Remove the inner burr. This will require tools and should be done carefully and slowly. Check the manual for how to do this properly.
  • With the inner burr removed, you can clean it more thoroughly with a toothbrush and dry cloth.
  • Reinstall the inner burr.
  • Ensure all the parts cleaned with soap and water are completely dry before reassembling your Cuisinart coffee mill.
  • Reassemble your coffee mill.
  • It is now safe to plug the Cuisinart DBM-8 back into the wall outlet. 

A couple of final tips about cleaning your Cuisinart DBM-8 by hand

  • We prefer cleaning our Cuisinart burr coffee grinder parts with a fragrance- and dye-free detergent. We’ve found that this significantly reduces the risk of having a “soapy” flavor in your coffee.
  • Only use water on the plastic parts when cleaning your burr coffee mill by hand. Never use water on the burrs or inside of the grinder base.
  • Cuisinart does suggest in the owner’s manual that the hopper and grinds chamber can be placed on the top rack of your dishwasher. We prefer not to do this. Even the top rack of your dishwasher is not as gentle as washing by hand.

How to Clean a Cuisinart DBM-8 Coffee Grinder with Tablets

Cuisinart DBM-8 Coffee Grinder

So…what if your grinder is pitching a fit, and you’re in a rush to get your coffee made? This is not the time to disassemble your Cuisinart burr coffee grinder and scrub all the parts. But you also want your coffee grinder to grind coffee.

A good alternative to cleaning your Cuisinart coffee grinder by hand is to use cleaning tablets. These tablets are specifically made to clean your coffee grinder, removing built-up coffee and oils. They are also gentle on the burrs, so you don’t have to worry about them damaging your Cuisinart DBM-8.

Tablets are a great way to clean your Cuisinart burr coffee grinder when it’s new and still under the manufacturer’s warranty. Taking apart your coffee grinder may void the warranty, and if there is an actual manufacturing defect with your grinder, you might not get support from Cuisinart.

Steps for cleaning your burr coffee mill with tablets

  • Remove any beans from the hopper and set them aside.
  • Following the instructions provided with the tablets, place one (or more if the product instructions indicate such) into the hopper.
  • Pulse the grinder to pulverize the tablet and push it through the burrs.
  • When you think that the tablet has completely passed through the grinder, run the grinder again for five seconds to shake out any remaining coffee crumbs or bits of the tablet.
  • Add an ounce of coffee beans to the hopper, and grind as you would normally. This will ensure that all the tablet remnants are pushed out of the burrs.
  • Dump the grinds bin and wash it with soap and water.
  • Dry the bin and place it back into the grinder base.
  • Fill the hopper with your favorite coffee, and you’re ready to brew.

Cleaning your Cuisinart DBM-8 by hand is much better than using the tablets. It does a much more thorough job of removing oils and grinds than the tablets. However, there is a time and place for using the tablets.

We have heard from other coffee enthusiasts that you can use dry, uncooked rice if you don’t have the tablets. We’ve used rice for cleaning our blade grinder, but we’ve not felt comfortable using the rice method on our burr grinder. 

It may work just fine, but we would rather use the tablets specifically made for cleaning the burrs without causing damage.

Why Do You Need to Clean a Cuisinart Coffee Grinder?

At the beginning of the article, we mentioned that cleaning your Cuisinart coffee grinder is important for working properly and making a delicious coffee cup. We should probably expand on what we mean by this and share why it is imperative that you make cleaning your Cuisinart DBM-8 a regular part of your coffee routine.

Roasted coffee is very oily. If it weren’t oily, it wouldn’t taste as delicious. The roasting process brings the oils out of the beans, and when you grind them, these oils can be transferred to the inside of your coffee grinder.

Over time, as you grind the coffee, these oils build up inside the grinder and make the surfaces sticky. Coffee bean crumbs and fines will start to stick to the oils inside the grinder and can eventually begin to impact the taste of your coffee and, over time, hinder the performance of your grinder.

Even if your grinder looks clean on the surface, and maybe it’s working just great, that doesn’t mean that it is really clean. Periodic cleaning is also an important step in removing bacteria, molds, and dust that may be stuck in the oily surfaces of your grinder. These will make your coffee taste wrong and can make you ill.  

Even if it seems like a big pain, and you’re getting a good grind from your Cuisinart burr coffee grinder, cleaning is just a good thing to do to ensure your coffee is tasty and your grinder is well cared for.

How Often Should You Clean Your Cuisinart DBM-8 Coffee Grinder?

There are plenty of suggestions regarding how often to clean your Cuisinart burr coffee grinder. We think that there is a lot of personal preference regarding this decision. And certainly, time is a big factor.

First, never wait until your burr grinder is clogged up to clean it. If your burr grinder gets clogged, you can be causing damage to the burrs, limiting the efficiency of the grinder and shortening its life. Periodic cleaning is a good idea if you want to get the most from your Cuisinart DBM-8.

If you use different beans daily, you probably want to clean your burr coffee grinder daily. Clearly, you want to experience different flavors and coffee types, so cleaning your burr grinder between different types of beans allows you to experience the beans and the flavor of the coffee without residue from the beans you ground previously. 

This is an excellent time to use the cleaning tablets. They are fast, efficient, and allow you to quickly clean your burr grinder between bean types.

Now, if you’ve got your grinder set up for your usual before-work coffee, and you don’t change beans often, daily cleaning is really not necessary. In our experience, a quick, weekly cleaning is just fine. You can use the tablets for this weekly cleaning, but you’ll also want to take the hopper and bin out of the base and wash them out with warm soapy water. 

More thorough cleaning involving breaking down the grinder completely and scrubbing it free of stuck-on coffee should be done every couple of months at the minimum and monthly for best performance. This will keep your grinder working at its best.

Another good indicator that your coffee grinder needs to be cleaned is funky odors coming from the grinder. This is a good indicator that you’ve got built-up coffee grounds and oils in the grinder, and they may be growing mold or bacteria. To keep your coffee tasting delightful and keep you from getting sick, this is the time to disassemble your grinder and give it a good cleaning.

Final Thoughts

Taking the time to periodically clean your burr grinder will keep your coffee tasting delicious and the grinder working efficiently. You’ve made a significant investment into your Cuisinart DBM-8, and it, like other appliances, does require a bit of TLC to keep it working well. 

While it may seem daunting at first, cleaning your Cuisinart coffee grinder really isn’t that difficult if you simply follow the steps we’ve provided.

So, with half an hour of cleaning, or some grinder cleaning tablets, your Cuisinart DBM-8 burr coffee grinder will stay in tip-top shape. And, every day, you can rely on your Cuisinart coffee grinder to provide you with perfectly ground coffee for an amazing coffee experience.

Happy Caffeinating!

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