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My girlfriend and I moved into a new flat together and now we´ve got at least 2 salt- and 2 pepper mills. We only need one of each kind and I wanted to ask, if somebody knows a good way to "clean" the mills and prepare them for reuse with another spice.

Is there an ideal, neutral substance for cleaning or any other trick?

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The amount of salt that would stick to a dry mill is very small. Salt is also quite abrasive, cheap and water soluble. So to get pepper out I'd grind salt. For most savoury mixes a little salt won't hurt -- in fact you may well put a fair bit in the mix. If you really want to remove the salt, then wash it; just be sure to get it really dry before refilling. Leave it on a sunny windowsill for a few days, in a warm oven (depending on what it's made of, of course), or on a radiator.

  • good point.. What do you think about rice?? – Joshit Apr 18 '17 at 14:23
  • @Joshit - I was going to comment that sitting on a sunny sill, filled, at least partially, with dried white rice grains would probably be a more complete drying. – PoloHoleSet Apr 18 '17 at 14:26
  • Rice might work. It partly depends what you want to do with it - a few crumbs of rice getting into a wet dish wouldn't matter too much, but ground on at the table might be a bit crunchy. – Chris H Apr 18 '17 at 15:25
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    IIRC the "Dry things with rice" method has been mostly disproven (as opposed to "dry things with moving, dry air"), which sitting on a radiator or in a warm oven would accomplish. – Joe M Apr 18 '17 at 18:02
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    if they're already salt and pepper mills -- as Joshit stated -- then I would expect salt to be just fine. I know of several restaurants that use salt to clean their spice grinders (then send the ground salt to the tables... yummy). – Keith Davies Apr 18 '17 at 22:49
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There's no special trick to it, you don't want to use water to clean them as it's hard to dry them afterwards and you risk getting wet spices clogging things up. First I would empty the mill, then I would give it a few taps and shake as much as can out of it. Next I would use a brush and/or paper towel to clean the parts I can reach. Once it's as clean as I can get it I would run the new spice through the mill for as many turns as it takes to get the old spice out of the works.

  • I was looking for something else here.. As I answered, you can try it with rice.. I am really looking for something to neutralize/clean the mill (and I believe that there are more possibilities) :) – Joshit Apr 18 '17 at 13:09
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    If you already had an answer why ask a question @Joshit ? If you are looking for something specific that has not been addressed I suggest you edit your question to make it clearer. – GdD Apr 18 '17 at 13:14
  • I found this possibility after i asked my question. – Joshit Apr 18 '17 at 13:20
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I was looking for something like that: http://lifehacker.com/5558040/use-rice-or-bread-to-clean-coffee-and-spice-grinders

I´ll try today, if milling rice will solve my problem.. And I´ll tell you as soon as I tried, if that is valuable..

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    I would have though bread would get stuck in there. Crackers would be better as they're drier. – Chris H Apr 18 '17 at 14:08
  • @ChrisH : yeah, but they're crumbly ... and if it turns to too fine of a powder, it'll stick to everything. – Joe Apr 18 '17 at 14:22
  • @ChrisH Using bread would only work, if the bread is absolutely dried. I go with Joe with the Cracker-thing.. – Joshit Apr 18 '17 at 14:26
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    Hi Joshit, and thank you for a nice first question. You have probably by now noticed that this site doesn't work like a forum which simply records a conversation chronologically. Here, the question is always on top, and we only allow answers below it, and they change their position depending on voting. We also allow self-answering, so it is nice that you posted here a solution found by your own research! It should still be an answer though, so I removed the invitation for alternative solutions. The original question is considered enough to get people write them, if they have them. – rumtscho Apr 18 '17 at 14:39
  • @rumtscho: Thanks for your feedback! Really appreciate fair feedback and guidance from mods and/or competent users. – Joshit Apr 18 '17 at 14:45

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