Cleaning the Rancilio Rocky grinder

Recently we had a bad experience with some awful beans, and I thought it was time to clean the grinder. It was overdue anyway.
Below you will see the steps I took.
It takes some time, but generally it was easier than expected.
A few things to remember:

  • Be sure to have a flat-bladed screwdriver that fits properly into the three screws in bottom in the coffee bean container
  • Don’t use water or liquid to clean
  • Have a brush at hand. The brush should have stiffness enough to go into corners and to “scrape” surfaces
  • Have a vacuum cleaner at hand
  • Pay close attention to the assembling of the grinder to assure it works with correct grinding levels afterwards.

The cleaning

I removed the two lids over the two containers and turned the grinder upside down, while holding it in the hands, to empty the containers. I unscrewed the three screws in the bean container. It is a bit of a challenge – mostly because the screws are covered with beans, which have fastened in the holes above the screws. After that the black round cover at the bottom of the coffee bean container is lifted off. And after that the coffee bean container can be carefully lifted off.
Now you see the three screw holes and a lot of coffee bean residues in the middle.
The round brass ring is screwed off. Turn it anti clockwise until it is off. It takes some time. So now the cleaning can start. You see some lose grinded coffee. More importantly: Over time the oil in the coffee beans and the heat from the grinding process create rubber- or leather-like lumps of coffee, glued to the different surfaces. It takes some time to remove the lumps and clean it off.
So I used the screw driver to carefully remove the lumps, without scratching the surfaces.
Use the brush to rub off lumps and to clean corners and holes.
Use the vacuum cleaner to remove all loose coffee and dust. I repeated these three steps: scraping with the screw driver, brushing and vacuum cleaning several times.
This is how clean I could make it. Not totally rinsed from coffee, but cleaner as it would be after the first grind. The brass ring is also cleaned going through the same steps.  
I also cleaned the container for grinded coffee using the brush and the vacuum cleaner.  

Assembly of the Rocky after cleaning

First the clean brass ring is put back in place. Be sure that the threads both outside the ring and in the machine are clean.
Carefully start turning the ring clock wise – keep turning until it stops. After that turn the brass ring back (anti clock wise) a bit less than one-quarter.
Now carefully put the coffee bean container in place. See the picture on the right. The pointer for grinding level, should point somewhere between 2 and 12. The “stop screw”, on the right, shall be behind the button, normally used when the grinding level shall be adjusted.
Wriggle the coffee bean container in place. See on the picture right how the screw holes in the plastic coffee bean container shall be aligned with the screw holes in the brass ring.
Now the round black cover has to be put back in place at the bottom at the coffee bean container. Put the three screws in place in the three holes in the black cover before putting it down.  
Now the screws shall be fastened.

Now the Rocky grinder is clean and ready for hard work again!

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