Cannabis trimmer manufacturers can design their machines any which way, and maintenance will still be a mandatory part of the process. We get it—cleaning isn’t the fun part of growing marijuana, but it is essential if you want to keep everything running at peak efficiency. Weed on—excuse us—read on to discover the ultimate guide to cannabis trimmer maintenance!
Why You Should Use a Cannabis Trimmer
First of all, if your business isn’t using a cannabis trimmer—what? Investing in a cannabis trimmer is probably the best move you can make for the continued success of your company.
One of the top reasons to use a cannabis trimmer is the safety factor. Simply put, cannabis trimmers make for a safer environment for your flowers. The less time people spend (yes, even well-trained employees) touching and handling your flowers, the less likely they are to degrade or contaminate the flowers. That leads to a better final product for your customers, and by extension, more money for you.
In addition, bud trimmers can give you the same results (if not better) as humans at a fraction of the cost. Optimizing your process will allow you to devote your employees’ time and energy to other parts of the harvest and not put effort where it isn’t necessary.
Finally, you need to think about efficiency. Human beings can’t keep up with automation, so it doesn’t make sense to try and make them pick up the pace. Bottlenecks in your production process cost you time and money, so get rid of the bottlenecks! Your employees can do more at other points of the harvesting process where a machine can’t compete with a human hand and mine.
Why Is Cleaning Important?
This question has an easy answer: trimming machines get gross. When you put sticky buds through a machine day in and day out, it doesn’t take long for gunk to build up and become a significant issue. As the buds build up, you’ll find the machine’s efficiency slowly starts to wane until you’re working with a machine that’s 50 percent gunk, 50 percent metal.
As if slowdowns weren’t enough to contend with, a machine caked in bud goo will also reduce the lifespan of the trimmer the longer you leave it on. Cleaning isn’t a particularly tricky process, so it’s worth the time to give your trimmer a good scrub every so often.
Check the Manufacturer’s Recommendations
The first step to cleaning your machine is to check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Different machines will have varying best practices for cleaning, and some will even come with suggestions on additional cleaning products that could make your life easier.
That said, there are quite a few similarities across machines as far as best practices go. We’ll go through these below but remember—defer to your manual first.
Some Disassembly Required
As tempting as it may be to spray down the whole trimmer with a pressure washer, you don’t want to risk damaging the internal components. Instead, your best bet is to take the machine apart so you can properly clean the tumbler and blades. This is a situation where you’ll want to refer to your owner’s manual—there should be a section on disassembling and cleaning your bud trimmer.
In addition to cleaning the tumbler and blades, you should also clean up the vacuum hoses on your machine as the process can trap material inside them.
You should also consider buying extras of these parts—that way, you can disassemble your machine and put it back together with the extra parts. While your employees work on cleaning the gunked-up components, your trimmer can get back to work, reducing your downtime significantly.
Traditional soap and water probably won’t get the job done for you—you’ll need to turn to the tough stuff. Elbow grease can take you a long way, but we recommend searching for resin-cleaning products specifically.
There are several quality oil-based solutions that are safe to use on metal, plastic, rubber, glass, and silicone. Just apply a bit of the resin-cleaning solution to a microfiber cloth and scrub away!
Once you’ve disassembled your machine, you can break out the power washer. While it’s risky to use it on the machine as a whole, the tumbler and blades can take it. Consider picking up an attachment that combines the water with a cleaning product of your choice, then blast your components with high-pressure foam. You may want to repeat this process a few times to fully clean the blades and tumbler.
It’s More Than Cleaning
“Maintenance” doesn’t only refer to scrubbing your machine when you notice there’s some built-up goo. Don’t forget to perform the routine maintenance tasks you would on any other machine—grease up the bearings, fine-tune the components, and have the tools you need on hand to fix any problems that arise.
Have Extras on Hand
We mentioned that you might want to have extra components to slot into your trimmer while you clean, but you should also have a backup set of parts in case something goes wrong. Instead of waiting days for new parts to arrive, keep a supply of components on hand. Make sure you have an extra tumbler, brush, blade, hub, belt, and motor on hand, as well as a few additional bearings and pulleys.
Wet Trimming vs. Dry Trimming
There’s a big difference between wet and dry trimming, as you know, but one of the most significant variances is how each affects your cleaning process. If you’re using the wet trimming method, you should give your crew extra time for cleaning—you’ll need to clean more frequently than if you dry trim your plants.
Extra moisture means extra goo in your machine, so don’t be surprised if you’re cleaning the trimmer every week or so.
The Same Tips, but Smaller
Not every business can afford a big cannabis trimmer, and that’s okay! There are also small cannabis trimmerson the market that do the same job on a smaller scale. If you want to know how to clean and maintain your small trimmer, refer to the previous tips! In fact, you’ll have a much easier time disassembling and getting your cleaning products into the nooks and crannies.
Now that you have the ultimate guide to cannabis trimmer maintenance, say goodbye to the days of sticky trimmers and hello to a brand-new era!