How to clean your clippers as a barber

By Salon Gold on July 27th, 2023

For a barber, your hair clippers are what a pair of boots are to a footballer. or what a guitar is to a live musician. You simply wouldn’t be able to do what you do best without them.

However, like a footballer needs to clean their boots and a guitarist needs to tune their guitar, clipper maintenance is key to offering the same high-class haircuts each and every time. 

But cleaning your clippers isn’t as simple as giving them a shake out and wiping them down with a cloth. It’s much more of a delicate process, and it’s one that you need to get right for a range of reasons. 

As experts in all things hair and beauty, Salon Gold knows a thing or two about how to clean hair clippers. Allow us to impart this wisdom and boost your barber business going forward. 

Why is cleaning your clippers important?

There are three main reasons you need to clean your clippers on a regular basis. Generally speaking, you’ll want to give them a deep clean every three to four uses, as well as spraying them with cooling spray after every use and oiling them after every two to three uses. 

  • Hygiene

You wouldn’t eat from a dirty bowl or wear dirty clothes, so why would you cut someone’s hair using unclean clippers? Doing so is a one-way ticket to causing clients’ skin irritation and potentially even infection. At best, you’ll have unsatisfied customers, and at worst, you’ll have a legal case on your hands. 

  • Service quality

Using unclean clippers leads to bad haircuts. While clean blades run smoothly (as the motor can run without any friction), dirty clippers will do the exact opposite, resulting in blunt cuts and unhappy clients. 

  • Durability

By causing the motor to run slowly and work harder, it will ultimately break down quicker. This means you’ll have to replace your clippers more frequently, adding costs to your company. Cleaning them prevents mould, rust and unpleasant odour too, further prolonging its life. 

Cleaning your clippers: What you’ll need

So, now you know why you need to clean your clippers, it’s almost time to find out how to do this. But in order to do so, you’ll need the right tools. Here’s what you require:

  • Oil – Clipper oil works to lubricate the working parts of the clipper blades and maintain functionality. Most products are much of a muchness, but Wahl clipper oil is the market leader. Be sure to use dedicated clipper oil though, as alternatives can damage the clippers. 
  • Cooling spray – Cooling spray (also called blade wash) is used to properly clean, disinfect, and lubricate the blades. While there are plenty of professional products on the market, you can save money by using distilled white vinegar instead, though its effect won’t last as long. 
  • A brush – You’ll need a brush to clean away leftover hairs when cleaning. Most clippers will come with one in the box, but if not, a dedicated cleaning brush like an Andis brush will do the trick.

How to clean your clippers: A step-by-step guide

There are five main stages to cleaning clippers, which are as follows:

  • Remove the batteries and unplug the clippers

Before you can actually start cleaning, be sure to remove the clipper’s batteries and unplug it. You’re going to be introducing liquid at some point, and you definitely don’t want a nasty shock!

  • Get rid of any hair and open the clippers

Next, shake the clipper and then use the brush to get rid of any hair that’s accumulated. Most of this will be on the blades themselves, but you’ll also want to open up the machine (you might need a screwdriver for this) and remove all the parts to ensure you get everything. This will set you up nicely for the next step. 

  • Soak the parts and clean them

It’s finally time to start actually cleaning your clippers. If you’re using a proper cleaning solution, then first take the blades and let them soak in water for a bit, before lightly applying the solution. For vinegar cleaning, just mix it in with the water from the off and let the blades soak in the mixture. 

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