How to Clean and Maintain Hair Clippers to Make Them Serve Longer

Proper cleaning and sterilization of hair clippers are essential for both health reasons and prolonging their service life. Here, we give some insights on how to do it correctly.
Deborah Beams
Deborah Beams
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Deborah is an incredibly talented journalist who's been working for numerous online magazines for over 8 years now. She's also our main research writer who can turn any bori read more
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Last updated: August 18, 2023
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After getting all the right tools to start cutting your hair and even that of others at home or in the neighborhood, you will need to right skills to clean and maintain the clippers. Trusted Source Hair clipper - Wikipedia A hair clipper is a specialised implement used to cut human head hair. They work on the same principle as scissors, but are distinct from scissors themselves and razors. It becomes even more important to know how to clean hair clippers if you share them with others. Thankfully, compared to other aspects of barbing, cleaning the clipper is pretty easy.

In this post, we will consider different aspects of cleaning your hair clippers. Why is cleaning important? How often should you clean it? What will be needed? Well, all of these questions and more will be answered in this article.

Why should you clean hair clippers?

How to Clean and Maintain Hair Clippers to Make Them Serve Longer

Is it important to clean your clippers? Yes, it is. Periodically cleaning your clippers is so vital. In this section, we will explore why it is so important.

Shaving your face with a dirty clipper is pretty difficult. Since the blades are dirty, they will snag on your hair, thus making shaving painful and difficult. What is more, an unclean clipper on your face is gross and invites different skin problems.

Remember that shaving involves the biggest organ of the body, and if a dirty clipper infects this, it can lead to plenty of discomfort.

Also, it simply does not make sense to by a replacement blade every other month. By cleaning your hair clippers, you save yourself plenty of money.

To get the best out of your hair clipper, therefore, you must clean and oil the blades often. By lubricating the blades, you will reduce friction and allow the blades to go over the skin more smoothly.

When the blades move with minimum friction, the motor does less work and will last for longer.

Apart from the blades, other parts of the clippers also need cleaning. One important part of the clippers that require cleaning is the small compartment in the trimmer head. Open this up, and you will be greeted by the sight of dirt, grime, and other debris in it. If you fail to clean up this part, the blades will clog.

If the blades are clogged, not only will it make it harder for the clipper to move over your face, but this will result in more complications. It can result in razor bumps, rashes, itching, burns, and several other skin problems.

If you cut or style hair professionally, it is even more important that you keep the clipper clean. If your customers complain of tugging, get razor bumps, or suffer from other problems related to your lack of maintenance, it will terribly impact your business. Any barber that wants to be in business for long knows the importance of cleaning and maintaining the clipper.

I hope that all of these have hammered down the importance of having a good cleaning culture for all the tools you use to shave for yourself or others.

In summary, some of the most important reasons to keep your clippers clean are:

  • It makes shaving easier and smoother
  • It reduces the chances of infection
  • It reduces the frequency of replacements, thus saving money.
  • Saves your business
  • Reduces razor bumps, burns, and other skin issues

How often should you clean hair clippers?

Your clippers need to be cleaned often. Clean them frequently, but keep in mind that this frequency will depend on how often you use the clipper.

It is recommended that you clean it after use every time. When cleaning, use a gentle brush so that you don’t end up damaging delicate parts.

What you will need

  • Soft brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Oil
  • Soft cloth
  • Alcohol
  • Warm water

Cleaning step by step

Now that you have considered why it is important to keep

the clippers clean, this section is a comprehensive guide to cleaning the clippers and always having them in the best condition. By following these steps, you should have no problem with using your clippers for a long time.

Here are the things to do:

Remove hair buildup

How to Clean and Maintain Hair Clippers to Make Them Serve Longer

The first thing you need to do is remove any remnants of hair from the clippers. As hair cutting is its function, you will inevitably find hair in the clipper. It is vital to remove hair from the tool because it reduces the chances of dulling. If hair and other debris remain on the clipper, the blades can become dull very quickly. A dull blade is never a good thing because it will reduce the hair clipper’s efficiency. You would be unable to remove hair quickly and smoothly.

So, here are the steps to take in removing the hair:

  • Remove all the hairs and dirt that have gained a foothold between the blades and any other crevices in the device. Before you brush all this debris away, spread a clean towel over the table. This will capture any debris and will ensure easy disposal.
  • Remove the comb guide from the blades.
  • Check the blades and the area around the blades. As you do, look out for any hair trimmings and remove these. Fortunately, most clipper sets come with a small brush that helps with cleaning. This brush helps you to reach the inner parts of the clipper. You could also opt for some other brush in case your clipper does not come with its brush. The Patelai Three Pieces cleaning brush kit is recommended by users as an affordable and useful alternative to regular brushes.
  • Some of the clippers that we have tested have detachable blades. If that is the case with the clippers at hand, ensure that you consult the buyers’ guide on correctly removing these blades.
  • Remove the dust and hair from the body and innards of the device.
  • After thoroughly cleaning the blades, return the blades to the correct place on the clippers.
  • If you can, spray compressed air from a can into the clipper. This will also clean the clipper, and you would not even need to unscrew or disassemble anything.
  • When not in use, ensure that the blade cover is always on the blades to protect them from damage.
  • You should take care not to use fibrous materials for cleaning, especially between the blades. If you used these materials, the fibers can easily stick in the device and slow down the blades’ movement and affect the efficiency of your clippers.

Clean the comb guides

Before you cut or style hair, it is good that the hair and scalp be cleaned. If the hair is dirty, it will increase the grease and hair products on the blades and the clipper’s comb guides. Therefore, cleaning the comb guides form an important aspect of ensuring that the clipper is clean. To remove these trimmings on the comb guides, the following steps will prove to be very useful.

  • First, remove these attachments from the clipper. They are often plastic, which means that they will not rust. So after removing them, wash them in a bowl filled with warm water and add a gentle cleanser for more effective cleaning.
  • As you clean the comb guides, check for damage, wear, or tear. Inspection will allow you to know whether you need to replace these comb guides. If there is damage, replacements are in order. If not replaced, it can cause damage to the device and reduce its efficiency. If the comb guides aren’t good, it can cause unsightly finishes on hair.
  • Many clippers have a case included in the package. You need to ensure that the case is also clean and free from dust and dirt.

Why sterilization is important

How to Clean and Maintain Hair Clippers to Make Them Serve Longer

Sterilization is important because it kills germs and other stuff that can infect your skin during shaving.

How to sterilize hair clippers

To get the best from your clipper, you also need to sterilize the clipper. While this will not affect how it works, it will determine the results on your skin. We recommend that you carry out sterilization often.

If you are a professional clipper or if you share your clippers with others, you certainly need to sterilize them before use every time.

By doing it, you will make your clippers smooth and safe to use.

How do you sterilize the clippers? Follow these steps:

  • Pour a small quantity of alcohol into a dish.
  • Remove the debris and hair from the blades.
  • Dip the blades into the alcohol. Be careful not to dip other parts into the alcohol to prevent damage to these parts.
  • Run the appliance for up to thirty seconds. When you run it, you will see hairs and dirt in the alcohol.
  • Repeat the steps above until there are no more hair and dirt in the alcohol.
  • Wipe the blades down with a dry, clean cloth.
  • Lubricate the blades.

These steps are best for clippers that have non-detachable blades. If the blades can be detached, remove them and soak them in alcohol, changing the alcohol until it is clear and free of debris.

Lubricating hair clippers

As with all machines that have moving parts, the clippers must be properly lubricated. If it is correctly lubricated, it will work to the maximum ability and will give the best results.

When the clipper parts are exposed to the elements like air and moisture, you will see a degradation of a machine. Also, as the clippers work, the parts rub against each other, which slowly affects the product. Therefore, you need to lubricate it with oil frequently if you want the product to remain sharp.

Apart from reducing friction between moving parts, oiling the clippers will also prevent rust and corrosion. With a well-lubricated machine, hair will move smoothly. You will not experience any painful tugs on hair or skin.

So, with all of these in mind, how can you lubricate your clippers correctly? Here are the steps that you need to follow:

  • Switch on the hair clipper and apply drops of oil straight on the blades of the clipper.
  • Just as there might not be enough oil, it is also possible for you to use too much oil. Using too much oil is bad and can spoil the main engine of the clipper.
  • After applying the oil, wait for a few seconds. It is important because it will help the oil reach all parts of the blade.
  • If there is excess oil on the blades or the clipper, use a cloth to wipe it away.

How to Clean and Maintain Hair Clippers to Make Them Serve Longer

Most of the time, clippers have oils attached in the package. The instruction manual also contains useful information on treating your blades the first time you use them. If there is no oil included in your model, you could always buy from third-party manufacturers. Reviews praise the WAHL Fluid as one of the best for lubricating your blades.

The internal unit of the clipper is sealed and does not need cleaning. However, it will need some lubrication. Check out the instructions manual to see how to lubricate the internal motor. Some cases might require that you open the clipper. For that, you will require a screwdriver.

Can you wash a hair clipper?

You can use mild soap to wash the blades of the clippers. However, ensure that you wipe it dry after washing and lubricate the blades afterward.

Tips on storing hair clippers

  • Store the blades in an airtight container
  • Wrap the blades in an oily cloth to prevent rusting
  • Keep in a dry, cool place

When should you change the blade?

Changing your clippers’ blades is not done often and might only be done twice or even less over the lifespan of the device.

With proper maintenance, your clipper blades will last for a long time.

You should change the blades if you damage them or you chip the teeth

Final thoughts

Keeping your clippers in the best working condition is easy as long as you maintain them correctly. After using your clippers, clean it thoroughly and store it in a dry, cool place. You should have the blades oiled often to prevent corrosion.

With the information on how to clean hair clipper and how to maintain it, we believe that you and others can use them without much worry about damage or infection. Check out some pretty affordable clippers here.


Hair clipper - Wikipedia
A hair clipper is a specialised implement used to cut human head hair. They work on the same principle as scissors, but are distinct from scissors themselves and razors.
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