Safe and Proper Clipper Cleaning

Clean clippers are critical in proper hygiene and customer satisfaction. Taking the extra steps to properly maintain your clippers will help prevent the growth and transfer of bacteria from one customer to the next. To ensure that each customer leaves without irritated hairlines, infected razor bumps, or other skin disorders, take

the necessary precautions. A bad reputation getting around about you having “dirty” clippers will be hard to live down. One minute of your time between haircuts is well worth the trouble. Spend the money and take the time for yourself, your equipment, and your customers.

There are numerous multipurpose products on the market that act as an all-in-one clipper blade disinfectant, coolant, and lubricant, such as Wahl’s Blade Ice, Andis’ Cool-Care Plus, Oster’s Clean N’ Care, Laube’s Mr. Lube N’ Cool, Clippercide’s Aerosol Spray, etc. Although these products are useful to keep on hand during a busy day, proper manual cleaning and maintenance is indispensable.

Between Each Client

• Brush off your clippers with a clipper brush, such as Wahl’s H-42 Clipper Brush, to remove hair from the clipper, clipper parts, and blade. It’s not necessary to remove blades, but it is important to use a brush specifically designed for clippers to avoid damage to the blade. Your clipper brush should also be sterilized regularly with a disinfectant.

• Disinfect your clippers with a spray cleaner, such as H-42’s Virucidal Anti-Bacterial Clean Clippers, which allows you to clean and lubricate without removing your blade. Be sure to use one that is said to kill the HIV-1 virus and dries quickly to prevent mildew from forming.

During Downtime

• Between every three to five cuts, apply a lubricating oil on your clipper blade and moving parts to prevent rust and blade deterioration. Place one drop on the blade teeth and rail, moving the blade back and forth to work it in. Hold the blade upside-down so the oil can run through the blade, then wipe off excess with a clean, dry cloth. “Less is more” is a good rule of thumb when applying oil on your clippers. Usually, any brand of clipper oil will work with all brands and/or models of clippers, unless otherwise stated on the label.

Once a Week

• Dip your clippers in a virucidal cleaner, such as Mar-V-Cide or Barbicide. Leave your clipper in the solution for about 15 to 20 seconds, then wipe off excess and apply some oil on the blade.

• Remove your blade to check for rust or build up.

Once a Year

• In order to keep your motor running at maximum potential, and to prevent electric shorts, you should completely disassemble your clipper once a year. The most important step is to lubricate the inner parts of your clipper, but you should also check for worn or damaged parts and product build up or hair. Remember, you can hire a clipper repair technician to do this if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. If your clipper isn’t worth this extra effort, buy a new one.

Establishing a routine with your clipper cleaning is very important. Your customers will appreciate all the precautions you take. The reward is years of loyal customers that are clear of any infections and skin irritations. Safety is crucial to the health of the professional and the client.

Kristi Faulkner