How to Clean Hair Clippers

by Véronique Raymond
Published: Last Updated on

If you are the type of person who prefers to cut their own hair using an at-home hair trimmer rather than going to the groomers, then you’ll also want to ensure your hair clippers are maintained and cleaned.

In this article, we’ll review clipper maintenance and how to clean hair clippers like a professional. The steps are easy to follow and don’t involve anything overly creative. But before we get into the nitty-gritty details of how to clean hair clippers, you may want to check out our recommendations for the best hair clippers in Canada.

Cleaning hair clippers is one of the easiest tasks to accomplish. Let see how to get it done.

Unscrew the Trimmer Blades

You have to unscrew the blade screws that keep the blades connected to the clipper. Most clippers have two screws located at the bottom of the blade and can be removed using a small screwdriver. Once these screws are removed, you can gently remove the blades and any pieces holding them together.

Remember to be cautious with the screws when removing the blades. That’s because the screws are quite easy to misplace if you accidentally drop them.

Clean the Dirt Using a Toothbrush or Blade Brush

This process requires you to scrape off all the bits of loose hair from underneath the blade using a cleaning brush or an old toothbrush (or any small brush will do the trick).

Hair tends to accumulate between the blades to the point that it becomes difficult to adjust a blade setting. Like many people, you may be surprised to find that hair gets everywhere on a clipper when you look under the blade.

If you don’t have a cleaning brush or toothbrush readily available, you can use a ball of steel wool or even a wire brush to get rid of the hair stuck in between the blades.

Sterilize and Disinfect the Clipper

This next step should be seen as probably the most important one on this list. It involves cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing your clippers.

Cleaning Your Clippers Using Rubbing Alcohol

If anything has a reputation for cleaning and disinfecting and sterilizing blades, it has to be alcohol. Professional barbers all over the world use alcohol to remove dirt and grime from their blades and sanitize them.

To clean your clippers using rubbing alcohol, follow the steps below:

  • Fill a container halfway with ethyl or isopropyl alcohol
  • Place the hair detached hair clipper into the solution, making sure that the items in the alcohol solution do not touch each other
  • Turn the clipper on for about 30 seconds. At this point, you should notice how the loose dirt and remaining hairs are removed and caught by the alcohol
  • Repeat this process at least two more times with fresh containers filled halfway with alcohol until there is no longer any residue in the solution
  • Once clean, wipe the blades down using a soft and dry rag
  • You should also leave the blades out to air dry completely to prevent possible rust
  • Once air-dried, add a few drops of oil on the blades to lubricate them

Cleaning Your Clippers Using Vinegar

Using white vinegar to clean your hair clippers can be an inexpensive method of killing off bacteria. Vinegar can do this, thanks to its highly acidic properties. It can be a non-toxic way to get rid of any leftover dirt or residue on your hair clipper blades.

While vinegar-based cleaning solutions can quickly dry, it is still important that your blades are completely dry before you either couple them back to the hair clipper for storage or add hair clipper oil to them. This can help prevent any corrosion or rusting.

White vinegar wash is a highly recommended way of cleaning your blades as it is non-toxic compared to the blade wash that uses various chemical compounds.

If you prefer the vinegar method for cleaning your hair clipper, use the following steps:

  • Soak your detached blades in warm water for about 10 minutes
  • Create a cleaning solution of equal parts water and vinegar
  • Place the shaving head, blades, and any other parts in the solution to soak for 20 minutes
  • After 20 minutes, wipe the submerged parts using a soft towel or cloth
  • Leave the items to air dry completely
  • Once dry, lubricate the blades using your preferred blade oil

Cleaning Your Clippers Using a Blade Wash

You can use a blade wash to clean your clippers. Not only does it help to break down any particles left on the blade, but it can also tackle or prevent any sign of rust. This will ensure that your blades work like new for a long time to come.

Your clipper blades should be soaked in a blade wash for a couple of minutes. Alternatively, you could also dip a cotton ball into the blade wash and then wipe the blade clean to eliminate build-up and rust.

Blade wash keeps hair clipper blades clean by disinfecting them and keeping the blades cool. It also eliminates terrible odours and kills bacteria and germs.

Selection of clippers at a barbershop

Source: Pexels

Cleaning the Comb Attachments

When most people clean their hair clippers, they tend to forget to also clean their comb attachments. You should clean your comb attachments as they can trap hair trimmings and oils when the clipper is used to cut hair.

The most effective way to clean the comb attachments is to remove them from the clippers and wash them thoroughly. Once clean, they can be left on a towel to air-dry overnight.

With the comb attachments dry, you can inspect them for any signs of damage. If you notice broken teeth on the comb attachments, you will need to replace them.

Once the attachments are completely dry and are in good condition, you can place them back onto the hair clipper or store them in a safe and cool place until it is time to use them.

Using Blade Oil to Lubricate the Blades

Like any appliance with moving parts, hair clippers work better when they are properly lubricated. Keep in mind that hair clippers are usually exposed to moisture and air. This means they are more likely to deteriorate in the long run if not properly cleaned and maintained.

Lubrication can help the blade resist corrosion and rust. When the blades are lubricated and sharp, they make hair trimming go smoother. It is recommended that you lubricate your blades after each use.

To do this, you only need to add three drops of blade oil onto the blade. Do not over oil the blade as this can cause it to become too greasy.

Wiping Off Residue and Turning the Hair Clipper On

This step is an important one and should only be conducted after completing all the steps mentioned earlier.

To help the oil get to all the important parts of the blade, you can turn your clippers on after applying the oil. The movement enables the oil to properly and uniformly lubricate the blades.

Once done with this step, turn the hair clippers off and clean off any excess oil using a towel.


It is recommended to clean your hair clippers at least once every week. To prevent blade infections, it is best to clean clippers after every fourth use.

Keep in mind that you should only use the recommended clipper oil. If you don’t have any clipper oil, do not use any other oil because that could damage the hair clipper.

When you reassemble the clipper, make sure that you correctly coupled the blades to allow it to function properly. Close the screws holding the clipper head tightly to ensure they do not slip when in use.

There you have it! Now you know how to clean hair clippers and how to maintain them. Following the methods outlined in this article will ensure that your clippers perform optimally for a long time.


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