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How To Clean Hair Clippers

Have you bought a new pair of hair clippers and now they’re clogged with hair clippings and other debris?

Well, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a guy that hasn’t run into this problem but how exactly do you clean your hair clipper blades so they give that fresh and clean cut you enjoyed the first time you used them?

This article aims to answer that very question and give you some other tips and info on hair clippers and how to maintain them so the trimmer blades are constantly up to your standard.

Read on and you’ll find out the importance of hair clipper maintenance, how to carry it out, and we’ll answer some burning questions others have about cleaning hair clippers.

So, let’s begin.

Why You Should Clean Hair Clippers

There are a lot of reasons why cleaning your hair clippers properly is important so before we tell you how to clean them, it’s always handy to know the benefits of carrying out the process so you don’t feel tempted to skip the cleaning.

1) Hygiene

Arguably the most important reason: When you use hair clippers they start to get a build-up of dirt and hair which can be placed back into your skin on your next shave.

This can lead to nasty side effects like razor bumps, soreness, and even infection or long-term skin damage. In which case it’s always vital you sterilize clipper blades as often as you can. Your skin will thank you in the long run.

We’d strongly suggest cleaning them after every use which may sound tedious but it is necessary if you want to ensure you avoid the aforementioned side effects.

2) Smoother Cut

When you have a clean clipper blade, it’s going to do its job a lot more smoothly. This is because the motor can run without any friction slowing it down which allows the blade to glide over your skin much easier which makes shaving easier and more comfortable.

The last thing you want is to have to keep going over certain patches of hair because your shaving head can’t reach those remaining hairs that keep getting left behind due to clogged blades.

3) Sharpness

Clogged blades also run the risk of dulling over time, especially without proper maintenance such as clipper oil. They‘ll no longer cut evenly which can lead to patchy hairs or even ingrown hairs in some cases. If you want to find out more about sharpening then check out our article “how to sharpen hair clippers“.

4) Longer Life

Having clean hair clippers will make them last longer, it’s that simple. The blades will stay sharp and clean which means you’ll get more clean cuts from your hair clipper.

This means you’ll have a better haircut or facial hair as the blades will be working at optimum level and it also saves you money as you won’t be constantly replacing your hair clipper because it no longer works like it used to.

How to Clean Hair Clippers: A Step By Step Guide

1) Unplug – Firstly, make sure your hair clipper is unplugged from the socket if you have a corded one. If you have a cordless then just ensure you don’t accidentally turn it on or do this when the battery has run out.

2) Excess Hair – There’s probably going to be thicker hairs that have bunched together in your clipper blades. To remove these just remove your guard and tap your hair clipper and guard against a bin. This should dislodge some of the debris that’s left behind. You may also own a model that has a compartment specifically for catching hair, in which case empty this out into a bin or toilet.

3) Brush – Use a small cleaning brush, such as a hard toothbrush or blade brush, and sweep away any extra loose hair. You can also remove the whole blade unit and then brush the hair away if you have a model that allows for it.

4) Disassemble – Every hair clipper model will have its own disassembly method. However, most models have detachable blades, metal guards, foil, and comb attachments. If you’re unsure then have a look over the manual that came with your hair clipper.

5) Disinfect – There are a few ways to disinfect your hair clipper so let’s go over them all and you can choose the one you prefer.

a) Distilled White Vinegar – This is a cheap and effective way of cleaning your hair clipper blades that you likely already have at home. The acidity in the vinegar will remove mold organisms and kill bacteria that can build up on a clipper. Simply put your clippers into a bowl of white vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then take it out and rinse it off with clean water and let it dry.

b) Clipper Spray – Clipper spray is another method you can use. It not only cleans your blade but also helps prevent it from becoming too hot as the hair clipper blade can overheat when used. You’ll find that this stuff is always used in barbershops as it’s mandatory in the US but it’s not as important if you’re just at home cutting your own hair. If you share your hair clipper with somebody else then you’ll definitely want to use this. Just spray it over your clippers and you’re good to go.

c) Rubbing Alcohol – Rubbing Alcohol or alcohol rub is a highly effective way of killing bacteria and microbes that are left behind on your blade. You can use this in the same way you would white vinegar. Just put your clipper blades into a bowl of fresh alcohol rub, let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse and dry with a soft and dry cloth.

6) Guards – Just like the blades, your comb attachments will gather dirt, hair, and excess oil from your skin so don’t neglect these and wash them in some soapy water.

7) Oiling – Another important part of cleaning your trimmer is using clipper oil after each trimming or shaving session to lubricate it and keep it in working order. Here’s how:

a) Wash – First, make sure that the blade has been washed and dried.

b) Oil – Then hold the clipper downward over the sink and put a few drops (2-3) of clipper oil on the blades.

c) Distribute – Next you should switch on the clipper, this is because the blade movement will distribute the oil evenly across all the blades.

d) Dry – To finish, just turn it off and wipe off the excess oil with a paper towel.

8) Clean Up – Once that’s all done your hair clippers should be good as new with no loose hairs, dirt, or grease left behind. Give them another rinse just to be sure and dry them thoroughly with a soft cloth or soft towel.

Extra Tips For Clipper Maintenance

Soft Brush – You’ll want to use a softer brush to clean. An old toothbrush is ideal for this but you could also use a dedicated cleaning brush to be thorough. Dedicated clipper brushes are often very small though so a toothbrush may be the better option if you need something bigger.

Clean Often – Clean your clippers frequently. It can depend on how often you use your trimmer but once every 2-3 uses is a good rule of thumb. If you use your hair clippers on your face or share them with someone else (the latter of which we don’t recommend) then you may find it beneficial to clean them after every use to avoid dirt and hair causing breakouts.

Oil Is Key – Blade oil is vital so don’t use any other type of oil that may compromise your hair cutter’s functioning or even damage it irreversibly. Stick to the approved quality of branded oil products. Wahl clippers usually come with great accessories like oil and cleaning brushes.

But Not Too Much Oil – While it is important, never use too much. A few drops will do the trick and any more than this will have the adverse effect and be a detriment to your clippers.

Reassembly – Always make sure you’ve reassembled the blades and head properly. Your blades should be both properly aligned and tightened closely.

Aligning Clipper Blades

You now know how to clean hair clippers but it’s also handy to know how to align your clipper blades so they work as intended:


  1. Hold your clippers sideways and look down their length, the blades should be either parallel with the cutter blade or set slightly back. The blades should be straight too.
  2. Loosen the blade screws but don’t remove them.
  3. Wiggle the blade back into place.
  4. Now retighten the screws but be careful when tightening the screws again as you might offset the cutting blade.
  5. Alternate between each screw to ensure the blade doesn’t twist and become crooked.
  6. When you’ve tightened all of the screws, double-check again to ensure the blade is even and correctly aligned. You can also turn on the clipper and lightly run the blade over your finger or hand to ensure it’s aligned correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use my hair clipper?

If you want to get the most out of your clippers then have a look over our article on how to cut hair with clippers. Here you can find a guide on how to best cut your hair with clippers as well as find out a little more about]clippers and how they can benefit you.

What happens if you don’t clean clippers?

If you fail to maintain your clippers then they won’t cut properly and you’ll get painful patchy haircuts. In addition, if you don’t clean them frequently, they’ll also get dirty. This will cause skin irritation and might even cause an infection.

Should hair be wet when using clippers?

Cutting wet hair with a trimmer is nigh on impossible, so don’t even try. A good towel dry helps prevent the clipper blades from rusting and makes it much easier for you to achieve the style you want.

How long do clipper blades last?

If you follow the steps above regularly then the cutting edge on your clipper blades should last anywhere from three to six months. however, higher-quality models may last up to a year if taken care of properly.

What’s the best hair clipper?

If you’re looking for some recommendations on great clippers then we have a guide that will give you some great suggestions. Check out “best hair clippers for men“.

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