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How To Clean Hair Clippers: 10 Easy Ways To Upkeep Your Tool

Last Updated on: June 9, 2024

The best hair clipper is a must-have in every gentleman’s grooming kit. 

With its sharp blades, a hair clipper makes fast and precise cuts possible. 


The performance of hair clipper blades dwindles over time. They snag hair and cause skin irritation. Without proper maintenance, it is unable to deliver a clean cut.

So, to keep the hair clipper in its peak condition, proper cleaning is a must! Read on and we’ll share some tips on how to clean hair clippers. By doing the things we’ll talk about below, you will ensure proper hair clipper maintenance, making the tool more reliable. 

How to Clean Hair Clippers Like A Pro 

1. Soap and Water 

Soap and Water

One of the simplest but most effective methods of cleaning hair clippers is through using soapy water. 

This is especially good for barber clippers during the first cut of the day. Doing it daily will help make the clipper perform at its best. 

Start by pouring mild dishwashing soap on the top of the blade. Next, run the blade under warm water. Use a cloth or your fingers to rub the blade. Next, use a cleaning brush to clean between the blades and get rid of soap residues. Finish by rinsing and drying the blade. 

2. Alcohol 


You can use either isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, depending on whatever is available. Regardless, it will not only be a good cleaning solution but will also act as a liquid disinfectant. 

We highly recommend this for sanitizing a tool used every day by different customers, such as barbers. 

Fill a small cup with isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, just enough to submerge the blade. Drop the clipper on the alcohol and soak for at least a minute. Once done, take the blade off and wipe it with a clean cloth to remove residues. 

3. Barbicide 


For professionals, Barbicide is a must-have cleaning supply. It is a liquid disinfectant that kills fungi, germs, and viruses that reside on surfaces, including hair clippers. 

This blue disinfectant has been a staple in many barbershops and salons since the 1940s. 

Over the years, the brand has expanded and now includes hospital-grade disinfectants. 

In a small container, mix 16 fluid ounces of water and one fluid ounce of Barbicide. Soak the blade in the cleaning solution for at least ten minutes. Rinse with water once you are done. 

4. Brush 

For a quick clean, using a brush is a great choice. However, it will not sterilize hair clippers, so it may not be enough, especially if it has been a long time since you last cleaned the clipper blade. 

Brushing is especially recommended for barber clippers before every cut to rid the blade of hair and residues. 

If your clipper does not include a brush, use one with stiff bristles, so it can easily get in the spaces. Brush back and forth on both sides. Position the clipper downward while you are brushing and have something under to catch the particles. 

5. Clipper Spray 

Clipper Spray

A clipper works as a disinfectant. More than being hygienic, using a clipper spray is also a great way to prevent the blade from being too hot. This will ensure a more comfortable and precise cut for every use. Plus, it protects against rust and reduces wear, which makes it effective for professional tools. 

The process of using a clipper or disinfectant spray is straightforward. Detach the blade from the hair clipper. Spray directly on the clipper and finish by wiping. You can do this between haircuts to clean and disinfect while also cooling clippers and trimmer blades. 

6. Vinegar 


If you are looking for cheap but effective solutions for cleaning hair clippers, it is hard to go wrong with distilled white vinegar. 

It is an acidic solution, which makes it exceptional in fighting mold and bacteria. More so, compared to commercial cleaners with hazardous chemicals, vinegar is non-toxic, so you can be confident of its safety. 

Detach the clipper from the unit and make sure there is no hair in between its teeth. Fill a container with vinegar. Let the removable parts soak in vinegar, including the foils or blades. Leave for half an hour. Remove from vinegar, rinse, wipe, and assemble the detachable components back into the unit. 

7. Bleach 


A chemical solution made from sodium hypochlorite, bleach is a common cleaning material. However, you should be cautious with its use as it can be too strong. It is also toxic, so handle it with care. 

Do not apply bleach directly on the hair clipper. Instead, make a solution with one-part bleach and ten parts water. 

In a small bowl or cup, mix 2 cups of water and one teaspoon of bleach. Submerge the clipper blades detached from the clipper and wait at least ten minutes. More than just cleaning, it will also disinfect clippers. Rinse in cool water and wipe. 

8. Blade Wash 

Blade Wash

A blade wash contains a special formula, which differs from one manufacturer to another. 

The goal is to create a product offering an all-around solution for quick but effective cleaning of hair clippers. Such can also help get rid of loose hair clippings and stuck debris to make the clipper sharp and clean. 

Follow the instructions from the manufacturer on how to use their product. In most cases, you will need to mix it with water in a shallow bowl or small container. Immerse the tip of the clipper, making sure that you dip only the blades. Run for a few seconds and dry. 

9. Compressed Air 

Compressed Air

Aside from tiny hairs, dust can also accumulate on the clipper, making it less functional over time. They can clog the blades. To prevent such from ruining its performance, using compressed air is one solution worth considering. 

All that you will need to do is to spray a few bursts of air straight into the clipper. Such will be powerful enough to get between the spaces to eliminate any stuck debris. It will blow excess hair for the clipper to function smoother. 

10. Lubricant 


Hair clippers require regular oiling to maintain their peak condition and performance through the years. It will act as a lubricant, which will make cuts smoother while also improving precision. Depending on the clipper oil you will use, it can also have properties that can resist rust. 

Start by cleaning the clipper using any of the options mentioned above, such as using soap and water, isopropyl alcohol, white vinegar, or a cleaning brush. Dry the clipper. Add two to four drops of clipper oil. Avoid using too much oil as it can attract dirt and debris. Turn the clipper on for the blades to move up and down to improve penetration. Wipe excess oil. 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you sterilize clippers at home? 

Use isopropyl alcohol to disinfect clippers at home. Spray lightly on the blade. You can also put alcohol on a cotton swab or ball and rub it on the blade. Do not soak the entire clipper as getting alcohol in the compartment can damage its internal mechanism. 

Can you put clipper blades in water? 

Yes, you can put clipper blades in the water. Soaking it in water and a mild soap is an effective way to keep the blades clean. If it is made using high-quality materials, rust should never be a problem. Take note, however, that it is only the blade that you should soak in warm water and not the entire clipper. 

How do you clean Wahl clippers after use? 

Most clippers from Wahl will come with a small brush attached to the unit. Take the brush and blade off from the main body. Hold the clipper upside-down and brush hair between the blades. When done, return the clipper and brush to the housing. 


Whether you are a barber or someone who cuts his hair at home, you need to learn the right way of cleaning a hair clipper to keep the tool’s best condition. You can do so using different materials, including soap and water, alcohol, and bleach. Whatever you choose, the process for clipper maintenance is pretty straightforward. 

Is there anything else we missed? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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