How to Clean Hair Trimmers

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hair clippers
hair clippers (Image: Denise Graziano)

Good hair trimmers can last a lifetime. Maybe you have a grandfather or uncle who bought an American-made trimmer with 100 percent stainless steel blades in 1975 and he still uses it. Today, many economical trimmers and clippers on the market are made with a mix of metals or alloys, which corrode more quickly if not cared for properly. It is pretty disappointing to pull out a pair of trimmers within a year of purchase, only to see brown rust spots forming on the blade. Rust inhibits the cutting action of the blades, eventually rendering trimmers unusable. The good news is that corrosion is preventable.

Things You'll Need

  • Clipper oil
  • Trimmer brush
  • Absorbent towel
  • Bowl (optional)

With the unit unplugged or turned off, literally brush excess hair from trimmer teeth after use.

trimmer brush
trimmer brush

Hold the trimmers in a side position and squeeze one to three drops of oil onto the top of the trimmer blades.

using clipper oil
using clipper oil

Turn them on and the oil will drip down through the blades while they run, removing hair and product, fully lubricating the trimmer blades.

Wipe excess oil and hair off with an absorbent towel.

Store the trimmers in a drawer, or container with a loose-fitting lid or vents for air circulation.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have the special trimmer brush, a toothbrush works as a substitute; just cut away half of the bristles to make the brush more flexible, or use a soft toddler-sized toothbrush. In a pinch, an artist's paintbrush or can of air might even do the trick! Use a synthetic clipper oil. As a general rule, do not use vegetable or animal oils, as they turn rancid over time. Do not use motor oil, as it contains additives that will leave an unpleasant odor. Oil lubricates, removes excess hair and product, and preserves trimmer blades. Clean trimmers once a week if used daily.
  • If you use battery-operated trimmers, check batteries often for corrosion.

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