How do I clean my clippers and blades?
Posted on 10 October 2018 by Kim
Clippers and clipper blades are a must for grooming your horse. Even if you never body clip your horse, or never clip his muzzle or ears, you will need them at some point - wounds need to be clipped for evaluation and treatment, and using clippers to tidy up feathers and wacky leg and cheek hair is easy and safe. Clippers can also tidy the craziest of tails a zillion times better and quicker than scissors.
Not cleaning your clippers and blades straight after use will be a costly mistake as you’ll probably end up having to buy a new pair! Don’t put them away thinking “I’ll clean them later,” as “later” will turn out to be several weeks. By this time, the blades will have rusted beyond repair and the hair and grease in the clippers will have started to form some kind of gross nest! It takes less time than cleaning a bridle. Follow these three easy steps:
- Remove the all the hair from the blades and the clippers themselves
Some clippers come with a small brush to clean the clipper blades. If you don’t have one, or it's been lost, use an old toothbrush. Slide the mobile part of the clipper blade - called the cutter - from side to side to get most of the hair out. Make sure you get all the hair out of the nooks and crannies of the clipper body too.
- Wash the clipper blades
Immerse your clipper’s blades into some blade wash. This is super inexpensive, and most clipper manufacturers have their own brand. Most of today’s blades are made of steel, chromium and even some titanium which means that care needs to be taken with what they’re washed in, otherwise they can be damaged.
- Oil the clipper blades
After the blades have been washed, oil them. Then they’re ready to be stored away. The oil helps to preserve the blades and fend off rust. It's easy to do: just a few drops on the teeth of the clipper blades will do the trick. Store the blades in a container or bag that’s as airtight as you can get it. Humidity and air can cause rust.
When sharpeners grind your blades, the flat areas, or “rides” between the blades, are critical sites for rust. If these areas on the teeth become pitted from rust, then the blade is essentially no good. Sometimes these can be cleaned up, but not often. So ensure that the oil is worked in well to avoid this.
(Note that spray clipper lubricant is not the same as oil, so spraying your blades with this instead of oil will not prevent them from rusting.)
For more tips and information about clippers, have a look at our Clipping Help Centre.