So for some of the lucky ones the clipping season is coming to an end. There are still some of you out there that will be clipping all year round – i feel your pain. However having made the investment in buying a set of clipper sit is very important that they are looked after, there is nothing worse than beginning a clip and finding out after a couple of strokes that the blades are blunt or the clippers are not running as well as they should be. If you have done your final clip the making sure your clippers and blades are properly cleaned and stored is very important. Firstly you want to remove the blades from the clippers and give everything a really good brush out with a long bristled brush – paint brushes are ideal for this. With the blades you can wash them in washing up liquid or a specialist blade wash – basically you want to remove the dirt, grease and oil. Once they are washed it is very, very important you thoroughly dry them. Do not leave them wet as they will rust. Next wrap them in a oil soaked cloth and store away in a plastic pot. If they need sharpening then send them off now, so they are ready for the next season. If they still have clips left in them, then you can label the box so you know to start with those blades nest time. If i have a set of blades that have done some clips but are not yet blunt i like to use them throughout the summer for thinks like tidying up legs and heads, as they do not give such a blunt cut and it makes it much easier to blend in with the summer coat – ideal if you need to keep hogging or trimming feathers.
Once you have sorted the blades you can turn you attention to the clippers themselves. Give them a through brush off and you can also use a hair dryer to give them a blast of air to really blow out all the hair etc from the head, next give the handles a good brush and then wipe the whole of the clippers down with a disinfectant wipe, or you can use the blade cleaning spray on a cloth. Again we are just removing any oil, grease etc from the clippers. Be sure to check all the little parts to make sure they are not coming loose or missing. Once wiped down again thoroughly dry all the metal parts and then wipe over with some oil. You can also remove the air vents from the bottom of the clippers, these are the mesh grids located towards the bottom of the handle, and they help to keep the clippers cool when in use. These do tend to get very clogged up with the shards of hair and grease etc. Using a small screwdriver, undo the screws – be sure not to loose them, and remove the mesh vents, then give the mesh a good brush, you can again give these a wash in the washing up liquid or blade cleaning solution. Once again be sure to thoroughly dry them before putting them back onto the clippers.
The next thing to clean is the clippers lead (if they have one) give it a wipe all the way down with a wet wipe, to get off all the dirt, hair and grease. If you have cordless clippers give the battery pack and wire a good brush down and wipe over. Whilst wiping the wires be sure to check for any snagging, freying, breaks etc.
Finally check the clipper box, you can give it a good brush out – and if the foam is glued in you can hoover it out to get out the hair, if the foam comes out give the box a good wash down and shake out/ hoover the foam. Once the box is dry you can put everything away, ready for the next use. If your clippers have had a busy winter it is worth sending them away for a full service to keep them in good working order. It is recommended that you have your clippers serviced once a year anyway. They are an expensive investment so it is worth looking after them.
If you use smaller trimmers as well bear in mind that most of the blades can not be sharpened and you will need to buy a new set if they go blunt, it is worth keeping an eye out for end of season sales this time of year, to pick up some bargain blades.
When getting the blades sharpened a lot of companies offer discounts on higher quantities, so get together with your friends or fellow liveries and send all your blades off together to take advantage of bulk discounts. Also look around now for discounts on clipper blades, oil and wash, as many companies are having end of season sales.