How to Clean Hair Clippers in Water (A Simple Guide)

So you want to know how to clean hair clippers in water? 

Well, you’re in the right place for answers. 

In this article, I’ll explain why you should clean your clippers regularly, how to do it safely and effectively with water, but… We’ll also touch on why using water may not be the “go-to” solution for cleaning your clippers. 

So… with this said, let’s get into it.

How to clean hair clippers in water

We all know the reasons why you should strive to clean your clippers. There are many great benefits, but if you didn’t know… 

Here are some of the reasons why you should clean your clippers regularly:

  • To remove hair and debris that can clog the blades and reduce their cutting efficiency.
  • To prevent rust and corrosion that can damage the blades and the motor.
  • To disinfect the blades and prevent the spread of bacteria and infections.
  • To lubricate the blades and reduce friction and heat that can cause wear and tear.
  • To maintain the sharpness and smoothness of the blades and ensure a comfortable and precise cut.

As you can see, cleaning your clippers is essential for keeping them in their best working condition. 

But how exactly do you clean your clippers? 

 Let’s find out.

How to Clean Your Clippers with Water

When cleaning your clippers, there are 3 types of cleaning 

These are:

  • Active cleaning
  • Post-work cleaning (with blades on)
  • Deep cleaning (with blades off) 

You can read more on all these types of cleaning in this guide on how to clean hair clippers (in general)

How Long Do Hair Clippers Last? (Here’s What You Need to Know)

So you want to know how long hair clippers last. Well, you’re in the right place for answers. In this article, …

Can you clean clippers with water?

To boil it down, you won’t be able to do active cleaning with water as in order to do that, you’ll need clipper spray.

However… you will be able to post-work cleaning which involves keeping your blades on to clean your clipper but the method is still highly effective and it can certainly help to rid your clippers of lingering hair to stop your blades from jamming.

Deep cleaning can also work with water, however, it is as sanitizing as using alcohol or blade wash… but we’ll get to that later.

But one thing you must be aware of.
Blade Rusting
When there’s water and metal, there’s always the chance of rusting.

Hair clippers have the potential to develop rust due to various factors, with inadequate maintenance standing out as the primary contributor.
However, before delving into the causes behind the rusting of clipper blades, it’s essential to comprehend the nature of rust itself…

Rust, also known as iron oxide, forms when iron or iron-containing alloys, such as steel, are exposed to extended periods of oxygen and moisture.

While the majority of hair-clipper blades are constructed from stainless steel, certain high-quality blades might be composed of titanium.

In comparison to steel blades, titanium blades exhibit superior resilience against rust; but, both do still remain susceptible to rusting due to their iron alloy content.

So..  presence of moisture around the blade for extended durations will inevitably lead to rust development in your clippers.

You can read more from this article below:

If you occasionally clean your clippers as I’ll show below,  you should be fine, your clippers are unlikely to just start instantly rusting – so don’t worry too much but still be aware. 

Now, if that’s clear, we can now look into how you can clean your clippers with water. 

Cleaning Clippers With Water 

For this method, you’ll need:

  • A screwdriver 
  • Container 
  • Water 
  • Clipper oil 
  • Blade wash (optional)

Step 1

Partially fill a small tub/ container with water (enough to cover both blades as I previously told you at the start of this article.)

Step 2

Now, dip your blade teeth into the water as shown below:

How to clean hair clippers in water

​Allow your clippers to run in the solution for 10-20 seconds and watch the micro hairs leave your clipper’s teeth​. 

You are now effectively cleaning your clippers. As you are removing the hairs that were trapped within your teeth allow your clipper to run smother, jam less, and look tidier. 

Step 4

After you are satisfied with how much hair has been removed, take out your clippers and wipe away any excess water from the blades!

Again you want to do this to avoid rusting and water seeping into your clippers to damage the motor. 

Step 5

Now you need to oil your hair clippers.

This is where you can look to place the clipper oil on your blades to give your clippers another extra layer of protection from rust. 

Oil hair clippers

But you can read more in this guide on how to oil hair clippers

How To Oil Hair Clippers – (The ULTIMATE Guide)

Your clippers need oiling. It would be criminal to own a pair and not give them the lubrication they need and …

Clipper blade wash alternative

Now.. with this method of cleaning, you have cleaned your clippers (remove hair from your blades so your clippers look better), but they weren’t thoroughly disinfected. 

Water will not disinfect your clippers sadly but if you were to swap out water blade care, you would not only be able to clean your clippers… but disinfect them too. 

Once you have blade care, you can follow the exact process and clean/disinfect your clippers without ever removing your blades. 

This video outlines the process:

Now that was basic cleaning with your blades on but sometimes you may have to get deep inside your clippers to give them a proper clean. 

How to clean clippers with oil

You can also use very light oils with this method. 

However, be careful with this as you can gum up your blades if done too often within cleaning inside your blades.

Here’s the process:

Deep Cleaning With Water  

The reality is, while your clippers look tidy on the outside, on the inside, they could still look like this:

And while most post-cleaning works well it can still leave hairs and dirt on the (inside of your blades) 

So we need to get inside your clipper and remove this mess!

How do you clean clogged clippers?

Step 1

Remove your blades by unscrewing them with a screwdriver. ( keep screws and bolts in a safe place they will be needed later).

​You will notice two blades, The first blade is the front cutting rail blade remove that first. Then you will be met with the top cutting blade, remove this next.​​

Step 2

Take both blades and place them in a plastic tub. Pour the correct amount of water into this flat plastic tub/ container, add some soap, and give the water a mix. 

  • Image blades in vinegar type 

It should be enough to cover both the teeth of the top cutting blade and the front rail blade.

Step 3

​Let them sit in the soapy water for 1-2 minutes (no more) to allow the soap to get underneath the dirt on your blades.

After this time has passed remove your blades from the solution and solution and pat them down with a cloth.

If you notice any extra hidden dirt on your blades using a cloth, dip it into the water again for a few more minutes then scrub down with or cloth or soft brush.

Step 4

​Now quickly run your blades underneath the water and dry them thoroughly.

Although they may be stainless steel/titanium blades, you still don’t want any moisture to remain on your blades.

Afterward, let them sit and dry off.

Step 5

Now you need to clean the inside of your clippers.

Using a hard bristle brush or toothpick, get to cleaning inside your hair clippers.

Use a toothpick or a hard bristle brush to get inside your clippers and pick out all of the clogged dirt and hair.

These bits must be removed. It has to be a manual process, do not put solution inside your clippers!

And to be even more effective, look to use an air gun to blow all that hair out from around your motor.

Once both your blades and clipper are clean, you just need to put everything back together. 

Step 6

Place both blades back on your clippers.

Now, individually put your screws back into the hole gap, and using your screwdriver, screw your blades back together. 

Close your lever and and make sure your blades and both straight all the way down and aligned:

When everything is in order, you just have to screw everything together and you are good to go!

If you want an even more potent clean, you can do this method with alcohol as outlined by this article:

Clean Clippers With Alcohol (The Ultimate Guide)

We all want to be cut by clean clippers. Clean healthy clipper blades give the best cuts.  In this article, I …

And that How to Clean Hair Clippers in Water!

This guide has been a quick overview of how to clean your clippers, but did you know this is only a small part of clipper maintenance?

Why not cover, sharpening, oiling, troubleshooting, and even how to use your clippers to fade using the 1-minute Clipphub cheatsheets from the New Clipper Mastery Bundle?

Fast-track your clipper mastery by grabbing them below:


Knowing how to Clean Hair Clippers in Water is an important part of maintaining them and ensuring a quality grooming experience. 

Depending on the type of clippers you have, you can use water or other products to clean them safely and effectively.

 In this article, I’ve shown you how to clean your clippers with water 

and what other products you can use if they have a fixed blade or are cordless. 

I hope you found this article helpful and informative and if you’d like to read other articles on this topic, check out other articles below.

Patrick Boulang

Patrick Boulang

Patrick is the Primary editor for Clipphub. He has sales background however has always had a passion in barbering and personal self grooming. He now he spends most of his time giving information to hair clipper users to get them comfortable with personal grooming and improve their work on clients as he believes anyone can become skills with their blades.