Are you a professional groomer or a pet parent wanting to take care of your pet at home? When you buy clippers, blades or maintenance tools for grooming your pup, there is a necessary amount of care needed to keep everything running like brand-new.
We asked Wahl Animal Elite Educator Suesan Watson how to properly take care of our new tools. Sue said, “Blades and clippers are no different than any other tool when it comes to keeping them in good, running condition. There is nothing more frustrating than a blade that will not cut when you need it to, which is why I created a list to help you keep your tools in tip-top condition.”
Below are four steps from Sue on how to maintain your blade life:
1. Always work on a fresh, well-bathed and dried dog. By ensuring your dog is completely clean and dry, you are removing any grit from the coat that has potential to get into your blade and dull it. When only using your blade and clipper on clean coats, you will help lengthen the life of the blade.
2. If your dog/pet is matted, do not force the blade through the coat. Instead, swap the blade for a shorter length blade to easily go through the coat—this is key to getting up under and removing the matted coat. When you are not forcing the blade through mats, you are not overworking the blade, which results in a longer blade life. If you are unsure if your dog is matted, an easy way to decide is by parting the coat—if you can see skin, then the coat is not matted in that area; if the hair looks like tight webbing, then the coat of your pet is matted. If your dog is severely matted, you often cannot even part the coat.
In those cases, it is suggested to schedule an appointment with a professional to shave the coat down. After the professional shave-down, practice keeping your pup’s coat healthy with regular grooming using a slicker brush and using your clipper and blades for upkeep.
3. When you are done clipping your dog, clean all the fine hairs out of the blades used during grooming. You can even use a compressed air duster (like you would on a keyboard) to remove the little hairs. Leaving the hair to build up inside your blades will cause them to dull quicker or even drag through the coat while grooming.
4. Sanitize your blades for the next use. This includes using Clini-Clip to sanitize and blade oil to prevent friction. After using Clini-Clip and blade oil, allow your blades to air out before storing them away at the end of the day. Always wipe down the residue from the cleaning before using them on your clean dog for the next haircut.
The four steps above are great for maintaining and lengthening the life of your blade, but what happens when your blades stop cutting?
Sue provided her insight by saying, “It could be they need sharpening depending on how many haircuts you have done with them; before you send them off to be sharpened, you first should try properly cleaning them. Could they have been sitting for a long time since the last time you used them? Before determining if they need to be sent in for sharpening, repeat the steps above from the beginning—blow the blades out to remove any hair, sanitize and oil them, wipe excess oil off with a soft cloth, and try using again. After these steps are completed, if they still will not work, consider sending them in to Wahl to be sharpened.
“If you have bought a new blade and you find it is not cutting the first time you are using it, I would suggest the same steps above—try cleaning and oiling the blade before you contact the company. When cleaning your new Wahl blades, you might find artificial hair within the blades. This is not because the blades have been used, but they were lab-tested prior to being sold to ensure top-notch performance. As mentioned, grit can get into the blades preventing them from cutting—cleaning them out might be all they need!” PB
If you have blades that need sharpening, visit wahlanimal.com/service-repair.