How to Clean Dog Grooming Equipment


Lucy asked: How do I clean dog grooming equipment?

Whether dog grooming is a hobby or a small business, proper cleaning is essential for the health of the animals that are groomed. Here are the methods to clean and sanitize the most common dog grooming tools.

Cleaning Dog Combs

You Will Need:

  • Hot water
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Bleach
  • Barbacide
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Clean the Combs:

  1. Fill a sink or container with hot water.
  2. Add a small amount of soap or bleach.
  3. Soak the combs for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Remove and dry with a soft cloth.
  5. Disinfectants and barbacides can also be used to disinfect combs. Simply soak them in the liquid for the recommended amount of time.

Cleaning Slicker Brushes

You Will Need:

  • Pet safe disinfectant
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Large bowl or bucket
  • HV dryer

Steps to Clean the Brushes:

  1. Start by removing the stuck hair. One way to accomplish this is to rub one brush against the grain of another brush.
  2. Repeat until the hair is removed.
  3. Fill a bowl or bucket with hot water. Add a small amount of disinfectant, soap or bleach. For general cleaning a disinfectant or soap works well. For animals that are sick or have other issues, use bleach.
  4. Place the brush into the bucket and allow it to soak.
  5. After 10-15 minutes of soaking, dry the brush completely with a HV dryer. Ensure all the water is dried, or it may rust.

Cleaning Nail Clippers and Scissors

You Will Need:

  • Hot water
  • Soap (antibacterial hand soap works well)
  • Rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes
  • Soft cloths
  • Paper towels
  • Tissues
  • Bowl

Steps to Clean the Nail Clippers/Scissors:

  1. Fill the bowl with hot water.
  2. Mix in some antibacterial soap.
  3. Place the nail clippers/scissors into the water and allow them to soak for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Remove the clippers and dry them off completely with a soft cloth.
  5. Moisten a tissue or soft cloth with rubbing alcohol.
  6. Wipe the cutting edges with the rubbing alcohol.
  7. Allow the clippers/scissors to dry completely.
  8. Store in a plastic bag or protective covering.
  9. Repeat after each use.

Cleaning Clipper Blades

You Will Need:

  • Blow dryer or
  • Vacuum with attachments
  • Pipe cleaner (chenille stems)
  • Spray coolant
  • Clipper oil
  • H-42

Steps to Clean the Clipper Blades:

  1. Begin by using a blow dryer to blow out the hair that gets caught in the blades. A vacuum with an attachment works well too to pull the loose hair out.
  2. Use a pipe cleaner or chenille stem to clean the hair that gets caught under the cutter. Simply stick it in and slide it back and forth to brush the hair out.
  3. Often times, blades will get a build up on them that needs to be removed.
  4. This can be washed off or H-42 products can be used to remove it quickly and easily.
  5. There are a variety of H-42 products. One of which allows you to simply dip the blade (while running) into the cleaner and the friction from the moving blades and the cleaning liquid will remove the build up. Others allow you to clean several blades at once.
  6. Once the blades are clean and the excess hair and build up is removed, it is time to lubricate the blades.
  7. Spray coolants can be applied to the back of the blades. Hold the blade pointing down and apply a small, quick spray to the base of the blade. Do not apply the coolant to the cutter blades or it will cause additional build up the next time you use it.
  8. Clipper oil should be applied to the blades to keep them running smoothly.
  9. Repeat the cleaning daily to keep your blades functioning and increase longevity.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Barbaside is another disinfectant that effectively removes germs from grooming equipment.
  • TEC-5000 and Virkon are two pet safe disinfectants. Both are available online.
  • Though bleach is a great disinfectant, it can be harsh on grooming tools and cause them to wear prematurely. Use sparingly for best results.


  1. Larissa says:

    Thank you very much for sharing this, specially the ones related to the dog clippers. It helps make the process easier!

  2. Lisa says:

    I have a question on my workbook for cleaning different brushes, a nylon, bristle and pin… I thought they all have the same technique. Cheers, Lisa

  3. Penny says:

    What’s a HV dryer? Sorry it’s just not very clear on that.

  4. Melanie says:

    A HV dryer is a “high velocity dryer,” which is often used for dog grooming. Among other things, the HV dryer is used to blow mats away from the skin when a dog has an undercoat so the mats can be easily brushed out. For the purpose of cleaning the brush though (since you don’t have a HV dryer), you can use a hair dryer on high, set to warm or cool. However, be careful not to heat the brush up to a point that it could burn you or melt the rubber.
    Source: – HV Dryer
    Source: Memoirs of a Pet Groomer – Praising the High Velocity Dryer

  5. Denise says:

    Thank you for your tips.

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