How to clean & maintain your electric beard trimmer

It may seem harmless to reuse your beard trimmer again and again without cleaning it. But what you’re forgetting is that with repeated use, your trimmer slowly becomes a bacterial hotspot and its performance starts to deteriorate. 

Unlike a standard razor, an electric trimmer requires a bit more maintenance – unfortunately a quick rinse with hot water just isn’t enough. Over time, debris builds up in the corners and crevices of your device, that can’t easily be removed and bacteria can start festering. Do you really want to put that against your face? If the answer is no (which I’m sure it is), these steps will help you keep your trimmer clean and fully-functioning for longer. 

How to clean your electric trimmer

Check how your electric trimmer can be cleaned 

Before you start cleaning your trimmer, you’ll need to check how your model of trimmer can be washed. It’s a general rule that if your device plugs into the wall, it can’t get wet – there’s the risk of shocks and damage to the trimmer. Some cordless models also aren’t waterproof so it’s best to check the specification of your device before splashing it with water. 

If you’re looking to purchase a new trimmer, you might want to consider looking for a model that’s suitable for wet and dry use, such as our Wilkinson Sword shave & style electric trimmer, as they tend to be more convenient and easier to clean.   

Cleaning beard trimmers with a brush 

Remember that mini brush that came with your electric trimmer? Hopefully you do. While most people toss them away, or leave them at the back of their bathroom drawer to collect dust, they’re actually very useful. Little brushes come with trimmers so you can easily flick away hairs and debris that are caught in the trimmers teeth. 

To clean your trimmer with these handy little brushes, remove the head of your device (being careful not to damage the blades, or more importantly yourself) and sweep away hair that’s stuck inside the device. This will help the blade function more efficiently. It’s best to do this before moving on to a deeper clean when the blades are completely dry. A wet blade = sticky hairs that are harder to remove. 

Bonus tip: tap your electric trimmer after every use to dislodge hair and dead skin to avoid it building up too much. It’s much easier to maintain as you go, rather than facing congested blades when you finally get around to cleaning it. 

Cleaning beard trimmers with soap 

If you’re giving your beard trimmer a deep clean (don’t be intimidated by the word deep – it won’t take that long), you’ll want to find a spare toothbrush to assist you. Add some hand or body soap to the bristles and gently brush your trimmers teeth under warm water. This will give the trimmer a good disinfecting so you can say bye to bacteria. 

If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your device, submerge the trimmers teeth into warm water mixed with disinfectant liquid and let it soak for around 10 minutes. This will kill off any lingering bacteria. 

Lubricate with oil 

You’ve heard of greasing up creaky doors, but have you heard of oiling up electric trimmers? Oil is a great way to keep your trimmer cutting effectively and preventing the blades from getting dull. It’ll stop dust and debris accumulating in the blades and prolong the efficiency of your electric trimmer. 

To lubricate your blade, you’ll need a small applicator such as an eye-drop vial or pipette. Fill up your applicator with vegetable or olive oil and add a few drops directly to the blades. Grab a toothbrush and spread over the clippers blades (or turn on for a few seconds for a speedy distribution). Wipe away any excess oil and then store your device away from moisture and dust. It’s good practice to do this every month, after you’ve cleaned and dried your device. 

Maintaining your electric trimmer 

How often should you clean your trimmer?

It’s best to get into the habit of cleaning your electric trimmer regularly but how often it needs to be cleaned properly depends on how frequently it’s used. If your hair grows quickly, you’ll likely have to clean your trimmer more often. Some people may choose to clean their shavers after each use, whilst others can get away with waiting until the second or third shave. 

How to store your beard trimmer 

If you’re guilty of leaving your electric trimmer lying next to the bathroom sink, you’ll be disappointed to hear that leaving your trimmer exposed to moisture defeats the purpose of cleaning it completely. It’s important to let your trimmer dry completely and then store it somewhere away from moisture as this contributes to bacteria growth. 

Some trimmers come with a seemling useful stand, however this shouldn’t become your device's permanent home. Let your trimmer dry on the stand but make sure you’re zipping it away into a designated case or drawer afterwards. If your trimmer gets wet from all of that steam that builds up in the bathroom, you’ll risk it becoming rusty and not functioning as well. 

Keep all of your beard trimmers accessories 

If there’s one thing to remember when buying a new electric trimmer – keep everything inside the box! Yes, it can be tempting to take out the heads and attachments that you recognise and ignore the remaining contents. But they’re included for a reason. Most electric trimmers will come with guards for the clippers, pining oil and that handy cleaning brush mentioned earlier. These items are important for maintaining your trimmer and will make them last longer, so keep them safe and stop creating dust buddies at the back of your cupboards (we don’t have time to discuss cleaning bathroom shelves as well!).