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How to Disinfect Hair Cutting Shears: A Complete Guide

How to Disinfect Hair Cutting Shears: A Complete Guide

As a stylist, keeping your hair-cutting shears clean may feel daunting on your busiest days at the salon. But don't overlook the long-term benefits of taking the time to disinfect your tools properly. By learning how to disinfect hair cutting shears, you can ensure they stay in excellent condition and avoid needing to replace them frequently. 

Regular cleaning and oiling of your shears are essential to prevent them from becoming stiff and difficult to use. Using stiff scissors can not only be unpleasant, but it can also put unnecessary strain on your fingers and wrists, leading to potential injuries. By investing time in maintaining your tools, you can avoid these issues and keep them in top-notch shape. 

Why Disinfect Hair Cutting Shears? 

Professional hair-cutting shears that are well-maintained last longer and deliver superior results than neglected ones, even if they are the same model. To keep your hair-cutting shears in good condition, it's essential to sanitize them properly and ensure they're performing at their best. 

Properly cleaning your hair scissors is essential to ensure their longevity and performance. However, neglecting to clean your tools can quickly become unhygienic for you and your clients.

 By extending the life of your shears through proper cleaning and care, you'll be able to save money in the long run while also ensuring that you always have reliable and efficient tools on hand.  

How to Disinfect Hair Cutting Shears 

Many hair salons make the common mistake of sanitizing their hair-cutting shears by simply dropping them into a Barbicide solution. Unfortunately, while this method does sanitize the shears, it doesn't clean them, as tiny hairs tend to get trapped in the blade, which can ultimately damage the shears over time. 

After every haircut, a cleaning cloth is crucial to wipe off water, loose hair, dirt, and chemicals from your hair-cutting shears. These elements can cause corrosion over time and damage the steel of your tools. Chemicals, hair colour, perms, and hair products can also leave a sticky buildup on your shears and clippers, leading to snagging, burning, breakage, and split ends. 

Professional barbers and hairdressers use various cleaning techniques to keep their tools in top condition. Here are steps on how to disinfect your hair-cutting shears effectively:

Remove Styling Aid Residue from the Blade

Removing whatever styling products could still be stuck to your tools is essential, as it can make the shears more challenging to clean. For thorough removal, use a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol.

Give Your Hair Scissors a Warm Bath

To kick off the proper cleaning and sanitization of your hair scissors, give them a warm and soothing bath. Fill your sink with warm, soapy water and let the scissors soak for about a minute. If you have multiple pairs of scissors, repeat the process individually for each pair.

Use An Alcohol-Based Cleaning Product

Many hair products are manufactured using non-water-soluble components that can accumulate debris on your cutting tools, causing reduced cutting performance. To get rid of any residue, it is essential to wash your scissors using Isopropyl alcohol.

Use A Chamois Cloth To Clean

A Chamois cloth is made of leather and is included in most sets and kits for scissors. Lay the chamois flat in your palm and use it to clean the exterior edge of the blade. This procedure smooths out every edge of the blade. Use the chamois with extra care to avoid cutting yourself.

Drying Scissors

Don't overlook this important step! After sanitizing your hair scissors, it's crucial to dry them thoroughly using a lint-free towel. If you skip this step, bacteria and rust can accumulate and damage your scissors.

Use a toothpick to remove any hair accumulated around the scissor screw, similar to removing food from your teeth.

Lubricate and Store Your Shears

Oiling your scissors is an important step that should always be done after cleaning. This is because the pivot point in metal needs to be lubricated to cut smoothly.  

Here are some tips to follow when oiling your hair scissors:

  • Use specified professional hairdressing scissor oil
  • Apply a few drops of oil on both inside edges of the blades and close to the pivot point at least twice a week.
  • Work in the oil by opening and closing the scissors multiple times. This will push out any hair caught under the blade's pivot point.
  • Wipe off any excess oil from the blade starting from the pivot point to the blade's edge point, and store them in your tool bag for safekeeping. 

These additional steps ensure that your shears don't rust and remain perfectly loose and ready to use.

Choosing the Right Disinfectant 

Choosing the right disinfectant and properly sanitizing your hair-cutting shears is essential to maintaining a clean and hygienic salon environment for you and your clients.  

For those who need to submerge their shears, it's important to do so for no more than ten minutes. This process aims to eliminate any lingering bacteria on the surface of the shears and prevent the transfer of bacteria between clients.

Disinfecting Hair Cutting Shears with UV Light 

Salons and spas require quick and efficient sanitation of tools between clients. However, traditional methods, such as harsh chemicals and disposable tools, can be time-consuming and expensive. UV-C light has emerged as a safe, easy, and cost-effective alternative to combat this. 

UV-C light can inactivate viruses and bacteria, making it an excellent disinfecting tool. To maximize the effectiveness of UV-C light, we recommend rinsing the tools with hot water and a small amount of white vinegar or bleach. This will remove debris from the previous client and enhance the disinfection process. After cleaning, dry the instruments thoroughly with a soft cloth. 

Additional Tips for Maintaining Hair Cutting Shears

Taking good care of your hair-cutting shears ensures their longevity and performance. Here are some additional tips to help you maintain your shears in top condition:

Proper storage for hair shears

After cleaning your hair shears, it is important to store them properly to maintain their performance. Keeping them in a well-protected compartment will prevent damage to the scissor blades caused by knocking each other. In addition, a protective case will protect the shears from moisture and other factors that may cause damage.

Professional Sharpening Service

Having the right tools is essential when it comes to maintaining the sharpness of your hairdressing scissors. That's where Stylish Hair Shears Super Sharp Cutting Blades come in. These professional-grade shears are designed with high-quality, super-sharp cutting blades that always ensure precise and clean cuts.

Hairdressing scissor steel is delicate and requires specialized skills to sharpen without damaging the blades. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Scissors should be sharpened at least twice a year, depending on how often they are used.
  • Do not attempt to self-sharpen your hair-cutting scissors with a sharpening stone, aluminium foil, or any other method you may have heard of. Incorrect sharpening can throw off the balance of cutting and damage the blades.
  • A professional hairdressing scissor sharpener has the necessary skills and tools to sharpen your blades properly. 

Correctly tensioning your hair-cutting scissors

Proper tension is crucial to the performance of your hair-cutting scissors. Follow these steps to set the tension correctly:

  • Check the tension by holding the scissor by the thumb ring with the scissor tips pointing straight up in a 12 o'clock position.
  • Test the tension by opening the scissor blades with your other hand so they are open 45 degrees, then let go of the finger ring. There should be a gap between the two tips of approximately 1-2 cm.
  • Adjust the tension if necessary. If the tips come together, the scissor is too loose and needs to be tightened. If the blades do not move or barely move, the tension is too tight and needs to be adjusted.
  • Repeat the process until the tension is perfectly set, and your scissors should perform perfectly.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Avoid using chlorine to clean the scissors because of it’s corrosive properties
  • Use hot water or steam to sterilize and disinfect the scissors. After sterilizing, ensure the tool is dry to prevent rusting.
  • Do not soak the scissors in alcohol-based solutions or ethanol for long. If you must, disassemble, dry, and reassemble the tool.
  • Use paper towels or dry cotton cloth to dry the scissors after cleaning.

Best Practices for Hair Salons 

As a hair salon professional, it's important to maintain high hygiene and sanitation standards to ensure your client's safety and satisfaction. Here are some best practices to follow in your hair salon:

Daily cleaning and sanitizing routine

Maintaining clean and sanitized hair shears is essential in any salon or barbershop. To ensure the scissors are properly cleaned, it is important to have a daily cleaning and sanitizing routine and oil the shears to keep them in good operational shape.

Regular wiping of shears during the hair-cutting process

During the hair-cutting process, it is recommended to regularly wipe off the shears to prevent hair fragments and perspiration from interfering with the scissors' cutting performance. In addition, water, cleaning solution, and sweat should never be allowed to dry on the shears.

Proper cleaning of hair-cutting shears

Proper cleaning of hair-cutting shears involves rinsing them with soap and water, thoroughly dried, and using rubbing alcohol or haircutting shear sanitizer solution. Sometimes, an autoclave may also be used after washing and drying.

Oiling hair shears for extended use

In addition to regular cleaning and sanitizing, daily oiling of shears will extend their life and keep them in excellent operational order. Oiling the shears should be done at the end of the day when they won't be used for many hours. 

The hair-cutting shear oil keeps them from rusting, allowing for smooth, and controlled hair-cutting. Hair shear oil also helps flush out lodged or stuck hair fragments inside the scissors that regular washing and sanitizing may have missed. 

Applying hair shear oil correctly

When using shear oil, it is best to open the scissors to 45 degrees and place a small drop on the centre joint holding the two blades together. Then, rub the oil in a moderate amount into the scissors using a soft cloth. Using too much oil can cause the shears to become slippery, increasing the risk of them being dropped. By following these best practices, salon professionals can maintain clean and sanitized hair shears, ensuring their clients' best possible hair-cutting experience. 


What is the best way to clean hair-cutting shears?

It is important to clean, dry, and lubricate your scissors at the end of each working day to keep them in good condition.

You should also check the tension adjustment of your scissors at least once daily and ensure that the blade edges are sharp by checking them once monthly. 

Can I use alcohol to disinfect hair-cutting shears?

To properly clean hair-cutting shears, it is recommended to rinse them with soap and water, then dry them thoroughly, and finally sanitize them using alcohol or a quaternion hair-cutting shear sanitizer solution. 

How often should I disinfect my hair-cutting shears?

Cleaning hair cutting shears at the end of each day before storing them in their case for the night is recommended. 

Do I need to disinfect my hair-cutting shears if I only use them on one person?

Make sure to disinfect your tools before and after each client visit and at the beginning and end of your shift. 

Can I use a dishwasher to disinfect hair-cutting shears?

No, using a dishwasher to disinfect hair-cutting shears is not recommended. 

What should I do if I accidentally cut someone using hair-cutting shears?

If you accidentally cut someone while using hair-cutting shears, the first thing to do is to stop cutting immediately and assess the situation. Next, you should apologize and inform the client of the mistake. Offering the client a solution to the problem is recommended, such as a free haircut or a refund. 

Are there any natural disinfectants I can use on hair-cutting shears?

Hot water, vinegar, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and some essential oils are considered to be among the best natural disinfectants. Studies indicate that these natural disinfectants can be as effective at killing germs as chemical cleaners such as bleach in certain situations.

How can I tell if my hair-cutting shears are dull and need sharpening?

When scissors become dull, they may push, pull, or fold hair during cutting. Sharp scissors will not do this. If you notice these signs, it indicates that your scissors need to be sharpened.


Taking the time to clean and disinfect your hair-cutting shears properly is essential for maintaining their longevity and performance. Neglecting to clean your tools can make them unhygienic for you and your clients. By investing time in maintaining your tools, you can avoid unnecessary costs and ensure that you always have reliable and efficient tools.  

Professional hair-cutting shears that are well-maintained last longer and deliver superior results than neglected ones. Remember to choose the right disinfectant, and follow the steps outlined in this guide to keep your hair-cutting shears in top-notch condition.

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