How To Clean A Beard Trimmer: Your Step-By-Step Guide

Tony Niemeyer

OK, fellow bearded men of the internet. It’s confession time.

Are you keeping your beard trimmer clean?

(And we don’t mean a half-hearted rinse in the sink - we mean a thorough deep clean.)

If you’ve answered yes, you’re excused. Congratulations on being a responsible beard owner.

If you’ve answered no, don’t worry - there’s no judgement here. But it’s time to learn a few important lessons about keeping your beard trimmer clean, hygienic, and fully functional.

Your beard trimmer is an invaluable tool for keeping your bristles neat and tidy, but if you don’t keep the device clean, it’s going to become significantly less effective. Without proper maintenance, everything from blade rust to nasty bacteria can make an unwanted appearance, causing a range of issues for your facial hair and skin.

Just like a high-quality beard brush or premium scented beard oil, your beard trimmer is an essential piece of kit for grooming, and it needs to be looked after. Let’s explore how you should be cleaning and maintaining your trimmer for maximum performance.

What materials do you need to clean your beard trimmer?

Cleaning your beard trimmer isn’t rocket science, but you will need a few basic materials to help you with the maintenance process.

1. A soft brush or toothbrush

Many beard trimmers will come with a soft mini-brush that can be used for cleaning, but if you’ve misplaced it, don’t panic. An old toothbrush can do the same job.

The brush will be used to clear away the dead skin and hair left in the trimmer blade, which is handy for preventing a build-up over time.

2. Cotton swabs

Using cotton swabs, you can apply an alcohol-based disinfectant (or even just a combination of hot water and vinegar) to keep your beard trimmer clean and free from harmful bacteria.

While you can submerge your trimmer blades in a disinfectant mixture without any issues, you’ll probably want to clean the trimmer body with a cotton swab to avoid damaging the device.

3. Mild liquid soap or beard trimmer cleaning solution

Mild liquid soap is also a great option for disinfecting your beard trimmer and can be applied with a brush to ensure a deeper clean.

If you’re feeling particularly thorough, you can purchase a special beard trimmer cleaning solution like the one below that’s designed to eliminate all traces of bacteria and lubricate the blades - but if not, a basic disinfectant will still work just fine.

4. A towel or cloth

A small towel or cloth will be useful for wiping away excess oil, water, or disinfectant, so keep one handy to avoid mess.

How to clean your beard trimmer in 5 simple steps

Now that the preamble is out the way, it's time to roll up your sleeves and jump into action. Here's what you need to do in 5 simple steps...

1. Prepare your beard trimmer for a deep clean

Listen, we get it. Nobody wants to spend longer than necessary cleaning their beard trimmer.

But before you rush in and start spraying disinfectant everywhere, there are a couple of minor tasks to check off the preparation list.

Firstly, make sure your electric beard trimmer is disconnected from any power sources or chargers. You’ll be taking apart the device and using water for a thorough clean, and if you manage to electrocute yourself, a clean and tidy neckline will be the least of your worries.

Secondly, use the small cleaning brush provided (or a spare toothbrush) to gently brush the head of the trimmer and flick away any excess hairs. It’s better to do this while the blades are dry, since wet hairs can be a pain to remove!

2. Clean the detachable parts of your beard trimmer

To ensure an in-depth clean for electric beard trimmers, you’ll need to disassemble your device and clean every part individually. This may sound like a bit of a chore, but the more thorough you are with each stage of the process, the less often you’ll need to clean.

Disassemble your electric beard trimmer

If you’re not entirely sure how to disassemble your beard trimmer, it’s a good idea to double-check the manual or search for instructions online.

However, in most cases, you’ll just need to unscrew (or detach) the main blade at the head of your trimmer, along with any extra attachments that are currently in use. Even if a certain blade or attachment hasn’t been used in a while, it’s good practice to clean everything at once to prevent bacteria growth.

Soak the detachable parts in warm water/mild soap

Once you’ve removed the blade and attachments from your beard trimmer, prepare a bowl of warm water and mild soap to soak them in. You can also create a basic disinfectant mix (e.g. alcohol/vinegar and water) to use as a cleaning solution.

It’s important to let these detachable parts soak properly to keep them in tip top shape, so leave them for around 10 minutes to eliminate those pesky bacteria. Electric beard trimmers need clean parts to keep functioning correctly, so don’t rush this step of the process.

Rinse and dry your trimmer parts

After these detachable parts are finished soaking, you’ll want to make sure that they’re rinsed and dried thoroughly before proceeding.

To start with, rinse all of the blades and attachments under hot water to remove any lingering debris and wash away the disinfectant. Rotate each part every few seconds so that the water can reach every nook and cranny.

Once you’re done rinsing, it’s time to dry. You’ll need to use a clean microfiber cloth for a couple of reasons - for one thing, a standard washcloth can leave small fibres in the blade, which isn’t ideal for performance. Secondly, using a dirty cloth can add more bacteria to your trimmer, undoing all of your hard work.

3. Wipe down the body of your electric trimmer

Now that you’ve cleaned and dried the detachable parts of your trimmer, it’s time to give the exterior a quick wipe-down too.

Why, you ask?

Well, bacteria aren’t too picky about where they grow. Although blades and attachments are a particularly popular breeding ground for nasty bacteria, you may also find that there’s growth on the body of your electric trimmer.

The key here is to use cotton swabs that have been dipped in fresh disinfectant liquid. If excess moisture reaches the internal electrical components of your trimmer, it could cause technical issues, so don’t soak the body - instead, wipe and dab with cotton swabs for a precise clean.

4. Drying and reassembling your trimmer

The cleaning stage is officially complete, and you’re almost finished with your beard trimmer maintenance. The next step is to put all of your detached parts back together.

Although it’s fine to soak blades and attachments, excess moisture and electric trimmers don’t tend to play nicely, which is why it’s vital to dry everything properly before re-assembling.

Before you start to re-build your electric trimmer, use a fresh dry cloth to wipe down every individual part. Make sure there are no obvious wet patches! Once you’re done wiping, leave the blades, attachments, and body out to air dry for a while.

Everything needs to be completely dry if you want optimal trimmer performance, so try not to be impatient. You’ll be shaping and cropping those beautiful bristles in no time.

Oh, and remember to be careful when you’re re-assembling beard trimmers too. There should be a satisfying ‘click’ when you re-attach the blade to the trimmer body, and everything should feel stable and secure before use.

5. Lubricating your electric trimmer

There’s nothing worse than trying to groom your whiskers with a blunt trimmer. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to prevent your blades from getting dull - apply oil to them.

Oil will stop debris from gathering in your trimmer blades and keep your device working efficiently, so it’s a great addition to your maintenance routine.

To lubricate your beard trimmer, fill up a small applicator (i.e. an eye-dropper) with olive oil or vegetable oil. Add a few drops to the trimmer blades, and use a spare toothbrush to distribute the oil evenly - you can also switch on the trimmer to help speed up the lubrication process.

When the blades are fully lubricated, wipe away any excess oil with a clean cloth. If you can repeat this every month after cleaning, your trimmer will be in peak working condition.

How to store your beard trimmer properly

It’s very important to store your beard trimmer in a clean and dry place to prevent rust and bacteria from accumulating over time. You don’t want all of your trimmer maintenance to be a wasted effort, so avoid exposing the device to water splashes or bathroom steam.

If your electric trimmer came with a designated case or protective pouch, make use of it, and try to keep the device in a drawer for maximum protection.

Since you’re investing all this time and energy into maintaining your beard trimmer, you should also know how to use it properly, right? Take a look at our guide to beard trimmer use for some expert tips and grooming guidance.

Beard Trimmer FAQs - Quickfire Questions

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this guide, but let’s take a quick look at some frequently asked beard-trimming questions from facial hair fanatics.

Can you rinse a beard trimmer?

Rinsing the blades/attachments of your trimmer is a good way to remove excess hair, but it’s advisable to detach them first to avoid water infiltrating the main body.

How do you clean a trimmer after use?

Just follow the process we’ve laid out above. Brush your trimmer, clean and dry the detachable parts, wipe down the body, and then re-assemble.

Does rubbing alcohol clean clippers?

A small amount of 70% concentration rubbing alcohol can be used to sterilise your trimmer blades effectively.

What happens if you don’t clean your trimmer?

Your blades can become rusty and ineffective, bacteria growth can lead to skin infections, and excess hair can cause the trimmer to stop working properly. Oh, and you’ll look scruffy.

How often do you need to clean your trimmer?

Electric trimmers should be cleaned after every single use. That may sound excessive, but once you’ve got the process down to a tee, it won’t take long at all.

Still got burning questions about beard grooming do’s and don’ts? Our guide to frequent beard grooming mistakes will help you to avoid common pitfalls and grow the bristles of your dreams.

The more frequently you clean your beard trimmer, the more effective the device will be. The more effective the device is, the better your facial hair will look. The better your facial hair looks, the more people will compliment your beard in public.

As you can see, trimmer maintenance is a no-brainer. Stick to a consistent and thorough cleaning routine, and remember to double-check the user manual for specific instructions.

If you’re interested in combining your freshly cleaned trimmer with industry-leading grooming accessories, check out our full range of Mission Beard products - your facial hair deserves it.