Two years deep into a pandemic, you'd think everyone would have their disinfectant game on point, right? Apparently not, but it's understandable. There are so many disinfectant types and options out there and the information that starts to circulate isn't always clear. Do I need something that's anti-bacterial? Anti-microbial? Anti-viral? How much should I use? Can I use the same thing for my scissors that I use for my clippers? Too many questions about too many things. So we're going to do a simple review in the hopes that everyone can be on the same page as the health inspectors start to make their rounds.
All for one!... But not one for all.
All disinfectants have one purpose: to disinfect! But that doesn't mean that one disinfectant can be used to clean everything. So for those of you who are spraying Clippercide everywhere and dunking everything in Barbicide (you know who you are) - quit it! If you want to keep your tools working properly and pass those health inspections, you have to take cleanliness seriously. Which means having the right spray for your machines, the right liquids in your sanitizing jars, and the right cleaning agent for the rest of your station.
For the machines...
Your machines are made to take a beating and do a lot heavy lifting, but that doesn't mean they're not sensitive little guys. The wrong disinfectant, or too much of the right one, could cause problems in a hurry.
First of all, Clippercide and Andis Cool Care are the industry standard when it comes to clipper/trimmer/shaver disinfectants. There might be other sprays out there, but they won't necessarily get the job done, or may not be recognized by a health inspector, even if they look legit. Never dunk or submerge any part of your machine in Barbicide.
You should be using Clippercide or Cool Care after every client. After brushing off any solid material, hold the machine away from you and direct the spray away from you, and thoroughly coat the clipper/trimmer blade. You don't need to spray it until its dripping, and you shouldn't be spraying the entire machine body. You'll notice corroding on metal parts of the body if you do this. After spraying, leave the machine blades moist for 10 minutes and let them air dry - don't wipe them off.
Clippercide and Andis Cool Care are specially formulated to disinfect clippers, trimmers, and shavers and are not meant for other tools. And while they do provide some very short-term lubrication, proper machine maintenance should include regular lubricating with clipper oil.
There are some products out there that help clean your clippers, but won't necessarily disinfect them. Oster Blade Wash is great for dislodging any built up hair in the machine, but you should still use Clippercide or Andis Cool Care after.
Which should you go with? They're both great options that get the job done and at the end of the day you'll decide by trying them for yourself. They're similarly priced and come in the same size, so most people decide based on scent.
Ok, so what sets the bar for disinfectant in my jar?
For your sanitizing jar, there are also two options that are industry standards. The first, Barbicide, is pretty iconic thanks to its blue colouring. The other, Chemprocide, is a relatively new player in the hair industry, but has been around in other industries for a while.
Both options get the job done and will get you a pass in a health inspection, as long as you change them often. As mentioned earlier, these are not meant for your machines, nor for your scissors! Pleeeease do not soak your expensive scissors in your Barbicide jar!
As for which we might suggest? Nothing against Barbicide, but we lean a little more towards Chemprocide. Firstly, because it's made close to home! The stuff is made in Delta, BC, so we like the idea of supporting local. From a practical point, we like that Chemprocide goes a lot further (for dilution instructions, see our blog post or video on it) than Barbicide (8 ml of Chemprocide VS 62.5 ml of Barbicide, per 1L of water), and it seems to be a little less harsh. Barbicide, as mentioned, gets the job done, but it is made up of some pretty harsh chemicals. The only knock on Chemprocide is that it isn't blue. It is Health Canada approved though, so as long as you're ok without the blue, then Chemprocide is for you!
So what should I use on my scissors?
For your scissors, expensive or not, you really only need one thing: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol.
The alcohol is strong enough to kill any germs and bacteria and because it evaporates quickly, it won't stick around on your blades long enough to corrode them. Just like your machines, regular lubrication should be a part of your scissor maintenance routine. A little camellia oil is all you need.
What about the rest of my station?
For your station tops, chairs, and other surfaces, any old all-purpose surface cleaner will do. You can dilute Chemprocide so that it can be used as an all-purpose surface cleaner, which is what we do and it works great.
Some final notes...
Each of the aforementioned disinfectants has a specific intended use and it is important not to stray from that. Always consult the directions on the packaging before use, and if you have any questions or concerns about the product, the manufacturers' info can be found on the package or online.
If you get a visit from the health inspector, they'll look for a Drug Inspection Number (DIN #) on any disinfectant packaging.
If you have any questions for us about this stuff, drop a comment and we'll get back to you!