Reprinted with permission from NorthernTails Jeff Andrews. Although this information is directed to the animal groomer, it is also relevant to stylists and barbers who want to keep their clippers in good working order. H42 can be ordered at Bonika.com
H-42 is a powerful cleaner/ and lubricant that is made especially to clean clipper blades, it will not cool. It acts exactly the same as WD-40 but has a very nice perfumed smell to it and it isnít an oily mess. You can clean the blade and immediately groom a dog with it, its lubed.
Blades will get a reddish buildup between the cutter and comb, this is caused by moisture. The moisture comes from the animals coat, humidity in the shop, and spray coolants (Kool Lube).If you use a lot of KOOL LUBE your blades will build up fast and actually seize up and the cutter wonít be able to move back and forth. This will cause dragging, and could cause parts of the clipper to be damaged like the hinge, blade drive, or fiber gear. If the clipper parts get damaged newly sharpened blades may drag or cause ìcorn rowingî in the coat with a #10/#15/#30 blade. Regular cleaning will get rid of most of the buildup and will prolong the life of the sharpening. If you donít clean your blades, youíll have to sharpen more often.
If the buildup is not cleaning well with H-42, or it collects a brownish colored film from pet dander burning between the blades, use ìGOOF OFF - The ultimate removerî as a dip first and let the blade run a minute then use the H-42 dip to clean this remover off. Be careful with GOOF OFF, donít get too much on the plastic of your clipper. Wipe off everything good!
- Get your H-42 dip and your blade. Clean as much of the hair from around the spring and teeth with your toothbrush. (See our tips on cleaning blades) Attach the blade to your clipper as shown. Your now ready to clean the blade using the H-42 as a dip.
- Hold the clipper with both hands for steadiness and just put the blade into the H-42 far enough to cover the teeth. Now turn the clipper on. Immediately the motor will start to gain rpmís and there will be black stuff being washed into the dip, you can see it if you look. Hold it there until you feel its clean enough then turn clipper off before pulling it out.
- Have a paper towel handy and with the clippers off, pull the blade from the H-42 and grab it with the towel to prevent dripping all over. Continue to wipe the blade until your satisfied its dry enough. You can even take the blade off the clipper and wipe both sides dry. Be sure to wipe the end of the clipper dry as well. Never hold the clipper straight up because the H-42 may get sucked inside. The blade is now clean, lubed, and ready to use all by using one step cleaning.
Why use H-42 and where can you get it?
This is what blades look like that pick up moisture, note the red film on the cutting surfaces. This moisture comes from the animals coat, humidity, slime under matted hair, and spray coolants. We all use spray coolants but most groomers donít really know what they are made of. Generally, they are comprised of 60% alcohol, 39.9% water, and 0.1% lube. The alcohol cools the blade and gives you the feeling of lubrication when it momentarily dissolves the red slime between the blades. In a minute your spraying it again and again.
Your clipper is 50% of your cutting system and can have major problems from using blades that are coated with film. It is very hard to move the cutter back and forth because of the buildup, and when you use a blade like this, it will weaken parts of your clipper. When these parts are warn they cause major cutting problems as ìcorn-rowingî, dragging, or the blade doesnít seem to want to dig in and cut hair. In a shop where blade and clipper maintenance is low, passing a blade to another groomer to test for you is bad because their clipper my have worn parts and may show similar characteristics in the cut as you seen.
In the Andis clipper, coated blades will cause the hinge, the blade drive, and the front motor mount to fail. These clipper parts wear out faster than any other clipper in use today.
In an Oster clipper, coated blades will cause the hinge, the lever, the link, and finally the fiber gear will have a groove worn in it. These clipper parts are the most expensive to replace.
When sharpeners get a call from a groomer saying that the blades quit cutting, or they only lasted a week, this reddish build up is the cause. You have to clean your blades and get this coating off of them. The coating lifts the teeth of the cutter up from the comb and the blade starts to drag really bad.
Cutting problems right after sharpening may come from new tension put on the blades. This can bring out several clipper problems hidden by worn and looser blades. Groomers need to change clipper parts regularly, thatís why they sell them in catalogues. Most groomers donít have any spare clipper parts.
This is a picture of a bottle of H-42, I recommend getting a 8 oz jar and using it as a dip. It will clean and lube the blades and keep them clean and free of coatings with regular use. How often should you use it? As often as you notice any build-up, or after using spray coolants on your blades a lot. Remember, spray coolants donít lube your blades at all.