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How to clean scissors

Scissors can get pretty gross and difficult to use if not cleaned regularly. Cleaning your scissors can drastically improve performance.

Scissors can get pretty gross and difficult to use if not cleaned regularly.  Especially if you use your scissors to cut sticky adhesives, they will deteriorate over time.  However, cleaning your scissors can drastically improve performance.  Here are my favorite two methods.

Scrubbing scissors with toothbrush

This first method includes wiping down the blades and then using a toothbrush to clean around the screw.  The toothbrush is great at removing dirt that may have built up in the screw making it difficult to open and close.

Step 1: Wipe off the blades.

Take a clean cloth, paper towel or napkin and gently wipe down the sharp edges of the blades. Be sure to wipe both sides of each blade. If you’re using a cloth, make sure that it’s lint-free so it doesn’t leave anything behind on your scissors.

Wipe down both sides of the blades until they are completely dry. Do not worry about cleaning other parts of the scissors yet. Wiping down your blades first is important because oil from this next step will prevent rusting and dulling, but only if it is applied to clean metal!

Step 2: Clean the screw area with a toothbrush.

Use an old toothbrush to carefully clean the area around the screws. Make sure to be gentle, because you could damage your scissors if you use too much force.  Be extra careful not to cut yourself while handling the scissors in the open position.

Step 3: Use a rag to clean the remaining scissors.

After you scrub your scissors with the toothbrush, wipe them down with a rag or paper towel. You can also use a light coating of oil to help unstick any debris if your scissors are rusty. If there is still debris stuck in your scissors after using oil, you might want to give the second method a try.

How to Clean Scissors with Vinegar

Vinegar is a great degreaser, being one of the natural cleaners that can dissolve grease and grime. Also, vinegar is non-toxic so it’s safe to use on almost all surfaces.  For these reasons, vinegar is a great tool to help clean your scissors.

Step 1: Place the scissors in a bowl of vinegar for 5 minutes.

  • Mix 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water in a cup or bowl large enough to hold the scissors. If you are dealing with a particularly dirty pair of scissors, increase the amount of vinegar to 2 cups.
  • Place the scissors in the bowl and allow them to soak for five minutes. Vinegar is a powerful cleaning agent because it is naturally acidic, which means that it can help remove dirt, grime and other debris from metal surfaces like scissors.
  • The acetic acid that gives vinegar its distinct taste also makes it powerful enough to clean household items while remaining safe enough to use on delicate objects like fabrics or furniture finishes. In fact, vinegar has been used as an effective cleaner for centuries!

Step 2: Remove the scissors from the vinegar.

Remove the scissors from the vinegar and rinse them with water. Make sure all the vinegar is off. If there is any residue left on the blade, it can cause rusting. Be sure to rinse both sides of each blade, especially if you have left them in the vinegar for a long time.

Now that the blades are clean and free of grease, clean them off with a rag or paper towel. Then dry each blade and place them back together so you can proceed to oiling your blades.

Step 3: Lubricate your scissors

Using a few drops of oil or lubricant, place a few drops on the hinge of your scissors and wipe away as much excess as possible before replacing it carefully somewhere safe.

Your scissors will be much easier to use

It is incredible how much the performance of scissors can improve with simple care.  If your scissors are difficult to open and close, it is likely that your screw is causing resistance.  Cleaning and lubricating the scissor hinge makes it a lot easier to use.

Frequently asked questions about cleaning scissors

What can I use instead of lubricant on my scissors?

If you don’t have any oil or lubricant laying around, you can use cooking oil.  The goal is to reduce unwanted friction in the screw of your scissors and cooking oil will do the job just fine.

How do I remove rust from scissors?

You will want to soak your scissors in some form of rust remover for a while.  Chances are, you’ll also have to scrub them with a wire brush.  The best way to keep your scissors rust-free is to keep them dry and clean.

How do I clean sticky scissors?

You should try using rubbing alcohol to remove sticky residue from scissors.  If it is near the screw, you can try using rubbing alcohol and a q-tip to see if it will remove the sticky substances.

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