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4 Steps to Successful Grooming

Please read this guide in full and follow these steps before using any clipper. Following these 4 steps will help you achieve the best results when grooming, keep your blades sharper for longer, and help you look after your tools correctly to reduce wear and tear.

Avoid clipping or trimming a dirty coat. It can dull or blunt a blade very quickly. Keep in mind the warranty covers your clipper or trimmer, not the blade. Good coat prep is a key factor to looking after your blade. It’s best to always freshly wash the coat directly before clipping. These steps and tips will help you care for your tools.

Step 1: Brush & wash first 

Brush or comb out all tangles and knots that you can before getting the coat wet. Washing a knotted coat can make knots worse. Using a detangler spray will help.

Wet the coat. Shampoo and rinse. Repeat with a second shampoo if the coat’s not completely clean, or if applying a treatment. If using a colour, coat, or other treatment shampoo (such as whitening, deshed or protein treatment), the second shampoo is the time to use that, after the first shampoo has cleaned the coat ready for treatment. Rinse again. Then condition, and rinse again.

A common shampoo mistake is to skip conditioner. This matters most with dogs with longer or knot-prone coats. Using conditioner will help close the cuticle after shampoo use, smoothing the hair, making it easier to brush, faster to dry, and less likely to tangle and knot. 

Step 2: Dry

The coat should be completely dry before clipping. Do not clip a wet or damp coat. Soak up excess water with a towel or pet chamois, then use a pet dryer. A proper pet dryer makes quick work of getting coats completely dry in minutes. Dryers also help blow out tangles and stuck, dead coat.

Step 3: No knots

Once dry, check the coat once more for any tangles and knots you’ve missed. If possible, all knots should be removed before you clip, especially if you want the coat long. Run a pin brush through the coat first. If you don't find any knots, next run a grooming comb through the coat to remove any fine tangles missed by the brush. Removing tangles can be done with a comb, but removing knots is often best done with a slicker brush (with the help of detangler spray).

Important If a grooming comb cannot get through the coat without snagging, a blade or comb attachment may ‘grab’ or ‘chew’ also. If you cannot remove knots before clipping, or the coat is matted, you may need to shave them off with a short blade, carefully going under knots and mats, leaving the coat short. A blade or comb attachment cannot go through a knot.

Step 4: Clip!

If you followed those 3 steps, you're ready to clip. However if you haven't brushed, washed, dried and combed before clipping - you can still clip - but your blade will likely become dull or blunt faster than normal.

Good coat prep is key to blades staying sharper longer. If you're using a standard (also called ‘A5’), steel blade, you can get them sharpened rather than needing to buy a new one when they do become dull. Ceramic blades stay sharper longer, and cooler for longer during use, however cannot be sharpened later when they eventually become blunt.

When your blade or comb gets ‘stuck’

If your blade or attachment comb gets stuck, and grabs or chews instead of cleanly cutting through the coat, firstly check the blade is sharp, that your clipper is rated for the dog’s coat type, and that you’re using a clipper rated for full body clipping, not a trimmer. If it’s not the blade or clipper, it’s likely caused by stuck, dead coat that hasn’t been removed during coat prep.

Non-shed coats still shed, however dead fur sheds into the coat, not onto the floor. That dead coat needs to be removed before clipping. Left in the coat, it can otherwise clog the blade or comb attachments. Thick or double coats that do shed, can also trap dead coat, which needs to be removed.

Dead coat is typically removed at all stages of coat prep before clipping. When brushing, by using a deshed treatment in the bath, using a pet dryer to blast out stuck coat, and using a deshedding rake. A deshedding rake helps thin and remove stuck, dead coat that other coat prep steps have not removed.

Blade care and tips

Before using any blade, it’s important to upskill on correct blade care. See our detailed Blade Care Guide.


Always oil the blade before every clip (even the very first use of a new blade). Apply oil after you apply coolant. Apply oil again after cleaning the blade. Only stored an oiled blade. See how and where to oil a blade with correct oil application video.

Removing and cleaning blades

Remove the blade to thoroughly clean it after every clip. Do not store a dirty blade. On most clippers, blades never need to be taken apart, or anything unscrewed or undone to remove them. Most clippers have a blade release button. See how to video.

Comb attachment use and care

Take care to attach comb attachments correctly and check they are secure before use. If not attached correctly, a comb attachment may come loose or come off during use, which can damage or break the blade’s teeth. See our comb attachment guide.

To get the most out of your groom, remember to follow these steps: brush and wash, dry and then detangle all before you clip. If you have any questions about these steps, get in touch, we are happy to help.