Sharp tips for cleaning and maintaining scissors

To keep scissors cutting well, it's important to clean them. Buy different kinds of scissors for different tasks: a pair for cutting paper and for craft projects, another pair for working with fabric, scissors for snipping hair and so on.

Sharp tips for cleaning and maintaining scissors

1. To keep scissors cutting smoothly

  • Wipe the blades after each use with a soft rag. This prevents lint and other stuff from getting caught in the blade pivot area, where it can interfere with the performance of your scissors.
  • Oil scissors occasionally at the pivot area (around the screw head and between the blades) using a penetrating lubricant.
  • Never use vegetable oil or any other oil that attracts dirt and gets gummy.
  • Gently work the blades a few times to force the lubricant into the joint.
  • Wipe off any excess with a clean, dry rag, to avoid staining the item you're cutting next time you use them.

2. If your scissors get dirty

  • Wash them in dishwashing liquid and water, removing any sticky stuff with lighter fluid.
  • Dry scissors thoroughly with a soft cloth before storing them.

3. If your scissors get rusty

  • Soak them first in white vinegar.
  • Then use fine sandpaper on the handles and blades, being careful to avoid the cutting edges.
  • Store scissors in a dry, cool, clean place.

4. To keep those blades sharp

  • Some scissors makers recommend using sharpeners. Most experts, however, suggest that you take them to a professional.
  • In the meantime, if you cut across a piece of sandpaper a couple of times, it will temporarily sharpen the blades.

5. To clean haircutting scissors

  • Wipe the blades clean after each use with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Spray scissors occasionally with an antibacterial solution. Dry completely.
  • Oil the pivot with light shear oil or clipper oil, available from beauty salons or barber shops.
  • When you're not using your scissors, close the blades and store them somewhere dry.

6. To prolong the life of pinking shears

  • Make sure there is always fabric between the blades when you cut.
  • Never open or close the blades without fabric in between.
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