By Jeff Andrews
Groomers all over the world are asking questions about the new product Clipp-Aid. Does Clipp-Aid bring dull blades back to life? Is it harmless when exposed to humans and pets? With all the chemicals groomers use, is Clipp-Aid safe to use in my salon? The answer to all these questions is “Yes.” In this article, I’ll share with you the breadth and thoroughness of my testing of Clipp-Aid over the last few months. My conclusion is that Clipp-Aid really is a fabulous new product for groomers!
Several months ago, there was a flurry of comments about Clipp-Aid on Facebook and groomer forums. In response, Clipp-Aid contacted me to try out their product in my shop to get a groomer’s perspective on the product. As an organic chemist, blade sharpener, and pet groomer for over 30 years, I was astounded by the job this small bag of crystals did at sharpening a blade well enough that I could continue grooming more dogs after using Clipp-Aid on my dull blades. It is something groomers need in their kit in case of emergencies.
Clipp-Aid is intended to bring a dull blade back to life again and can be used repeatedly as needed. At some point, I would suggest getting your blades professionally sharpened and tuned by your local sharpener, since using Clipp-Aid is not a substitute for professional sharpening.
One thing I noticed when I got the product is the instructions: “Place the cutting point of the blade into the crystals,” then “move the blade through the crystals for 45 to 60 seconds.” This tells me that you may not use the product correctly, and you could get discouraged at the results. Don’t be discouraged! Clipp-Aid is now aware of this, and they have revised the instructions that now accompany the sale of its products. I fold the bag to make sure the depth of the crystals is sufficient to cover the cutter teeth during the sharpening process.
First off, you have to have the correct bag for the size blade you are going to sharpen. Thirty years ago, groomers used salt to get by with their dull blades. At that time, you had to push the blade into the salt (covering the cutter teeth), let it sharpen until it looks like the salt is pulverized, and then pick it out and push it into another part of the salt. The problem was that it took the whole container of salt to sharpen one blade. As soon as you put the blade into the salt, the salt instantly pulverized. This resulted is a slight sharpen before large amounts of salt became useless. That’s why we had to keep putting it in and taking it out to get an edge back on the blade so we could do only a few more dogs. This was very tedious and far less effective than using Clipp-Aid.
I believe that Clipp-Aid is a form of concrete that has been crushed and sifted down to the correct size needed to sharpen dull blades. With Clipp-Aid, you push the blade into the crystals (covering the cutter teeth), yet the crystals are designed not to pulverize so quickly in contrast to salt. As a result, the dull blades are brought back to life in about one to two minutes with a small amount of Clipp-Aid crystals. For me, I was able to sharpen two blades twice using a single bag of Clipp-Aid.
Clipp-Aid is 100% safe to use in your salons. It is an inert compound that doesn’t react with anything. I mixed it with every liquid in my shop looking for a reaction and got nothing. I even put it on a bad scrape that bled when a dog scratched me, and it didn’t even burn like many medical products would. It was nice to see the product was completely safe and un-reactive.
That’s Clipp-Aid in a nutshell. It is very important to use this product correctly in order to get the best results. Getting the cutter deep enough in the crystals and bringing it in and out of the crystals is the key to using it properly. It is also a good idea to have a dog standing by so that you can test the sharpness of your blade while using Clipp-Aid. Check out the four simple steps below, which I would recommend to every groomer using Clipp-Aid.
Have a great day grooming, and read those labels.
Jeff’s Instructions for using Clipp-Aid
It’s best to use with a dog present so you can test for sharpness as you run your blade in the crystals. If it isn’t sharp on the first try, run the blade again in the crystals, and then try it on the dog again.
Get the bag of Clipp-Aid and tip it on its side to make sure all of the crystals are to one side of the bag. You need the “depth” of the crystals. Now fold the bag in half, turn it right side up, and cut the top open.
Get your clipper with the blade on it. Open the top of the package and slide the folded part of the bag so the opening is large enough to get your blade into it. Hold the bag with one hand and your clipper in the other.
Make sure your blade is clean of hair and/or oil. Turn the clipper on and stick the blade into the crystals, making sure the cutter teeth are below the surface of the crystals. Hold it there five seconds, pull it out of the crystals slightly and stick it back in. Do this five times (five seconds, five times). You should see the crystals turning lighter in color. You can slightly shake the bag to mix up the crystals, getting more good stuff to the surface.
After doing the five-second sharpening five times, pull the blade out, lean the bag against something so it doesn’t spill, and get a toothbrush to brush the material off the teeth. Now try your blade on the dog you have standing by. If it cuts, you’re done. Clean the blade off good and oil it. If it doesn’t cut, go back to running it in the crystals for five seconds, five times until the blade cuts again. You have to test it while you’re sharpening it. My blade took two tries to get it sharp.