Certified dog groomers know how important it is to maintain a well-stocked, professional grooming kit. Every profession has its tools, and for dog groomers, this collection of items is absolutely essential for day-to-day duties! That being said, groomers can’t just throw tools into a box or bag and call it a dog grooming kit – each item is an investment in the health and well-being of the pups you care for – and your career – so you need to keep everything organized.
Before heading to your next grooming appointment, take a read through these top tips and get that kit clean, tidy, and organized!
Preparation is key
You’re a professional, and as such, you cannot go blindly into dog grooming appointments. Each of your clients will be unique, and you’ll work with different breeds, coat types, and temperaments. Think of dog grooming as similar to going to get a haircut – there is an initial consultation involved that will allow you to get to know your client and be prepared ahead of time with the right mindset tools in your kit. Clients will tell you what they want for their furry friends, and you’ll make an assessment of what needs to be done.
Pro Tip: Ask questions of your client before you start grooming in order to get to know their pal. This way, you can use specific brushes, clippers, and even grooming restraints, if necessary, and make sure that your dog grooming kit is properly stocked for the work you’ll need to do.
Keep everything clean
What you put inside your dog grooming kit is really up to you, and will vary based on your own preferences and skills. Generally, most kits consist of dog hair clippers, scissors, nail clippers, brushes, combs, cleaning products, and grooming restraints. These are pretty universal tools among dog groomers, and they’ll ensure that you’re prepared for the different breeds and grooming situations you’ll face. These tools are all different, but they do have one very important thing in common – they all need to be kept immaculately clean. That means free of hair, dust, debris, and of course, germs!
So how do you make sure each item in your kit is clean and ready for your next dog grooming client? We’ve put together a few tips below to get you started, and you can take a look at our full guide here!
Dog hair clippers:
Let’s start with one of the most essential items to be found in a dog grooming kit. These need to be kept free of hair and other bacteria between appointments, and there is really only one standard way to do so. To clean the blade, soak the blade end of the clippers in a pot or bowl of blade cleaning solution, and then turn the clippers on while they’re submerged in the cleanser, leaving them there for about 8 seconds. Remove them from the cleanser, turn them off, and wipe the blade carefully on a clean rag or paper towel.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to make sure there is no hair caught in the blade after an appointment. If there is, it can be slid out with a screwdriver or an old toothbrush. Consider this a highly efficient way of maintaining your tools and preventing contamination!
Scissors and nail clippers:
With these two items, hygiene and quality are paramount. After all, you’re cutting and clipping for long periods of time, so these need to be both safe and clean. You’ll need cleaning products on hand (specifically rubbing alcohol) to care for these tools, which we’ll explain later in more detail. You’ll also need to devote a little bit of time between each appointment to keep both of these tools pristine. The great thing about scissors is that when they’re well-maintained and clean, they gleam – your clients won’t be able to take their eyes off your immaculate kit, which is an added bonus to the obvious hygiene and safety!
Brushes and combs:
The types of brushes and combs in your dog grooming kit will vary – after all, not all groomers are the same, and no two dogs are alike, either! Just to give you a general idea, the majority of certified dog groomers keep a slicker brush, pin brush, and bristle brush at the ready, and all of them need to be maintained after every single use. You don’t want hair from one appointment getting stuck in a brush and making its way to the next appointment, as this is extremely unhygienic.
Reach for antibacterial soap, soft cloths, and your trusty rubbing alcohol after every grooming appointment and make sure all the hair is removed. Then, soak these tools for about 10-20 minutes. This way, you’ll never have to worry that you’re working with unhygienic tools, and your furry clients will benefit from your care!
Keeping your tools clean is only the first step to maintaining an organized dog grooming kit, which brings us to our next point…
Use protective coverings
A bad habit among dog groomers is the tendency to toss their grooming tools into their kit after an appointment. We get it – your days are packed and you may have back-to-back appointments, so time is tight! However, if you’re currently doing this on a regular basis, you need to restructure your schedule and make it an absolute priority to not only clean your tools, but arrange them in your kit in such a way that they will stay clean for the animals you care for.
Our recommendation? Invest in some protective plastic! Once you use rubbing alcohol on your scissors, for example, slide them into plastic coverings to ensure they stay flawless for the next dog you groom. In the case of brushes and combs, a great way to keep them all separate from each other is by investing in a dog grooming kit with sections – you can pick and choose where they will live inside the kit, and make sure they stay clean between appointments. Besides keeping everything clean and safe, this also will make your grooming appointments run much more smoothly. You’ll know where all your tools are located and won’t be searching for anything.
Keep cleaning products on hand
We mentioned earlier how important cleaning products are to the overall maintenance of your dog grooming kit, but we’ll go into a bit more detail here. Antibacterial soap, rubbing alcohol, and a coolant spray (to clean blades) are three essentials that should always be present in your kit. With these, you’ll be able to wash and sterilize each tool between appointments, and make sure there’s no contamination in your salon.
But we’re not leaving it there – these cleaning products need to be organized in such a way that nothing will spill out onto items like brushes, clippers, or scissors. After taking the time to carefully clean each tool, this is the last thing you want to happen! As much as you can, keep separate compartments within your grooming kit, and group liquids together and tools together. Accidents happen, and if you’re on the move all the time, there’s a pretty good chance that something will spill or leak within your kit. With liquids and tools separated, however, there’s much less of a chance. You can take things even further and keep a small, completely separate bag or box for your cleaning products. This way, there is absolutely no chance that your tools will get soiled!
If all of the items in your dog grooming kit are clean, you’ll create an environment free of bacterial and other germs. We also recommend cleaning the actual kit every few weeks by wiping it down with an antibacterial cloth!