How to clean trimming scissors for cannabis

How to clean trimming scissors for cannabis
Luke Sumpter

Cleaning trimming scissors is probably the least fun part of the harvesting process. But this article provides insight on the proper way to take on this task, and the numerous benefits of doing so. Learn how to get your sticky scissors gleaming once again!

Depending on the way you look at it, harvesting cannabis can either be a glorious or tedious time. Sure, it can be quite exciting to finally reap the fruits of your labour; after weeks of caring for your precious buds, it’s now time to experience the final product.

But the complaints start rolling when it comes time to clean your trimming scissors. You’re dealing with resin buildup and a very sticky situation. This will likely take a while to clean, and it’s something you’re not excited about.

Luckily, there is a foolproof step-by-step process to make cleaning easy and almost stress-free, which we will introduce to you in this article. We’ll also provide some extra tips and tricks, and show you how to make use of those leftover trichomes.

By applying the knowledge below, you'll turn the experience of cleaning trimming scissors from boring and laborious into satisfying and efficient.

Why Is Cleaning Cannabis Scissors Important?

This is an important question expressed by many growers out there. Why do you need to clean your scissors if you’re using them exclusively for this purpose, right?

Like any tool you use regularly, cleaning is a part of the maintenance and upkeep process. In this case, it’s a necessary measure to prevent possible cross-contamination in the next batch you use your scissors on. If you're constantly dealing with mouldy buds, your trimming device is likely to share part of the blame.

So do yourself a huge favour and clean your trimming scissors. This won’t only be for your sake, but your precious buds as well. It can also help you save money on tools, as this practice essentially increases their longevity.

What Are the Best Trimming Scissors for Cannabis?

How to clean trimming scissors for cannabis

This guide isn’t only about cleaning your trimming scissors, but also about which product you should choose to get the job done.

First, let’s make one thing clear: trimming scissors are not the same as pruning shears. The latter are more about heavy-duty tasks like cutting off branches and stems. What we’re focusing on are the best tools to manicure the buds and prime them for consumption.

Now, to better answer this question, we’ll look at the specific criteria that make for a good pair of trimming scissors:

• Spring-loaded feature: This is one feature that every cannabis harvester appreciates greatly. That spring-back action reduces hand cramps, which makes the trimming process a lot more efficient.

• Durability: Depending on how many buds you’re working on, trimming may take hours. Then you’ll need to repeat the process the next day, so imagine the amount of work you’re putting your scissors through. Make sure you have a durable pair at your disposal—one that can last you years.

• Stainless steel material: If you’re doing it right, you’ll be cleaning your trimming scissors regularly. So you’ll want a stainless steel material, because who wants to contaminate their buds with all that rust?

• Non-stick blades: Fresh herb will be sticky and filled with resin. A pair of non-stick blades should make your life a lot easier.

One good brand to go with is Fiskars trimming scissors. It has the spring-back action to reduce hand cramping, and its blades have a non-stick coating to prevent resin buildup.

Another viable option is to own two or more pairs. It makes the trimming process easier and much more efficient, especially if you’re working on large batches at a time.

How To Clean Cannabis Trimming Scissors

How to clean trimming scissors for cannabis

Now let’s cover the main topic you came here for. We’ll go through the meticulous yet straightforward process of cleaning your sticky scissors.

Materials for Cleaning Cannabis Trimming Scissors

• Sharp knife or scalpel
• Small bowl to collect accumulated resin
• Cleaning solution of your choice: white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or some citrus/fruit peel
• Clean cloth or towel for wiping
• Oil: could be coconut oil or any natural citrus oil

Cleaning Your Trimming Scissors — Step by Step

As mentioned, you’ll need to be meticulous about the cleaning process. The steps involved, however, aren’t very complicated.

Step 1: Scrape Off Resin

The first thing you’ll have to deal with is plant matter and resin stuck on the blades. This is all the trichomes that have formed into a paste-like layer. As such, you’ll notice the snipping action becoming a little tighter and less fluid.

This is where your scalpel comes into play. Gently scrape off the scissor hash into a small bowl. You can make good use of this discarded material, so don’t throw it out!

Step 2: Rub With Cleaning Solution

As detailed in the materials section, you have three options for a cleaning solution: rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, or a citrus cleaner and fruit peel. Let's go through them one-by-one:

• Rubbing alcohol: This is the most recommended option because it's the easiest and most time-saving. Also, it's effective as both a cleaner and a disinfectant. All you need to do is submerge your scissors into a cup filled with rubbing alcohol for 15 to 30 minutes.

• White vinegar: If you’re not too keen on using rubbing alcohol, white vinegar is your next best option. Do the same procedure of submerging your scissors into a cup. But since vinegar is less potent compared to rubbing alcohol, you may need to repeat this step a few more times.

• Citrus cleaner/fruit peel: You'll need natural citrus oil along with equal parts baking soda and coconut oil, which you’ll pour into a small bowl. Using a cotton swab, absorb some of this liquid and use it to wipe off the excess resin on your blades. Similarly, you can use a fruit peel in place of the cotton, since its oils can help take off that residue.

Step 3: Wipe Trimming Scissors Clean

For this step, you’ll want a clean piece of cloth or a paper towel. Be sure to eliminate all residue of your cleaning solution.

Step 4: Oil the Blades

This is an important step in keeping your trimming scissors in good shape. Oiling it regularly is like stretching and moving your joints to keep them moving properly.

You can use any household oil for this purpose, as well as some WD-40 or a Teflon-based lubricant. Just be sure to also remove all the oil, as any residue can compromise your buds.

Cleaning Cannabis Scissors: Extra Tips

Cleaning your trimming scissors — step by step

Outside of the traditional method of cleaning sticky scissors, there are some other tips and tricks you can consider. Also, don’t forget about the all-important scissor-hash-making process!

Make Scissor Hash

As mentioned, you can make good use of that sticky plant matter you’ve collected from your scissor blades. This is known as scissor hash, and it makes great raw material for cannabutter or oils.

You can roll it in a joint or smoke it in a bong as is, of course, but to activate scissor hash for cooking, you must first decarboxylate the accumulated resin. To do this, break the material into small pieces and bake it the oven at 110°C for 30–40 minutes.

After letting it cool, you can infuse it into butter or oil to include in different recipes. Use it to make desserts like brownies or sweet snacks like gummies.

Put Sticky Scissors in the Freezer

This method simply expedites the above cleaning process. Freezing the blades allows the resin to harden and separate, which makes it easier to remove. From here, your cleaning process is made easier and more efficient. Just don’t forget to wipe the blades down after.

Cleaning an Automated Trimming Machine

Some growers will take their trimming a step further and invest in a machine. If you’re dealing with larger hauls, this may be the logical option for you.

For those using a machine, a pressure sprayer is one tool you can use for cleaning. Fill it with a diluted cleaning detergent of your choice and blast away.

To get the job done for a cheap price, you can get yourself a one-gallon pressure sprayer.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Cannabis Equipment

Put sticky scissors in the freezer

Taking proper care of cannabis equipment like trimming scissors isn’t only about the tool itself; it’s also a way to keep your grow room clean and free from bugs and pathogens that prey on your beloved herb. Not only that, but it’s an easy way to acquire some free hash!

Overall, regular cleaning is the best way to ensure quality in your harvesting process, especially for future crops. So don’t skimp on this process, and always make sure your trimming scissors are well-sanitised and taken care of.

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter

Luke has worked as a cannabis journalist and health science researcher for the past seven years. Over this time, he’s developed an advanced understanding of endocannabinoid system science, cannabis phytochemistry, and cultivation techniques.