Navigate to our accessibility widget

Monday July 26, 2021

By Paul Barach


You’ve been trimming bud all day and your scissors are too gummed up to take another snip. All those sugary trichomes that you and your plant worked so hard to grow are now caked onto your shears as scissor hash. You don’t want to toss your favorite pair of scissors in the trash, so how do you get them back to their pristine condition in time for your next batch?

PotGuide is here with some helpful tips on how to clean your trim scissors.

Step 1: Scrape Your Trimming Scissors

First, get a clean scalpel, (but pretty much any sharp, small blade will do). Hold your trim scissors open in your other hand and run the scalpel along one side of the scissor’s blade (always cut away from yourself). It’s a good idea to don a pair of gloves for this process as well, just to ensure the safety of your hands. A good pair of gardening gloves should do the trick, or any glove of similar durability.

Pull the hash off your scalpel and set it aside, then repeat along the other sides of the scissors including the blade edges.

Keep adding the collected hash into a pile. Now you’ve got some “scissor hash.” Roll it between your fingers, flatten it out, and light it up in a clean bowl. You deserve a reward for getting partway through cleaning your scissors, and it gives you a preview of how your buds will smoke.

The more hash you scrape off your scissors, the more you get to consume and the less you have to wipe off later.

Step 2: Wipe Your Scissors Down

Once you’ve got the bulk of your scissor hash all scraped off, it’s time to break down and wipe off the rest of the resin with a solvent. There are a couple to choose from based on your preferences. 

Isopropyl Alcohol

The classic cleaner for any experienced pot smoker, rubbing alcohol will break down stubborn resin clumps on your scissors just like it does with a gunked-up bowl. It’s cheap, easy to find at any grocery store or pharmacy, and effective.


Another alcohol-based solvent to choose from is Everclear 190 proof. Just like with rubbing alcohol, Everclear’s high ABV dissolves the resin on your scissors. This makes it easy to wipe off your scissors rather than scrubbing them. Everclear 190 proof is not going to be as easy to find as rubbing alcohol, but it’s just as effective once you track some down.

A bottle of everclear
Everclear's high alcohol content makes it great for removing resin. photo credit

Plus, unlike rubbing alcohol, Everclear is food-safe if you’re trying to consume the least amount of chemicals possible. However, be aware, Everclear will leave some small amount of residue, so you’ll want to give your scissors a final rinse with water and wipe when you’re done.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is not as effective as alcohol-based solvents and it may take a little bit more scrubbing and soaking before your scissors are resin-free. However, if your cupboards are bare and the stores are all closed, it will work just fine

Whichever solvent you pick, tilt the bottle to soak some into a paper towel or dishcloth. Once you’ve got your cloth saturated, rub your scissors vigorously on all sides, again being mindful not to cut yourself. If the resin is dried on hard, soak the blades in your solvent of choice for about fifteen minutes, then try again. 

Someone trimming cannabis with scissors
Alternatively, you can also clean your scissors throughout the day as you go, instead of at the end. photo credit

If scraping and scrubbing sounds like a lot of work at the end of the day, another option is to dunk your scissors. Get a narrow glass or cup and pour your solvent of choice in. Any glass works, but a narrow glass means using less alcohol to cover the scissors (a shallow container, like tupperware, will also work well). Keep the glass and cloth close as you’re trimming so that you can dip, rinse, and wipe as you go. The upside is less resistance throughout your day and no scissor maintenance at the end. The downside is that all your scissor hash will be floating in your glass.

If you finish a day of trimming and you’re just feeling lazy, or can’t look at your scissors anymore, put them in the freezer with the blades open. The resin will freeze instead of drying onto the metal, which makes it a lot easier to scrape off come scalpel time. 

Step 3: Aftercare

If you’ve got a nice pair of scissors that you want to keep for a while, aftercare is important. Proper aftercare will keep them in the best condition possible, making any future trimming much easier on your wrist and more enjoyable. One your scissors are clean and dry, take a bottle of household machine oil and add a couple drops where the scissors hinge. Give the scissors a couple quick snips to spread the oil in, then wipe the excess off with a cloth and store your scissors in a cool, dark, and dry spot.

The Wrap Up

Clean-up is no one’s favorite part of the trimming process. However, neither is a sore wrist and palm from trying to trim with gunked-up scissors. By scraping off excess hash, cleaning them with solvent, and properly storing them afterwards, you’ll have a much easier time trimming up those buds you and your plant worked so hard to grow.

Do you have a special technique, tips or tricks to clean trim scissors? Share them in the comments!

Photo Credit: MysteryShot (license)


Paul Barach Paul Barach

Paul Barach is a Seattle-based freelance writer, editor, and author with experience creating well-researched, edited web articles covering cannabis news, culture, history and science. Paul is a regular contributor to PotGuide and has also contributed to publications such as, SlabMechanix, Litro, and The Trek. He prefers to spend his free time outdoors and most recently hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. So far he has only fallen into the La Brea Tarpits once. You can follow him on Instagram @BarachOutdoors and stay up to date professionally through his LinkedIn page.

More From This Author

Related Articles