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How to keep your dog grooming station tidy (and looking as good as your clients!)

As a dog groomer, keeping your workspace clean and tidy is one task that should be prioritized. With good organization, both you and your clients will benefit!  

clean dog grooming station

Dog groomers have a lot to think about. If it’s not a four-legged friend showing off their new skills in escapology, it’s an owner mixing up their appointment times. Dog groomers are only too aware of the pros and cons that accompany their careers, but sometimes it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference to their day.

For dog groomers who manage their time correctly, a career in dog grooming can be hugely rewarding. The issue is, you can never account for the unexpected when it comes to the daily workings of the job. Because of this, it’s essential that anything you can take control of – you do!

For example, keeping your workstation clean and tidy as a dog groomer is a necessary step in getting the most out of your day. Not only this, but it also helps you deliver the best possible customer service to your clients. Without a clean and tidy workstation, your standards can easily slip and your overall focus on the task at hand can suffer.

That’s why to keep your work area clean and tidy, we suggest you keep the following in mind:

1. Have Firm (But Friendly!) Cleaning Policies In Place

Whether you work alone or as part of a team, keeping your grooming area clean is an essential part of the job. Even though cleaning procedures can be learned through most formal education or even self-training books, bad habits can form over time (trust me, we’ve all been there!).

The main problem for dog groomers is that cleaning and sanitizing your workspace is a perpetual task that can take up valuable hours in a day. For this reason, having a ‘tidy as you go’ policy is essential for all employees working in your space. 

To make things less formal (while still having a policy in place), gentle reminders can be printed out and placed in target areas. This helps keep everyone, including you, focused on the same high standards of cleanliness. Laminate them if they’re in areas that might get wet, but most importantly, keep them clear and straightforward. For example, we like some of these ideas:

  • “Just because we’re always covered in dog hair doesn’t mean our floors need to be too! Please sweep as you go!” (add a smiley face to this one for added humor) 
  • “As soon as you spot it, mop it!”
  • “Accidents happen, but please be quick with the poop bags!”

2. Have A Checklist To Follow

checklist

Keeping your workstation in order can be difficult. Especially when every grooming client requires something different. Equipment can easily get misplaced and time management can run away from you. This is why cleaning checklists are important. If you have a checklist in place with the order of how you should be doing things, it becomes easier to build up a more systematic approach. 

Both during your workday and after hours, cleaning checklists help all staff members stay on the same page when it comes to hygiene. For situational checklists (such as those intended for reminding groomers about additional extras that a dog owner has paid for), be sure to have a cleaning procedure for right afterwards. Even if it just means placing an item down in its rightful place, it’s worth having a process. 

By dividing cleaning tasks up into smaller actions, it not only helps keep your workstation free from clutter, it can also help keep your furry clients more relaxed. If a dog doesn’t enjoy having their nails clipped, it’s good to indicate that this procedure is complete by using positive reinforcement to let them know they’ve behaved well and then putting the clippers away before moving onto the next task.

Tip: You’ll find some advice on how to create a situational checklist here.

3. Sanitize Between Clients

This one might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many grooming parlors don’t make it a policy to clean between clients. Even the most careful of dog groomers can still have issues with cross-contamination, so it’s essential that you always have your cleaning equipment somewhere accessible.

Just like humans, dogs can get serious health complications from unsanitary tools and environments, so ensuring that your grooming parlor is clean at all times is the best way to protect your clients. After each client:

  • The tools you’ve used will need to be sanitized
  • The brushes you’ve used will need to be disinfected
  • All surfaces that dogs have come into contact with will need to be thoroughly cleaned.

These tasks might sound like a lot between each client, but they don’t need to take up much time if you have everything you need on hand. More thorough cleaning procedures (such as polishing the floor or deep-cleaning fabric materials) will need to be completed out of hours, but generally, most smaller cleaning tasks can be managed easily throughout the day… if you keep on top of them! 

4. Choose Your Chemicals Wisely (And Store Them Correctly!) 

If there’s one good thing to have come from Covid-19, it’s that most people are now aware of how to properly sanitize surfaces. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that if you’re using chemicals or detergents, no trace of these chemicals should be left on surfaces that animals will be coming into contact with. 

In addition to this, it’s also important to be aware of what types of chemicals can be damaging for your grooming equipment. Many anti-bacterial sprays and liquids can easily rust grooming tools and result in a faster degradation of your tools.

If you’re looking for antibacterial cleaning solutions that won’t rust your tools, we recommend the Virucidal range

Note: Always read the label of any chemicals you’re using to ensure that you’re using and storing them correctly. 

5. Use An Ultrasonic Cleaner For Blades 

Sometimes, a little help with the cleaning can go a long way! Especially if there’s technology involved! When it comes to blade cleaners, we’re no stranger to testing out some of the best ones on the market, but be aware that not all cleaning aids will be as good as others. 

Be sure to do your research before risking the integrity of your tools, or even better, ask the person who services or sharpens your tools for advice on the best cleaners to use.

In our opinion, ultrasonic cleaners for blades such as the Vevor Ultrasonic Cleaner Heater are the perfect way to make your life easier, without compromising the health or happiness of your furry customers. Ultrasonic cleaners such as this one help keep your blades in good condition in-between sharpening services and more extensive cleaning procedures.

6. Keep Kennels Clean (Don’t Just Look In, Check The Base)

One part of being a dog groomer that nobody tells you about is just how good you get at spotting things that others miss. That being said, we’re all human (well, except our clients!), so of course there’s things we’ll still occasionally overlook.

We use and recommend Ez Clean, an enzymatic biodegradable cleaner on all surfaces, including floors, tub, grooming table kennels and more. 

When checking your dog kennels, it’s vital that you thoroughly check the base of the kennel for any urine or feces you might have missed. Especially if you put blankets or toys into the kennels with the dogs, just looking in after a dog has left isn’t enough. 

dog in clean kennel

Most dog grooming parlors will have a system in place to ensure that kennels are regularly cleaned — something that all staff should be well-versed in. If not, there’s no better time to create a cleaning routine that gives all staff an opportunity to take responsibility for the kennels. 

(After all, a kennel can already be a stressful place for a dog to wait for their owner, so making sure it’s clean is just one way of helping their wait feel a little better!)

Tip: You’ll find some FREE cleaning templates to fill in here.

7.  If You Have A Retail Or Waiting Area, Keep It Away From The Grooming Area

It’s always great to see a dog grooming parlor with a retail section or a comfortable waiting area with products for sale. What better opportunity to upsell your customers, while also giving yourself some additional time to finish up with your grooming tasks! 

With that in mind, it’s also important to remember that retail and seating areas can be a magnet for unwanted hair and other particles that come off a dog’s coat or body. To avoid having to clean these areas multiple times a day (though we do still recommend keeping them clean in regular intervals!), separate these sections from your grooming area wherever possible.

Keep In Mind:

When it comes to dogs, owners might be used to a certain level of dirt and hair around their homes. However, when it comes to your grooming parlor, they’ll expect everything to be as clean as a whistle! This doesn’t mean that the occasional dog walking through and leaving marks on the floor will result in a loss of customers; it just means that the idea of leaving those marks there for an extended period of time won’t reflect well on your business. 

You should always aim to maintain a high standard of cleanliness across your entire unit, both in terms of how your parlor presents to customers, and how well you maintain your equipment. 

If you think it’s time for your dog grooming equipment to be extensively cleaned, sharpened and serviced — we might just be able to help! As well as being able to mail us your dog grooming equipment to be brought back to pristine condition, we have 4 drop box locations where you can drop your tools off. 

You can also shop online for new tools and cleaning equipment, with delivery offered straight to your home! 

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