Braun’s Clean & Charge (cc) systems are probably the most popular self-cleaning stations out there.
One reason for this is of course the prevalence of Braun electric shavers, but the stations themselves are useful and practical as well.
And with third-party cleaning solutions being cheap and effective, I think Braun’s stations are well worth it, particularly with the Series 5, 7 or 9 that don’t cost a whole lot more than the solo models.
Incidentally, Braun stations are also the most likely to get clogged over time.
The manufacturer even mentions this explicitly in the troubleshooting section of the user manual, but the directions are extremely vague and not particularly helpful.
So, in this guide, I will go over how to identify a clogged Braun cleaning station and how to unclog it in a few easy steps (with detailed images).
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Signs of a clogged Braun cleaning base
- How to unclog a Braun Clean & Charge station
- Dealing with a stuck impeller
- The station (still) splashes fluid and also leaks during cleaning
- How to avoid getting a Braun station clogged
Signs of a clogged Braun cleaning base
A clogged drain is the most common problem with Braun cleaning stations.
While they may seem complicated at first, the stations are actually pretty basic in the way they are constructed and in the way they work.
Basically, the cleaning fluid is pumped from the cartridge through a tube, it passes through the shaving head, then flows back into the cartridge through a small drain hole.
Using my mad Photoshop skills, I tried to illustrate this in the graphic below:
The bottom of the cleaning chamber is actually slanted towards the drain hole so that the fluid would naturally flow back into the cartridge by gravity alone.
That tiny drain hole (red arrow) is the culprit for clogging the station.
Skin oils, hairs, dead skin and all sorts of gunk can form a plug that completely blocks the small drainage, so the cleaning fluid doesn’t have anywhere to go.
If you experience some of the following situations, you’re most likely dealing with a clogged drainage.
- The cleaning fluid stays up and doesn’t drain back into the cartridge (or it takes a long time to do so);
- The shaving head is dripping wet even hours after the cleaning cycle ended;
- The shaving head is dirty, particularly on the inside of the cassette;
- There’s an increased consumption of cleaning fluid.
Luckily, cleaning a clogged Braun station is very easy and you don’t need any technical skills or special tools.
Here’s how to do it, step by step.
How to unclog a Braun Clean & Charge station
1. Unplug the power cord from the station and remove the cartridge.
If there’s any liquid accumulated in the cleaning chamber of the station, make sure to remove the liquid before proceeding to the next step.
2. Locate the small drain hole.
Regardless of your Braun station model, there are two holes on the inside of the station: one towards the top of the sloped inner chamber and one on the bottom corner.
Here’s the drain on a Braun Series 9 station:
And again on a Series 7:
Since the cartridge has a fine mesh filter that retains all the dirt, it’s very unlikely that the other hole (at the top) will ever get clogged.
The fluid enters the chamber via the hole at the top, it’s flushed through the shaving head, then goes back into the cartridge through the drain hole at the bottom — that’s the one we’re trying to unclog.
3. Using a wooden toothpick or something similar, clear the drain hole.
With the station open, just push any debris and gunk with the toothpick until it falls from the drainage.
You should also inspect the inner chamber and clean it of any hardened dirt, making sure not to push any of it into the drain. Optionally, you can use a damp cloth as well.
When held at the right angle, you should be able to see daylight shining through a clean drain hole.
If needed, you can turn the station upside down and clean any remaining dirt from the opposite side of the drain tube — this may be a bit difficult to perform without removing the top part of the station (see step 4 below).
Important: Make sure however you’re not using water as the station itself is NOT waterproof and cannot be cleaned with water. That can damage the electronic components irreversibly.
That’s pretty much it.
4. [Optional] Remove the outer housing of the station.
If the clogging is severe, you may need to partially disassemble the station in order to get better access to the drain tube from below.
Normally, this won’t be necessary, but if there’s still some gunk that you cannot remove, here’s how to do it.
Holding the station upside down, locate the four tabs that lock the housing in place.
Here are two of them, there are two more just like these:
With your fingernail, gently push each tab inward. You should hear a click when a tab is unlocked.
Once the four tabs are unlocked, press the button that opens the station while also pushing down on the oval part of the charging port so that they’ll clear the housing and the inner part of the station will slide out.
Once the outer shell is removed, locate the tube corresponding to the drain hole you just cleaned at step 3 and using the same toothpick or a q tip remove any remaining dirt from the vent.
Assemble the station back in the same order, making sure to lock the four tabs by pressing them outward until they snap into place with a click.
The process is exactly the same for a Series 5, 7, 8 or 9 station. Unfortunately I don’t have a Series 3 station right now, but it shouldn’t be much different.
Dealing with a stuck impeller
A less common problem with Braun cleaning stations is related to the impeller.
The pump has this small propeller that rotates and pumps the fluid from the cartridge into the cleaning chamber of the station.
In time, it can get clogged with oils, hairs, and dirt and it can actually get stuck.
When this happens, you’ll still hear the station working, but there’ll be no cleaning fluid being pumped and the shaving head will remain dry after the cleaning cycle.
Luckily, the impeller is very easy to unstuck.
Here’s how to do it.
1. First, disconnect the station from the cord and remove the cleaning cartridge.
With the station opened, turn it upside down to get access to the pump. You shouldn’t need to remove the outer housing of the station for this.
2. Locate the impeller and turn it gently using a toothpick or any similar object.
As mentioned previously, the impeller is a small propeller that needs to turn freely in order for the pump to work.
Regardless of your Braun station, you should be able to easily locate it.
With a toothpick or a small screwdriver, gently give it a few turns and loosen any dirt buildups that got stuck in there.
Don’t try to remove all the dirt inside as it will get flushed anyway once the pump starts working normally.
Important: make sure not to confuse the impeller with the outer cover (that also kind of looks like one).
The station (still) splashes fluid and also leaks during cleaning
While not technically a clogging issue, it is somewhat related to the topic and it seems to happen more frequently than I thought.
Precisely, if your Braun cleaning station sprays fluid on your countertop and also leaks from the bottom and you’re positive that the drain hole isn’t clogged, here’s how to solve the problem.
There’s a rubber gasket surrounding the impeller housing that normally seals the space between it and the big opening of the cartridge.
In time, that gasket will deform and won’t seal up properly against the cartridge, allowing the fluid to escape.
This seems to happen more often with Braun Series 9 and Series 5 stations.
In order to fix it, you must first remove the outer housing of the station (just follow the instructions at step 4 above).
Locate the impeller housing and visually inspect the rubber gasket sitting at the base.
It should be flared uniformly around the housing (2 to 3mm).
If you notice areas where it is too close or touching the housing, run your finger between the gasket and housing and push it outward so it stays clear of the plastic cylinder.
That’s pretty much it. Put the station back together and don’t forget to secure the clips as well.
Props to John for sharing the fix.
How to avoid getting a Braun station clogged
Depending on a few factors, you may never have to deal with a blocked drain hole on your Braun station.
But even if that happens and you’ll have to take matters into your own hands, the process is very easy and straightforward as we just saw.
Here are a few tips to reduce the likelihood of the station getting clogged in the future.
✓ Remove most of the hairs from the cassette before cleaning the shaver in the station.
Simply remove the cassette and gently tap the plastic frame on the edge of your sink to remove the hairs.
You can then blow over it or use the small brush (but only on the inside of the cassette, not directly over the foils) to clear any remaining hair strands.
A can of compressed air also works great.
This only takes a few seconds, but it does make a difference and will also allow you to get more cleaning cycles out of a cartridge.
✓ If you use shaving cream, rinse the head with water and remove any foam residue before cleaning the shaver in the station.
Hardened lather can lead to a clogged drain probably more than anything and it can also cause pressure buildup inside the cartridge.
The shaver must be dry before cleaning it in the station, so shake off the water and gently pat it dry with a towel. You may need to remove the cassette and let the parts air dry as well.
✓ Clean the inner chamber of the station with a damp cloth from time to time.
Fine hairs and gunk will accumulate inside the cleaning chamber and some of it can end up blocking the drain hole.
✓ Change the cleaning fluid when it becomes excessively contaminated with dirt.
Even if there’s a filter inside the cartridge, some sludge may still pass through it. This is bad for the hygiene of your shaver and it can also block the drain tube in time.
And since third-party cleaning solutions are really cheap, it’s not worth pushing it beyond a certain point.
That pretty much concludes this guide. A clogged drain is by far the most common problem with Braun stations, but luckily one that can be easily fixed.
If you have any further questions or simply want to share your experience, make sure to leave a comment below.
Disclaimer: shavercheck.com and the author of this post are not responsible for any damage caused to your device. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.