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How to Clean a Safety Razor

How to Clean a Safety Razor

Regular cleaning not only helps keep your razor in tip-top condition, but it also reduces the risk of a potential infection. So don't be like the lazy razor and make sure to give your blades a good scrub down every now and then.

In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of cleaning your safety razor and how to do it correctly.

How Often Should I Clean My Safety Razor?

The frequency of cleaning your safety razor depends on how often you use it. If you shave every day, clean it daily with warm soapy water to prevent the buildup of any bacteria, hair, dead skin cells, or soap scum from shaving products. 

Every so often, do a deeper clean with tools like a toothbrush, towel, vinegar, and/or rubbing isopropyl alcohol. Typically, once every few weeks or a month is sufficient.

Don’t be a dirty shaver! Make sure to inspect your razor regularly for any signs of gunk or rust. If you're starting to look a little rough around the edges, it's time for a good scrub down. Trust us, your skin (and hygiene) will thank you.

How To Clean a Safety Razor

Let's review the best strategies for keeping your safety razor clean and in tip-top shape for years to come.

Daily Cleaning Tips

It's good practice to clean your safety razor after each use, whether you shave every day or just once a week. 

  • First, run warm water over your razor, and then use soap to lather it up.
  • Make sure you eliminate hairs, cream residue, or accumulated dirt.
  • Complete a thorough rinse with a water solution and dry with a clean towel.
  • That's all there is to it, easy peasy.

It’s not 100% necessary to take apart your razor for daily cleaning, but it’s better and takes 17 seconds to do. So just do it.  If you go the really lazy route, since you’ll want to change your razor blade every few shaves, it’ll be apart anyways, and it will a perfect time to do a little extra cleaning. 

A Note on Water Quality

You may notice that your water quality makes a difference in razor buildup. If you have hard water, you will want to clean your razor after each use. However, if you have softer water, you may notice that a hot soapy water rinse is enough for every 2 to 3 shaves.

Deep Cleaning Tips

Aside from daily cleaning, it's important to do a deep cleaning of your safety razor every few weeks. This will involve taking the razor apart to get in all the little nooks and crannies. This will help prevent rust and gross buildup.

As we already covered, since you will need to change your safety razor blade every so often (as soon as it gets dull), this is a perfect time to clean it.

  • To start, use a towel to dry your razor (if wet) and take it apart. This will involve removing the top cap and blade. Be sure to handle the blade carefully, as you don't want to cut yourself and leave a bloody mess.
  • Once it is disassembled, use an old toothbrush, warm water, and soap (dish soap or Castille soap work great) to scrub the parts gently.
  • If warm water and soap don't seem to be doing the trick, you can use a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water or white vinegar and water as a disinfectant.
  • If you still have a few stubborn blemishes, proceed cautiously with baking soda or another harsher scrubbing agent.
  • Finally, you can also try loosening stubborn soap scum by boiling your safety razor in water with a colander (to keep it away from direct heat)
  • Once you are done with a deep clean, do a thorough rinse and dry completely (all the parts) with a clean towel or paper towels before putting your razor back together.
  • You are done with the cleaning process. Now, enjoy your shiny new razor and your next squeaky clean shave.

Other Ways to Clean Your Safety Razor

If you hate scrubbing, don't have a spare old toothbrush, or wonder if there's an easier way, you can try an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner.  This device uses sound waves to remove dirt, residue, and bacteria. You may have seen them at professional spas for sterilizing their tools between users. You should look for one with at least 60 Watts (power output) for the best cleaning power.

What Happens If You Don't Clean Your Safety Razor?

Do you really have to clean your razor? Well, yes. Even though you're a grown-up and no one will nag you (probably), you really should. Not cleaning your safety razor can cause bacteria and rust buildup that will shorten its life and prevent a smooth shave.

With proper care and maintenance, your trusty safety razor can provide you with a smooth shave for years to come. Plus, you'll be saving money and helping the environment by reducing your disposable razor usage. So don't be a razor burn, take good care of your blades!

Care Tips: How to Get the Most Out of Your Safety Razor

Now that you know the basics of safety razor cleaning, let's review some tips for maximizing your cleaning potential.

  • Don't feel overwhelmed. If you keep up with regular cleaning, you will only have to deal with grimy buildup occasionally, if ever. Keeping up with routine maintenance is easier than you think.
  • Consistency is key. Make it a habit to clean your razor between shaves, and your regular cleaning routine will become second nature and easy peasy.
  • You don't need to use alcohol for every clean. There is a myth that you need to sterilize your razor between uses, this is only true if you're sharing a razor (like at a barber shop), which is not likely if you're shaving at home. If you are sharing, maybe it's time to gift your partner with a razor of their own. 
  • Proceed cautiously with abrasive cleaners. Vinegar can corrode stainless steel, so dilute it 1:4 with water. You may want to test the strength before getting too crazy too on something less important like a pair of old nail clippers.
  • Remember the top cap threads. Cleaning the threads on your razor head cap will help prevent rust and keep your safety razor working well. You can use a toothbrush, q-tip, or tape around the threads to remove dirt. 
  • Clean your other shaving gear at the same time. While cleaning your safety razor, it's a great time to clean any other shaving tools, like a shaving brush. 
  • Don't rush. Take the time to clean your entire razor and ensure all the parts are dry when you're done to prevent rusting. Your razor and skin will thank you.

Safety Razor Cleaning FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions to review:

How many times can you use the same safety razor?

This depends on the razor and how well you maintain it. Unlike modern razors with plastic cartridges, safety razors should last a lifetime with regular cleaning. The safety razor blade will need to be changed every two to three shaves (on average).

Do safety razors last a lifetime?

Yes, a properly cared-for safety razor can truly last a lifetime. With regular cleaning and blade changes, safety razors should remain in good condition for many years.

What's the best way to store my safety razor?

The best way to store your safety razor is in a clean, dry place that is out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources. You can try a razor stand for the easiest storage. Don't forget to air dry the razor after cleaning before storage.

How do you take care of a safety razor?

Follow the cleaning steps above, and you will be good to go!

How do I know if my safety razor is dull?

If your safety razor takes more passes to shave and causes you to press harder (a shaving no-no), it's time for a new blade for the best shave possible. You might also feel the blade starting to tug at your hair. This is a recipe for skin irritation. Change out the blade for the best results and a closer shave.

Can I use hydrogen peroxide to clean my razor?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide is a safe and effective way to clean your safety razor, particularly with mineral buildup. However, it's important to dilute solution 1:4 with water. Like vinegar and baking soda, too much hydrogen peroxide can corrode stainless steel razors, reducing lifespan. The same goes for harsh cleaning tools like steel wool, so proceed cautiously.

Safety Razor Cleaning Made Easy

Regularly cleaning your safety razor will help extend its life and give you a smoother shave. Plus, it'll save you money and prevent any unwanted infections.
So don't be a dirty shaver, give your razor a good scrub down and get your kisser ready to be seriously smooth and beard free. Happy Shaving!