How to Clean a Safety Razor - Best Tips for Cleaning Your Safety Razor
You have a safety razor that gives you terrific shaves. So, of course, you want to keep it looking and performing its best for as long as possible. A regular cleaning routine will stop (or at least slow down) deterioration of the metal and coating.
There are actually several levels of maintenance you can perform periodically. How often you apply these cleaning routines depends on a few factors, including the mineral content of your water (how “soft” or “hard” it is), the actual metallurgy of the razor (and blade), and how well you take care of the razor on a daily basis.
Applying these concepts will keep your razor in top condition. Here’s how to clean your safety razor.
How It Works
There are three types of safety razor maintenance cleaning routines: regular/routine, weekly/monthly, and deep cleaning.
Regular, routine cleaning is something you should do every time you use the razor. It’s the simplest, easiest-to-perform step to take and is a quick way to slow down cosmetic degradation.
A more periodic cleaning done weekly or monthly (depending on the mineral content of the water) is more thorough. It’s designed to remove more surface staining and mineral build-up on the razor.
A deep cleaning done annually (or perhaps more often, again depending on the mineral content of the water) helps to address the worst gunk and grime that has accumulated, which is not only nasty, but it can compromise the strength of the underlying metal.
Regular, routine cleaning is done right after you have finished using the razor. It can be as simple as a thorough rinse with warm water and wiping clean with a dry towel. That will keep surface lather residue off the razor and inhibit mineral build-up from the water. If you want to get a bit more serious about it, be sure to rinse and wipe the inside of the razor head when you change blades.
Weekly (Or Monthly) Cleaning
Again, depending on the mineral content of the water you’re using, it’s a good idea to give your razor a more complete cleaning periodically. This should be done on a weekly basis if you have “hard” water, or you can do it monthly if you have “soft” water. The key is to watch for a somewhat white, powdery-looking coating or build-up on the razor’s surface.
You don’t need much to clean your safety razor. If you keep the razor reasonably clean in the first place with our regular cleaning tips, you won’t have to put much additional effort into cleaning your razor. Here’s what you need to clean:
- Soft-bristled toothbrush
- Soft Rag (avoid paper towels, they can be abrasive)
To clean the individual safety razor parts, you need to disassemble it and fill your sink with warm, soapy water. Dip the rag in the water and clean each part. For hard-to-reach places, use the toothbrush. Remember, soft bristles. If some areas are still too hard to reach, try a cotton swab or even a toothpick with gentle pressure.
Once you’ve given all the parts of your razor a full bath, rinse it off with clean, warm water and towel dry. Remember, avoid using abrasive cleaners or towels that could scratch the shiny finish.
It’s commonly suggested to soak the razor parts in a diluted vinegar and water solution to help dissolve minerals and scum. You can try mixing one-part vinegar with four parts water and then soak the razor parts for ten minutes. Then use your rag or toothbrush to clean the razor.
If vinegar by itself doesn’t do the job, you can also try adding in some baking soda to form a paste. Then use your toothbrush to scrub the razor with the paste.
However, be very careful using vinegar on stainless steel razors. It needs to be highly diluted. Vinegar at high concentration can corrode stainless steel. You may want to try testing it on an inconspicuous part of the razor first. Or maybe some old toenail clippers.
After you’re finished cleaning, rinse with warm water and allow the razor to dry completely before putting it back together. If you have a two or three piece razor, pay special attention to the threaded post attached to a razor’s top cap. Lubricate the threads with Vaseline, grease, or oil. Or wrap Teflon tape around the thread. Teflon tape can be found in the plumbing supplies section of hardware stores and department stores. Be sure to scrub off the scum in between the threads with an old toothbrush and soapy water first. A single wrap of tape is enough.
Using An Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner To Clean A Razor
Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners can do a great job cleaning up razors. Try to find one with a power rating of at least 60 watts. Using a smaller cleaner can work too, but you will probably have to run a razor through several cleaning cycles. Use tepid (not hot!) tap water or, preferably, a fluid designed specifically for use in ultrasonic cleaners. After the cleaning cycle, wipe off the razor with a clean, dry towel.
Safety Razor Care Tips
Try to avoid dropping the razor, don’t leave it in an overly-humid environment like in the shower, and store it in a safe place that still gets a little air circulation.
In addition to the cleaning tips mentioned above, it’s worth re-stating that taking care of your safety razor on a day-to-day basis will keep it operating smoothly for years to come.
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