Is your safety razor starting to lose some of that original shine it had when you first bought it? Well don’t worry, you came to the right place. It is important to keep your safety razor clean for many reasons and in this article, we will show you how to do that. You will learn: basic cleaning, deep cleaning, and how to remove rust.
What are safety razors made of?
Before you can properly clean your safety razor it will help to know what it is made of. While the actual blades are made of stainless steel (most of them, anyway) the razor itself is usually a chrome plate nickel or brass these days.
Chrome is a handy metal for applications like this. It provides
- Corrosion resistance
- Easy cleaning
- Increased surface hardness
As you can see, these are all great improvements to a safety razor. Before stainless steel was used on the razor blades, rusting was a common issue and we all know what happens when you get cut with a rusty object!
This is why you will even find chrome on items like car parts or other tools.
Since it is easy to clean, you probably won’t need any extra supplies besides what you already have in your house. Though, just because it cleans easily, doesn’t mean you can put it off. Try to maintain a regular cleaning schedule to avoid having to perform a deep clean or remove any rust.
Chrome is also a hard metal, so this will keep your safety razor looking good for years to come. It is scratch resistant but you will still want to be careful when cleaning.
Surprisingly, you don’t need much for cleaning your chrome plated safety razor. Especially if you keep it from getting really dirty in the first place, you won’t have to put much effort into cleaning your razor.
So, what do you need?
- Soft bristled tooth brush
- Soft Rag
Like I mentioned earlier, you probably already have these items lying around.
Simply disassemble your safety razor and fill your sink with warm, soapy water. Use the rag to begin cleaning the different parts of your razor. For hard to reach places in the comb you can use the toothbrush. If you still can’t reach some parts you can also try a Q-tip
Once you have finished cleaning the entire razor, rinse it off with fresh water, give it a few shakes and hang it up to dry.
Avoid using abrasive cleaners or anything that could scratch the chrome. While it is a hard metal it does scratch easily. You will even want to avoid using paper towels.
DO NOT TRY TO CLEAN THE BLADES. You are asking for trouble and they are so cheap it is not worth the risk or your time to try and clean them. Just replace them when they are dull.
OK, so maybe you forgot to clean your razor in a while or you are just now realizing you should have been cleaning your razor all along for the last couple months. You may need something a little stronger than soap and water.
You can first try vinegar. The acidity will help remove any tarnish and gunk that the soap might not have.
Dampen your rag with white distilled vinegar and begin using it to clean your razor. As tarnish starts to leave your razor onto the rag make sure you stop using the dirty part of the rag and use a clean section.
It is also commonly suggested to soak the razor parts in a vinegar and water solution to help dissolve the scum. You can try mixing one part vinegar with 3-4 parts water and soaking for up to an hour. Then use your rag or toothbrush to clean the razor.
If the vinegar was not enough, you can also try adding in some baking soda to vinegar to form a paste. Then use your toothbrush to scrub the razor with the paste.
After you are finished cleaning again, rinse with warm fresh water and allow your razor to dry completely before putting it back together.
Like we mentioned earlier, chrome itself is resistant to corrosion but there can actually be microscopic holes that we cannot see that lets the base metal oxidize.
If this happens, you can first try equal parts vinegar and salt. Use this to lightly scrub the rust stain. Try to only apply enough pressure that is needed. You will essentially be scratching off the rust so you don’t want to unnecessarily scratch other areas of the chrome.
If this doesn’t work you can try crumpled up aluminum foil which will be slightly more abrasive. Again, go with caution.
If these do not work, you can try steel wool as a last result. You can also try other acidic materials in your house such as a brown soda.
With the quality that is met in today’s double edged safety razors, you should be able to use one for many, many years with proper care.
Just remember the trick is prevention. Keep a regular cleaning schedule to prevent any tarnish or gunk buildup in the first place.
Your basic cleaning routine won’t take that much time or extra cleaning supplies and it will be worth it in the long run as you keep your razor in top condition.
What are you waiting for? Go clean your razor now!
Have any other tips for keeping your safety razor looking sharp? Let me know in the comments below.
Jeremy Hood is the owner and main contributor for the men’s shaving blog, Best Men’s Shaver. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, kite surfing and spending time with his family.