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How to Clean and Care for Your Favorite Double Edged Safety Razor

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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.

Why chrome?

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.

Basic 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?

  1. Soap
  2. Water
  3. Soft bristled tooth brush
  4. Soft Rag

That’s it!

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.

Deep Cleaning

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.

Removing Rust

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.

hoodJeremy 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.

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10 thoughts on “How to Clean and Care for Your Favorite Double Edged Safety Razor”

  1. Many people use Finish Jet Dry liquid in the dishwasher to bust soap scum and rinse dishes clean. I soak my razors for a few minutes in a solution of 50% water and 50% Finish Jet Dry liquid, then rinse with clear water. Done.It works great. The yuck “melts” off. No need for a toothbrush or rag. Jet Dry is available widely at grocery stores and Walmart and Amazon.

  2. Very helpful information! I noticed a tad bit of rust on my ATT razor. Was going to ask, but this answered my questions. Thanks for the helpful article!

  3. Another good deep cleaning method is an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Disassemble first, if it’s a three-piece.

  4. A soft bristled tooth brush and a dab of toothpaste is all I have ever used to effectively clean and polish my favorite razor. It takes all of 30 seconds to accomplish and I usually do it with every other blade change which, for me, is about twice a week. I do keep a plastic jar filled with rubbing alcohol in the medicine cabinet and, after rinsing my razor in clear water and shaking dry, I dip the entire razor in the alcohol and hang it in the razor stand to dry. That is my way of disinfecting my razor daily, and I think it also helps minimize any soap scum build up. Those two things keep my Merkur razors in ship shape order, take next to no time to accomplish and give me a fresh clean razor every morning. Tried and true.

  5. If there’s one complaint I have about my go to blades, the Astra sp’s it’s the glue they use to hold it in the paper, nothing gunks up my de89 worse

  6. Good to know Larry, I had to look up the drink recipe. I actually am a big scotch fan but have never had Drambuie before. However I do have a sweet tooth so I am going to try this soon!

  7. Great read. BTW Tetanus bacteria are strictly anaerobic and so rusting (oxidizing) metal kills them. It is the new nail (coated in wax) which is riskier for tetanus infection. The rusty nail is a safe nail and a dangerous mixed drink

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