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Cleaning A Blade?

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Eran writes: “I use Crystal blade.  I was wondering how do I rinse and clean them after each shave. Do you have an article or video about it?
Also, on the paper wrapping each blade piece it says not to shake but just to rinse and let dry – what does it mean?
Also, how much force should I put when shaving in a 30 to 45 degrees angle?”

I do not do anything with my blade except a quick rinse in water (while still in the razor) and a wipe on a towel in the opposite direction of shaving. That is all I seem to need. Here is the link to a youtube video I did about it:

As for the force on a razor, you do not need much. Tilt your head to the side and hold the razor by the bottom of the handle with the head resting on your cheek. The weight you feel is about how much force you should use–in other words “let the weight of the razor head do the work.”
Do you have an effective technique for cleaning the blade or gauging the pressure of your razor?  Be sure to leave a comment below!


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

17 thoughts on “Cleaning A Blade?”

  1. Well I am not sure if you have answered this question before,so apologies if it’s a repetition.
    I would like to know as to how often a razor blade should be replaced?

    1. Rick, there are a number of variables involved so it’s not a hard-and-fast answer. Some use a blade until it no longer performs well, other replace them on a regular schedule whether the blade is “dull” or not. Very generally most DE blades last about a week.

  2. The Art of Shaving

    Love the video! It really is amazing how much some simple cleaning and care can do for the health of your razor blade. Which of the cleaning techniques has proven to be the most effective in extending the life of your blade?

    1. Speaking for myself, just running the razor along a towel (as shown on the video) works almost as well as anything else! Certainly quick and convenient.

  3. Post shave, I leave the blade in my Merkur Futur razor, and just give it a solid rinse with warm-water, a couple of taps against a towel (tapping the side of the razor head to shake the water out from around the blade) and then a quick drying of the head of the razor, then I leave it to air dry on my razor stand. If ever there’s significant hair accumulated around the blade gap, I’ll open up the razor, and give it a thorough rinse, and in that case, I will rub the blade on a towel (pulling across the blade to the side, rather than towards either cutting surface). In the very rare case where there is a fair amount of blood-letting, I give the blade a quick soak in rubbing alcohol (actually, most of the time, i pitch the blade, because it’s usually a random duff blade from the pack…). I use feather blades, and generally get 6 shaves per blade (I change blades on Mondays, so usually the first shave is two days growth, and then after that it’s daily until Saturday… if I do skip a day, I still change blades on the same cycle, since the extra work of a second two-day growth shave would be similar wear and tear to two shaves with more modest growth….)

  4. I clean my blades too but my cleaning is not as complex as some are using.
    After a final rinsing in tap water, I spray both sides with a blade-life extender I found on eBay.
    I could hardly believe the calendar but I’m getting about 40 shaves per blade.

  5. I treat DE blades just like any other steel cutting tool. I CAREFULLY remove the blade from razor and allow it to air dry on a kleenex.

  6. I noticed, that rinse only may not be enough when I apply pre-shave oil underneath the shave cream / soap. I am using The Art of Shave lemon scented pre-shave oil, and hair would stick to the blade which almost impossible to remove with simply rinsing the blade in the water. I use old tooth brush and soapy water to remove residual hair pieces from the blade.

  7. I take my 3 piece razor apart wash it in soapy water, then towel dry it.
    The razor blade itself I rinse with warm water then I gently wrap it some toilet paper to absorb any moisture.
    Then assemble it all together for the next shave.
    Seems to work well for me.

  8. For what it’s worth: I take apart my razor and put the pieces, and the blade, on a dry towel. Then I pat the blade with a corner of the towel (no wiping involved). Before reassembling I hand strop the blade.
    With that said, I rarely use a blade for more than three shaves. Most of the time I only use a blade for two shaves. I used to use them for 4-5 shaves, typically with great results. But now I’m shaving less often (sometimes 3-4 days between shaves), which means more wear and tear on the blade. And, for the minimal cost, why mess with the possibility of finding myself in the shower with a less than ideal blade?

  9. I just rinse and never bother to dry my blade or razor, because I generally don’t care for the possibility of slicing up a towel if I’m not careful.
    As to pressure, my experience has been that you should never be able to feel the blade against your skin, and it should be sharp enough not to pull on your hairs. If it is cutting you will hear it. I guess my answer, like Mantic’s, is to just use the weight of the razor, but with the added caveat that the pressure is ideally below threshold of being able to feel the blade against the skin and above the amount required to hear hairs being cut. If you have never heard your hairs being shaved off you may want shave in a more quiet environment or switch to a razor with a more monolithic design (i.e. solid stainless, brass, or aluminum).

  10. I have an empty tub of Jack Black shaving cream that I’ve filled with rubbing alcohol. When I’m finished shaving, I open the head of the razor a bit, rinse with water, then swirl the blade and razor in the alcohol. Air dry until the next shave.

      1. I do the same and really believe it helps prolong the life of the blade and cuts down on bacteria related shaving irritation in most cases. The exception to “most” is with Bolzano. For some reason rubbing alcohol (90% solution) affects the coating on Bolzanos more than some of the other blades I’ve done this with (Derby, Feather, Astra SP, Polsilver SI, Gillette 7 O’Clock Yellow and Merkur) and actually shortens its useful life. By the second shave, I can feel the Bolzano tugging at every hair and my face winds up looking like a red a white checkered tablecloth.

    1. I’m not convinced that this method will prolong the life of the blade in any way. But, being a bit of a “germaphobe”, I am convinced that this helps (at least somewhat) to disinfect the blade after use. I may try this, but substitute the alcohol with barbicide. Two thumbs up for the idea!

  11. That’s a great video! However, I would personally avoid wiping the razor against a towel since you remove the lubrication from the strip (well that depends on the razor).
    Magna-Blade and Razo are mind blowing. Didn’t know such products exist. Razorpit seems to be the most appealing product both in terms of effectiveness and hygiene.
    Again, thanks for the great video!

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