Properly cleaning your electric razor or safety razor every time you use it and deep cleaning it about once a week, depending on how often you shave, will increase the life of your razor as well as the condition of your skin. It will also save you money on disposable razor heads because you will have to buy less. We’ve put together this easy guide to cleaning your razor blades so you can get the most out of your shaving routine. Trust us, your razor and your skin will feel smoother and fresher than ever.
The key step to optimizing your shaving routine that most men skip is cleaning your razor regularly. Shaving is often an afterthought, you do it on autopilot as part of your morning routine while thinking about everything but the condition of your razor. The problem is that the condition of your razor, especially its cleanliness, deserves a little thought from time to time.
Cleaning your razor helps keep the blades sharp and the gel strip smooth and lubricated. Razor blades that are not properly maintained will wear out faster. More importantly, cleaning your razor is all about safety. Razors that aren’t thoroughly cleaned after use can accumulate dead skin cells and debris, which can harbor bacteria. If you cut yourself while shaving – which is all the more likely if your razor is dirty and has buildup from not being properly cleaned – bacteria from the grime can enter your bloodstream and cause skin infections. Even if you rarely cut yourself visibly, shaving almost always causes microscopic cuts called razor bumps, which are open invitations for disease-causing microbes.
If you use an electric razor, you might be lucky enough to have one that comes with a sanitizing and cleaning station, which automatically cleans and dries the razor so it’s ready for your next shave. If you don’t have an automatic cleaning station for your electric razor, you will need to clean the blades or foils manually. Here’s how:
Step 1: Remove trapped hair
If you shave dry, you will need to remove the top of the electric razor to expose the blades or foils. Most electric shavers with rotary blades pop open, while trimmers or foils often pop out. Use a razor brush or a small soft toothbrush to remove loose hairs. Try to avoid tapping the razor against anything to loosen the hairs, but if you need to, tap gently on the body or plastic part of the razor, not near the blades.
Replace the cutting block after removing as much hair as possible.
2nd step: Add liquid soap to the blades
Wet the blades then add a few drops of dish detergent or antibacterial liquid soap to the blades.
Step 3: Run the razor to allow it to create lather
Turn the razor on and let the blades create a soapy lather for 15 seconds. Add more water if needed.
Step 4: Rinse the razor well
Run the razor blades under warm water to rinse off all the soap.
Step 5: Remove the head and rinse it
Turn off the shaver, remove the head or cassette and rinse it, and make sure you get all sides and between the foils or blades.
Step 6: Let the razor air dry completely
Leave the razor disassembled to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area.
Cleaning a regular safety razor, even if it contains disposable razor blade cartridges, is a necessary addition to your shaving routine. A little extra time will go a long way, here’s what to do:
Step 1: Rinse the blades after each pass
While it’s common to be in a rush while shaving in the morning before work, one of the main ways to avoid buildup between and around your razor blades is to rinse the blade(s) after each pass. Rinsing after each stroke removes hair, shaving cream, and built-up cells, which can prevent clogs around the blades. Rinse in very hot water, running them through the cartridge from back to front over the blades. This will help clean out trapped hair and shaving products. If you prefer not to run the water, you can fill the sink or a mug with clean hot water and swirl your razor vigorously between strokes.
After rinsing, shake off excess water before proceeding to the next pass. Do not tap razor blades against the side of the sink. Most people do this naturally, but it can damage the blades and wear them out faster.
2nd step: Disinfect your razor
When you have finished your shave, repeat step one one last time. Next, sanitize the razor blades by dipping the razor head in a small dish of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) at least 70 strength. Distilled white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide are also options viable, although rubbing alcohol is preferable. Give it 30-60 seconds in the alcohol to help sterilize the blades, then shake off the excess alcohol. If your razor looks particularly dirty or the handle is full of gunk, you can actually soak the entire razor in a dish of rubbing alcohol for 5-10 minutes for a deep clean.
Step 3: Hang your razor in a dry place
Allow your razor to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area. Avoid storing in a drawer if possible. Most cups or toothbrush holders have extra spaces for a razor. Do not use a towel to dry your razor as this may damage the blades. Also, don’t store your razor in a wet area like the sink or shower. This can cause the blades to rust and promote the growth of mold and bacteria.
- If your electric shaver can’t get wet, just use a dry brush.
- Use compressed air to blow out any stuck hairs.
- Use a cotton swab with a little rubbing alcohol to sanitize the blades or foils.
- Clean your razor every time you shave to prolong the life of the razor and ensure that your shave is hygienic.
- Buy a razor brush, a small tool you can use before the sanitizing step to loosen trapped debris that didn’t come out during the rinsing step.