5 Easy Tips For Maintaining Your Safety Razor
One of the nice thing about traditional safety razors is that they can last a lifetime. The razor blades they use will always be available, and good metal lasts longer than plastic. To get as much mileage out of the razor as possible, it is important to give it some tender love and care now & then.
Here are some tips for maintaining your razor:
1. Wash & Clean the Razor When Changing the Blade
Although traditional razors get rid of hair, cream or soap far more efficiently than a multi-blade razor, they will sooner or later have to be dismantled and cleaned. In this way, you avoid bacterial spread, skin rash – helps you if you suffer from Acne or struggle with sensitive skin. This will also help you in keeping the razor nice and shiny.
Most people change the razor-blade once a week. This is an excellent opportunity to wash the parts with a mild detergent and a brush. Razors without a wooden handle (such as Merkur Futur) can be put in the dishwasher, but we recommend hand-washing for the best results.
2. Assemble the Razor Correctly
Many safety razors have a separate head, comb (also called guard or base-plate) and handle, which are screwed together. These razors are often referred to as 3-piece razors. When replacing the blade, it is important that the base-plate faces the correct way, so that the long sides slopes up towards the head and not down towards the handle.
As with all bolts, the threads can hit askew if one is really unlucky. It is noticed by the head suddenly becomes extremely hard to screw in – when the threads are aligned correctly there should be no resistance before the head meets the guard and the handle.
A simple trick to always get this right: Press the bolt gently against the handle and turn it slow and gentle the “wrong way”, ie counterclockwise from the head. Then you will sooner or later hear a small “click” – this is the point where the threads start. Then turn the head gently clockwise until it tightens against the base-plate and handle.
There is no need to use any force, nice & gentle does it. If you turn too hard, you will destroy the threads. If you need to use any force, this is a sign that there is something wrong.
3. Rinse and Dry the Razor After Use
Do not hang the razor straight back into the rack after shaving. Take a few seconds to rinse it under the tap and wipe it dry with a towel or soft cloth. This will remove the white soap coating that will otherwise form, and wipes away any moisture that might otherwise form on the chrome plating and cause cracks if your razor has a wood handle.
4. Use Maintenance Oil
Some of us have/ had mothers who regularly put the cutlery in oil overnight so that the wooden handle should not dry out. With a coat of oil, the wood handle of the razor is saturated with oil so that water cannot penetrate. The water causes the wood fibers to swell, and when the water evaporates after a while, the wood will be completely dehydrated so that it will eventually crack. Put a drop of oil on the metal to keep the threads fresh and the surface shiny and neat.
5. Polish Chrome
A lot of the popular safety razors are made of forged brass, which is then chromed. Neither brass nor chrome is capable of rusting, but if the razor has been damp for years (see tip no. 3), the chrome surface may corrode. This will look like a dark, small burgundy-colored coating. This is easily removed with chrome glossing, a mild polish available at most hardware stores or online. Polish the razor as you would with any silverware, first with the gloss (cream or liquid) on a soft cloth, then with a dry cloth. The finish becomes mirror-glossy and put on a layer of protective wax while at it. You do this at most once a year.
Important: Do not polish stainless steel razors. Exclusive razors such as Rockwell 6S and Feather AS-D2 are made of stainless steel with a silky matt, anodized finish. Do not polish these with chrome gloss as it will remove the original finish. Since the anodize is hard and the stainless steel cannot corrode, it is only necessary to dry the razor after use.