how to dissolve soap scum on straight razors

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by mrmotley, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. I was reading a recent post about caring for straight razors, and a member noted he dipped his blades in a mixture of denatured alcohol and mineral oil after shaving. The former ingredient is used to dissolve soap scum, the latter to coat the blade between uses.

    I've noticed with time my blades have accumulated a fair degree of soap scum, especially in close proximity to the edge where I dare not wipe with a tissue. Any other tricks out there for removing soap scum post shave? Is rubbing alcohol equally effective at removing it?
  2. professorchaos

    professorchaos Moderator Emeritus

    I'd recommend not letting accumulate in the first place. A good rinse and wipe will prevent it from building up in the first place.
  3. Yes, definitely wipe completely clean after using. Don't be afraid to wipe it down with a towel or tissue, just use light pressure and go parallel to the edge from heel to toe.

    You could try a dilute solution of ammonia, which is what is in scrubbing bubbles.
  4. After shaving my routine is to run the blade under hot water, promptly strop it lightly on a barber's towel, then wipe it parallel from heel to toe and, if needed, wipe around the pivot and inside the scales with a tissue, then give it 5-10 light laps on leather and return it to its sheath (the ugly ones that Jarrod sells that function beautifully).

    Regardless, over time I get scum buildup within a few mm of the edge, largely because I don't attempt to wipe that close to the edge.
  5. I wipe mine with a tissue (pinch a piece around the spine and run parallel to the edge) and I've not once damaged an edge
  6. I get the same soap scum building up as well. I have a jar of Barbicide in my bathroom, a 1 second blade dip and then a wipe down and rinse and its good as new.
  7. Can I ask what a barber's towel is :(
  8. My method for getting the scum off is to try and not get any any way. Most of the time the scum comes from lather thats a tad to dry. Add a little more and that resolves the intial problem. To resolve the second problem of it being there a piece of bathroom toilet tissue as has been said is a good way to clean the scum off.
  9. I'm going try the alcohol and .5% oil mixture. It was recommended to me elsewhere.

    Currently I rinse in hot water, then wipe parallel using a hand towel. Been using this process for a year and haven't even cut a hand towel. Never any damage to the blade.
  10. +1 here.
  11. If your stropping after shaving youll undo any small damage done by wiping any scum off.
  12. I just keep a clean white soft 100% cotton T-shirt on my towel rack, both for cleaning my glass lenses as well as wiping down my razors after I rinse them under running water. It is so soft it will never damage a blade or an edge yet will clean all surface residue from the blade. Then just swap it out with a clean t-shirt every week or two.

    But in spite of this, I notice some blades that have a soap scum stain right at the edge. They must get stained during the shaving process rather than after, as I always clean and polish my blades with soft cloth after use. It doesn't hurt anything, so I have just always left it, not wanting to use metal polish or mild abrasives that close to the edge. I too may try some of those liquid solutions in a bottle, but I don't know that they will remove a stain and some solutions are bad for metal temper as I understand it.
  13. Hey can you expand on that. Never heard of this - any kind of oil and alcohol?

    *EDIT* looking at those towels, I saw this -

    I wonder how that this stuff would be? It says it inhibits rust too!! Woot?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  14. They are. They're a good size, easy to launder, capable of being heated/steamed if you so desire, and a good absorbent texture. I bought 12 of them about 3 years ago and all of them have withstood use with time. I like them too because I can lay one flat on my countertop and it is like stropping on cotton as they are relatively thin.
  15. That's the scum I'm talking about. I take the precautions that everyone else does - drying, wiping, etc. It is just the scum right next to the edge and was hoping there was some agent I could periodically dip the razor in that would dissolve it. As I noted above, a member in this post (post #9) uses 4 parts denatured alcohol and 1 part mineral oil. I was trying to see if anyone else had used this concoction or something similar.
  16. Agree

    I like the towels

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