What's new

Can i clean or do i need to replace my linen strop?

The linen part of my strop needs to be cleaned or replaced. I have had some issues with some of my edges lately. Just to confirm that the linen was the issue i honed one of my razors and skipped the linen part, i just used clean leather. The razor was shaving just fine. The next day i used the razor again after stropping on linen and leather. Now the edge is not that smooth. It is still ok, but now i start to get feedback from the alum. I think there might be something in the linen that is causing issues. When the strop was new it worked just fine.
Can you clean the linen, if yes, how?
Under magnification i see random stria that was not there after the stones.
 
I've never felt the need for a linen strop. A bed sheet would work the same for debris removal. Just stick with your leather.
 
I've never felt the need for a linen strop. A bed sheet would work the same for debris removal. Just stick with your leather.
I used to use denim which I replaced regularly with no issues for the same purpose.
 
The other day I selected a stone that I do not use regularly, I store my “go-to stones on a wooden plate rack attached to the side of a cabinet in my shop. The stone had a layer of dust and grit that had to be washed off and lapped.

Airborne dust is everywhere and will land on your strops. Rubbing them with a dirty hand, (yes, look at your hands with magnification) you are not “cleaning” them. I wipe my linen and leather strops daily with a damp clean microfiber before using them.

There is another current thread about dealing with the wire edge and most claim “strop it off”. Where do you think it goes and stropping on years of wire cant be good for your edge.

Fine dust gets into the weave of linen, and you must soak and scrub to get all the grit out. Soak in a mild soapy water over night scrub and rinse until the rinse water is clear, then rinse in vinegar water (one cup in 5 gallons) over night and scrub with a stiff brush to remove all the soap. Soap attracts dirt.

Then as the linen is almost dry roll the strop from a hanging rolling pin, (thrift store, $2) it will loosen the fibers and stretch the strop. Performance will be dramatically different.

Go easy on the rolling you want to loosen the fibers not break them, flax gets hard when wet and can break. Roll a little, let it dry more and roll a bit more until it is dry and floppy as a well washed sock.

You can also oil a leather strop and roll it to make floppy and improve performance, here too, go slow.
 
The other day I selected a stone that I do not use regularly, I store my “go-to stones on a wooden plate rack attached to the side of a cabinet in my shop. The stone had a layer of dust and grit that had to be washed off and lapped.

Airborne dust is everywhere and will land on your strops. Rubbing them with a dirty hand, (yes, look at your hands with magnification) you are not “cleaning” them. I wipe my linen and leather strops daily with a damp clean microfiber before using them.

There is another current thread about dealing with the wire edge and most claim “strop it off”. Where do you think it goes and stropping on years of wire cant be good for your edge.

Fine dust gets into the weave of linen, and you must soak and scrub to get all the grit out. Soak in a mild soapy water over night scrub and rinse until the rinse water is clear, then rinse in vinegar water (one cup in 5 gallons) over night and scrub with a stiff brush to remove all the soap. Soap attracts dirt.

Then as the linen is almost dry roll the strop from a hanging rolling pin, (thrift store, $2) it will loosen the fibers and stretch the strop. Performance will be dramatically different.

Go easy on the rolling you want to loosen the fibers not break them, flax gets hard when wet and can break. Roll a little, let it dry more and roll a bit more until it is dry and floppy as a well washed sock.

You can also oil a leather strop and roll it to make floppy and improve performance, here too, go slow.
Keeping things clean is really important. I think i have some work to do. Now i have one more excuse to touch up some of my "tainted" razors.
I keep wondering if the soft side of my kanayama strop is just as useful for stropping after i shave. I do see linen as a good tool after i have honed the razor, but it might be to rough on delicate edges if used daily.
 
Here are some pics of my rolling pin set up, thought I attached them to the above post…

Cheap and easy to make I attached it to my roll up shop/garage door, use with the door up.

A4.jpg
A5.jpg
A8.jpg
 
Top Bottom