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Cleaning DE razors

AACJ

Moderator Emeritus
How do you clean old safety razors you find?

I'm interested! Perhaps we should create a sticky for this as well.
 
As this comes up weekly a sticky would be a good idea.
Soak in hot soapy water.
Scrub with an old tooth brush.
Spray with scrubbing bubbles and scrub and rinse.
Barbicide soak and rinse.
Polish with metal polish of your choice, not recommended for lacquered gold razor.
Enjoy.
 

AACJ

Moderator Emeritus
What do you do to get the gunk out of the inner corners of the razor? And even on the ridged handle? I've been using a toothpick and/or a q-tip with some barkeepers friend, slightly moistened.

How do you clean without rubbing any finish off? That is one of my questions. Would an ultrasonic "jewelery cleaner" that one might soak the razor in clean the gunk too?
 
I have good success soaking old, gunky razors in Simple Green with maybe a serious splash of hydrogen peroxide. I let it sit over night or even longer if needed. Eventually, everything bad just floats off. After that I give it a good scrub with an old toothbrush to make sure the nooks and crannies are clean and follow that with a polishing with Maas.

When I am putting a razor a way after using for a week, I spritz it Simple Green solution and scrub it with the toothbrush. Clean and shiny for the next go around.
 

moses

Moderator Emeritus
Art, you don't do this with silver colored razors without plastic, but I find the boiling really helps getting the gunk loose. Then, vigorous application of an old toothbrush will get into the difficult corners and grooves in the handle. I find if you are having trouble scrubbing stuff off, then breaking out your toothbrush's old friend toothpaste is very effective, without damaging the finish. Assuming we aren't talking a could razor, you are pretty safe from removing the finish with a toothbrush, soap, toothpaste, and Maas (or barkeeper's friend, or whatever).

I've heard good things about the ultrasonic cleaners, but not inclined to the outlay of money.

-Mo
 
I have had success on two occasions with using Dettol cleaning liquid (not washing up liquid) and hot water. I also sometimes used tea tree oil, however, that stuff stinks so make sure you do it outside somewhere.
 
What do you do to get the gunk out of the inner corners of the razor?
With electric toothbrush. Notice, If you have a razor in mint condition, avoid using toothbrush on silo doors (outside, of course). I use there a microfiber cloth. Just in case.

Would an ultrasonic "jewelery cleaner" that one might soak the razor in clean the gunk too?
Lather residues can stick very fast to razor. Ultrasonic cleaners don't make miracles, at least mine doesn't. I try to get rid of most gunk other ways before ultrasonic, which I use in a polishing phase.

Vesa
 

moses

Moderator Emeritus
Lather residues can stick very fast to razor. Ultrasonic cleaners don't make miracles, at least mine doesn't.
Indeed. Soap scum remover, however, does make miracles. A little spritz of scrubbing bubbles or tilex soap scum remover, let it sit for a minute or two, and that white scum just rinses right off. This is a KEY step in razor cleaning made easy.

-Mo
 
Today I cleaned a recent score (#15 Brit Aristocrat) which may have a rhodium plating. I used a cleaner that had some chlorine in it and it really did a number on the shine it looks a bit dull and tarnished now. Did I wreck the finish or is there a polish that will bring back the shine?
 
-Put the razors in an old pot/pan lined with aluminum foil

-Mix about 2 TBs of powdered Borax and about a teaspoon of salt in almost-boiling water

-pour the very-hot water over the razors, completely submerging them, and let soak for about 30-45 mins. Once the water gets somewhat warm you can go to work with an old toothbrush to get a lot of surface junk off, then put back in the water to finish the soak

-rinse the razors and work each one over with the old toothbrush and Barkeepers Friend, preferably the liquid version b/c it's possibly gentler on metals than the powdered form, however I've used the powdered kind with no ill effects

-rinse the razors in hot water

-place back in the pan and repeat the hot water / Borax / salt treatment for another 30 minutes

-dry them off

At this point the razors should be looking really good, and if you have an ultrasonic cleaner pop them in for 10 minutes or so, just watch out for razors with painted surfaces as I've heard the ultrasonic can strip the paint off - in the case of the colored tip SuperSpeeds, you can prop up the razors so that the handle sits above the surface of the water.

After all of the above I find that you almost don't even need the Maas polish, but you can if you like.

Enjoy the process, it's a lot of fun!
 
Has anyone tried Oxyclean, Onestep, or PBW?
I have harder water and find a soak of both (not together) vinegar and sanstar do a good job.
 
Has anyone tried Oxyclean, Onestep, or PBW?
I have harder water and find a soak of both (not together) vinegar and sanstar do a good job.
I use Oxyclean for the primary cleaning, especially on thr razors that are gold or rhodium plated. Seems pretty gentle on these surfaces, does a good cleaning job. I'm not familiar with the other products you mention.

I recommend avoiding bleach as a rule, particularly for gold razors.

-- John Gehman
 
I have used a brass wire brush to good effect (after I saw another member using one to clean up an old razor here), and would recommend it. The brass is soft enough to not scuff the plating on nickel or chrome plated razors, but really gets to the grime and dirt etc. And it's especially good for cleaning out the grip pattern on handles. On my latest "restoration" job, the order of the day was:

  1. Clean with toothbrush, dishwashing liquid and warm water.
  2. Clean with brass wire brush.
  3. Polish with metal polish (I used a no-name brand which is most likely similar to MAAS).
  4. Another clean with toothbrush,dishwashing liquid and warm water.

The razor cleaned up real nice, after being almost completely black with oxidation and grime when I received it.
 
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