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How do you clean and sanitize vintage razors?

How do you go about doing this? What process and cleaners do you use? I've never felt good about using a used razor. Thanks.
 
You have opened a huge can of worms here - just do what feels right for you as there is no right and wrong answer. I soak in a little hot water with dish washing bubbles and then a gentle clean with a toothbrush. For silver razors I may do a baking soda/hot water/aluminium foil soak. Some will consider that totally over the top, and some others will boil their used razors in bleach for a month, and then discard them because they are insufficiently sterile. 👍
 
A whole Universe of reading in the forums:







The much shorter version: soap, warm water, brush, then soak in a chemical disinfectant du jour of your choice. Or not.
 
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I bought one of those ultrasonic cleaners because of this forum .... a cheap magnasonic from amazon (~40 bucks). I figure it has uses beyond razors and in general.

Regards
AVi
 
A used razor is one thing...a used razor blade is something else.
In reality, no blood born pathogen can survive being dried up on a razor for fifty years, let alone a week.
Scrub the razor with soap and water. Use babasol or wipe with alcohol if it makes you feel more secure.
 
A used razor is one thing...a used razor blade is something else.
In reality, no blood born pathogen can survive being dried up on a razor for fifty years, let alone a week.
Scrub the razor with soap and water. Use babasol or wipe with alcohol if it makes you feel more secure.
Well, actually, bacterial endospores have survived considerably longer than that. A few thousand times longer, at least. C. Botulinum spores for example, can survive years, if not decades, if not centuries, and still be viable. We simply don't know how long many endospores can survive and be reactivated. We do know, absolutely, that spores have been reactivated after more than ten millenia. And reliable reports of spores retaining viability after more than 3 million years. Yes, you read that right. Maybe a lot more. But the statistical likelihood of acquiring a serious infection from a vintage razor (straight razors somewhat excepted) is, I'll go on record saying, small. Not zero, so disinfect away. But small. Really small.
 
Well, actually, bacterial endospores have survived considerably longer than that. A few thousand times longer, at least. C. Botulinum spores for example, can survive years, if not decades, if not centuries, and still be viable. We simply don't know how long many endospores can survive and be reactivated. We do know, absolutely, that spores have been reactivated after more than ten millenia. And reliable reports of spores retaining viability after more than 3 million years. Yes, you read that right. Maybe a lot more. But the statistical likelihood of acquiring a serious infection from a vintage razor (straight razors somewhat excepted) is, I'll go on record saying, small. Not zero, so disinfect away. But small. Really small.
Spores can survive a long time, but they are easily washed off the razor, so who cares?
 
Ten minutes under a glob of the non-bleach Scrubbing Bubbles or similar bathroom cleanser to kill the bugs, followed by a toothbrush scrub to get rid of grime, will do the job. Unless you suspect the antique shop owner or the mail carrier of surreptitiously using your razor before putting it into your hands, you don't really have much to worry about. But, peace of mind is worth something. People wash their flatware in the sink with Dawn and don't think twice about sticking that spoon in their mouths afterward.
 
Scrubbing bubbles w/no bleach wait a minute or two and a light scrub with a very soft brush; then hot water and soak in Dawn (depends on how gummed up and/or dirty) and another light scrub. Hot rinse and soft towel dry. Problem solved.
 

BigJ

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Scrubbing bubbles w/no bleach wait a minute or two and a light scrub with a very soft brush; then hot water and soak in Dawn (depends on how gummed up and/or dirty) and another light scrub. Hot rinse and soft towel dry. Problem solved.
+1! This ^^

Absolutely! :thumbup: :thumbup:
 
A quick scrub with dish soap and a toothbrush to remove any solid grime or buildup followed by 15 min in Barbasol mixed as directed. Rinse. Done.
 

brandaves

With a great avatar comes great misidentification
Ambassador
How do you go about doing this? What process and cleaners do you use? I've never felt good about using a used razor. Thanks.
The first step toward getting passed the aversion to using old razors is to realize that with the exception of SR, the razor doesn't do any cutting...the blade does. The razor is the tool used to hold the cutting edge (which does make our name for them a bit of a misnomer). Once you can separate the two it becomes easier to make a rational jump to cleaning and using your own razors.

This isn't meant to preclude the use of vintage SR's. I have bought, cleaned and used a great number of them. In general steel doesn't provide a great surface for holding on to harmful bacteria over the long term. If you give them an initial cleaning and keep them clean along the way then you are good to go...add to that, any honing you do actually removes and repairs the cutting edge used by any previous owner.
A whole Universe of reading in the forums:







The much shorter version: soap, warm water, brush, then soak in a chemical disinfectant du jour of your choice. Or not.
I probably can't add to or improve upon the resources listed above...view and enjoy!
 
I asked myself the same question in June when I bought my first Gillette New vintage razor. Read this:
If you then decide to use a "disinfectant", keep the following in mind as many "disinfectant" products have been in short supply due to the pandemic:
  • Lysol Disinfectant Concentrate Original Scent, which contains the phenolic o-benzyl-p-chorophenol, kills lots of stuff.
  • Barbicide, Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Liquid Cleaner, and Scrubbing Bubbles Disinfectant, which contain the quaternary ammonium compound alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, also kill lots of stuff.
  • Some Scrubbing Bubbles products do not contain a phenolic or quaternary ammonium compound and, therefore, do not say "disinfectant" on their label.
Good luck!
 
A quick scrub with dish soap and a toothbrush to remove any solid grime or buildup followed by 15 min in Barbasol mixed as directed. Rinse. Done.
Didn't know, "Barbasol" made a disinfectant...:facep: I do know Barbicide you should only leave your items in the solution for the required 10 minutes.
 
Wash it off with dish soap and water, scrubbing with a very soft toothbrush.
Wipe it down with 70% alcohol and allow it to air dry.
As somebody upthread mentioned, you are not actually shaving with the razor, but with a clean blade that you will supply.

Contrary to popular belief, neither viruses nor bacteria nor even spores need to be killed; any that actually survived can be washed off the razor.

Old razors are not dangerous from an infectious diseases perspective. And I know it angers some people and I'm not saying this to brag or anything, but I am an infectious diseases subspecialist with 30+ years of experience. I have a bunch of old razors and don't worry at all about using them once they have been cleaned.
 
Wash it off with dish soap and water, scrubbing with a very soft toothbrush.
Wipe it down with 70% alcohol and allow it to air dry.
As somebody upthread mentioned, you are not actually shaving with the razor, but with a clean blade that you will supply.

Contrary to popular belief, neither viruses nor bacteria nor even spores need to be killed; any that actually survived can be washed off the razor.

Old razors are not dangerous from an infectious diseases perspective. And I know it angers some people and I'm not saying this to brag or anything, but I am an infectious diseases subspecialist with 30+ years of experience. I have a bunch of old razors and don't worry at all about using them once they have been cleaned.
People's fears about using used razors are not science based so any discussion is soon rendered pointless.

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