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Polishing old razors

Hi Gents,

I really enjoy shaving with my vintage Gillettes. I thought that I would give them a bit of a clean up and polish. I clean them and sanitize them when I get them but haven't polished one.

I bought Flitz metal polish. I started with my Aristocrat Jr that I thought could benefit from a polish. I applied some polish to a cotton cloth and polished the doors of the razor and then buffed with a clean cotton cloth. Generally, the polishing did a great job on the doors.

However, the "blemish" or what looks like water spots on the Aristocrat Jr wouldn't come off. I tried polishing it twice using the method mentioned above but with no success. I would hoping to remove this sort of stuff from the doors.

I am not very handy with metal polishing or handyman stuff. Any thoughts on whether Flitz metal polish should remove these types of blemishes? Is there another polish or method to remove these types of blemishes?

Added a photo of a Fatboy that I polished and got really nice except one little spot circled in red in the attached thumbnail photo.

Thanks!
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Brother ShavingPanda, I fear what you have is what you got. The gold on that razor is super thin, and there is a great likelihood that it will be damaged if you get the least bit aggressive with polishing.

If I were you I would focus on having a clean razor, rather than having a polished razor. By clean razor, I mean once a week to gently and briefly clean the razor with an old soft tooth brush, warm water and some mild hand soap.
 

KeenDogg

Slays On Fleek - For Rizz
Brother ShavingPanda, I fear what you have is what you got. The gold on that razor is super thin, and there is a great likelihood that it will be damaged if you get the least bit aggressive with polishing.

If I were you I would focus on having a clean razor, rather than having a polished razor. By clean razor, I mean once a week to gently and briefly clean the razor with an old soft tooth brush, warm water and some mild hand soap.
+1000. Well said, Steve.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
 
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Brother ShavingPanda, I fear what you have is what you got. The gold on that razor is super thin, and there is a great likelihood that it will be damaged if you get the least bit aggressive with polishing.

If I were you I would focus on having a clean razor, rather than having a polished razor. By clean razor, I mean once a week to gently and briefly clean the razor with an old soft tooth brush, warm water and some mild hand soap.

Thank you very much for the response.

The pictures make them look gold (my apologies for the poor photos), but both razors are silver (nickel plated I assume). Would this change your opinion at all?

I will heed your advice on having clean razors and not polished. I use all my razors and want to maintain them, however definitely don't want to harm them. Thanks again for the advice, I will put the polish away and say sorry to my razors.
 
Thank you very much for the response.

The pictures make them look gold (my apologies for the poor photos), but both razors are silver (nickel plated I assume). Would this change your opinion at all?

I will heed your advice on having clean razors and not polished. I use all my razors and want to maintain them, however definitely don't want to harm them. Thanks again for the advice, I will put the polish away and say sorry to my razors.

I thought I was looking at a 1940's Gillette Aristocrat. Aren't they gold? Anyway my advice is unchanged.
 
I thought I was looking at a 1940's Gillette Aristocrat. Aren't they gold? Anyway my advice is unchanged.

The OP refers to an Aristocrat Junior, which are siver plated.

OP, sometimes one can't go further, but as said above, it's a well used razor and will serve you well for years to come. My current favourite razor is an early, well beaten SR... with more plate loss than I'd like to see but it is a wonderful shaver.
 
Beware of metal polishing pastes. Too much pressure and you are through the plating/wash before you realize it.

I have found that the best "cleaner/polish" is baking soda with a bit of water to make a paste to be rubbed on very gently with bare fingertips or with a soft cotton cloth. I have used it extensively to clean and shine the thin gold wash and silver plate on many of the razors I have collected. I use it on an old toothbrush to clean out crevices and gaps. Beware though not to leave any residue by rinsing well (and a soak to be sure) with warm water. Any residue can start chemical reaction/corrosion between adjacent parts, like the cover and base of a gold plated blade holder for instance. Found that out the hard way.

Note: if the stain/pitting/discoloration doesn't come off with this method it will not come off without damaging the plating.
 
Beware of metal polishing pastes. Too much pressure and you are through the plating/wash before you realize it.

I have found that the best "cleaner/polish" is baking soda with a bit of water to make a paste to be rubbed on very gently with bare fingertips or with a soft cotton cloth. I have used it extensively to clean and shine the thin gold wash and silver plate on many of the razors I have collected. I use it on an old toothbrush to clean out crevices and gaps. Beware though not to leave any residue by rinsing well (and a soak to be sure) with warm water. Any residue can start chemical reaction/corrosion between adjacent parts, like the cover and base of a gold plated blade holder for instance. Found that out the hard way.

Note: if the stain/pitting/discoloration doesn't come off with this method it will not come off without damaging the plating.

Thanks for the baking soda insight. I'll be trying that later on some blades.
 

Esox

I didnt know
However, the "blemish" or what looks like water spots on the Aristocrat Jr wouldn't come off.

I cant tell from your pictures if thats plating loss or not. If it is nothing can be done. However, if it is some type of staining, see below.

The first below picture is of my Tech and after polishing with AutoSol. I had assumed if I went any further with that polishing compound to remove the dark lines, I would have removed the frosting on the finish. AutoSol is an abrasive.

IMG_1359.jpg

This next pic is the result of using Bar Keepers Friend. I removed the cap from the razor, wet it under a tap, dusted it with Bar Keepers Friend and gently rubbed with my thumb. Rinse and repeat and below is the result.

IMG_1607.JPG

It's been pointed out to me that Bar Keepers Friend has an abrasive element added to it, but I couldnt feel it in my fingers. It is also however, a mild acidic cleanser so if you have any cuts on your fingers, it will burn. It also hasnt harmed the Nickel finish on my SS. As with all cleaners, polishing compounds ect, be careful.

Oxalic acid - Wikipedia

5313-bar-keepers-friend-135818.jpg
 
I cant tell from your pictures if thats plating loss or not. If it is nothing can be done. However, if it is some type of staining, see below.

The first below picture is of my Tech and after polishing with AutoSol. I had assumed if I went any further with that polishing compound to remove the dark lines, I would have removed the frosting on the finish. AutoSol is an abrasive.

View attachment 802904

This next pic is the result of using Bar Keepers Friend. I removed the cap from the razor, wet it under a tap, dusted it with Bar Keepers Friend and gently rubbed with my thumb. Rinse and repeat and below is the result.

View attachment 802905

It's been pointed out to me that Bar Keepers Friend has an abrasive element added to it, but I couldnt feel it in my fingers. It is also however, a mild acidic cleanser so if you have any cuts on your fingers, it will burn. It also hasnt harmed the Nickel finish on my SS. As with all cleaners, polishing compounds ect, be careful.

Oxalic acid - Wikipedia

View attachment 802907
Love BKF. Use it on all my SS cookware and it's amazing. Now I'll have to try it on some old razors. Thanks for the tip.
 
The dull spots are worn nickel, manual polishing won't work here. You can try polishing it with a polishing wheel, as nickel is rather soft and will smear (filling worn areas), but you risk polishing away plating on high spots.

Adam
 
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