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Razor Blade Cleaning - A Question After 65+Years

With the exception of a few years with a cartridge razor, I have been using a Gillette safety razor with double-edge blades since I started shaving in about 1954. Used my father's razor to begin with along with Gillette red blades, followed by blue blades, etc. Never once did anyone ever teach me or talk to me about removing the blade following a shave to clean it that I recall. And since through these long-gone years I never have cleaned it. I think there was a time when I honed the blade against a mirror to get a bit more life out of it, but not with the thought of cleaning it. I do always loosen the cap and rinse the razor with blade in it after shaving, but don't think that is what folks mean by cleaning the blade. Think it is high time I asked how I should clean double-edged blades and why. So if you would please educate me!
 
I think the answer may depend somewhat on the kind of blade in question.

Some have coatings that are meant to help the blade shave more smoothly -- for those, short of rinsing with water, I think the less you do to them the better, lest you remove the coating in the process of trying to clean them.

But I think the same can be said of most blades: a rinse under water is all that's really required. The aim being to rinse away residual soap, whiskers and dead skin from the blade and then let it dry quickly so as to minimize opportunities for bacteria to propagate.

There may be additional considerations with carbon steel blades, but I don't have any experience with these and so I'll let others weigh in.

In truth though, you've been shaving with DE razors longer than many of us have been alive. Whatever you've been doing up to now has probably worked. If anything, we would do well to learn a few lessons and take some cues from you here... can you explain the honing against the mirror trick, I don't think I've heard of it before?
 
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I'll add: I have occasionally tried lightly 'stropping' the blade against the heel of my palm to help remove some of that detritus off of the edge (very carefully, obviously only after removing it from the razor -- I pinch it in the middle with my opposite hand to get a firm grip). I'm not sure if this is actually a good idea or not though from the standpoint of preserving the integrity of the edge.

So I guess I'll punt this to other members of B&B myself: anyone have thoughts about this particular maneuver?
 
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FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
@john parker : I think you are doing everything right.

My only addition would be regarding carbon steel blades: I completely remove them, blow on them while carefully holding the blade and set it on a tissue until I later return it to the wrapper it came in.

Yeah, I like to live dangerously!

So the majority of the time I use stainless blades, because I'm a klutz!
 
I toss my blades in an ultrasonic cleaner after each use. It helps rid the edge of any broken and hanging micro serrations, much like a strop helps tidy things up.
 
All I do is take mine out of the razor most of the time rinse under the water and tap dry(not wipe) on a towel and place between to modified magnetic business cards.
I'm have a large rotation of razors and like to use the same blade in other razors if possible.
Why, just the way I self trained my self, it's like using a knife in the kitchen cutting chicken and then using it cutting bread and then cutting potatoes. It makes sense to rinse & wipe with a paper towel after each different cutting so not to make a person sick possibly when using same knife.
I'm a bit of a germ phob and I just use simple thought on cutting tools.
 
I think the answer may depend somewhat on the kind of blade in question.

Some have coatings that are meant to help the blade shave more smoothly -- for those, short of rinsing with water, I think the less you do to them the better, lest you remove the coating in the process of trying to clean them.

But I think the same can be said of most blades: a rinse under water is all that's really required. The aim being to rinse away residual soap, whiskers and dead skin from the blade and then let it dry quickly so as to minimize opportunities for bacteria to propagate.

There may be additional considerations with carbon steel blades, but I don't have any experience with these and so I'll let others weigh in.

In truth though, you've been shaving with DE razors longer than many of us have been alive. Whatever you've been doing up to now has probably worked. If anything, we would do well to learn a few lessons and take some cues from you here... can you explain the honing against the mirror trick, I don't think I've heard of it before?
"Honing" may not have been the best choice of words. More like stropping as someone else has mentioned. Not sure where I learned it, but was probably in the Gillette red blade days when you one tried to get another shave or two. Idea was to "sharpen" it against a piece of glass; and a mirror was very much at hand as a piece of glass. Did it work? Think I thought so at the time, but not sure it was any smoother than the shave prior. Learned shaving from my father, uncle and grandfather, all of whom originally shaved with straights. Grandpa could sharpen a mean knife blade!!!
 
All I do is take mine out of the razor most of the time rinse under the water and tap dry(not wipe) on a towel and place between to modified magnetic business cards.
I'm have a large rotation of razors and like to use the same blade in other razors if possible.
Why, just the way I self trained my self, it's like using a knife in the kitchen cutting chicken and then using it cutting bread and then cutting potatoes. It makes sense to rinse & wipe with a paper towel after each different cutting so not to make a person sick possibly when using same knife.
I'm a bit of a germ phob and I just use simple thought on cutting tools.
I'd recommend you wash your knife with soap and water after cutting chicken (especially raw chicken) instead of just wiping it with a paper towel. 🙂
 
I rinse my razor properly with hot water, take it apart, wipe all the parts and put the blade on the towel without friction, then put it back together. I've never had a problem so far.
 
I rinse my razor, take it apart after every shave, and towel dry all the parts (including the blade) then I leave them to dry in my bathroom for hours (basically until I use the restroom again). This way, I remove any soap scum and other buildup from my razor and the blade.
 
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I just rinse and shake and blow, no disassembly. I do not think this is a good method, and found this thread by searching "dry after shave" because I'm looking to change my ways.

I don't like the knife comparison. I don't cut soap-lathered chicken's hair with my knives, and I don't use a razor to cut deep into my face meat. There's no chance of cross-contamination with my razors.

Edit: misread how you wipe the knife. I full-on wash my knife if I'm using it for meat and then ANYTHING else. That, or I'll just cut meat last in my prep. It still gets fully washed and dried after use.

I do agree that blades should be clean, and came here to see how others do it. I don't think rinsing without disassembling is enough, and I know for a fact that my blades aren't completely dried by blowing after rinsing. I don't have a good way to safely store the unpacked blade, but that's something I gotta figure out how to do.

Thanks for the shot glass idea, that might be it!
 
I just rinse and shake and blow, no disassembly. I do not think this is a good method, and found this thread by searching "dry after shave" because I'm looking to change my ways.

I don't like the knife comparison. I don't cut soap-lathered chicken's hair with my knives, and I don't use a razor to cut deep into my face meat. There's no chance of cross-contamination with my razors.

Edit: misread how you wipe the knife. I full-on wash my knife if I'm using it for meat and then ANYTHING else. That, or I'll just cut meat last in my prep. It still gets fully washed and dried after use.

I do agree that blades should be clean, and came here to see how others do it. I don't think rinsing without disassembling is enough, and I know for a fact that my blades aren't completely dried by blowing after rinsing. I don't have a good way to safely store the unpacked blade, but that's something I gotta figure out how to do.

Thanks for the shot glass idea, that might be it!
Think it is high time I asked how I should clean double-edged blades and why. So if you would please educate me!

I kind of miss understood your starting paragraph and thought you are asking why clean a blade instead of just leaving it in the razor.
I used the kitchen knife as example and thought it would make it more clear why I do clean my blades because they are going into other razors and who knows what lurks in a bathroom setting.
I have to be honest that I do have some razors that I leave the blades in because they are awkward to remove like some but not all my Schick injectors. I do have some injectors I swivel the the spring away to clean out any suds and take the blade right out, also I have some Schick injectors that have Hydro magic that allows to loosen the blade and then rinse without removing the blades.
You where asking about how to store a razor blade safely for next use all I do is slip the blade in between to modified magnetic business cards until next use and has worked for 4 years doing it this way. Some fellows use the old wrapper over again that the blade came in(I did not care for that way myself).
Here are few methods I like and work well for myself and others.
YY blade storage handling..jpg
Have some great shaves!
 
When I am done I loosen the top slightly, rinse thoroughly, shake off the excess water and put it in the holder to dry.
That has worked just fine for all the years I have been wet shaving.
 
The blade: you can take it out or not, it's stainless anyway and it's going to last a few days or weeks even if wet. If you use very greasy soaps or pre-treatments, a bit of gunk is expected but can be rinsed without taking the razor apart.

Rather, taking the razor apart is an act of love towards the RAZOR, if it's zamak. Humidity and soap trapped between the threads are going to wreck havoc on your zamak parts. That's why you here people wrongly saying the threads always go green and rot with zamak. Zamak razors fully taken apart after shave last for decades.
 

ajkel64

The Aussie Basshole
When I use a DE I normally use the blade for one week (7 shaves) and then bin it. I rinse the blade and razor out under hot water and then dry with a towel.When drying the blade I gently dab it dry on the towel so that I do not damage the blade edge. I always leave the blade in the razor until the next shave.
 
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