How to Keep Your Shaving Razor Sharper and Last Longer?
As most of us men know, the cost of disposable razors has been rising consistently over the past 10 to 15 years. Razor manufacturers have been adding extra blades, moisturizing strips and raised rubber strips to lift the hairs.
While most of these additions to the standard disposable razor have helped give us closer shaves with less irritation, the increased cost of these blades has been giving men everywhere a burning feeling in their wallets.
Some of the latest varieties of disposables can cost upwards of $18.00 for a 4 pack. That amounts to $4.50 per razor!!! With the average man throwing away a razor every 4 days to a week the cost of shaving can get a little pricey.
Most men think that the act of cutting through the hairs on their face is what dulls the blade and renders the razor head useless. While this is true to a small degree, it is not the main cause of blade degradation. So what is the main cause you ask, H20. That’s right, the water you use during your shave and to rinse off your blade is what causes most of the dulling of the blades.
So how does water dull a stainless steel razor blade, Oxidation. As you probably already know, water oxidizes metal. This oxidation is commonly known as rust. Picture any piece of metal that has been left outside to long. Now picture that on a microscopic level. That is why your razor does not feel as sharp as it did 4 days ago.
So what can you do to prevent your disposable razor from becoming dull and having to throw it away prematurely? There are many methods out there that are a little on the crazy side, such as cryogenically freezing your razor, freezing your razor in the freezer or placing it in a magnetic field. But none of those methods have any evidence supporting them, and c’mon, who is really going to cryogenically free there razor every morning?
So I have compiled some tried and true methods to lengthen the life of your razor and are a little more on the practical side.
Drying your razor
- After you are done completely rinsing of your razor. Shake it a little bit to get any excess water off of the blades.
- Use a towel to dry off the blades. Do not drag your razor across the towel, but dab or blot your razor on the towel.
- You can also use a blow dryer for 10 to 15 seconds to make sure that there is no water on the blades. Do not overdue it as the heat can warp the blades if they get too hot. If your hair dryer has a cool shot button, you can use it to blow off any water without worrying about warping the blade.
Storing your Razor
- If you want to store your razor in the bathroom, it is wise to place it in an airtight plastic bag. This will keep the moisture from showering off the blades and will help prevent oxidation.
- The best option is to store your razor outside of the bathroom.
- One of the worst places to store your blade is close to the shower. This is the source of a lot of steam and splashing and will accelerate the dulling of your blades.
- Placing a few drops or dipping your blade in a cup of rubbing alcohol can help remove moisture from your blades.
- The alcohol will dry quickly and will help keep the blade dry.
- An added benefit to this method is that the alcohol will kill any bacteria that is on your blades and can help prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs.
Honing your Blades
Have your ever seen an old movie where a barber is rubbing a straight razor up and down on a piece of leather? He is not doing this to sharpen the blade, he is doing this to hone the blade. Honing is basically straightening minor bends and nicks in the blade to provide a closer shave. The same principal applies to knives. There are two methods that I have heard of to accomplish this.
The first method consists of running the blade all the way down a pair of jeans 10 to 20 times, and then running the blade the reverse way 10 to 20 times. The fabric in denim runs in a diagonal pattern, so running the blade down and then up ensures an even honing.
The second method is basically running the blade backwards up your arm 10 times. The skin, like leather acts as a honing surface and can help keep your blade sharp. Careful not to run the blade forward, or you will have some bald red arms.
So if you’re sick of spending $20+ dollars a month on disposable razor blades, give one or all four of these techniques a try. We guarantee that your blades will stay sharper and last longer.