How to Maintain a Healthy Safety Razor
January 31, 2017 | Kathryn Kellogg
Last Updated on September 11, 2020
Leaving my safety razor in the shower finally caught up with me. Alas, rust has taken hold of it.
I had a friend who told me, when her safety razor rusted she recycled it and bought a new one. Looking at my newly rusted safety razor, I really did not want to buy a new one.
This goes so much deeper than zero waste. Recycling isn’t the answer but rather a band-aid, and beyond that… I just can’t fathom buying a new safety razor.
One of the main appeals of zero waste, to me, is only having to buy something one time.
I have always been very conscious about budget. I want to buy something once and never have to buy it ever again. Zero waste is as much about the environment as it is about my bottom line.
It’s just a little rust, but for some reason, it evoked a deadly fear of tetanus.
I don’t know why my parents liked to frighten me as a child. Maybe they weren’t trying to frighten me, but rather inform me. No matter their intentions, I had a horrible fear of death by tetanus.
First, your mouth would slowly stop working until you couldn’t eat or say anything, then you’d silently starve to death. Of course, this is wildly inaccurate, just how I felt as a child. Plus, I haven’t had my tetanus booster to make matters worse…
So, this rust problem. It must be solved ASAP… before I accidentally gave myself tetanus. With a quick search of google, I came up with numerous ways to give your safety razor a good cleaning.
Before you recycle or throw anything away, always ask yourself if there’s something you haven’t tried! I would much rather ruin my razor in an attempt to save it, than just toss it without ever trying.
Let’s talk about how you should care for your safety razor.
For more information on how to use a safety razor, please see this post here.
don’t leave it in the shower or tub:
Duh. When the metal is constantly damp it’s easy for rust to form. Once there’s a tiny speck of rust it will quickly spread.
dry it after each use:
To avoid this dry your safety razor after every use. While you towel off, towel off your razor too. Dry the body and the blade.
store some place dry:
Whether it be a cabinet or by the sink, try and keep the razor some place dry. Also make sure you’re storing it someplace sturdy.
The only time I’ve really been cut by my razor is when reaching for it and it fell. In its descent towards the ground, it took a lot of skin with it.
Even if you’re very diligent in your razor care, you can still slip up. Leave the razor in the shower on accident one too many times and rust starts to form.
No fear! There are some really quick and simple solutions. I used two different methods to clean up my safety razor.
Castile soap, warm water, and an old toothbrush.
Who says that you have to compost the toothbrush as soon as it’s no longer fit to clean teeth? (remember that question we’re supposed to ask ourselves?)
Old toothbrushes work great to scrub all sorts of small spaces. Especially handy to get into the nooks and crannies of a safety razor.
Run the razor under warm water. Squirt some liquid soap onto the toothbrush and scrub away. I got great results with my fillaree dish soap, but any liquid castile soap would do. The rust on my razor was pretty persistent, so I needed to do something a little more heavy duty.
Soak the razor in a mixture of half warm water and half white vinegar. Add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. It will get super fizzy and start attacking the rust. Let it soak for an hour or two, but don’t let it soak too long.
Grab a rag and most of the rust will wipe away. For hard to get to places, use the toothbrush.
The thing about rust, is that ALL of it has to be gone. If any is left, it will come back almost instantly. Make sure to be thorough. Better to clean it once very thoroughly than to keep having to do it.
Do you have any tips for safety razor care? Have you recovered from a rusty razor?
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I really like your point with producing as less garbage as possible! Therefore, I am following your blog as a silent reader a bit now. The story with the razor now made me to a more active reader 🙂 I am also a fan of using stuff until their decay time. But how do you handle it with that kind of razor in your "private" parts? I am always scared that I hurt myself in those very sensitive regions. Do you just don’t shave this regions at all?
My boyfriend is a machinist and he said they use lemon juice to remove rust. He also uses lemon to remove rust from the metal combs he makes
I love your mentality about only having to buy stuff once! That’s where I’m moving towards with living what I call a Low Impact Life. Thank you for writing a great blog 🙂
How long will the toothbrush that you clean the safety razor last? If I use it once per week how long will it last me? Gow do I clean the toothbrush?
That’s something I’m looking forward to buy ASAP! Just one note: you don’t get tetanus by contact with rust, that’s just some metropolitan legend. 🙂 The bacteria live in the ground and their toxin is what produces tetanus. It was associated with rust because farmers tend to have it and their tools were often rusty.
Sorry for the point! Love your blog. <3
Thanks so much for this post! I’ve been using a safety razor for about 6 months now and I’m never going to go back! I haven’t encountered rust yet since I’m pretty good about keeping it dry. But like you said, it just takes a few lazy times and it’s rusty. I’m glad I came across this for when I need it!
Great article and honey, get your tetanus booster! Its is definately worth the small inconvenience of going to the doctor, trust me!
Kathryn, thank you for your blog.
I’m fairly sure that adding baking soda to your soaking vinegar will not help with the cleaning – all that fizz is because the soda is neutralising part of the vinegar – then the cleaning is done by whatever vinegar hasn’t been neutralised.
I tried leaving a rusty spanner on a plate with just enough vinegar solution to cover it. It looked as though nothing was happening but by the next day there were some bubbles, and I scrubbed it and the rust was gone.
Love the suggestions! One thing I learned from taking care of an old rusty bike: nothing takes care of rust quite like some coca-cola and steel wool!
It’s not the razor, the blades are causing the rust. Soaking the razor Barbicide after use will prevent the blades from rusting, removing the blade will have the same effect. As a rule, a good razor should be stainless steel or brass and its rare see rust as pictured above inside.