You are most likely getting to the point where your safety razor has approximately a quarter inch of soap scum build-up.
You can no longer see the shiny chrome or nickel finish that used to get you excited to hold your safety razor.
If this is the case then you have come to the right place.
I will guide you through all the steps you need to learn how to clean a safety razor and restore your safety razor to that prime condition, just like when you first bought it.
At the end of the article, you’ll see the before and after pictures of my Edwin Jagger de89lbl (on our list of the best safety razors) before and after I cleaned it.
Let’s go over all of the tools and products that you will need in order to learn how to clean a safety razor.
How to Clean a Safety Razor
What You Need
When you’re learning how to clean a safety razor, here is what you need.
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You will most likely have all of these products around your house:
- Regular dish detergent (not to be confused with dishwasher detergent)
- Recommended: Palmolive Ultra Oxy-plus Power Degreaser Dish Liquid
- Isopropyl alcohol (The higher the percentage the better)
- Recommended: Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%
- An old toothbrush
- Q-tips and toothpicks
- A bowl or cup
The first step of learning how to clean a straight razor is to fill up your cup or bowl with about 4 ounces of warm water.
You should then add a few squirts (approximately 2 tablespoons) of dish detergent to the warm water.
Stir up the mixture with your toothbrush.
Start cleaning your safety razor with the bristles of the toothbrush.
Make sure you frequently dip the toothbrush into the soap mixture.
Make sure to get every surface area cleaned off at least three times.
Try to remove as much of the soap scum as you can.
Dish detergent is a great cleaner for the metal on safety razors because it is a very light cleaner and is meant for all types of metals such as silverware and pots and pans.
The next step on how to clean a safety razor should be to use your Q-tip or toothpick and take it into the deep crevices of your safety razor.
Some safety razors might be harder than others to clean these crevices.
Butterfly open safety razors for example have a lot of spots where soap scum can get stuck within the hinge.
Your toothpick should do a great job of getting into these corners, especially if you have been soaking it in the dish detergent water.
You should now dump out the soapy water and clean the cup or bowl that you are using thoroughly.
Now you should add about 4 ounces of isopropyl alcohol to the cup.
When it comes to learning how to clean a safety razor, the higher percentage the better.
Typically stores such as Safeway or CVS sell 91% isopropyl is a standard percentage.
You can find 99% isopropyl alcohol on Amazon.
The next step is to use your toothbrush the same way you did with the soap and water.
Stir your toothbrush around in the alcohol and then scrub out the rest of the soap scum on your safety razor.
The alcohol will do wonders on your safety razor.
It will provide a nice shine finish to it once the alcohol evaporates.
It also acts as an excellent disinfectant.
Over time your safety razor accumulates dead skin, hairs, and even blood due to the aggressive nature of shaving.
It is good to disinfect it every once in a while as part of your safety razor care routine. The answer to how do you disinfect a safety razor can be found above.
How to Clean a Safety Razor: Additional Tips
See the steps above that I have walked you guys through on how to clean a safety razor.
There is also safety razor maintenance you can take on a daily or weekly basis to help keep your safety razor and blade healthy.
I typically have a Mason jar filled with isopropyl alcohol in my bathroom so that I can dip the head of my safety razor in it after every shave.
Not only does this disinfect the razor, but it also prevents soap scum from drying on it.
It is also a good way to keep the blade as sharp as possible.
Cleaning a safety razor at the right time helps prevent getting an infection while shaving.
I feel like I get at least one or two extra shaves out of each blade by doing this maintenance procedure (Check out our list of the best DE blades).
It is important to know how to clean a safety razor and how to get a razor blade out of a safety razor to avoid injuring yourself.
As you guys can see it is very easy to learn how to clean a safety razor.
Well, it’s quite different from cleaning a straight razor if you own one.
Most likely you will have all of the tools and substances in the house in order to try this out right now.
Personally, I like to keep my safety razors as shiny as possible.
Soap scum also hinders the performance of each shave especially once it gets too thick.
For you to learn how to clean a safety razor and enjoy shaving, you should know how to get the hair out of a safety razor.
Get out there and try this procedure yourself.
With this guide on how to clean a straight razor, I’m sure you will get the results that you’re looking for!
Be sure to also check out our other how-to articles including how to clean a shaving brush and safety razor vs straight razor – what is the difference?.
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12 thoughts on “How to Clean a Safety Razor in 2023 – 3 Simple Steps!”
How long will the toothbrush that you use for cleaning the safety razor last? Can it last for many years? Like up to a decade for example?
Hahaha, it will last for a very very long time as long as you store it properly in a dry location. Don’t know about a decade though, but who knows
Can this method be used to clean a gold DE razor? Will the alcohol tarnish the razor?
Of course. All precious metals such as silver or gold will not by damaged by alcohol.
Would this method be safe for a gold plated safety razor, such as a Gillette Aristocrat?
I don’t see why not. The alcohol and the soap should not damage the gold plated service
Is this method effective against limescale?
Distilled white vinegar works well to remove limescale.
How do you clean the toothbrush that you use for cleaning a a safety razor and how should you store it?
I honestly just rinse it in the sink, let it dry on the counter until it is completely dry (few hours), then just put it in a plastic bag and store it under my bathroom sink with all the other cleaning materials. Hope this helps!
Thanks. Is it hygienic if I use the toothbrush that I clean my safety razor with to clean other grooming tools such as: beard scissors, ear and nose hair scissors, tweezers, nail clippers and nail scissors?
Hey Alex, It’s perfectly hygienic. Just to be extra careful, give the tooth brush a good rinse in the soap/isopropyl alcohol mixture when your done after cleaning your safety razor or any other grooming tool to fully disinfect the toothbrush.
I used to soak my razors in water with dish soap overbite and ten clean them with Q tips. I found that the mechanism to open the razor became stuck. Is this a result of letting just about the whole razor soak in water?
Can soaking the whole razor in water and dish soap overnite and over time, cause the razor mechanism to freeze up? I used to clean my razors like that but 2 of them froze and became useless.