How To: Take Care of your Razor

That rugged stubble look you’ve been pulling off all winter and spring might not be the best fit for summer and surf: Those beard hairs prickle in the heat, and they take too long to dry off after a swim. Why not doff the whole face wig? Well, because shaving every day can get really expensive. By some way of supply-demand witchery, razor companies have you shelling out your hard-earned paycheck for just a couple tiny pieces of metal. But we’ve got tips to help you visit those locked drugstore cabinets less frequently. Follow this guide to taking care of your razor, and each cartridge will stay clean and sharp for weeks—or even months—longer than usual.

Clean During the Shave

Run your razor under hot water after every one or two swipes. The more frequently you rinse it, the better the shave. Clogged hair not only blocks your razor from getting at other hairs, it also causes repeated friction and pressure, effectively dulling your blade.

Clean After the Shave

The best method for cleaning a razor is basically along the lines of how Dad taught you: Use high pressure and hot water to flush the back side of the razor for 5-10 seconds. If hairs are still stuck, angle the blade 45 degrees to get into those tougher nooks and crannies.

Towel (or Hair) Dry

Water is crucial for cleaning a blade during and after a shave, but it’s deadly if it sticks around. H2O rusts steel and initiates lockjaw on a razor’s pivot points. As soon as you finish that last swipe and rinse clean, clean out dry your blade using a towel or toilet paper (with the grain, so as not to cut yourself). Want to go the extra mile? Reach for a hair dryer to speed up the evaporation process.

Apply Some Performance Enhancing Oil

Some like to rinse their razors with a bit of rubbing alcohol after a shave for sterilization and rust prevention. This practice gives a great clean, but doesn’t necessarily give your blade as much longevity as you’ll see from a specialized formula like HYD for Men’s Razor Shield. A few drops on a clean, dry razor creates a liquid barrier against corrosive oxidation. As an added bonus, the formula’s essential oils are great for your skin. (Think of it like changing the oil in your car.)

Store Between Uses

Some recommend removing your blade from the bathroom after each use (it is, after all, the most humid part of the homestead). But in lieu of kidnapping it from the sink ledge, you might try storing it in a small zippered plastic bag to protect it from drips and splashes.

Know When to Say Goodbye

Like any good houseguest, a razor should never overstay its welcome. While many feature a strip that alerts you when it’s time to part ways, several factors (weather, quality of maintenance, frequency of use, etc.) can impact the effectiveness of that magically disappearing blue line. The real test is whether you feel the razor drag on your face. When going with the grain, it should glide. If you feel any pull on it, it’s likely time to hit the spring-loaded eject.

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