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Thread: Cleaning DE's ???

  1. #21
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    There is no "disagreement" on whether vinegar will work or not ... only those who know that acetic acid is a fairly efficient stripper of nickel and chrome plating, and those who do not know that. It is not something on which opinions may differ or a YMMV thing.

    Thanks to ilpadrino for linking to the post with the photos of the damage I did to a minty Gillette Slim with vinegar. Also, please understand I mean no offense to you, alumblock, but you are quite simply, wrong. I am not arguing with you that you have not been able to soak razors in a dilute solution of vinegar so far without obvious damage, but you are taking unecessary chances.

    It is an undisputable fact (not open to differences of opinion) that acetic acid is an effective stripper of plating ... do a simple Google search. It is also true that industrial strippers are of higher concentration, I understand that. I also understand that when folks use much more dilute solutions they have gotten away with it. But chemical reactions are chemical reactions, the solution strength only determines the speed and completeness of the reaction. It is not like soaking your razors in dilute solutions of vinegar is not damaging them, it just takes a long time for it to become apparent. While alumblock, and others, have used vinegar without apparent damage, they are tempting fate. My experience is just as valid, from an anecdotal perspective. Here are photos of my experience.

    New:



    And not so new:





    Again, alumblock, my intention is not to poke you, but I really wish folks would stop recommending vinegar around here for cleaning, when there are so many other things that work as well without the potential for damaging razors. Let me rephrase your post to make it clear.

    Just to add to the debate - I clean my (modern) razor with an ultrasound cleaner, using hot water and a squirt of acid often used to remove plating from razors. I've never had any problems. I wouldn't use the acid used to remove plating full strength though. You might not be as lucky as I have been so far.
    Frankly, you are not 'adding to the debate'. You are recommending risky procedures. Again, so much of this activity is open to interpretation and opinion. This is not one of them. It is in the realm of science, it is settled fact, and you have just been lucky you have not used a strong enough/long enough soak to cause visible damage ... yet. It is most assuredly a bad practice.
    Last edited by JCinPA; 03-11-2012 at 07:31 AM.
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  2. #22
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    +1 on the "don't use vinegar" theme. Vinegar is a dilute acid. It makes good salad dressing, and is also a very efficient hair rinse after shampooing. It will eventually damage metal given enough time and exposures.

    If you want to sanitize a razor, Barbicide (or other commercial disinfectants) or plain old rubbing alcohol work well.
    Larry (TOFLAC-U, BOTOC, LOSER, The Rubberset 400 Club, Fountain Pen Junkie, Savior of Vintage Brushes, and some other stuff I forgot!)

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCinPA View Post
    There is no "disagreement" on whether vinegar will work or not ... only those who know that acetic acid is a fairly efficient stripper of nickel and chrome plating, and those who do not know that. It is not something on which opinions may differ or a YMMV thing.

    Again, alumblock, my intention is not to poke you, but I really wish folks would stop recommending vinegar around here for cleaning, when there are so many other things that work as well without the potential for damaging razors. Let me rephrase your post to make it clear.



    Frankly, you are not 'adding to the debate'. You are recommending risky procedures. Again, so much of this activity is open to interpretation and opinion. This is not one of them. It is in the realm of science, it is settled fact, and you have just been lucky you have not used a strong enough/long enough soak to cause visible damage ... yet. It is most assuredly a bad practice.
    OK. I have never used vinegar to clean a razor, I use scrubbing bubbles. However, there have been several posts lately in razor cleaning threads calling the idea absurd, stupid, etc. and chastising anyone who dare recommend it. While I will not pass judgment on these assertions, I will say that if this is such a solid and undisputed fact, then the damn wiki (you know, where we repeatedly send people for advice) should be changed. Under the heading "Razor cleaning an restoration" you will find the following:

    "After this step you may place your razor in an ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning. I usually add a touch of white vinegar to the water when I use mine. Please note that I do not recommend putting gold finish razors in your ultrasonic cleaner because they can be damaged."

  4. #24
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    TallyShave, I'm not a mod, or I would change the Wiki. For the record, I've never called it stupid, nor implied that anyone suggesting it was stupid--just uninformed. And I do not mean to sound like I am chastising anyone. But, while every man is entitled to his own opinion, no man is entitled to his own facts.

    That acid is used to remove plating is a solid, undisputable fact. Folks who have used it successfully may not know that acid is used in deplating operations, and if they have used a dilute enough solution for a short enough period of time, they may believe it is a good cleaning practice. Again, I'm not trying to be argumentative here, or poke anyone. But my photos are indisputable proof that high enough concentrations for long enough periods of time will destroy the finish on a razor, regardless of how lucky others may have been. You will find numerous references on the web, not related to shaving, about using acetic acid, other acids, and yes, household strength vinegar, to deplate objects. Acetic acid and other acids are commonly used in commercial deplating operations.

    The fact is, using vinegar as a cleaner for plated razors is a risky proposition, and that Wiki actually should be changed. As they say, "it is what it is". Not what we think it is. I stand by my categorical, and while not wishing to tweak anyone. I do not make statements like this about soap performance, using alcohol or non-alcohol splashes, this blade over that blade. But on this score, there simply is no question. And people who come into these discussions saying, "Well, I've used it numerous times with no ill effects" only add to the confusion, IMO. I'm not posting this information to sound smarter than other folks, and I don't enjoy irritating folks. However, we get so caught up in this YMMV thing around here and we are such a polite group, sometimes it may seem harsh to point out that someone is simply wrong. But allowing the spread of misinformation does nobody any good.

    If people stated, "I have, on occasion, used dilute household vinegar to clean razors, but you should be aware that this is a risky procedure, and acids will start to attack plating. If you wish to proceed with this method, you have been warned." then I would have no issue. But when folks point out using vinegar is risky, then others post they've had no issues with it, as though it might be a good practice and it starts sounding like a YMMV thing on which opinions may differ... well, I submit that is simply not helpful. Take another look at that minty Gillette Slim, and then the after shots. I was just sick about it, as you might imagine. Perhaps that is why I am so sensitive to folks suggesting that vinegar is an acceptable method for razor cleaning.

    To the Mods: I hereby formally suggest you should change that Wiki entry. When Scrubbing Bubbles, or simple Dawn dishwashing detergent works so well, there is no reason to recommend a dilute acid as part of a razor cleaning regimen. I respectfully suggest you make the change. If other methods did not work and one had to resort to dilute acids to get the job done, then perhaps leaving it in there might be justified. But I don't see that need. If it is left in there, my photos and warnings should be added as a precaution. So at least those cleaning vintage razors with vinegar understand the risks involved.


    I stand by this way of looking at this.

    I clean my (modern) razor with an ultrasound cleaner, using hot water and a squirt of acid often used to remove plating from razors. I've never had any problems. I wouldn't use the acid used to remove plating full strength though. You might not be as lucky as I have been so far.
    Last edited by JCinPA; 03-11-2012 at 10:45 AM.
    -- John
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  5. #25
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    For the record, I am a gun guy. Guns are often plated, and rifle barrels are often chrome lined (sometimes chambers, as well). I am probably more alert to this issue than non-shooting razor folks are. But you never hear anyone suggesting vinegar in any kind of cleaning solution to be used around guns, probably because we are more into plating issues than razor folks are. You will also see folks recommending certain copper removing chemicals for barrel cleaning but they will also almosts always state the risks to chrome plating in barrels and chambers and warn folks to watch the dwell time these solvents are given and they also recommend swabbing barrels with alcohol afterwards, and then gun oil or preservative solution.

    I wish I had had the presence of mind to wonder why I had never seen vinegar in any sort of gun cleaning recipe, but I did not. I'm certainly not suggesting a "touch of white vinegar" is going to immediately cause plating to come off, but like on the gun forums, a warning about acids being dangerous to plating and cautioning about strength and dwell time should be added.

    I was obviously unaware of the dangers of vinegar when I joined this forum. For one, I had never heard it recommended on a gun forum, and now I know why. It was recommended here in many posts on cleaning razors, and not once did I see anyone warn that it was used to deplate metal. I was using a 50/50 water to household vinegar solution when I did what you see above to my beautiful Gillette.

    It was only after researching plating, and how it is removed that I recognized the dangers. Although it is not my intention, I would certainly rather ruffle a few feathers here with the folks who have used vinegar, than let the recommendation of its use cleaning vintage razors continue. Especially since it is so obviously unnecessary with the efficacy of other cleaning methods.

    I am not trying to chastise anyone, TallyShave. But I will continue to sound the alarm over this practice because I used vinegar based on my reading in this very forum, without any cautionary admonitions. That said, I'd rather be a little more forceful advising against this practice, perhaps, than folks here are accustomed to. I would apologize if I thought I was being impolite or uncharitable. I will not apologize for being forceful.
    -- John
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCinPA View Post
    For the record, I am a gun guy. Guns are often plated, and rifle barrels are often chrome lined (sometimes chambers, as well). I am probably more alert to this issue than non-shooting razor folks are. But you never hear anyone suggesting vinegar in any kind of cleaning solution to be used around guns, probably because we are more into plating issues than razor folks are. You will also see folks recommending certain copper removing chemicals for barrel cleaning but they will also almosts always state the risks to chrome plating in barrels and chambers and warn folks to watch the dwell time these solvents are given and they also recommend swabbing barrels with alcohol afterwards, and then gun oil or preservative solution.

    I wish I had had the presence of mind to wonder why I had never seen vinegar in any sort of gun cleaning recipe, but I did not. I'm certainly not suggesting a "touch of white vinegar" is going to immediately cause plating to come off, but like on the gun forums, a warning about acids being dangerous to plating and cautioning about strength and dwell time should be added.

    I was obviously unaware of the dangers of vinegar when I joined this forum. For one, I had never heard it recommended on a gun forum, and now I know why. It was recommended here in many posts on cleaning razors, and not once did I see anyone warn that it was used to deplate metal. I was using a 50/50 water to household vinegar solution when I did what you see above to my beautiful Gillette.

    It was only after researching plating, and how it is removed that I recognized the dangers. Although it is not my intention, I would certainly rather ruffle a few feathers here with the folks who have used vinegar, than let the recommendation of its use cleaning vintage razors continue. Especially since it is so obviously unnecessary with the efficacy of other cleaning methods.

    I am not trying to chastise anyone, TallyShave. But I will continue to sound the alarm over this practice because I used vinegar based on my reading in this very forum, without any cautionary admonitions. That said, I'd rather be a little more forceful advising against this practice, perhaps, than folks here are accustomed to. I would apologize if I thought I was being impolite or uncharitable. I will not apologize for being forceful.
    Ditto. I'm in the gun biz (including manufacturing) and I have dealt with over 10 different platers.

    Metal and acid is a no no. Industrial Hard Chrome withstand petroleum distillates, not acid. You could wipe a chrome or gun down with vinegar, but ya better wash it off.

    Dont soak your razor in acid. Period. Scrubbin bubbles is fine

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCinPA View Post
    I am not trying to chastise anyone, TallyShave. But I will continue to sound the alarm over this practice because I used vinegar based on my reading in this very forum, without any cautionary admonitions. That said, I'd rather be a little more forceful advising against this practice, perhaps, than folks here are accustomed to. I would apologize if I thought I was being impolite or uncharitable. I will not apologize for being forceful.
    My only point is that people keep acting like they have no idea where people are getting this idea from when it is in the Wiki. If it is a bad idea, I am all for changing it and telling people not to use it.

  8. #28
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    I made a request to a mod to that effect.
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  9. #29
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    Good post, as usual, JC.
    Georg
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCinPA View Post
    I made a request to a mod to that effect.
    That mod has no experience cleaning DEs ... so some others are formulating a plan.
    Henry

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  11. #31
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    Thanks, Henry!

    As you can see from wildalaska's post, I'm not nuts. The photos of my poor razor are also evidence. I'm sure someone will fix it. I appreciate your response!
    -- John
    Noble Knight of The Veg Table, Proud member of BOTOC

  12. #32
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    Hey, CaptP, I've seen a couple of other Harrisburg locations on here. You should set up a meet at a Panera or something. We had a great time in Chicago.
    -- John
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  13. #33
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    JCinPA, I appreciate your candor and agree with you 100% on this one. The disagreement I was referring to was between your post and the Wiki. I agree, there shouldn't be a disagreement, look at your razor. Its pretty conclusive evidence and there are a 100 other better ways I can think of to clean a razor. Acid and metal dont mix.

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