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Thread: Soaking Safety Razors in Alcohol

  1. #1
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    Default Soaking Safety Razors in Alcohol

    I've seen it mentioned around here in the past, that some guys will soak their safety razors in rubbing alcohol. Can't remember if it's w/blade and between shave for sanitizing or blade care, or for cleaning the razor between blade changes.

    I've started doing this between blade changes for cleaning up the razor and I think it works great. For example I'll put my r89 parts in my little shave bowl overnight in just enough rubbing alcohol to cover them. To my limited eyesight it looks like they come out really clean and shiny!

    Is this the typical practice/reason others do this? Am I doing it right and is there a negative to doing this?

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    I don't do anything more than rinse with hot water and dry them off. If I buy a used razor I will spray it with Scrubbing Bubbles and scrub with an old tooth brush, rinse under hot water and dry. I don't see any advantage to an overnight soak. When the nurse sticks a needle in my arm, she swabs my arm with alcohol and sticks the needle in. Apparently there is no need to wait for the alcohol to work it's magic. But, I could be wrong.
    "Nobody Gets To See The Wizard. Not Nobody. Not NoHow."

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    The purpose is to "dry" the razor and the balde in case you are using carbon steel baldes (i.e. not stainless). The alcohol dilutes the remaing water in the areas you can't reach with a towel, unless you open the razor take out the blade after evey single use and dry everything. The alcohol is much more volatile than the water and evaporates quickly even at room temperature, no water, no rust. That's the idea behind the alcohol rinse. - I use stainless steel blades exclusively, so no need for this exercise.
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  4. #4
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    I agree with Icebear, the practical reason behind it is to displace water and then whatever alcohol is left behind will evaporate. This can help any blade, not only in the area of rust on carbon's, but soap scum and mineral deposits on all blades. If there is no water with stuff dissolved in it drying on your razor/blade, then no deposits will be left behind!

    This also reminds me of something one of my old engineering teachers said " The 'stainless' in stainless steel is really two words, its STAIN LESS steel, its not perfect. If it was rust proof steel, then we would call it that"
    Last edited by the_edski; 03-22-2012 at 07:18 PM.
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    I can see where you could go through quite a bit of alcohol soakinh it after every shave. I simply keep a small misting type spray bottle filled with alcohol. A simple fine mist of alcohol after the shave and rinse is all that is needed in order to displace water and disinfect the razor and blade. Wiping it down afterwards with a towel and it stays clean ubtil the next shave.

    The only other maintenance I do is to scrub the razor down with toothpaste and a soft brush between blades or swiching out razors.
    Rob- Shower Shaver. Just shave already!

  6. #6
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    I've only done this after a full use of a blade, 3-4 shaves, on a razor that seemed kinda dirty. I do a good rinse with just water and then a wipe down after each shave but the inside of the head can still get kinda soap scummy. After I take out the old blade and rinse all the parts off, I'll put them in the alcohol and let them soak. It seems to get all that scum off and makes it look nice again. I'm not concerned with sanitizing or anything like that. I use Personna Labs, which I'm not sure whether they are stainless or not, but I haven't noticed rust either.

    I've only done this a couple times now, and was wondering what the intended purpose was when I'd read about it before. That makes good sense about the evaporation of the water. Ever use a little alcohol in your ear as a kid to dry up the water after swimming? Maybe a little preventative spritz or dunk like you guys mentioned would keep the scum away better between shaves? May try that!
    - John - RazoRocker \m/

  7. #7

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    I do it to Sanitize my Razor and Blade, After all i get a Nick/Weeper here and there, I know my Razor is Clean and Sanitized and so is my Razor Blade as well and it dries up nicely with not water stains, also comes out nice and Shiny, but i only leave it for 1-5 Minutes That's plenty of time to kill of the Bad Germs. Its a Win Win for me when i use Alcohol, So why not go for it
    Im just having fun :o)

  8. #8
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    I have a block of padauk wood that has a rare earth magnet in it that I use to put my razor blades on between shaves. I do not let blades sit in the razor between shaves. It only makes sense, I use different razors every day in my rotation so take the blade out. No soap scum, build up or whatever. I get 4-5 shave per blade and use different razors what could be better? Plus the razors stay nice and shiny much longer.
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  9. #9

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    That may work for you, but I see absolutely no reason to take a blade out of a razor between shaves. They are designed to sit in the razor.

    I see no reason to handle naked razor blades, and I don't leave them out where little curious hands can climb up and get them.

    I think a lot of what is, IMO, hyper-maintenance is partly men wanting to play with their toys a little bit longer.

    Again, no offense intended, and what works for you great for you. But I think that's a bit of overkill that introduces a potential hazard.
    Last edited by Neognosis; 03-23-2012 at 06:42 AM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neognosis View Post
    That may work for you, but I see absolutely no reason to take a blade out of a razor between shaves. They are designed to sit in the razor.

    I see no reason to handle naked razor blades, and I don't leave them out where little curious hands can climb up and get them.

    I think a lot of what is, IMO, hyper-maintenance is partly men wanting to play with their toys a little bit longer.

    Again, no offense intended, and what works for you great for you. But I think that's a bit of overkill that introduces a potential hazard.
    Lets not forget you blead, and even though you rinse it off, some bliod mat still be there, Also letting a wet razor blade sit in you razor isnt to sanatairy if you ask me, im sure there is sime kind of germs in water especially whe it makes contact with metal, some on here say they have seen chemical reaction between razor blade and razor, "Rust" and many have had that problem, just because you dont see any rust, doesnt mean that in a microscopic level there isnt Any? Im sure there is plenty going on in sitting wet blade inside a wet razor. Some guys can have a reaction to this kind of chemical reaction, especially guys with sensative skin, any doctor would tell you its a good idea to clean it and dip it in some Alcohol just to be of the safe side, also what makes you think a kid wont get curious and play with a Razor that has a Razor blade in it? Thats more of a reason to take the blade out of the razor if you ask me. I persinaly see nothing to loose by playing it save, Re wrapping blade and keeping razor germ free. Im sure there are horror stories out there about dirty razors and dirty razor blades, I havent heard one about a clean razor or a razor blade Re Wrapped ? that alone is something to think about :o)
    Im just having fun :o)

  11. #11
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    My razor gets a quick dip in a plastic jar of alcohol while I clean and dry the shaving brush, then it's just shaken out and left on the shelf until the next shave. It accomplished two things: displaces water for faster drying and reduced spotting/staining, and sanitizes the razor and blade.
    Larry (TOFLAC-U, BOTOC, LOSER, The Rubberset 400 Club, Fountain Pen Junkie, Savior of Vintage Brushes, and some other stuff I forgot!)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_edski View Post
    I agree with Icebear, the practical reason behind it is to displace water and then whatever alcohol is left behind will evaporate. This can help any blade, not only in the area of rust on carbon's, but soap scum and mineral deposits on all blades. If there is no water with stuff dissolved in it drying on your razor/blade, then no deposits will be left behind!

    This also reminds me of something one of my old engineering teachers said " The 'stainless' in stainless steel is really two words, its STAIN LESS steel, its not perfect. If it was rust proof steel, then we would call it that"
    This

    Quote Originally Posted by Snargle View Post
    My razor gets a quick dip in a plastic jar of alcohol while I clean and dry the shaving brush, then it's just shaken out and left on the shelf until the next shave. It accomplished two things: displaces water for faster drying and reduced spotting/staining, and sanitizes the razor and blade.
    This

    I use an apothecary jar(ground glass lid keeps it from evaporating) half full of 151. I never have to clean my razors. I just dunk them in, wash my brush, pull em out and shake. No soap scum on blade or razor. No water to create rust. No once a week cleaning with scrubbing bubbles, they are always clean. Rum smells good. You could use 90% Isopropyl I'm sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OkieStubble View Post
    I simply keep a small misting type spray bottle filled with alcohol. A simple fine mist of alcohol after the shave and rinse is all that is needed in order to displace water and disinfect the razor and blade.

    The only other maintenance I do is to scrub the razor down with toothpaste and a soft brush between blades or swiching out razors.
    Rob:
    + 1...and this is my method too (I own a Merkur 23C & 238C and use Shark SC blades), ...no problems for me!!!

    “Life is [like] a razor, you are always in hot water or a scrape”. Anonymous
    Chris ~ Order of Pinaud, Head & Face Latherers Club United, Alliance of Merkur, League of Extraordinary Mild Shavers, Voskhod Comrades Club, Brotherhood of the Boar, Foxhole Shavers Club & The VDH Society!

  14. #14
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    My razors soak in 3 parts vinegar, one part alcohol. Eats up all the soap, scum, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikhail View Post
    My razors soak in 3 parts vinegar, one part alcohol. Eats up all the soap, scum, etc.
    Soaking in vinegar will damage the plating. (Why do people insist on doing this?)

    Alcohol is also very corrosive to metal surfaces - check out the inside of a small engine carburetor after exposure to fuel containing over 10% alcohol!!

    The dip-and-air-dry method displaces water by dipping and kills germs by drying. Cooties are killed by the drying action of the alcohol, not the soaking.

    I have also found that removing a blade and drying it makes it dull faster. I get my best blade life by leaving it in the razor.

    Also - while mindful and careful about live germs that belong to others, I am of the belief that my own cooties haven't killed me yet, so any that linger on my personal razor are not likely to kill me tomorrow.
    Brad - OGA
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    In order to have the things tomorrow others won't have. - Les Brown

  16. #16
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    Lol'd @ cooties... :)
    Rob- Shower Shaver. Just shave already!

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    I think a bit of alcohol can't hurt at all. I think over night soaking is a bit much however... just my two cents.

  18. #18

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    Brilliant idea with the spray bottle. Let me go see my wife's bathroom as she has a few.

    Quote Originally Posted by OkieStubble View Post
    I can see where you could go through quite a bit of alcohol soakinh it after every shave. I simply keep a small misting type spray bottle filled with alcohol. A simple fine mist of alcohol after the shave and rinse is all that is needed in order to displace water and disinfect the razor and blade. Wiping it down afterwards with a towel and it stays clean ubtil the next shave.

    The only other maintenance I do is to scrub the razor down with toothpaste and a soft brush between blades or swiching out razors.
    Be well. Mind, body & soul.

  19. #19

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    I give mine a good sloshing in the 91% after every shave and loosen it up and let it soak while I shower then let it dry. I t seems to stay cleaner that way.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBrad View Post
    ...I am of the belief that my own cooties haven't killed me yet, so any that linger on my personal razor are not likely to kill me tomorrow.
    If they could have...I would have never made it out of high school and college.
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