Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Mailbag: extending blade life

Razor blades never seem to last long enough. A little over a year back, I received this suggestion through email about extending the life of a razor blade.
As you know, both Braun and Remington have introduced electric shavers with an automatic cleaning feature. These units sit in a bath of an alcohol-mixture.

Well, if it's good for a shaver, then it may be good for a razor, too. I've taken a tall coffee cup that has a cover and partially filled it with some cheap alcohol. The cover reduces the amount of alcohol that evaporates. I use it to clean my razor and it does a good job, too.

But I went one further. I got a second coffee cup and partially filled it with -- vitamin E oil. And it is here where I store the razor. The oil serves two purposes. First, it locks out both water and air thereby eliminating the possibility of rust. Second, when first used, it carries with it some oil that serves as a lubricant (at least for the first few strokes). One could also use jojoba, baby oil, or whatever is lying around the house.

So, two coffee cups that were gathering dust, some alcohol and vitamin E oil, at a cost of under $3 and will probably last for months. I cannot scientifically prove that this technique makes razors last longer but I believe it does. If any of you out there try this and do have measureable results, please write back and share it with the rest of us.
There was a discussion on FatWallet.com in December 2002 that discussed thesame issue. The majority of people there seemed to prefer mineral oil, but as the emailer suggested, it seems a number of products will produce a similar effect. Personally, I've tried this with baby oil and it seems to work fine.

Along the same lines is the Edge Saver, a commercial product. I didn't spot anything on their site that mentioned the type of oil they use. I tried and reviewed the EdgeSaver a while back.

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