Ah, the safety razor. One of the most intimidating zero waste swaps on the market in my opinion. They just look dangerous and daunting.
I’ve been meaning to make the switch for a while but I didn’t want to have to learn how to use an entirely different razor than what I’m used to. Long story short: a few months ago, I made the switch. And I was LOST. Those things don’t come with instruction manuals on how to use them or take care of them.
I thought I’d made a huge mistake investing in one but I’m here to save you that fear by sharing with you in great detail how to use and care for a safety razor!
The Benefits of Using a Safety Razor:
There are so many reasons to switch to a safety razor. But before you do, make sure you use your current razor until the end of its life. After all, the most sustainable item is the one you already own. Once it’s used up and you’re in need of a new razor, allow these benefits to convince you to switch to a safety razor!
1. It’s plastic-free
Most razors, regardless of whether or not they’re single-use, are made of plastic. Meaning that at the end of their life they’ll end up in a landfill where they won’t break down.
2. They can last a lifetime
If properly cared for, a safety razor could last you a lifetime! They’re more expensive than your average plastic razor from the drugstore but the investment is worth it and cheaper over time.
3. Less irritation, in-grown hairs, and razor burn
Most razor companies will brag and advertise that they have 3, 4, 5, or who knows how many blades! But a single blade can actually be a lot more effective at reducing irritation, razor burns, and in-grown hairs. Sometimes, the basics are best.
4. Closer shave
A single blade is also better at precision and in my opinion, gives a closer shave.
How to use a Safety Razor:
I’m gonna be real with you. When my safety razor first showed up, I had no idea how to use it. And honestly, I just kind of assumed the blade was already in the razor because, you know, that’s how most razors come.
So the first thing before you use your razor is to assemble it. To do this, you’ll want to unscrew the handle from the head. The head should come apart in two pieces. Place the blade CAREFULLY (because they’re super sharp!) in line with the pegs in the head and then place the other piece of the head into and screw back into the handle! It’s as easy as that!
To use the razor, ensure that your legs (or whatever you’re shaving) are thoroughly wet. I always recommend using a shaving cream of some sort. You can sue solid shaving soap, a regular bar soap, or coconut oil as well.
To shave, always try to hold the razor at a 30-degree angle. Safety razors don’t have a flexible head like most disposable ones so you have to be more careful and can’t rely on the head to bend and twist to your body.
It’s also important that you don’t apply any pressure to the razor. Safety razors are naturally heavier and their weight adds enough pressure to glide easily and shave perfectly.
How to care for a safety razor:
If you want your safety razor to last a lifetime you need to take extra good care it. This isn’t a razor you can just leave in your shower and forget about it.
- Always keep the razor dry. Don’t let it sit in your shower wet or it will rust very quickly. Try to get into the habit of keeping it outside of your shower and drying it off after each use.
- Store it upright so any leftover water doesn’t collect in the head.
- Rinse thoroughly and often while shaving to prevent hair and gunk build up in the blade.
- Unscrew every so often and rub down with rubbing alcohol to sterilize and keep it functioning properly.
How often should you change the blade?
I don’t think there’s an exact number that works for everyone. The company from which I got my razor suggests changing the blade every 4-8 uses. This is a good guide but I wouldn’t worry about being terribly strict with it. I usually wait until it feels like the razor is dull and not shaving as well as it used it. Use your own discretion!
How to dispose of the blades properly:
Do not, under any circumstances throw a blade into your trash bin just as it. This is incredibly dangerous and hazardous to people sorting/collecting the trash and it could easily slice through a bag and harm wildlife, pop tires, etc. It’s just not a good idea.
So what do you do with them? Usually metal is recyclable. Razor blades are a bit of a different story. They’re a bit too thin to be broken down and made into something new again.
They’ll most likely have to go in the trash. It’s important that you check with your city/town/municipality to see if razor blades can be tossed into your curbside bin.
If they can, they need to be concealed somehow. Collect your razors in an empty pill bottle, small plastic container, metal can or another container that can’t easily be punctured. If you want to go the extra mile you can write on the container “sharp” in permanent marker to help keep sanitation workers safe.
If you can’t put them in your curbside trash, send them into the Albatross shave shop blade take back program! They accept blades from any brand and dispose of or reuse them safely!
You’re now fully equipped to switch to a safety razor! I promise it’s not as intimidating as it seems and it’s a worthwhile investment to reduce so much plastic waste!
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