8 ways to make the most of your razors and electric shavers

July 29, 2015

Many people spend the better part of a lifetime in search of the elusive "perfect" shave. Some find it in a razor blade, others in an electric machine. Whatever your preference, your shaver will last longer and shave smoother if you heed the following advice.

8 ways to make the most of your razors and electric shavers

1. Lubricate your blades

  • To make your razor blades last longer, store your razor with the blade submerged in a cup of mineral oil after each use.
  • The oil will prevent oxidation that leads to nick-causing imperfections, and you'll enjoy close, smooth shaves for a lot longer before you need to replace the blade or disposable razor.

2. Make your shaving brush last

  • There are two surefire ways to prolong the life of your favourite shaving brush: Prevent mildew, and apply proper technique when using the brush.
  • Mildew, present wherever there is moisture, is the major cause of bristle breakdown.
  • To fight mildew, hang the brush with the handle up to allow moisture to drain away from the base of the knot that is covered by the handle.
  • Also don't store the brush in a confined area, such as the medicine cabinet.
  • To further discourage mildew, rinse the brush in a mild borax solution every three to four weeks.
  • When using the brush, employ a gentle side-to-side stroking action, with only the tips of the brush coming into contact with your face.
  • If the brush is used with pressure and a rotating motion, the bristles will twist and bend over time and will gradually break and come loose.

3. Extending battery life

  • The rechargeable battery in a cordless electric shaver lasts an average of five years before it needs to be replaced.
  • To make your rechargeable shaver last longer, use it cordless exclusively, and charge only when the battery is exhausted or when the shaver itself indicates that it needs to be recharged.

4. Replace your battery

  • Many people throw out their cordless electric shaver when the battery dies.
  • In almost all instances (with the exception of very old models), it is far more economical to replace the battery in your existing shaver instead of buying a new shaver.
  • If you replace the battery when it dies, your shaver might even last as long as cord-only models.

5. Don't disconnect the cord

  • Don't routinely remove the plug from a cord-only electric shaver.
  • Constant plugging and unplugging of the cord can damage the socket that the plug goes into, leading to electrical shorts.

6. Clean and oil to keep your shaver buzzing

  • Lubricate and clean your electric shaver regularly, as often as once a week. Follow the owner's manual for precise details.
  • If you don't clean shaved stubble from the shaver, it can eventually make its way into the housing, where it could clog up the mechanism or cause an electrical short.
  • After cleaning, spray the shaving surface with lubricant and turn on the shaver for a few seconds to ensure distribution of the lubricant.

7. When to replace blades

  • Some manufacturers suggest that you replace an electric shaver's blades every two years, but with proper maintenance they can last much longer, depending on your personal preference and the thickness of your beard.
  • As a general rule, you should replace the blades if the razor starts to cause irritation and pulling or if it no longer shaves to your satisfaction.

8. Cut the cost of shaver cleaning

To save money, use alcohol and mineral oil to clean your shaver instead of the manufacturer's lubricants and cleansers — they work just as well.

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