How To Clean Straight Razors: Shavette Or Traditional Cut Throat - Japan Scissors

How To Clean Straight Razors: Shavette Or Traditional Cut Throat

Why should you clean your razors regularly? 

The skin on our face and neck houses a lot of bacteria. Although some skin bacteria aren’t harmful, there are harmful ones too. Some of the most contagious skin bacteria and about 30% of the human race carry this on their skin unknowingly.

Examples of other nasty germs are; fungus candida yeast, this causes athlete’s foot, and it’s the virus that is responsible for causing herpes and warts.

When you shave, it isn’t just lather remains that build upon the straight razor blade. Some germs are ready to take advantage of the micro-abrasions sitting on the razor blade. What this means is germs can be easily transmitted between different skin patches.

This is a guide that talks about straight razor blades that are either shavettes of the traditional cut throat. So keep reading and learn how to clean your classic straight razor blade.

Note: razors are sharp! So be vary careful when handling your razors. Clean slowly and a safe and calm environment.


How to clean your straight razor at home

There are a couple of ingredients you will need before you start cleaning a razor blade, and they are:

  • Toothpicks or ear q-tips.
  • A sink or bowl.
  • Any old toothbrush to be used in scrubbing the straight blade.
  • Dishwashing detergent or something similar that is not only soapy but kills bacteria as well.
  • Rubbing alcohol or something similar.

Generally, the cleaning is done with warm soapy water, you sterilize with alcohol and then removes any debris or build up with the use of toothpick or q-tip. Below is a detailed step by step breakdown of how the cleaning is done;


How to use soapy water to clean and sterilise razor blades

Firstly, get a bowl or cup and fill it with 4 ounces of warm water. It is best to filter or boil the water to ensure that no water residue will be left behind by the time it dries up. After this, add a few drops of dish detergent.

Get any old toothbrush and use it to stir the mixture of the water and detergent around. It is necessary to open up your shavette hinges to make sure all the areas are thoroughly cleaned. And then use the bristles to scrub off soap scum from the handle and the razor.

At least three passes should be made on your straight razor with the soapy water. Dish detergent is best preferred because it is a light cleaner and is very good on metals like silverware.


Use the toothpick or ear q-tip to clean any leftover build-up or debris, and do so by going through the razor from the top to the bottom.

With the use of a toothpick, carefully access all the tight crevices for any soap scum or debris. Shavette razors are the best to apply this method because it has more moving parts.

Peradventure the soap scum doesn’t scrape off easily, you can allow the straight razor to stay a few more minutes in water before you try again. 


Cleaning and sterilising your razor blade with alcohol

Empty out the soapy water from the bowl or cup and clean it thoroughly. Now put about 4 ounces of isopropyl alcohol in the cup. The higher the percentage of alcohol available, the better.

Isopropyl alcohol has a standard percentage of 91%. Ensure you properly clean the toothbrush bristles and wipe out any remains of soapy water. Now, just as you did in step 1, stir the bristles of the toothbrush in the isopropyl alcohol and try to scrub out any leftover soap scum from the straight razor.

When you shave, a build-up of dead skin and sometimes blood is formed. It is good practice to always disinfect the razor. Once you are done using the alcohol, allow it to dry on its own because isopropyl alcohol doesn’t leave behind any form of residue and is quick to evaporate.

Tips to Cleaning a Straight Razor

Cleaning razor blade at home: tips, tricks and advice

You should always clean the razor blade, especially after use, because the lather residues and dead skin cells remain on the blade and need to be washed off. If all that residue isn’t washed out, it can dull the edge of the blades. No unique solution is required here, just tap water is sufficient to wash it off. 

Always try to avoid excessive moisture because the razor blade can get rusty, depending on the type of metal that was used to make it. Razor blades made out of carbon steel cut better as they have less alloy but get rusty rather quickly. On the other hand, razor blades made of steel have more alloy and do not get rusty easily.

It is important to know that there are as many as 150 grades of stainless steel, some of which are subject to corrosion than others. However, if the blade is chromium-plated, then the chances of it getting rusty are small. But if you are going to carefully dry the blade, then you shouldn’t worry about rust.

Do Not Get the Razor Scales Wet

Some materials absorb a lot of moisture, and this is usually transferred to the blade. This can result in corrosive rust because when the moist gets to the blade it forms spots of water, especially if the blade is made of carbon steel.

A moist clean cloth is best used to clean any dirt or oil from the scales. This moist cloth can also be used to wrap the scales to ensure that water doesn’t spill on the handles when you are washing the blade. And if rinsing is what you prefer, the blade should be held slanting down under running water to avoid wetting the other parts of the razor.

Always Use Soapy Water When Cleaning Straight Razors

It is really important to use soapy water to clean razors. You don’t necessarily need any particular kind of shaving soap, any mild soap can suffice. 

The presence of glycerine in the soap helps wash off any dead skin cells, and lather remains that have stuck on the blade. It also kills germs that might be on the metal. You don’t need to scrub, just rinse and dry with tissue or dry cloth.

Avoid Drying Your Straight Razor In The Sink

Leaving your straight razor in the sink will not dry out entirely because it will be open to moisture whenever someone makes use of the sink. More so, it can come in contact with soap scum and bacteria on the sink. Make use of a clean cloth to dry it and then keep it somewhere that is far from moisture and adequately ventilated with the flow of air.

Quick tip – a cloth that absorbs microfiber can be used to get the moisture out. But if you do not have, you can make use of a hairdryer to air it dry with it being set to low.

Don’t just place in a lying position, preferably get a razor stand, like our silverback razor stand kit. It is made from high-quality aerospace aluminium and zinc alloy. It is rustproof, durable, perfect for your straight razor, and looks really lovely.

Always To Sterilise Your Straight Razor

Using alcohol on your straight razor blade will help any form of germs on it. Isopropyl alcohol is a natural disinfectant that has the perfect qualities to combat germs. A solution that has at least 70% isopropyl is ideal if you want to get the best results.

Pouring the alcohol on the blade isn’t necessary, you will just waste it. Get a clean cloth, moisten it with the alcohol, and then use it to wipe through the blade. Using alcohol doesn’t just kill germs but also prevents the metal from developing rust. And because of how quick it takes to evaporate, you wouldn’t need to wipe it dry again.

So what if you run out of alcohol, or don’t have any at all? Not to worry, distilled white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide can be used instead.

Use Oil Lubricants on Your Straight Razor

If for any reason your straight blade is stored away for a very long time, make sure you lubricate it with oil, this is how you maintain the blade’s sharpness. The oil will help in protecting the blade in humid environments because that thin coat of oil acts as a barrier between the surrounding air and moisture.

And it is for the same reason you should only lubricate the blade when it is completely dry, or else the moisture caught inside the oil layer will cause the blade to get rusty. And we do not want that.


Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Blog posts

Japan Scissors White Logo

© 2023 Japan Scissors, Powered by Shopify

    • American Express
    • Apple Pay
    • Generic
    • Google Pay
    • Mastercard
    • PayPal
    • Shop Pay
    • Union Pay
    • Visa


    Forgot your password?

    Don't have an account yet?
    Create account