11 Ways to Make Your Razor Blades Last Longer

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Disposable razor blades are expensive! If you have to change razor blades frequently, those costs can really add up. But using dull blades isn’t the answer.

How do you get longer life out of disposable razor blades? These proven tips will help you do just that so you can start saving money on this grooming item.

Closeup of razor blade refills in case and one loose blade

Tips to Make Razor Blades Last Ages

By taking proper care of your razors and making a few smart adjustments to your shaving routine, you can significantly extend the lifespan of each blade. This helps you save money while still enjoying a close, comfortable shave.

Before we get started, let me address more than half my audience with the following: always buy men’s razors or at least replacement blades. Manufacturers price gouge women simply because they can, charging way more for products marketing to women that are identical to the ones for men. There is no performance difference between men’s and women’s blades.

1. Let Your Razor Dry Completely After Each Use

One of the easiest ways to extend the life of your razor blades is to make sure they dry out fully between uses. Moisture and rust are the enemies of razor blades, causing them to dull and degrade much faster.

After you finish shaving, rinse your razor thoroughly under warm water to remove any leftover shaving cream, hair, or other debris. Then, gently shake off any excess water and place your razor in a dry, well-ventilated area to air dry completely. Avoid storing your razor in a damp bathroom cabinet or drawer, as this can lead to premature rusting.

You can also try using a razor stand or holder that allows air to circulate around the blades. This helps them dry out faster and more thoroughly. Just a few extra seconds spent drying your razor can significantly extend its lifespan.

2. Don’t Store New Blades in the Bathroom

Have you ever gotten a new razor blade out only to see rust already on it? How does that happen when it’s been sitting in its case?

The answer is usually that you’ve been keeping the case in the bathroom, which is full of humidity and moisture, and that’s caused the blade to rust. Even with extractor fans, bathrooms are wet places.

Store the blades you’re not using yet in a dry, well-ventilated area, like a drawer or cabinet in a room other than the bathroom.

3. How to Store the Razor You’re Using

Avoid storing your razor in the shower or leaving it sitting in water after use. This constant exposure to moisture can quickly lead to rusting and dulling of the blades.

Get a stand or cup to store your razor so it can air dry after every use. (Don’t towel it – while being dry is good, the fibers from towels can dull blades.)

I like this cup, which uses suction cups to attach to the wall of the shower or a vanity mirror, depending where you shave. If you prefer to have it on the sink or vanity, you can use any kind of cup you want.

Clear acrylic cup attached to the shower wall with suction cups

You can also invest in a specialized razor stand or holder, but I don’t personally consider them necessary. These devices elevate the razor off surfaces and allow air to circulate around the blades, helping them dry out thoroughly. Some even have built-in drainage systems to prevent water buildup.

Bonus Tip: Use Your Extractor Fan

If your bathroom has an extractor fan, be sure to run it the whole time you’re taking showers or baths plus at least 15 minutes afterwards. This gets much of the moisture out of the room and away from your razor blades. If you don’t have an extractor fan, you might consider storing your razor in a different room.

4. Shave with Warm Water

The temperature of the water you use for shaving can also affect how long your razor blades last. Warm water is generally better for your skin and your razor.

Hot water helps open up your pores and soften your facial hair, allowing the razor to glide more smoothly over your skin. This reduces the amount of pressure and friction required, which in turn puts less strain on the blades.

In contrast, cold water causes your hair to stand up more stiffly, requiring more force from the razor to cut through it. This added pressure and friction can dull the blades faster.

Always start your shave with warm water, whether you’re rinsing your face or lathering up with shaving cream. You can finish with a quick cold water rinse if desired, but try to do the majority of your shaving with warm water for the best results.

5. Use Shaving Cream or Gel

Some of us have been known to shave with just water or water and soap. Some liquid soaps may be okay, but generally this is a way to shorten the lifespan of your razor blade.

Shaving cream or gel helps to lubricate your skin and create a smooth, even surface for the razor to work on. That saves some wear and tea on the blade.

Bar soap and other harsh cleansers can leave behind residue that dulls the blades. Stick to specialized shaving products designed to work with your razor. You’ll save money in the long run.

You may also want to try a pre-shave oil or balm, which can further enhance the glide and protection for your razor. Just be sure to choose products that are compatible with your skin type and shaving routine.

6. Avoid Shaving the Same Area Repeatedly

Try to avoid going over the same area of your skin multiple times with the razor. Each pass puts additional wear and tear on the blades.

If you find you need to go over a certain spot more than once to get a close shave, it’s usually a sign that your razor is starting to dull. At that point, it’s best to switch to a fresh blade rather than continuing to grind down the one you’re using.

Instead, focus on getting it right the first time. Take your time, use gentle strokes, and let the razor do the work. Applying too much pressure or going over the same area repeatedly will only cause the blades to wear out faster.

If you do need to make a second pass, try using a light touch and going in a different direction, such as across the grain instead of against it.

7. Freeze Your Razor Blades

Yes, you read that right—freezing your razor blades can actually help preserve their sharpness. This will be more trouble than some of you want to go to – I’ve never bothered, but it does work.

To freeze your razors: after each use, carefully pat your razor dry with a towel and then pop it into a plastic bag in the freezer.

The cold temperature helps prevent oxidation and slows down the dulling process. Just remember to let the razor come to room temperature before using it again to avoid any icy surprises during your next shave.

8. Rub Your Razor with Denim

You know those leather razor strops barbers use to sharpen straight edge razors? You can do something similar with denim.

Instead of tossing out old jeans, repurpose them as a razor blade strop. Simply run the razor along a strip of denim in the opposite direction of shaving.

The rough texture of the denim helps realign and hone the blade, keeping it sharp and ready for action. It’s a budget-friendly way to extend the life of your razor blades while giving your old jeans a new purpose.

9. Let Your Skin Rest Between Shaves

Giving your skin a break between shaves can also help extend the life of your razor blades. Shaving causes minor irritation and inflammation, which can make subsequent shaves more difficult and harder on the blades.

Try to space out your shaves by at least 24 hours, if possible. This allows your skin time to fully recover and reduces the amount of work the razor has to do each time.

If you have a heavy beard or shave daily, you may need to give your skin a day or two of rest in between. The extra downtime will help your razor blades last longer.

Of course, the exact frequency will depend on your individual hair growth and skin sensitivity. Experiment to find the sweet spot that gives your skin enough recovery time without making your shaving routine too inconvenient.

10. Replace Blades at the First Sign of Dullness

No matter how well you care for your razor, the blades will eventually become dull and need to be replaced. Trying to stretch out a dull blade will only lead to an uncomfortable shave and further damage the razor.

Pay attention to how your razor feels and performs. If you notice it’s starting to tug or pull at your hair rather than gliding smoothly, that’s a sign the blades are getting dull. You may also see increased irritation or nicks and cuts on your skin.

Don’t wait until the blades are completely worn out. Replace them at the first sign of dullness for the best shaving experience. Trying to squeeze out a few extra shaves from a deteriorating blade will only lead to frustration and wasted time.

The exact replacement schedule will depend on factors like how often you shave, the thickness of your hair, and how well you maintain your razor. But as a general rule, replace disposable razors every 5-10 shaves and cartridge razors every 10-15 shaves.

11. Consider Upgrading to a Higher-Quality Razor

If you’re still struggling to make your razor blades last, it may be time to consider upgrading to a higher-quality razor system. While the initial investment is usually higher, a better-made razor can deliver superior performance and longevity – and, ultimately, money savings.

Look for razors made with high-quality, rust-resistant materials like stainless steel. Avoid cheap, flimsy razors that are more prone to damage and wear. A well-constructed, ergonomic razor will give you a smoother, more comfortable shave while also extending the life of the blades.

You may also want to explore alternative razor designs, such as safety razors or double-edge razors. These classic styles often use single, replaceable blades that are less expensive than cartridge refills. With proper care, a single double-edge blade can last for 5-10 shaves or more.

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Last Updated:

June 6, 2024