Cleaning a non-gold razor - UK/ Britain/ Europe

#1
Here is a a walkthrough on my method for cleaning razors. If this has been done before I apologise, but I did try and find a similar thread using the search function and came up empty!

There are a lot of tips and examples of cleaning razors from the USA, where they all seem to just give brand names like "scrubbing bubbles" when describing products. I thought I might make a UK/ European version that would be a bit easier to follow/decipher. I apologise for the mixed quality of photos, I had to use my phone for some!

DISCLAIMER: I have only ever cleaned up nickel/rhodium plated razors using this method as well as razors with almost total plate loss.

Here goes:

A Gillette Ball-End Old I got from eBay:


It was in decent nick (when considering the plate loss!), especially compared to some I've seen, but could do with a tidy up.

My first step is always a soak in just boiled water with a drop of fairy liquid:


I use an old butter tub and leave it for about an hour - generally until it has cooled down a fair bit. I then get an old toothbrush and give it a thorough, soapy scrub.

I then add a splash of antiseptic (like dettol, but I use own brand) to the tub and mix it then soak the razor for about 20 minutes in it:


NOTE: DO NOT USE THIS STEP ON BAKELITE PARTS (see post #15). After that, I rinse the razor, seperate the parts (if a 3-piece) and place in the sink (with the plug in!). I then cover it in the expanding bathroom mousse (which I think is the UK equivalent of "scrubbing bubbles"). I know Cif make some but I use own brand:


I make sure every part of the razor is well covered:


I leave this until the majority of the foam has disappeared, until it looks kind of like this:


I give it a scrub with the last of the foam to ensure every part has been treated.

Then remove and soak the parts in clean water:


I then take a dot of toothpaste (any brand) and scrub all over each part with a toothbrush:


This is how the Old looked at this point:


Not bad! I could live with this, but what if I want it to be even better?!

Time to polish it:


I use Goddard's silver polish. Make sure whatever you use is a mild polish - I understand that the likes of "Brasso" is too strong. I'd imagine that "Silvo" is much the same as Goddard's, but the latter is cheaper anyway!

I apply the polish with cotton pads and allow to dry, then I buff it all off using clean pads and some cotton buds. If your razor has a lot of tarnish/crud still on it, you will go through a lot of pads!:


I then pour some of the polish onto my toothbrush and scrub it into all the nook and crannies. Then I wait for it to dry, clean and dry my toothbrush and then buff all the dried polish off with the dry toothbrush. You may have to wash your brush quite a few times, depending how much crud you're taking off.

I then finish with a good few buffs/twists using more cotton pads. This razor turned out pretty nice after this:


This may be overkill, but to ensure there's no residual clumps of polish I do a final mousse treatment:


Then rinse and dry, et voila!
The end product:


To recap:
1. Soak in just boiled water with fairy liquid, give scrub with brush.
2. Add a splash of antiseptic.
3. Rinse, disassemble and cover in bathroom mousse. NOT SUITABLE FOR BAKELITE PARTS
4. Scrub using toothpaste.
5. Polish with mild metal polish.
6. Final mousse soak.
7. Sit back and admire your sparkly new razor!

Link to album:How to

Thanks for reading, and if there's anything amiss with my technique, or if there's anything you'd like to add or do differently, please let me know!
 
#2
Very nice, great result. I tend to treat my grubby/old razors with a scrub down with a soft tooth brush using warm soapy water then a 3 minute visit in an ultra sonic bath. Then its on with the metal polish (Britemax). then onto the cotton buds to get the shine, then finally another 3 minute bath. I tend to get some pretty good results. I shall certainly employ your method next time as a comparison. Cheers.
 
#6
Thanks guys, it really wasn't much hassle - a lot of just scrubbing and leaving for a while!

I haven't had to good fortune to get a gold razor yet, but I'll be trying something different if I do!

Very nice, great result. I tend to treat my grubby/old razors with a scrub down with a soft tooth brush using warm soapy water then a 3 minute visit in an ultra sonic bath.
I was tempted to get get one of those, but then thought "I won't be getting enough razors to justify it". How wrong I was.
 
#7
nice write up.

when i get a used razor i do the following:-

- put it in a mug and tip boiling water on it from the kettle and leave it to cool
- empty water from mug and fill with dettol bathroom cleaner spray - leave it until the foam to dissolve and leave just a bit of liquid in the bottle of mug
- scrub with toothbrush using remaining liquid in mug
- put in ultrasonic bath with a bit of washing up liquid for a few cycles
- polish with peek polish (cotton buds, microfibre cloth and lastly glass polishing microfibre cloth)
- put back in ultrasonic bath with a bit of washing up liquid for a few cycles

i only recently added the ultrasonic parts.
 
#9
Thanks for this one. It's good to have a UK version, yes I realise the cleaning steps are pretty much the same, but as you say references to "scrubbing bubbles" and other US products don't really help us that much if they're not readily available over here.

I also use an ultrasonic cleaner... well worth having one. I bought mine for about £15 at Aldi two or three years back.
 
#11
Hi guys,

Now I have no idea if this is a recommended way of cleaning a razor, but for a quick, easy/lazy way of cleaning a little razor I picked up, I used Cif something or other with microparticles, whatever they are. It took about all of 5 minutes, a quick squirt, a brush, a minute or so soak, then a scrub off using a toothbrush and some water.

It went from this



to this


with basically no effort. Not perfect, well it is for me, but not for perfectionists, but it was easy and quick!


Hmm, previewing the post, maybe it doesn't look like a big change, but I can assure you in real life it looks better.

Has anyone else tried this for cleaning razors?
 
#12
I have used a small bowl, a dishwasher tablet ( with a red ball in it) and boiling water... there is an effervescent action that seems to help..? a rinse then a polish and done.

I will try suggested methods above on my next purchase.. better get on to it.
[hr]
I have used a small bowl, a dishwasher tablet ( with a red ball in it) and boiling water... there is an effervescent action that seems to help..? a rinse then a polish and done.

I will try suggested methods above on my next purchase.. better get on to it.
 
#13
This all obviuosly depends on the initial state of the razor, but as i had none of the mentioned items in the OP i tried the method above (I used Morrisons own dishwasher tablet, with a 'yellow' ball) on my ever ready i got off the bay a few weeks back. I was really impressed with the outcome after just rinsing and wiping clean. Going to use it for the first tonight!
 
#14
Just like to say a big "Thank You" to the OP and other contributors, I've just had a slightly grubby Fatboy transform into something that looks like the "mint" ones on the bay. A 1920's OC also looks a lot better, but I think I'll need some silver polish to get rid of nearly a hundred years of grime. This was using a combination of Cilit Bang and dishwasher tablet, followed by a good going over with a toothbrush.

I was very relieved that neither of them melted in the Cilit Bang!
 
#15
Uncle Bertie said:
Just like to say a big "Thank You" to the OP and other contributors, I've just had a slightly grubby Fatboy transform into something that looks like the "mint" ones on the bay. A 1920's OC also looks a lot better, but I think I'll need some silver polish to get rid of nearly a hundred years of grime. This was using a combination of Cilit Bang and dishwasher tablet, followed by a good going over with a toothbrush.

I was very relieved that neither of them melted in the Cilit Bang!
You're welcome!

This was a very well timed post - I was just about to add a word of caution (that I've learned over a year later). Do not use the bathroom cleaner on any bakelite parts. I sprayed it onto a Schick type E today and then immediately realised that I had no idea what effect it had on the bakelite in the handle. I took it out straight away and rinsed it - a whole pile of yellow started flowing off the handle. Luckily it didn't cause any noticeable damage and left no evidence of the mess up, but I'm glad I caught it fast.

So, in summary, DO NOT USE THE BATHROOM CLEANER ON BAKELITE!
 
#18
Re: RE: Cleaning a non-gold razor - UK/ Britain/ Europe

smith said:
nice restoration....someday maybe 30 years from now someone else will be cleaning that razor and it will live on long after were gone...
That's what I really like about this DE shaving lark, it's a continuity of use and preservation for another generation.
 
#19
Electric toothbrushes work very well too

mulligano said:
Here is a a walkthrough on my method for cleaning razors. If this has been done before I apologise, but I did try and find a similar thread using the search function and came up empty!

There are a lot of tips and examples of cleaning razors from the USA, where they all seem to just give brand names like "scrubbing bubbles" when describing products. I thought I might make a UK/ European version that would be a bit easier to follow/decipher. I apologise for the mixed quality of photos, I had to use my phone for some!

DISCLAIMER: I have only ever cleaned up nickel/rhodium plated razors using this method as well as razors with almost total plate loss.

Here goes:

A Gillette Ball-End Old I got from eBay:


It was in decent nick (when considering the plate loss!), especially compared to some I've seen, but could do with a tidy up.

My first step is always a soak in just boiled water with a drop of fairy liquid:


I use an old butter tub and leave it for about an hour - generally until it has cooled down a fair bit. I then get an old toothbrush and give it a thorough, soapy scrub.

I then add a splash of antiseptic (like dettol, but I use own brand) to the tub and mix it then soak the razor for about 20 minutes in it:


NOTE: DO NOT USE THIS STEP ON BAKELITE PARTS (see post #15). After that, I rinse the razor, seperate the parts (if a 3-piece) and place in the sink (with the plug in!). I then cover it in the expanding bathroom mousse (which I think is the UK equivalent of "scrubbing bubbles"). I know Cif make some but I use own brand:


I make sure every part of the razor is well covered:


I leave this until the majority of the foam has disappeared, until it looks kind of like this:


I give it a scrub with the last of the foam to ensure every part has been treated.

Then remove and soak the parts in clean water:


I then take a dot of toothpaste (any brand) and scrub all over each part with a toothbrush:


This is how the Old looked at this point:


Not bad! I could live with this, but what if I want it to be even better?!

Time to polish it:


I use Goddard's silver polish. Make sure whatever you use is a mild polish - I understand that the likes of "Brasso" is too strong. I'd imagine that "Silvo" is much the same as Goddard's, but the latter is cheaper anyway!

I apply the polish with cotton pads and allow to dry, then I buff it all off using clean pads and some cotton buds. If your razor has a lot of tarnish/crud still on it, you will go through a lot of pads!:


I then pour some of the polish onto my toothbrush and scrub it into all the nook and crannies. Then I wait for it to dry, clean and dry my toothbrush and then buff all the dried polish off with the dry toothbrush. You may have to wash your brush quite a few times, depending how much crud you're taking off.

I then finish with a good few buffs/twists using more cotton pads. This razor turned out pretty nice after this:


This may be overkill, but to ensure there's no residual clumps of polish I do a final mousse treatment:


Then rinse and dry, et voila!
The end product:


To recap:
1. Soak in just boiled water with fairy liquid, give scrub with brush.
2. Add a splash of antiseptic.
3. Rinse, disassemble and cover in bathroom mousse. NOT SUITABLE FOR BAKELITE PARTS
4. Scrub using toothpaste.
5. Polish with mild metal polish.
6. Final mousse soak.
7. Sit back and admire your sparkly new razor!

Link to album:How to

Thanks for reading, and if there's anything amiss with my technique, or if there's anything you'd like to add or do differently, please let me know!
 
#20
I didn't see isopropyl alcohol mentioned in this thread. I just took possession of a vintage razor which arrived pretty clean. After giving it a once over in the kitchen sink with the fairy liquid I sponged isopropyl alcohol all over the razor. Then I went at the crevices with a brush and alcohol soaked swabs. Since it was pretty scummy, I simply poured alcohol down the TTO mechanism. At this point I had the razor very clean and after a couple hot water baths figured it was ready for use.

I have no idea if this is a good method, but know isopropyl alcohol can dissolve and clean just about anything you'd find on a razor. I know it's safe for brass and a quick search said it was also safe for chrome. I was still wary enough not to soak it overnight or anything, total exposure was probably < 10 mins but that was enough to break down any scum lurking about the crevices.
 
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