DIY

How to Make Your Razor Last Longer

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PHOTO: FOTOLIA/VALUA VITALY
Keep your disposable razor going strong for months.

Would you believe me if I told you that I’ve been shaving
with the same Gillette Platinum-Plus razor blade every
morning … for about a year? It’s true! And it doesn’t
look as though that blade needs to be replaced even yet.

No, I don’t own a plastic pyramid and I don’t believe that
the “power of the universe” flows through me or my home.
There’s no magic in what I’ve done . . . I’ve just found a
way to make my razor blade last a good deal longer than
normal. Here’s how:

Each morning, I begin by washing my face with plenty of
ordinary soap and water. After rinsing off, I then
immediately lather my beard from my shaving mug and start
shaving. When I’ve finished, I wipe excess soap off my skin
with a very wet washcloth (a process which re-moistens my
face) . . . then I shave again, this time pulling my razor
in the opposite direction. Afterwards, I rinse and go about
my business.

I liken my technique to the double-lather procedure most
folks use when washing their hair. The first dab of shampoo
doesn’t appear to do much (it certainly doesn’t
produce much in the way of suds) . . . but when you rinse
and lather up a second time, the suds billow. The
soap with which I wash my face before shaving is analogous
to the first dab of shampoo: It doesn’t appear to
do anything … but I think that in fact it must loosen or
remove a water-repellent layer of dirt and grease, after
which the shaving cream can really get in and wet the beard
(sort of like the second application of shampoo). A
thoroughly wet beard, of course, is softer than a barely
moist one … and thus doesn’t require as sharp a cutting
edge.

To test the above theory, I decided several months ago to
see what would happen if I skipped the pre-wash
altogether. Ouch! I could feel the blade practically pull
each whisker out by its root! After rinsing my kisser and
lathering up again, however, the same blade did a
super smooth job of cutting.

I’ve also noticed something else: Namely, on mornings when
I use too much water in my pre-wash or in my shaving mug,
my face definitely tells me that the blade should be
chucked in the trash. But the next day–if I go
through my normal routine and use the right proportion of
soap to water–the ole face says that everything’s
fine.

Needless to say, the year-old blade I’m using now isn’t as
sharp as a brand-new one … but it does a commendable job
on my beard nonetheless (and I don’t nick myself nearly as
much as I would with a fresh-out-of-the-package blade).
Besides that, it’s surely a lot easier to use this one
razor blade over and over than to sharpen a straight razor
every morning like I used to have to do.

I suppose I really should buy a new pack of blades, make
careful observations, keep accurate records, and document
this phenomenon in some sort of halfway scientific manner
… but what the heck? The way I figure it, why should I
buy new blades before I have to? Especially when my trusty
year-old Platinum-Plus is still going strong!

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