Have you ever been getting ready to shave in the morning and you pick up your razor to see that it has rusted? If you are in this situation too then you may be wondering whether or not it’s safe to use a rusty razor.
It is never safe to shave with a rusty razor. Moisture left on a razor can cause the metal to rust, which can dull your razor and significantly impact its ability to give you a flawless shave. A rusty razor can also harbor infectious bacteria and may lead to an infection. Some rusty blades can be cleaned, but cartridges will need to be replaced.
Keep reading to find out what can happen if you use a rusty razor, as well as what types of razors can be cleaned and how to do so.
Is it dangerous to use a rusty razor?
If you’ve ever gone to shave and found out that your razor is rusted, you may have been tempted to use the razor anyway or felt like you didn’t have a choice, but you should never use a rusty razor.
Rust on the razor is caused when there is moisture left behind on the metal which leads it to oxidize.
A rusty razor can be dangerous and lead to razor burn, bumps, and possibly infection.
Using a rusty razor is dangerous and can make your face easily susceptible to infections such as staph bacteria which infects your hair follicles and leads to folliculitis. Folliculitis causes red, pus-filled bumps that look similar to razor burn to appear on your face.
The bacteria on the razor can also cause painful red boils called an abscess. An abscess is a honey-color crust on the skin from impetigo. Painful and red bumps on the skin from cellulitis are also possible.
To help prevent rust on your razor, keep it nice and sharp, and extend its life:
- Rinse the razor blade thoroughly after every use. After one or two strokes, rinse the razor under hot water to keep the blade clear of any hair. After finishing the shave, put the blade under a stream of hot water and rotate it for 5-10 seconds.
- Dry the razor blade thoroughly after every use to prevent the metal oxidizing and then rusting. Use a soft towel and gently blot it dry. Do NOT wipe the blade on the towel. Be careful not to cut yourself.
- You may also use a blow dryer to remove the moisture. Ten seconds under the blow dryer will work.
- Store the razor blade outside of the bathroom. Humidity and steam from the shower can make it much easier for rust to begin forming on the blade. Keep the blade inside a small plastic bag and store it outside of the bathroom.
- Use rubbing alcohol or mineral oil on the blade. Dip the razor in rubbing alcohol after each you to help it dry faster and sterilize the blade. This is especially helpful for people with acne-prone skin as sterilization will help to prevent breakouts. Dip it in mineral oil afterwards to help keep the blade sharp and protect it from the elements.
Can you get an infection from a rusty razor?
To prevent the possibility of getting a skin infection and have a great shave every time, never use a rusty razor. If you need to use the razor, then you should remove all rust, clean it thoroughly, and sharpen it.
You can get an infection from a rusty razor. A rusty razor is more likely to harbor infectious bacteria which can cause a skin infection.
Skin infections that are caused by staph bacteria include:
- Impetigo – This contagious infection develops a painful rash on the skin and features large blisters that can ooze fluid and make a yellow crust appear.
- Boils – This is the most common type of staph infection in which a pocket of pus develops in the oil gland or hair follicle.
- Cellulitis – This causes swelling and redness on the skin and may cause sores of oozing discharge.
Can a rusty razor blade cause tetanus?
Tetanus is caused by a bacterium called Clostridium tetani, which is found everywhere in the world in places such as soil, dust, and feces. It is a common misconception that rust causes tetanus.
Rust does not cause tetanus, but any of the bacteria that may be on the razor could. It is safe to say that the chance of getting tetanus from a rusty razor blade is highly unlikely. If you were to cut yourself with a rusty razor blade, then it would be a good idea to be up to date on your latest tetanus booster.
It is never a safe option to use a rusty razor blade as the bacteria that can harbor and stay on there may be dangerous and cause infections.
It is also important to note that certain occupations such as construction workers, gardeners, farmers, and firefighters may have a higher risk of getting tetanus.
How to clean a rusty razor
It is possible to remove rust from a razor so you can use it again and we will walk through how to do it.
Removing the rust from the razor will help restore the razor to its best ability so you can get that smooth and perfect shave again without any risk of infection!
Some rusty razor blades can be salvaged for use to shave again, but it is important to know what kind of razors are able to be salvaged.
Do not try to restore a rusty disposable safety razor blade or cartridge razor. It is best to throw these disposable or cartridge razors in the garbage and grab a new one. The only type of rusty razor you should try to restore is a standard safety razor blade or a straight razor blade.
To clean your rusty razor:
- Gather your materials
- Rinse the blade thoroughly
- Soak the blade in vinegar
- Create a cleaning paste
- Scrub the razor
- Rinse the blade (again)
- Dry the blade
- Sterilize the blade
1. Gather your materials
Collect all the required items.
To clean your rusty razor you will need the following:
- White vinegar – to help remove the rust
- Sea salt or table salt – acts as an abrasive to help remove the rust
- Old toothbrush – for scrubbing the blade
- A few soft, clean towels – for drying the blade
- Rubbing alcohol – to sterilize the blade after it’s clean
- Cotton balls – to sterilize the blade after it’s clean
2. Rinse the blade thoroughly
Rinse the razor blade thoroughly under a stream of water.
Do not use any harsh chemicals such as soap or bleach, just plain water. Be sure to rotate it around to get out anything stuck in the slots of the blade.
3. Soak the blade in vinegar
Fill a bowl with a small amount of white vinegar.
Put the razor blade in the bowl so it is completely submerged and soak it for at least 30 seconds. The longer the better, especially if the rust is difficult to come off.
4. Create a cleaning paste
Create a paste of sea salt and vinegar.
While the blade is soaking, put some sea salt into a bowl and pour some vinegar over it. Mix them together until a thick paste forms.
5. Scrub the razor
Remove your razor blade from the vinegar.
Dip the toothbrush into the paste and cover it thoroughly. Scrub the blade well and reload with more paste if needed.
6. Rinse the blade (again)
Blot away any big chunks of paste then rinse the blade clean under a stream of tap water.
Make sure all the rust is gone on the blade because it can spread if not cleared completely.
7. Dry the blade
Once the blade is completely free of rust, blot with a soft towel (do not wipe) to remove moisture which can cause more rust.
8. Sterilize the blade
Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and wipe the entirety of the blade. The alcohol will help to dry and sterilize the blade for future use.
A rusty razor can easily be damaged, so make sure there are no small chips or nicks in the metal before shaving with it. If you aren’t sure that it is safe then do not use it. Be very careful when scrubbing the blade so you don’t cut yourself!