I have always been a wet-shaver with a razor and shaving brush. Many men hate shaving and will skip a day or more whenever they have a chance, but for me, starting each morning lathering up with warm soapy water that smells nice is a pleasant experience I look forward to. Even the shaving itself is a pleasure, removing large swaths of lather in a ritualized pattern. I smile back at the mirror, thinking I won’t cause a girl’s heart to flutter anymore, but neither will I scare little children.
My razor of choice is the simple, no-frills, Gillette two-blade kind that I do not even remember the name of. Trac II, maybe? I had gotten a huge bag of disposable ones at Costco long ago and they will probably last my lifetime. At first, the extreme light weight of the disposables seemed strange, like I was shaving with a Popsicle stick, but I quickly got used to that and any other type is only a dim memory.
Years ago, I forgot my razor while traveling, and the motel gave me a usable temporary replacement. At first, I thought it was the cheapest razor I had ever seen, but it worked well and I used it at home for another couple of weeks. It only had one blade and instead of a lubricating strip, it had a strip of smooth plastic. I think Gillette is selling us, at best, only minor improvements.
I had often wondered why razors eventually dulled. Surely, the steel blades were not damaged by my wimpy, wet whiskers, yet they seemed to dull just as the lubricating strip wore away, and I assumed the two were related.
But a few months ago, I read on the Internet that razor blades dull from rusting, and drying them off after each use will prolong their life. I did not think this theory was plausible since the blades are of non-rusting stainless steel, but it would be easy to try by vigorously shaking off the water at the end, sort of like shaking down a thermometer that no one does anymore. Both the razor’s plastic and steel are hydrophobic, so shaking leaves it dry.
I am here to tell you it works. I have already doubled the blade’s use and still have not noticed any dulling, even though the lubricating strip is long gone. The test may never end. Many of those disposables will probably pass on to future generations.
Why didn’t the manufacturers tell us this little trick? Oh, never mind. I know why.