In today’s world of wet-shaving, there’s a tremendous value and quality in choosing to use a vintage made razor for your daily use. Companies like Gillette, Gem, Schick and many others produced extremely well made double edge and single edge razors for decades before today’s resurgence and popularity in traditional shaving methods.
However, safely using and restoring a 50+ year old razor can mean hours of research online and conflicting opinions and techniques. And more often than not, you’ll be left confused and unwilling to even take the plunge and try a classic shaver.
Worry not, restoring and using a vintage razor can be carried out with household products you may already have. In today’s article, we’ll break down the do’s and don’ts of razor restoration that will leave your prized shaver sparkling and ready for daily usage.
What To Look For
The first thing you need to know is what you’re working with. Typical razors you can find out on your average antique hunt include razors as pictured above.
From Left to Right – we have:
- 1912 Style Ever Ready Single Edge (SE),
- Gem Micromatic (SE),
- Gillette Super Speed Double Edge (DE),
- Gillette Tech (DE),
- Gillette Slim Adjustable (DE)
- Schick Injector (SE).
- Below: a Rolls Razor set (SE).
All of these can make for fine shavers, and modern blades are still available. Note the Rolls razor set contains a miniature straight razor blade that can be sharpened and made shave ready.
- Soak your razors in hot soapy water for at least 10 minutes to help break down build up. Use a dish detergent to help with heavy deposits and grime.
- Scrub the razors with an old tooth brush. Use toothpicks or cotton swabs to get to hard to reach areas.
- Sanitize your razor in a dishwasher silverware rack. Steam cleaning will add both a sparkle and give you the peace of mind that the razor is safe to use.
- Polish the metal with a jewelry buffing cloth or mild metal cleaner. Be sure to read the directions and use slow and sparingly. A great alternative is a whitening toothpaste.
- Rinse in soapy water one final time and you are good to go!
- Last but not least, check out this video that covers a lot of do’s and don’ts to further help you understand just how to safely restore vintage shavers:
Vintage razors are fun to use, well built and should last a lifetime provided that they’re cared for properly. Give these tips a shot and enjoy your new razor find today! For further restoration help, such as tweaking a broken, jammed or damaged razor, feel free to contact us anytime – we’re here to help you get the most out of your wet-shaving experience. Our Razor Revamp and Razor Tune Up service were designed to restore and rebuild these vintage shavers from the ground up- leaving you with a razor ready to put to use for years to come.
For ten years now, Matt Pisarcik has been driven to finding the best shave possible. His passion for the highest quality wet shaving products, Gillette Razor Restoration and a love for sharing his expertise led him to create a thriving business, Razor Emporium. Incorporated in 2009, Razor Emporium is both an online and brick mortar retail store featuring a wide variety of traditional shaving products and restoration services.
What started as a simple one man operation has grown into a group of six craftsman, technicians and razor enthusiasts. Alongside the retail sales website is Razor Archive, an online database for Gillette advertisements and hundreds of high-resolution historical razor documents that give today’s collectors hard to find information with ease. Matt’s drive for quality, history and the growth of the wet-shaving movement are what make the work and dedication at Razor Emporium so unique.