Instructables

How to extend the life of your Razor Blade keeping it sharp for months and months

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video How to extend the life of your Razor Blade keeping it sharp for months and months
This video shows a simple method of extending the life of an ordinary disposable razor blade for months and months and months. Razor blades are very expensive and most people use the blade for a week or more until it gets dull, then you change it to a new one. By using this simple 'Blue Jean Sharpening Method' it will extend your blade life and receive a sharp and smooth shave for months and months.. I don't know how long it will work as I am still using a blade that is at least 6 mos old now and I'm still using it...

When you finish shaving... walk to your closet... pull out one leg of a pair of blue jeans... hold the end with one hand and with the other simply stoke the razor along the entire length of the blue jean for 10 to 20 strokes... I like 20... then switch directions... the threads of the jeans run in a diagonal so switching directions allows for an balanced approach to fine tuning the blade's edge.

This is similar to using a straight blade on a leather strap... this is cheap or free considering you have a pair of jeans!

It will take the fine nicks out of the blade and allow for you to keep the blade very sharp.

I also sharpen the blade 20 strokes before and after each shave just for good measure.

I also blow on the blade to knock off any water droplets as oxidation/rust is the biggest enemy of a sharp razor blade.

If you want, you can drop your razor 'blade down' into a cup of rubbing alcohol to store it until next use to eliminate any traces of water.

This should save you tons of money... at the time of this video Gillete Fusion 4 blade pack sales for $13.99 + tax. if you generally get one week's worth of use per blade this will run you $167.88 per year + tax! If you get 6 mos per blade then you can extend your use for two years. The math works out to $7.50 per year + tax (two blades at $3.50 per ea)

Hope you get lots of shaves for free!
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Brennn103 years ago
Nice job on making it to the front page of reddit!
jakerobinson (author)  Brennn103 years ago
thanks! this may be lame... but i had no idea what Reddit was!

but it's really cool to see how many folks voted it up... cheers,

Jake
ldumay4 years ago
Now that voting is over, I have a question for you: Your still shot it one of a Gillette product. (As well, in your instructions, you mentioned their name.) Did you have to get permission to use their product? It is alluded to in Rule 10, which reads in part, "By entering, Entrant represents that any (video(s), photo(s), essay, etc.), and other materials submitted as part of Entrant's Contest entry are original and will not constitute an invasion of privacy or otherwise infringe upon the rights of any third party, and that the Entrant owns or has the rights to convey any and all right and title in such recipe(s). Besides, these legal matters, first rate job! Good luck!
jakerobinson (author)  ldumay24 days ago

I believe the "fair use" policy should cover this... Not saying Gillette's brand is significant, that's just what i happened to be using...

fefrie4 years ago
I use my leg in the shower as the strop.  Seems to work well for me.

Water and the roughness of my leg seem to do it right.

Make sure you go in the correct direction or you will shave your leg. 
TaniaSue fefrie4 years ago
Hi Fefrie;

I'm using a tool The Martell Shaving Pad,  I have my Venus for the past 7 months now, and let me tell you i;m very very surprised buy the astonishing results from still getting a nice smooth shaving. My boyfriend uses his Gillette fusion, and he is more than amazed. I recommend this shaving tool to everyone (Women/Men): The "Martell Shaving Pad"


http://www.innovatell.com/martell_shaving_pad.php

Cheers

Tania.
jakerobinson (author)  TaniaSue24 days ago

that is an interesting product... wonder how it stacks up against jeans ;>)

fefrie TaniaSue2 years ago
I'll stick to my leg thankyou. It's convenient enough.
And congratulations again! Back on Reddit front page
ihvpave2 years ago
I've had incredible luck with this - my boyfriend told me about this method when we began dating, and I've been using the same razor ever since. It's been almost two years now on that cartridge. I "strop" my blade about once a month, and have a clean shave the rest of the time. I can't argue the results!
jakerobinson (author)  ihvpave2 years ago
Wow! that's awesome! thanks for the feedback. cheers,
aridas992 years ago
This method really works; see the microscopic proof here http://teamdonline.com/technology/extend-life-razor-blades/
Jossy922 years ago
Soap scum gets "welded" to the blade ....the blue jeans Polsh the blade. The harder the water, the more strokes you need. Great instructable.
vtturbox3 years ago
Very useful informative post thank you.

One thing I would add in thought is that many people tap there shaver onto the counter or in the sink as we shave, that's probably a bad habit as this likely damages the blade.
tradergordo3 years ago
I think you can get the same result (prolonged life) just by storing the blade in rubbing alcohol when you are done shaving. Its the moisture that ruins the edge. I've gotten >6 months out of a blade just by storing it in in a small glass jar with lid containing just enough rubbing alcohol to cover the blade (replace the fluid every now and then). This also has the benefit of sterilizing.
shrpshtr3253 years ago
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jakerobinson (author)  shrpshtr3253 years ago
You are the exception to the rule then... most people will agree without any treatment a typical razor will only give a good close shave for 5 to 8 shaves... maybe your whiskers are just really easy to cut? ;>)
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jakerobinson (author)  shrpshtr3253 years ago
Have you seen the comments on this ible? or the comments on the Youtube location? tons of people have this issue... why do you think they call them 'disposable'. maybe you guys have really "soft water" or something...

anyway, don't fight it bro... you can make your blade last ten years!
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one thing that I think makes a difference is cleaning ALL the bits of hair and stubble and soap and even as much as possible all water off the blade. leaving stuff on the blade allows the moisture to sit there and rust the blade microscopically. I've seen so many disposable razors left to sit til next use with soap or stubble under it and its gross as well. I clean mine carefully and it lasts me a year.
jakerobinson (author)  shrpshtr3253 years ago
good point... if you are doing something that makes your blade last nine mos then your ible will be a bigger hit than mine...

now about denim...

what is softer? Leather or Steel blade?

then why is leather used to sharpen a barber's razor?

same principal... it removes the fine nicks on the blade as well as oxidation and rust... think of it as polishing the blade...
I have very thick and coarse hair, and I am lucky if I get 3 shaves out of one disposable blades before it starts cutting me up...
sirfroggz3 years ago
I used a razor for a full year using this method. Works great.
I've been using the same razor for approximately 6 months now and I have toasted several pints in your honor. Thanks for the post! Sláinte
jakerobinson (author)  CampyClassics3 years ago
Awesome! a pint in my honor... doesn't get any better than that! cheers
This is the reason I have started back in 08 to shave with a straight razor. No more cartridges, no more electric razor foils. Neat instructable though.
Amazing, I hate the expensiveness of disposable razors (especially after seeing how simply they are made on TV awhile back).

This method is way better than my current method (which is to use the same razor for months WITHOUT sharpening it, getting a progressively worse and worse shave everyday). Thanks!
jakerobinson (author)  ATTILAtheHUNgry3 years ago
t;hanks for the kind words... and hip,hip hooray! for saving money!
siafulinux3 years ago
I've found this instructable months ago and I'm still using the same razor. Something I missed was the rubbing alcohol, but I did see yesterday on Youtube somewhere (at work, can't pull it up right now) to put it in Olive Oil for the same reason; I think rubbing alcohol is a little cheaper :-).

Thanks again for this one!
jakerobinson (author)  siafulinux3 years ago
oil works fine. I have stopped using shaving cream... now I use hair conditioner as shaving cream... usually from the travel size we accumulate when we stay at hotels... more savings...
I'll have to give conditioner a try, I've used soap before but it's not all that great for me.
This is one of those "urban myths" people have been posting on the internet. It was busted after some people actually viewed it and put it to the test. What they did was take a fresh razor, viewed it under a dissecting microscope and attempted to sharpen it with the blue jeans. It doesn't sharpen it in the least bit. If you're really concerned about razor blade life and shaving, check out my instructable http://www.instructables.com/id/So-you-want-an-old-fashioned-double-edged-safety-r/
actually, this is a stropping technique - not sharpening... sharpening actually removes some of the metal... stropping is just like barbers do with a straight razor... the idea is to 'staigten' the blade back out... the blades on disposables are so then that the edge gets 'folded over' on itself... stropping the blade on a coarse fabric (think leather strops that barbers use) piece of material like denim and you achieve a similar result.

The video for this 'ible made it to the top of Reddit... and in the conversation on that link one person actually viewed the blade under strong magnification both before and after stropping and reports he was able to observe a marked improvement...

hope this helps... if not, let's try again...

Cheers

http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/ghiol/til_how_to_restore_gillette_razor_blades_to/
The real benefit to this is that the motion helps draw moisture off the blade edge. Admittedly, it would be much better if both sides of the blade are stropped (just as a straight razor is). Another strop used for the straight razor is the "Canvas strop", which truly a strap of heavy cotton.
Nice 'ible! I use a badger brush + non-aerosol cream with my 1940's British Aristocrat Jr. safety razor.

jakerobinson (author)  comp_wiz1013 years ago
thanks for your feedback... cheers,
Hmmmm, then all us folks must be exuding mind-over-matter....

works for me...

seems your explanation is self-serving...

btw, who are these 'some people' and do you have any hard evidence?

and if you took a fresh razon and tried to sharpen it - of course it wouldn't sharpen if it is already brand-new and sharpened.... ???
this has been fantastic! i figured it would work with women's razors too, and it does! i've probably been using the same razor blade for close to a year now. i was always sick of my dad going to buy the wrong razors or guilt me about how expensive they were...thank you so much for being such a genius.
jakerobinson (author)  chihuahualover1123 years ago
Wow, solving deep-rooted family issues, who knew! cheers,
capricorn3 years ago
You sir are astounding :)

Thanks for sharing :)
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