How to Remove Rust from a Straight Razor

August 30, 2020 8 min read

How to Remove Rust from a Straight Razor

Naked Armor

How does rust form on your razor?

Published by Naked Armor

Rust in your straight razor can make it dull rapidly and cause you a lot of discomfort

Basically, rust is a chemical reaction where a metal oxidizes when it comes in contact with moisture, which is mostly the case for your razor since it is intended for wet shaving.  

Rust in your razor makes it dull rapidly and a dull razor will never bring out a flawless shave. If your razor is not sharp enough, it may tug on your skin and may leave some nicks and bumps on your face. Shaving may sometimes involve cuts and it may create complications when the rusty razor comes in contact with such cuts.

This, then, makes it our top priority to make sure to remove all those rusty spots.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

It is always best to prepare before the storm comes, than to be hassled by fixing all its ruins. So, as much as possible, do all the means there are to protect your razor from rust. The most effective method is cleaning it properly. There are two simple ways to prevent yours from rusting.

First is to clean it after every use. Cleaning could involve simply rinsing the blade to remove all the hair, shaving cream, dead skin, and all the other materials that could have attached to it while shaving. Also, it is important that after rinsing, the razor should be dried with a clean rag and make sure to remove all the moisture before keeping it.

Second is to keep the razor away from major sources of moisture such as the bathroom. However, it is not always a guarantee that if you do not put it in the bathroom, it would not rust; especially if the place you chose is high in humidity.

After rinsing your straight razor, make sure to wipe it with a clean rag in order to remove all moisture

Another way that could subject your razor to moisture is if you put it in the sink since it is directly in contact with the surfaces that would often get wet. So, it will be a good investment for your razor to have its own stand.

It is also important for you to keep in mind the basic dos and don’ts in cleaning your straight razor. Here are some of them:

DOs DON'Ts

Do strop your blade before shaving

Don’t wet the scales

Do clean the razor blade regularly

Don’t leave razor in wet or moist place

Do rinse the razor with the soapy water

Don’t forget to lubricate the razor with oil

Do wipe the blade with few drops of alcohol

Don’t forget to store in dry place like a razor stand

Even the Best Fall Down Sometimes

Despite having a razor made from high-quality materials and maintained properly through stropping and honing, wet shaving still makes it inevitable to rust. That is why proper caring should also be applied to make it last for life.

Aside from the two suggested measures above-mentioned, applying oil on the blade after using and leaving it there until your next usage is also a way. You just have to make sure that before you apply the oil, you have removed all the moisture because if you apply it when the blade is still wet, you are merely locking the moisture in the blade and thus may still trigger the metal to oxidize.

Another great protector of your blades from rust is balm. Balms, like oil, when applied after the razor is thoroughly dry, may preserve the blade until your next usage. This is true especially if the balm that you are using is pure and is free from any chemicals which may be harmful to your razors and, in turn, to your face.

Naked Armor's Beard to Blade Balm can protect not just your blade, but your face and beard as well

Naked Armor’s Beard to Blade Balm is made for your beard, face, and your blade. You can apply it to your face, body, hand, and beard for moisturizing protection. You can also apply it to your razor and leave it on until your next shave in order to maintain the quality of your blade. It’s a convenient and practical way to make sure that both your beard and your razor stay in shape.

How to Remove Rust Spots on Your Razor

If, despite all the pampering, the inevitable comes and rust spots show up on your razors, here are some home remedies that you may try out to remove rust from your straight razor. Home essentials such as lemon, salt, vinegar, and baking soda may be able to help you get out those spots that hinder your blade from performing well.

Lemon. It has been considered to be one of the best natural cleaners because of its natural acid contents. The acidity of the lemon is able to break down iron oxide or rust.

  • First, the blade has to be submerged in half of a lemon extract or juice for 30 seconds to one minute. If you have a razor with wood as its handle, it would be better not to include the handle;
  • After that, the other half of the lemon will be sprinkled with sea salt and that will be used to scrub off the rust spots in the blade; and
  • When all the rust spots are gone, rinse thoroughly in running water and dry it off completely before keeping.

Lemon is considered one of the best
natural cleaners

White vinegar. Vinegar has also been widely known to be a good cleaning agent. It is more effective when salt is added because the latter increases the potency of the vinegar’s acidity making it capable of removing rust.

  • First, the blade has to be submerged in vinegar for 30 seconds to one minute. If you have a razor with wood as its handle, it would be better not to include the handle;
  • Create a vinegar and salt mixture and rub it on the blade using a toothbrush. Scrub the blade until all the rust spots are gone;
  • Finally, rinse thoroughly in running water and dry it off completely before keeping.

White vinegar is also known to be a good cleaning agent

Baking soda.Also known as sodium bicarbonate, this has also been widely considered to be very versatile since it is a baking ingredient, but also a good cleaner for different surfaces. Baking soda is a salt that is why it is a neutral compound. But what makes it a good cleaning tool is despite its being neutral, it has a higher pH making it slightly basic.

  • Like the second step when using vinegar, we are going to make a paste using water and baking soda. The paste will have to be thick enough that it could stay when we apply it on the blade;
  • Apply the paste to the blade and let it stay for about 30 minutes. Make sure that all the rusty spots are covered;
  • Rinse it in running water. At this point, you will be able to see that the rust will also be washed away;
  • In case there are stubborn spots that stayed, use a toothbrush to scrub it off;
  • Rinse again in running water and dry it before keeping.

Baking soda is widely considered a good cleaner for different surfaces

Please note, however, that the effectiveness of the home remedies suggested is not guaranteed; it still is on a case to case basis. It's completely up to you to try using them or not. Your journey with your straight razor is a learning process which is imbibed by experience.

There’s also a tool that might be available at home or could be available with a little run to the hardware.

Sandpaper. The blade is delicate and you may think that sandpaper is too much; however, if you do it properly and carefully, you will have your rust-free razor back.

Hand sanding could be done dry or wet. Often, users would recommend using wet-sanding - where you would use the sandpaper under running water since they believe that this creates a smoother finish than when it’s done dry.

Sandpaper is usually classified according to its grit. The lower the grit, the lesser its impact when used against a surface. It is recommended that you start with sandpaper with a 220 grit; and for the rust spots that won’t easily come off, you would go up to the ones with more grit. Going up should be done gradually. It might damage your blade if from 220, you go directly up to 1000 grit.

It will also help if you cut the sandpaper into bits - you could cut them into a quarter of its original size up to as small as 1”x1” - for you to control where to place it on your blade. Working with a bigger piece would probably let you hit areas which you do not intend to hit; especially if you are only dealing with minimal rust spots. Another hack available is for you to get a cork and wrap your sandpaper on the body of the cork. This gives you a shape that could fit well to the angle or curve of the blade.

Hand sanding is one way of removing rust spots from your straight razor

Be careful with this process, though. There’s a high chance that the etching on your blade will get damaged.

Is it okay to use a metal cleaner or polisher?

It’s not an absolute “no” but it is discouraged. Yes, the metal cleaner or polisher may be able to remove rust from a straight razor; however, the chemical that might linger on your blade could be harmful to your skin. If you want to try this, you can use eitherFlitz or Maas.

In all these methods, you may include as a finale soaking a cotton ball with alcohol and wiping it off on the blade. This will hasten the drying process of the blade as well as sanitize it. Upon making sure that the blade is completely dry, you may add the oil orBeard to Blade Balm for added protection.

Your journey with your straight razor is a learning process which is imbibed by experience.

— Derek Dodds, Naked Armor Founder

What to Invest

Despite the availability of home remedies and other means to remove rust from straight razor, it would still be better to direct your investment on the prevention rather than the possible cure. They are there just in case there are conditions that you cannot control which may lead to your blade’s rusting. The purpose of you switching to a straight razor is durability and for it to endure for life, proper care and maintenance should be exercised.

Here at Naked Armor, we have our Beard to Blade Balm and Silverback Razor Stand Kit to aid you in the prevention. They are only initial cash outlays that may refrain you from spending more from the future. They are wise purchases now as their benefits will be reaped in the future since they ensure the longevity of your razor.

Naked Armor's Bee Balm: Beard to Blade

Naked Armor's Straight Razor Stand Kit

Always stay flawless - both your shave and your razor blade.

Visit our site to see more of our products.

 

Essential Naked Armor Reads

Straight Razor Maintenance
How to Strop a Straight Razor
How to Hone a Straight Razor

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