Alongside cleaning, lubrication is a key aspect in prolonging the life of your razor and ensuring optimal performance.
Just like your car’s engine needs oil for lubricating the moving parts and reducing the wear, so does your electric razor.
In order to provide a close shave, the blades, foils and metal guards of your electric razor are machined with very low tolerances. These parts actually come into contact with each other. During use, this friction causes heat and wear. To reduce these effects to a minimum, regular lubrication of the moving parts is vital.
Why is lubrication so important — Advantages of lubricating your razor
- It reduces the heat generated by the friction of the blades and foil, improving the comfort during the shave. This will reduce the risk of razor burn, irritation and blemishes.
- It prolongs the life of the moving parts, so you don’t have to replace them as often.
- It improves the closeness of the shave. As you constantly use your shaver, the wear of the blades and foil will gradually affect their performance. In some extreme cases the blades will actually eat through the foil, so you’ll definitely want to replace them before it gets to that as the risk of serious injuries is real. With a properly lubricated shaver, this process is slowed down and you’ll be able to get close and comfortable shaves for a longer time before the parts need to be replaced. Another bonus effect is the reduced generated heat, which in turn allows you to use more passes and even apply a bit more pressure to get a smooth and close shave.
- It puts less stress on the motor. A lubricant allows the moving parts to glide with minimal resistance, meaning the motor will work less hard to keep them moving and most of its power will be used for actually cutting the hairs, with minimal loss in the form of heat.
How to lubricate your electric razor
Now that we’ve seen why lubrication is important, let’s see how to actually do it and what the different options are.
Spray lubricants are a very easy and practical way of cleaning and lubricating a shaver. For the cleaning part I do however recommend using a brush beforehand to remove the bulk of hairs and dirt.
If you use your razor with a shaving cream or gel, then definitely give it a thorough cleaning — hot tap water and a bit of liquid soap should do it (always follow the manufacturer’s instructions).
After that, generously spray the blades and foils and let them air dry for a few minutes. If you have a rotary razor, then you should disassemble the shaving head and spray the blades as well as the inner housing of the metal guards. Make sure to put them back together exactly the same after drying.
There are quite a few options of good spray lubricants out there; the Remington SP-4 Shaver Saver is one of the more popular ones and comes in a 3.8 oz can. It’s reasonably priced and works great as a cleaner and lubricant.
Light, low viscosity oils and lubricants
The other option is to simply use a multi-purpose light oil. Hair clipper oil and sewing machine oil also work great. Some manufacturers (like Braun) sometimes include a small bottle of lubricant in the package. But that’s not always the case.
I personally use some light sewing machine oil with all my shavers as it’s very effective and inexpensive. Applying it is extremely simple and straight forward. For foil shavers, just put a drop or two on each inner blade and also on the middle trimmer as it can get even hotter than the foils during use.
If your razor has the blades and foils integrated into one piece that can’t be disassembled (like Braun’s cassettes), just put a drop or two on each foil. Put the shaving head back together and turn it on for a few seconds to allow the oil to enter through the perforations of the foil and evenly spread across the parts.
For rotary razors, you don’t necessarily have to take it apart; place a few drops on each shaving head (on the slits and holes), then let it run for a few seconds and you’re all set.
That’s pretty much it. If you use a cleaning station with your electric razor, then there’s no need for additional lubrication as the solutions used for cleaning also act as a lubricant.
How often should you oil your shaver?
Lubrication frequency must take into account how you use and clean you razor. My recommendation is this:
- At least twice a week if you don’t use soap and water to clean your razor. A spray lubricant is probably better suited for this situation as it also helps with cleaning the parts. Twice a week is a good rule of thumb for men who prefer dry shaving.
- Before or after every use if you shave with gel / shaving cream or you clean your razor with soap and water. This cleaning method will also strip off the blades and foils of any form of lubrication. I personally put a few drops of lubricant before shaving, but there’s no right or wrong way of doing it.
Hopefully this article helped with clearing some of stuff regarding proper lubrication of an electric shaver. And it really is THAT important, as it will save you money in the long run, improve the comfort and ensure optimal performance of the shaver with every use.