An automatic cleaning station can be the ultimate step toward a completely fuss-free shaving experience.
And in the case of most Braun electric shavers, the station is a necessary evil since the shaving heads (cassettes) are notoriously difficult to clean manually.
The cleaning fluid in Braun’s clean & renew cartridge refills also lubricates the foils and blades of your shaver, prolonging their lifespan by reducing the friction and heat during use.
For these reasons a Braun cleaning station is genuinely useful and a must have in my opinion.
However, in order to enjoy your squeaky clean, citrus scented shaver, you’ll have to constantly shell out your hard earned money on new refills.
And Braun’s clean and renew cartridges are pricey compared to the ones from the competition and also need to be replaced sooner than other detergent-based solutions.
In this post I will show you 3 actionable tips to make your Braun cleaning cartridges last longer so you can save money and continue to enjoy shaving.
Let’s get started!
1. Take out the cartridge and put the plastic cap back on once the cleaning process has ended.
Unlike other electric shaver brands that use detergent-based solutions, Braun’s cleaning fluid contains alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol).
Alcohol tends to evaporate a lot faster and while this can be an advantage as it takes less time for the shaving head to dry, it also means that the cleaning fluid inside the container will evaporate faster.
Luckily, this can be easily fixed. After the completion of the cleaning cycle, pop open the station, carefully slide out the cartridge and firmly press the plastic cap back on. Then store it in safe place until your next shave.
Braun recommends removing the cartridge if you won’t be using the station for a long time, but I actually recommend you to do it every time if you want to get the most out of one cartridge.
Even if you use the station daily that’s still 24 hours in which some of the alcohol based fluid will naturally evaporate.
So make sure not to throw away the plastic cap when you install a new cartridge.
2. Remove the bulk of hair strands from the shaving head before using the cleaning station.
The foils and blades of your Braun shaver are merged into a single piece called a cassette. It has a very intricate inner part that makes cleaning very fiddly and tedious and you can never get all the clippings and dirt out.
However, removing as much as you can prior to using the station will definitely help us achieve our goal of squeezing more cleaning cycles out of one cartridge.
Once you’ve finished shaving, remove the cassette and very gently tap it on the edge of your sink or counter-top.
You should only tap the plastic frame, never hit the foils as they can be damaged easily.
With the included brush you can also briefly clean the inner part of the cassette.
This step of removing the hairs is very important. Remember, we want to use the cleaning cartridge for as long as we can, so we don’t want the cleaning fluid overly contaminated with hair strands if we can prevent that.
It only takes a few seconds but it will make a big difference.
Note: Never use the cleaning station if your shaver is not free of any foam and soap residue. It should also be completely dry.
3. Use the cleaning station in conjunction with a quick manual cleaning.
One of the reasons why I consider Braun cleaning stations necessary is that in time hairs, dirt, skin cells and gunk will remain lodged inside the cassette with obvious implications for the hygiene of your shaver.
However, this will happen after months of use, so it’s perfectly fine to perform a few manual cleanings and use the station after every three shaving sessions for example.
I find this to be a great compromise and I can always use the station whenever I feel that my shaver needs a proper cleaning.
I recommend using a bit of liquid soap and warm tap water for a more efficient manual cleaning, but that’s up to you. Using only water or simply brushing the hairs are two quicker, but less effective methods.
Also, since soap removes any traces of lubrication from the blades, make sure to apply a drop of clipper oil or sewing machine oil on each foil if you won’t be using the station for more than one week.
This third step is of course optional and it’s for you to decide if and how often you’re willing to skip the automated cleaning process and clean the shaver yourself.
I personally use my station once every three shaves and so far it’s been working great.
How long you can expect a Braun CCR cartridge to last?
Well, that really depends on how often you use the cleaning station, but if you follow the above steps you should easily expect three to five months for one Braun CCR refill.
Now, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Braun officially recommends replacing the cleaning cartridge after two months once it has been opened and used (to maintain optimal hygiene).
I personally have used the same cartridge for more than 5 months without any issues. Truth be told, I do have quite a few electric shavers in my rotation so I haven’t used the station as often as you likely will.
As long as the cleaning fluid is not overly contaminated with hairs and dirt to the extent of clogging the filter inside the cartridge and there are no buildups or funky smells, you should be good.
As soon as you notice any of these it’s time to ditch the cartridge and get a new one. Speaking of which, buying your Braun refills in bulk seems like a good idea since the price per cartridge is more reasonable.
There’s also the option of making your own Braun cleaning solution for significantly less money, but that’s a different topic that I’ll cover in great detail in a future post (I will update this one once it’s live).
Disclaimer: shavercheck.com and the author of this post are not responsible in any way for any damage caused to your shaver by improper use. Always follow the instructions from your user’s manual.