In this guide, I’m going to present what I consider to be the best third-party cleaning solutions for Braun CCR stations.
I’ve been testing various products for years and I can finally share the ones that have been both effective and easy on the wallet.
You can of course do these operations yourself, but it’s easier to simply toss the shaver into the station and have it thoroughly cleaned, lubricated, charged, and ready for your next shave.
Because Braun shavers come with these so-called cassettes, with the blades and foils merged into a single piece, a cleaning station is genuinely useful and thoroughly cleans the shaving head.
Moreover, you can always take the cartridge out of the base, put the cap on and store both somewhere safe until needed.
This makes Braun stations more practical than the ones from other brands.
However, using a Braun station also implies constantly buying new Clean & Renew cartridges. And the costs of buying new refills can really add up.
Luckily, there are a few cost-effective alternatives out there, ranging from DIY solutions to third-party, ready-made refills.
In this article I’ll focus on the latter and check out the more popular products of this type (and arguably the best).
They promise results that are at least as good as the OEM cartridges for just a fraction of the price, so we’ll see just how well they work and also how they compare to Braun’s very own cleaning solution.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Ready-made vs DIY cleaning solutions for Braun stations
First of all, I have to say that I am not sponsored or endorsed in any way by the manufacturers of the refills/solutions in this post.
I bought the products myself to use them with my Braun cleaning stations and thought my experience would be useful to others as well.
With that said, you probably know that you can also make your own cleaning solution using only basic ingredients by reverse engineering Braun’s cleaning solution.
However, at least from a practical standpoint, the use of ready-made products is preferable (and safer).
And that’s the main advantage of these solutions: convenience.
They’re easy to purchase, prepare, and store.
Moreover, with DIY solutions, the lubricating properties of the mix are almost impossible to get right.
That’s mainly because we, the end-users, have limited access to certain ingredients (like Isotridecyl Stearate or ethoxylated Glycerin).
So we’ll end up with a solution that while effective at cleaning, it lacks proper lubricants and we’ll need to take care of that as well (with clipper oil or lubricating sprays).
With ready-made solutions, the cost per refill is also extremely reasonable and you’ll have the peace of mind of using a product that has been thoroughly tested and is backed by hundreds of user reviews, pretty much all of them positive.
In the case of a homemade solution, apart from the difficulty of sourcing all the ingredients, there’s the tricky problem of getting the proportions just right.
This is important in order for the solution to work properly — the station can even show an empty cartridge warning if the electrical conductivity of the fluid is not within certain parameters.
While there are ways to get around this by adding more water to your mix, I would actually prefer using a ready-made solution or concentrate packets that only require mixing with 70% to 100% alcohol and avoiding all the hassle.
Yes, making your own solution would likely bring the costs down a bit more, but again, I think third-party solutions are worth it for the completely hassle-free experience.
I am not by any means suggesting that you shouldn’t follow the other approach; in fact, I plan on posting a detailed guide on that as well once I have perfected and tested the recipe thoroughly.
But for now, we’ll focus on these ready-made solutions.
Preparing the old CCR cartridge
As we all know, Braun cleaning stations use these plastic cartridges that you’d normally replace with a new one.
We’re going to use the old CCR cartridge with our solutions; it’s also cheap and environmental-friendly.
For that, all we need to do is give it a quick cleaning.
It’s really straightforward and I’m going to show you the exact steps.
First, empty the remaining content of a used Braun cartridge after giving it a thorough shake.
Make sure to remove the liquid through the small opening as the large one contains a very fine mesh filter and the hair clippings won’t get through.
We want to remove as many of them as we can.
Fill the container with tap water through the small hole, put the plastic cap back on (or cover both openings with the palm of your hand) and shake it vigorously.
Empty the content again through the small orifice. Repeat this step at least 5 times in order to remove as much debris as possible.
Don’t worry if you cannot get all of the hairs out, they’re very difficult to remove as they’ll stick to the inner walls of the cartridge.
You can see in the picture below my result. That doesn’t look particularly clean, but it would work nevertheless.
But let’s take this one step further.
In order to remove the remaining hairs, pour a bit of dish wash soap into the cartridge (through the small hole), add some water, then shake it a few times.
Empty the content and rinse it very well until there’s no foam left.
Here’s how the cartridge looks after using soap, definitely much cleaner:
If you can do a better job than me, great. If not, don’t stress too much about it.
Just make sure to give the cartridge a good shake and remove all the water before adding the product.
What are the best cheap cleaning solutions for Braun cc stations?
For the past few years, I’ve been trying to find cheaper solutions for my Braun cleaning stations that would also perform great.
I managed to narrow down the list to four brands, taking into account the following aspects:
- Ease of use
I’m going to present my experience with each in great detail, showcasing the pros and cons so you can hopefully decide which one you’d rather use.
1. CCRREFILLS concentrated packs
In terms of effectiveness, costs and overall performance, these are arguably the best in my opinion.
The CCRREFILLS packets are quite popular in the USA and would be my top pick for users located there or in Canada.
The shipping costs are also very reasonable if you live in Europe — since these packets are so small they can be posted in an envelope.
The concentrated solution comes in these small packets that can be bought in bundles of 2, 3, 5, 10 or 25 pieces.
I highly recommend getting at least a pack of 2 as the cost per packet will be significantly lower and you’ll be needing them anyway. Also, they take up virtually no storage space.
Since this is a concentrated solution, it must be mixed with 500 ml of alcohol.
So a single packet will be enough to refill a Braun cartridge 3 times.
For example, buying a 10-pack will allow you to refill a cartridge 30 times for approximately $1 per refill. That’s fantastic value for money.
The refills come in 5 flavors: Lime, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint and unscented. I went with the Lemon scent just to compare it to the original Braun CCR solution.
Here’s how to prepare it.
As you’re about to see, it’s extremely easy and you can’t really do anything wrong.
1. Mix the concentrated solution with 500 ml (16 oz) of 70% to 100% rubbing alcohol.
You can use either Isopropyl or Ethanol. I used Isopropyl alcohol as that’s all I could find at a nearby store.
Tip: Using alcohol with a higher concentration will allow the shaving head to dry faster after the cleaning process. The difference between 70% and 100% alcohol is significant in that regard.
Side note: According to some reports, Isopropyl alcohol can cause some rubber and plastic parts to degrade in time.
While Braun’s very own solution contains either one or the other, it would probably be safer to stick to using Ethanol. I personally have been using Isopropyl alcohol for years and never had any issues.
For this batch of CCRREFILLS solution, I used some distilled water to bring down the concentration to somewhere between 70% and 80%.
I could have very well used it as it was at 100%, but I wanted to make this test as relevant as possible — since the majority will be using 70% alcohol as that’s the most common variation, I thought I should too.
Cut the top part of the packet with scissors and pour the whole content over 500ml (16 oz) alcohol (I used a 1L clean plastic bottle).
Shake the bottle to mix the content.
As mentioned previously, I went with the Lemon variation and it smells very similar to Braun’s original refills.
The manufacturer even includes a sticker so you won’t confuse the bottle with something else like plain alcohol.
2. Pour the solution into the cartridge, making sure not to top it off.
You should shake the bottle every time before refilling your cartridge. The 500 ml (16 oz) of cleaning solution will allow you to refill a cartridge 3 times.
Pour the solution through the small hole and fill the container to approximately ¼” from the top.
Failing to do so will result in the solution overflowing the container during the cleaning process and preventing the shaver from drying completely.
That’s pretty much it.
You can now insert the cartridge into the station and clean your shaver.
For each of the cleaning solutions presented, I will address 3 key aspects:
- Cleaning performance
- Lubricating properties
- How fast it dries
The concentrated packs from CCRREFILLS performed great.
I could not notice any significant differences from the original Braun solution.
The shaving head of my Braun shavers was perfectly clean provided the solution was not overly contaminated with fine hair (that’s a problem with any cleaning solution).
But I did not find any residues on the foil frame or inside the cleaning chamber of the station.
In terms of lubrication, the refills were also top performers.
I evaluate this by how warm the shaving head gets during use or if I notice any premature wear on the foils and blades.
The CCR REFILLS concentrate contains food-grade mineral oil as a lubricant and it does the job really well.
I did not have to lubricate the blades in addition to what the cleaning solution provided, which is one of the reasons why you would use a cleaning station in the first place.
How fast does it dry?
That depends entirely on the alcohol concentration.
As mentioned earlier, using a higher concentration will drastically speed up the process.
For example, when using 100% Isopropyl alcohol, the head of my Series 9 would be perfectly dry after the drying cycle.
The Series 9 station uses a tiny fan to blow dry the shaving head.
With 70% alcohol, the head would still be damp and I would need to detach it from the shaver and let everything air dry.
Overall, the CCRREFILLS turned out to be extremely effective, cheap and very practical.
The only drawback is that you have to buy the alcohol and mix the solution yourself, but that’s just nitpicking.
The ingredients of the concentrated refills are very simple (and drastically different from Braun’s original solution): food-grade machine oil, essential oil and water.
Again, if you can get these ingredients and you’re willing to play around with the proportions, I see no reason why you couldn’t make your own solution for even less money.
Food grade machine oil is basically a highly refined mineral oil that’s safe to use on equipment that comes into contact with food.
I cleaned my Series 5, 7 and 9 with the CCRREFILLS solution and I’m glad to say that the results are GREAT.
Apart from the fragrance not being as potent as the one in Braun’s refills, I haven’t found any differences whatsoever.
None of the stations ever signaled an empty cartridge and the cleaning process always went smoothly, just as it would when using an OEM refill cartridge.
My shavers were always clean and properly lubricated; I haven’t noticed anything unusual and they performed great, just like before.
I will update this post as time passes in case I notice anything significant.
I can strongly recommend these refills as a (significantly) more cost-effective alternative to Braun’s cleaning solution, especially if you live in the USA.
Rubbing alcohol is dirt cheap and widely available and the overall cost of a refill obtained in this manner will be a lot lower compared to the original.
2. Cleanerist Shave & Razor Fluid
The other alternative to Braun’s cleaning fluid that I particularly liked was the ready-made solution from Cleanerist.
Unlike the CCRREFILLS concentrate above, this one does not need to be mixed with alcohol.
You just pour the solution into an empty cartridge, again filling it to approximately ¼” from the top. And that’s really it.
You can immediately notice that the liquid has a blueish tint compared to the original Braun solution.
The fragrance is again very similar to my nose, but even more potent than the Lemon variation from CCRREFILLS.
Let’s now check out how the Cleanerist solution faired in the 3 key areas.
Excellent. 10/10, no differences whatsoever from the original Braun solution.
I do not know the alcohol concentration as it’s not mentioned on the bottle, but I suspect it’s pretty high.
Again, great, nothing to complain about.
The foils of my Braun razors never got hot during use, so I never had to oil my shavers when using the Cleanerist solution.
How fast does the solution dry?
As mentioned above, I suspect the alcohol concentration is pretty high since the solution evaporates pretty quickly.
The shaving head of the Series 9 was always perfectly dry after the drying cycle and even if your station doesn’t have a fan/heating element, it’ll air dry pretty quickly.
The results after using the Cleanerist solution were just as impressive.
In fact, I actually prefer it to the concentrated CCRREFILLS packs because it’s even easier to use, requiring no mixing with alcohol.
I also live in Europe, so it’s much easier for me to buy it.
And that’s the main (and only) drawback I can find with this solution — it’s not really a viable option for users located outside of Europe.
It can also be bought in bundles, lowering the costs even more. A bottle has 1 liter of solution, so you can fill a cartridge up to 7 times.
The ingredient list of the Cleanerist fluid resembles the original Braun solution: aliphatic hydrocarbons (less than 5%), fragrance, Citral, d-Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool, Hexyl cinnamaldehyde.
I never had any issues with the shavers or with the stations signaling an empty cartridge.
3. Wessper Shavemax
The cleaning solution from Wessper is the newcomer on this list, even though they are an established name in the industry.
Known primarily for descalers and water filters, Wessper also makes this universal shaver cleaning solution that works with all shaver brands.
That’s right, this versatile cleaning fluid will work not only with Braun CC stations, but with Panasonic and Philips cleaning systems as well.
That’s quite intriguing since the solution contains alcohol and Braun is the only manufacturer that uses alcohol-based solutions (the other two rely on detergent-based solutions).
Interestingly, Wessper doesn’t explicitly state that their fluid works with automatic cleaning stations.
In fact, the instructions on the bottle only mention rinsing the shaving head in a container filled with their fluid.
But I can confirm that it really works when used in a cleaning system.
Just like Cleanerist, the Wessper Shavemax solution is ready-made, so you’ll just have to clean your old Braun cartridge and fill it with the solution.
There are two variations available, lemon and mint.
I bought the mix pack that contains one bottle of each.
It’s only available in 1L bottles, so you’ll be able to refill your cartridge 7 times from a single bottle.
The Wessper solution contains 20 to 30% ethanol, so the concentration is a lot lower compared to the other options.
But even so, the shaving head appeared to be properly cleaned and the fluid was still effective at removing grime.
As for the fragrance, neither of the two variations was particularly nice to my nose. The scent was just too synthetic and harsh, but I wouldn’t say it’s a deal-breaker.
The Cleanerist and CCRREFILLS solutions are a lot better in that regard though.
As for how well it lubricates the blades, I would place Wessper Shavemax slightly below the two options above.
The foils of my Braun Series 9 constantly got slightly warm after a couple of minutes of use, so I wouldn’t say it’s quite as effective.
While not absolutely necessary, I would recommend a drop or two of clipper oil on each foil before you shave.
How fast does it dry?
In this regard, the Wessper solution performed the worst out of all.
That was to be expected since it has the lowest alcohol concentration, so it took a lot longer to evaporate.
After the drying cycle, the head of the Series 9 was still dripping wet and I had to pat it dry with a paper towel and let it air dry for a few more hours.
If having a fast drying solution is a must for you, definitely check out the other options.
The Wessper Shavemax solution is a decent alternative, especially if you can get it at a discount.
Just like Cleanerist, it will be a viable option mainly for European buyers because it doesn’t seem to be available in the USA/Canada.
However, if you can get the Cleanerist or CCRREFILLS concentrate instead, I would actually recommend those instead (superior lubrication and faster drying).
4. Shaver Shebang
Finally, there’s the absolute versatility champion, the cleaning concentrate from Shaver Shebang.
Just like the Wessper Shavemax above, the Shaver Shebang cleaner concentrate will work with all shaver brands.
However, you will need to mix it with alcohol in order to use it with a Braun cc system (and water if you have a Philips or Panasonic cleaning station).
But we’re interested in an alternative for Braun cleaning refills, so I’ll only be covering that part.
Fun fact: you’ll find the Shaver Shebang packs listed for different shaver brands, but they are all identical.
Just like with the CCRREFILLS packs, you should use 70% to 100% alcohol, either isopropyl or ethanol.
The higher the concentration, the faster the shaving head will dry.
A single pack should be mixed with 500ml of alcohol, so you’ll be able to refill your cartridge 3 times.
You can get the packs in various bundles (1 to 8 packs), but the price per pack will be lower if you go with a higher count.
There are two scents available, Citrus and Mint. I got the Citrus variation again so I can compare it to the original Braun Clean & Renew solution.
Here’s the complete Shaver Shebang ingredient list: Water, Berry-based surfactant blend (proprietary), Propylene Glycol, Citrus essential oil.
Let’s now see how good the Shaver Shabang Braun solution really is.
As expected, any solution that has at least 70% alcohol will be very effective at cleaning an electric shaver.
And while I can’t really complain about the effectiveness, there’s one thing specific to the Shaver Shebang solution that I didn’t particularly like.
Precisely, even after the fluid dries, the blades and foil frame feel a bit sticky. It’s like a thin film that coats the parts coming into contact with the solution.
It didn’t seem to alter the performance in any way, but you’ll definitely notice it.
Also, the scent was pretty inoffensive, a typical lemon/citrus fragrance, nothing to write home about.
Out of all the inexpensive solutions presented in this post, the Shaver Shebang concentrate performed the worst as a lubricant.
The foils of my Braun razors became quite hot soon after starting shaving and it affected the quality of my shave.
The SHaver Shebang cleaner concentrate definitely doesn’t provide enough lubrication, so you’ll need to oil the blades yourself or use a spray lubricant for electric shavers.
In my opinion this is not really acceptable and the cleaning solution should provide enough lubrication.
How fast does it dry?
This will again depend entirely on the alcohol concentration.
I went with 100% isopropyl alcohol, so the shaving head of my shaver was perfectly dry after the complete cycle.
By the way, the stickiness mentioned above could be mistaken for moisture, but it wasn’t the case as the blades and foils were perfectly dry.
The Shaver Shebang concentrate would be my last choice, to be honest.
The reasons are of course the sticky residue on the shaving head and especially the lack of proper lubrication.
I would only recommend it if you cannot get any of the other three options above.
If you were on the fence about buying a Braun shaver that comes with a cleaning station because that would bump up your costs of ownership, these truly are viable alternatives that will drastically reduce your expenses.
And you can lower the costs even more with just 3 easy steps that will make the cleaning solution last a lot longer.
From now on you would only need to buy original Braun CCR cartridges when the filter on yours becomes clogged with dirt or gets damaged. But from my experience, it will take a lot of refilling before that happens.
If you have further questions or would like to share your experience with these products or your own homemade solution, make sure to leave a comment below.