Cheap And Effective Braun Clean & Renew Solutions

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.

An automatic cleaning station is definitely nice to have as it takes complete care of cleaning and lubricating your shaver.

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.

Braun Series 9 cleaning station.

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.

Inserting the cartridge into the S9 Pro station.

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.

Ready-made vs DIY cleaning solutions for Braun stations

Braun cleaning solution alternatives.

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.

Cleanerist ready-made solution.
The ready-made solution from Cleanerist.

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).

Cleaning and lubricating your head shaver is important.

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.

CCRRefills concentrate, one of the most popular cleaning solutions for Braun stations out there.

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.

Old CCR Cartridge

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.

cleaning-ccr-cartridge

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.

Empty CCR cartridge

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:

Clean CCR cartridge.

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:

  • Price
  • Availability
  • Effectiveness
  • 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

ccrrefill

See the price on Amazon

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).

Pouring the concentrated liquid into 500ml of alcohol.

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

Cleaning performance

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.

Lubricating properties

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.

Final verdict

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.

series-7-cleaning-process
The Braun Series 7 during the automatic cleaning process. The station signals a full cartridge.

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.

UPDATE: I have been using it for more than five years without any issues.

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

Cleanerist

See on Amazon.co.uk

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.

Cleanerist cartridge (left) vs Braun original refill (right).
Cleanerist cartridge (left) vs Braun original refill (right).

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.

Cleaning performance

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.

Lubricating properties

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.

Final verdict

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

wessper.

See on Amazon.co.uk

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.

The Mint and Lemon variations.

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.

Cleaning performance

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.

Lubricating properties

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.

Final verdict

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

Shaver Shebang.

See the price on Amazon

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.

Mixing the Shaver Shebang concentrate with alcohol.

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.

Shaver Shebang 4-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.

Cleaning performance

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.

Lubricating properties

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.

Final verdict

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.

Conclusion

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.

Article by

Hey. I’m Ovidiu, the founder and editor of ShaverCheck.com. I independently buy and test electric shavers and I’ve been sharing my findings on this site for almost 10 years, hopefully helping others choose a suitable shaver.

If you found the information useful, consider subscribing to the ShaverCheck newsletter as well. I only send a few emails per year. Unsubscribe at any time.

194 thoughts on “Cheap And Effective Braun Clean & Renew Solutions”

Leave a comment
  1. Hi,

    A word of caution. Out of curiosity, I made my own research about this and found warnings about using Isopropyl alcohol because of stronger solvent properties compared to ethyl alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol could potentially dissolve the shavers plastics and gaskets, so I would not recommend using anything but ethyl alcohol (same as in Braun’s OEM cleaning fluid).

    Sincerely,
    Fred

    Reply
    • Hi Fred,

      Thank you for the heads-up. Braun actually uses either Isopropyl alcohol or Ethanol in their cleaning fluid as shown in this data sheet of the Isopropyl variation. On some cartridges it will even be listed explicitly on the label (propan-2-ol). The ethanol-based fluid uses a special denatured form (SD – Alcohol 40 – B). I’ve also seen Braun cartridges that don’t list the type of alcohol at all, so it can be either Isopropanol or Ethanol.

      I am aware of the claim that Isopropyl alcohol can be more aggressive to plastic and rubber surfaces, but since Braun uses it I thought that it won’t be a problem. However, I think I will update the article and post a warning about it just to be extra cautious.

      Thank you again for taking the time to comment.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Hi Ovidiu,

        I was not aware that Braun uses both types of alcohols for their cleaning fluids. Are those for different series or can the same shaver series have either Isopropyl alcohol or Ethanol? I’m asking because different series could be made of different materials. Either way, Braun would happily sell you a new shaver head or a completely new shaver, so I don’t think they care which type of alcohol you use.

        Sincerely,
        Fred

        Reply
        • Hi Fred,

          Nope, there are no cartridges intended to be used with a specific shaver model. They’re all the same according to Braun.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
          • Ovidiu –

            Thanks for putting this information together – very useful for me as I have a Brain 9-series model and the cartridges are super expensive. In the spirit of makes your post as useful to everyone as possible I offer the following, in reference to your statement about the “…claim that Isopropyl alcohol…” can be hard on plastic.

            Two things here. First, Isopropyl is absolutely hard on plastics. I have worked in an industrial field where we needed to use Isopropyl to rinse equipment. We had to follow a specification to use plastic pressure-put spray bottles – where you apply pressure to then bottle by pumping in, after echo the pressure in the bottle powered the spray. These bottles and the plastic pump parts in them lasted about a year – 3 or 4 quarterly sampling events – and the plant would all fail. Clearly the result of the degrading effects Isopropyl had on the bottles. We used the same type of bottle to deliver distilled water within other parts of that process and found those bottles to last 2 or 3 years.

            Secondly, I believe product sheet listings that offer either/or ingredients, like “ethyl alcohol or Isopropyl alcohol,” are stated that way because they may buy either of this products based on market availability or cost. In this case, I’m thinking that the manufacturer may use either a 100% ethyl or a blend of ethyl/Isopropyl. Plastic can probably put up with a blend if the Isopropyl content doesn’t exceed 30% or some such.

            In short, don’t use straight Isopropyl – it will damage the plastic and rubber parts in your razor.

          • Hi Avin,

            Thanks so much for taking the time to share this — I will update the post as well.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

      • Hi all. In fact isopropyl alcohol is a standard cleaner for electronic maintenance and widely used in many different ways. As a tech I can say I never had any signs of isopropyl alcohol degrading plastic and/or rubber parts unless they are kept in contact (like being emerged) for days, which is not the case in Braun’s station cleaning process.

        Reply
        • I have used isopropyl alcohol for a long period, cleaning printer pickup rollers. I also found on those units, the properties of the rollers changed making them loose the friction needed to pull paper. The alcohol would work for a few days then I would need to replace the rollers with new ones. I have worked on all types of printers and other devices that use rubber rollers to pull paper. I have had many people tell me that it’s OK to use alcohol but from 30+ years in the computer repair industry and working on many hundreds of printers, I found using alcohol only useful to use while ordering a replacement part. I have found that alcohol is useful in cleaning plastics and cleaning cuts received when replacing rubber rollers.

          Reply
      • Hi Ovidiu,
        Since I’ve managed to gain a lot of valuable information from your site and appreciate all the trouble you’ve gone through to compile all this information I figured I would share my 2 cents worth. I have a 9295cc and have for the past three months or so been making my own cleaning solution which consists of 70% isopropyl alcohol mixed with 25-30 drops of Wahl clipper blade oil. Where the shaver drive pins (there are four of them, two center that drive the inner two cutter slides and two outer that drive the cutter block slides under the outer foil portions of the cutter head/cassette assembly) engage the outer cutter block slides there is a small, gray rubber dampener(?) that is part of the cutter block slide that comes into contact with the very top of the drive pin when the cutter head/cassette assembly is installed. Within a few months my cleaning solution dissolved these. When holding a new assembly up to the light you cannot see through the center of the foil cutter block slides whereas after they have dissolved there is a perfect square opening allowing light through. This however, has had absolutely no effect on the shavers ability to shave and had I not seen one of the rubber pieces partially dissolved I would have never noticed anything. Sorry about this being so long.

        Reply
        • Hi David,

          Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it. I tried to replicate your findings by comparing two Series 9 cassettes, a new one and one that has been constantly cleaned in the station using isopropyl alcohol and the CCRRefills concentrate. However, I could clearly see the square openings in both cases. I can’t really tell where the rubber dampeners would be located on either of the two cassettes. Maybe if you have a picture or if you can indicate it with an arrow I would be able to look further into this.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
          • Hi Ovidiu,
            Sorry, but it appears I was mistaken. Upon further use and subsequent cleaning cycles; these supposed small, gray rubber dampeners mysteriously reappeared. Upon further inspection while cleaning I realized it was nothing more than gray beard hair that had caked on the cutter slides that wasn’t being flushed all the way out during the cleaning cycles. After noticing this I figured I needed to log back on and correct this erroneous observation on my part. Sorry, and again I want to mention how much I appreciate your very informative write up. Thank you.

  2. Hi Ovidiu,

    First I would like to thank you for the awesome detailed information you provide on this site.

    I bought the Braun 9295cc as it is available in my country.

    The head is indeed really hard to clean manually.

    But checking what the Cleaning Station do I think I found a solution.

    So I use a water pulverizer used to spray plants.

    I remove the head from the machine, brush the machine to remove the dirt and then spray the head with the pulverizer.

    I adjust the spray pulverizer to be a concentrated water jet.

    It’s pretty effective. After removing all the dirt I use soap and water to finish cleaning.

    Sincerely,
    Joao

    Reply
    • Hi Joao,

      Thank you for your comment, I truly appreciate it.

      That’s a great workaround and I’m sure it will be useful to Series 9 solo owners — or to those that don’t use the cleaning station.
      I do think that after some time it would be beneficial to also run your shaver through an automatic cleaning cycle. I’ve had many Braun shavers throughout the years and no matter how rigorous I was with cleaning the shaver, after a few months I would start to see some dirt buildups inside the cassette that I simply couldn’t remove. And also dried lather/shaving cream is really a pain to clean.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Hey Ovidiu,

        Did you look at that link? It no longer contains any info. Most of the SDSs just list alcohol. Some also have d-limonene. Wouldn’t those ingredients also have to be included on the SDSs?

        Thanks,
        Steve

        Reply
        • Hi Steve,

          I did at the moment you posted the comment, but it doesn’t seem to be active anymore. You are correct, P&G datasheets seem to only include alcohol (Ethanol or Propanol) and some of them also list Limonene. I am not by any means an expert in this area, but I think they are only legally required to list the alcohol and not the rest. It would be useful to include all the ingredients though.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
        • It no longer works directly, but simply click on the link, then start a search. Enter “United Kingdom” as the country, “Braun” as the company, and “Clean and Renew” as the product. You then get precisely the list Scott provided.

          Reply
  3. Dear Ovidiu,

    Thanks to your great site and articels I have bought a Braun 7789cc in the last week. Now I am learning how to do the dry shaving properly :). Before that I had used a razor once a week (mach 3), but I really wanted to try the electric shaving. Now I try to set up a two-day shaving cycle – I hope I will get better in it 🙂

    About cleaning: after shaving I release the catridge and flush it (and the machine’s socket) under warm water. After that I shake off the water a bit and I put it into the cleaning station to clean. Is this a proper way? Or should I skip the flushing?

    Thank you very much for your quality content on this site!

    Regards,
    Zoltan

    Reply
    • Hi Zoltan,

      Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.

      I personally don’t wash the cassette of my Series 7 before an automatic cleaning cycle. I simply remove it from the shaver, gently tap the plastic part on the sink to remove most of the hair strands, then snap it back on the shaver and let the station do the work. Rinsing the shaver and the cassette with tap water will remove most of the hairs, meaning fewer will end up in the cleaning cartridge, which is a good thing. So if you’re willing to do it, it definitely won’t hurt. Just make sure to shake off most of the water, maybe even pat the shaver/cassette with a clean towel or paper tissue. You’ll want them to be as dry as possible before using the station.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • I will be buying my refill packs from this CCRrefills site as well. Thank you for the alternative. Maybe I will try different scents. But now I using the new cartridge that came with it. Paying attention to keep the cap and replace it after using it.

        I may buy me a can of compress air to blow out my cassette from time to time. But now I just tap it on the sink. Put it back on and then go through the station.

        Reply
        • That sounds good. I haven’t tried the other scents, but from what I’ve read they’re quite nice. I will be updating the article with a couple of other third-party cleaning solutions that I’m currently testing.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
          • Hi Ovidiu. Have you tried out a self-made cleaning solution yet ? I’ve read there is a mixed proportion between 70% isoprophyl alcohool and several drops of lemon oil (for one cartridge) but I don’t know the exact proportion.

            Regards
            Bledi

          • Hi Bledi,

            I’ve tried several variations (and it’s still an ongoing experiment), but I am yet to try just alcohol and lemon oil. I’ve read about it as well, and while it will likely work, I’m not entirely certain that it will provide enough lubrication, especially when used in the long run. That’s why I tend to recommend the ready-made solutions like the one in this article and have been hesitant at posting a DIY solution.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

  4. I think it’s odd we aren’t mentioning what appears to be the main ingredient here- “SD alcohol 40”. Basically 40% ethanol. Do you know an easily available 40% alcohol solution with little else? Vodka. The fact that vodka is not denatured should make no difference- denaturing is just a process that makes it toxic to drink by adding a teeny tiny amount of methanol so they don’t have to pay liquor taxes.

    Given how cheap cheap vodka can be ($5-$10 for 750 ml depending where you are), seems like it’s an easy pick-up. It may be that it doesn’t really matter and just isopropyl is fine.

    Reply
    • The 40 in SD – Alcohol 40 – B (the type used by Braun) doesn’t have anything to do with the concentration. It’s just a code for the denaturant that’s being used, like 39-C, 38-B and so on. So that’s definitely not just 40% ethanol.

      According to Braun’s data sheet, they use either ethanol or isopropyl with a concentration between 60% and 100% (they do not state the exact concentration). I haven’t tried it, but 40% alcohol is probably too low and there’s a high chance the station won’t work and signal an empty cartridge.

      Also, at least where I live, 100% alcohol (isopropyl) is much cheaper than vodka, even than the worst possible vodka you can buy. 🙂

      Reply
  5. There is a known issue with the Series 7 in that after around two years of use in conjunction with Braun’s Clean & Charge stations, the plastic beneath the head starts to flake. Maybe this is because Braun sometime deploy Isopropyl alcohol rather than the rather less aggressive ethyl alcohol. I’ll erring on the side of caution and continue to use ethanol in my concoctions. I have previously had good results using ethanol-based ‘Surgical Spirit’ which has castor oil in-situ.

    I wonder if the variance of usage of propanol vs ethanol is down to statutory regulations in the nations where the cleaning cartridges are manufactured.

    Reply
    • Hi John,

      That is correct, the paint chipping on the Series 7 is a well-known problem, acknowledged by Braun, but never fixed or addressed in any manner. In the datasheet of the CCR solution it is indeed specified either isopropanol or ethanol. At this moment I cannot say with certainty whether the use of one or the other will increase the likeliness of the paint getting damaged, but it is a legitimate concern and it’s probably best to opt for ethyl alcohol just to be on the safe side.

      I’ve only come across Braun cleaning cartridges manufactured in Ireland and some of them had the type of alcohol explicitly written on the label (SD – Alcohol 40 – B), while others didn’t have any information in this regard. So I guess it could be either of them.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  6. Hi I have used the method exactly as described and made my own solution

    I have encountered a problem the shaver does not dry after a cycle and when I remove the shaver from the cleaning station it is soaking wet with the solution and it doesnt clean the shaver and just leaves sludge from stubble

    What could be wrong? The fan in the station is not drying the shaver and the solution is not cleaning the shaver

    I used a bottle of 500ml of rubbing 70 per cent Isopropyl alcohol

    And added a 10ml sachet of lemon oil and filled the cartridge up to 170ml?

    Any help I would be most grateful

    Reply
    • Hi Kevin,

      Since you’ve mentioned the fan, I suppose your shaver is a Series 9. From what I can tell, it appears that the station may be clogged. The solution should work exactly like Braun’s original product and after a cleaning and drying cycle, the shaver should be clean and dry. If you’ve followed the instructions precisely, the cleaning solution is definitely not the culprit. Try cleaning the drain hole of the station using a toothpick.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  7. Hey there,
    thank you for helpful instructions how to save some money and do not be reliant for buying those overpriced original Braun cartridges.

    But I did some research and I have some concerns when it comes to using casual denatured alcohol for electric shaver cleansing.

    Difference between SD – Alcohol 40 – B which Braun is using and casual denatured alcohol is that Braun’s one is good to use in cosmetics and can come in touch with the skin. Denatured alcohol which you buy in every drugstore is full of toxic substances.
    The problem is after each shaving you get small abrasions on your skin allowing any leftover denaturing ingredients to seep in and reach the blood stream.

    The question is :
    Does alcohol evaporate completely with all residues ?
    is it safe to use and is it worth to risk it in order to save money ?

    I would like to know your opinion .

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Tomas,

      Thank you for your comment. That is actually an excellent question.
      It’s true that in cosmetic grade alcohols like the SD 40 – B there are only a few denaturants allowed to be used. The rubbing alcohol (ethanol or isopropyl) that you buy from a drugstore is also denatured and the denaturing agents can and are most likely different than the ones used in the SD – Alcohol 40 – B.

      However, I wouldn’t worry too much about this not being safe for cleaning an electric shaver. For example, rubbing alcohol is used as an antiseptic agent and can be applied to the skin and even on opened wounds. Also, when the alcohol evaporates from the shaving head, any substances that are left behind are most likely in quantities so small that they couldn’t cause any harm.

      You could use SD – Alcohol 40 – B if you’re still in doubt, but I don’t know how easy it is to get (I haven’t been able to buy some in small quantities).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Hi Ovidiu,
        thank you for your answer.
        I thought that rubbing alcohol dedicated for medical purposes like treating open wounds is different in content. Is it the same like denatured technical alcohol ?
        I have been searching for SD – Alcohol 40 – B in my country but without success. I found grain alcohol called Everclear without toxic substances but it costs almost 20 bucks per 1 liter , so it would not make sense preparing your own solution instead of buying original cartridges when you take in to account you have to buy essential oil and clean up cartridge each time.

        I would not care about this ,but if you are shaving on daily basis like I do and if in theoretic way only even small amount of toxins get to your body during one shaving , it could lead to some health problems as years are passing by.

        I will try to do more research and will get back if I found some trustworthy source on this matter.

        Thanks

        Reply
        • You are welcome, Tomas. I think my previous comment wasn’t exactly clear, so I’ll try to be more concise. Rubbing alcohol, which is either ethanol or isopropyl based, is a type of denatured alcohol. And yes, the generic rubbing alcohol that you buy from any drugstore is the one used for medical purposes. There are other types of denatured alcohols, that contain different denaturants and other chemicals (including methanol), that are used as solvents and so on (and yes, those are pretty nasty). But we’re not talking about those here and regular rubbing alcohol should, by all means, be safe to use as the base for your cleaning solution.

          Reply
          • I have found 99,5 % Isopropyl here in paint colors shop only, do not know what is remaining 0,5%,it could be everything. I did not find any isopropyl in drugstore which has information it could be used to disinfect wounds.
            I found one product in pharmacy called Sterillium dedicated to disinfect hands, costs 13 bucks per liter.
            It has following contents per 100ml :
            propan-2-ol 45 g,
            propan-1-ol 30 g,
            Mecetronium etilsulfate (INN) 0,2 g;
            purified water,
            tetradecan-1-ol,
            glycerol 85 %,
            some sort of parfum and coloring.

            Here you can be sure 100% it is safe ,it is 75%( 45 g+30g) ,it has even glycerol as a lubricant ,perfume to suppress odor and nice blue coloring.

            What do you think, can I use it ?

            Thank you

  8. That’s a very fair point and I completely agree. Everyone should use the products that make more sense — financially as well.

    Reply
  9. Just purchased Braun 7685cc and ordered the CCR refills. I can get ethanol in 99.5% or 70% and isopropyl alcohol in 70% locally. From what I have read, it appears the ethanol is probably recommended. Does the strength matter? The solution that came with shaver is the ethanol based one from Ireland.
    And congratulations on a thorough and amazing article on this shaver and its comparison with others. That was quite a project.

    Reply
    • Hi Norman,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, ethanol would be the safer choice. I personally use isopropyl alcohol (that’s what I could get at the time) and everything seems fine so far; but given the choice, I think you should opt for ethanol. I will continue using isopropyl alcohol just for testing purposes and see (and report back) if there are any long term problems with it.

      The concentration doesn’t really matter as long as it’s between those values (70 to 100%).

      The type 5697 only refers to a Series 7 suitable for wet & dry use and appears on other wet & dry models, not just on the 7865cc.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  10. Hi Ovidiu,
    I have found 99 % Isopropyl (1 lt). And i find lemon oil. I use 9 series.
    My question is how many drops (or ml) oil i must add to 1 lt Isopropyl?

    I have tried 6 drops to 170 ml, but the cleaner gives error (red / refill) all the time. I had to buy new cartridges of Braun to see if the machine still works. It works fine. I don’t want to make mistake 🙁 Can you help please? I should buy 70 procent? i put too much oil? or less?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Aykut,

      I don’t think the oil is the problem here, rather the electric conductivity of the solution. This is one of the main reasons why I tend to recommend these ready-made third-party solutions, it can be tricky to get it right and not get a false “cartridge empty” reading. Start by filling the cartridge with approx 140ml of alcohol, then try adding around 4 teaspoons of water to the solution. You may need to add more if the alcohol concentration is still too high and the station sees the cartridge as empty (make sure not to overfill the container). 3 to 4 drops of oil per refill should suffice.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  11. Hi Ovidiu
    I bought my series 7 shaver in the UK and then relocated to France, so I’m buying the genuine refills here in France, but I’m getting a red light on the charger unit far too early and far too often. Sometimes I get even a red light with a new genuine refill. Is it possible that the genuine refills in France are not compatible with the UK shaver? I love the shaver, but the refill problem is driving me crazy.

    Reply
    • Hi John,

      As long as they’re genuine Braun refills, there shouldn’t be any differences at all and they are compatible with all Braun cleaning stations, regardless of where they’ve been purchased. So there may be a problem with your unit if the red light turns on upon inserting a new cartridge. These stations take into account the fluid level and its electric conductivity as well, so there may be something wrong with the electronics involved in this process.

      One solution would be to contact a Braun service center in France about the problem, but if your warranty has expired, you may be better off with buying a new station as the costs of the repair can be pretty high. I personally would contact Olympic Shaving Center in the UK, they are an authorized Braun partner and provide outstanding customer support.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  12. I have been using a home made solution for over 10 years.

    130mg of 91% Isopropil Alcohol
    30mg cold water
    5mg Glycerin
    5mg Williams Lectric Preshave

    It works for me using three containers alternatively but after a few years the container needs to be replaced to prevent overspill of the fluid

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment, Barry. That’s a very interesting recipe and I have been dabbling lately with mixing a few ingredients myself. Making the solution from scratch is a different topic though, here I just wanted to share an easy, basically ready-made alternative.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • Thank you for your comment, Paul. I am aware of these refills, unfortunately the seller won’t ship overseas to Europe, so I haven’t had the chance to try them so far.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • Hi Adrian,

      I didn’t try that particular brand, however, I did use something similar that is quite popular here in Europe. It’s called Cleanerist and it works really well, the price is excellent and it’s ready to be used just like the one you linked. So no mixing with alcohol required.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  13. First, thank you for this informative post. I have been getting dryness around my lips, and I think it may be from the alcohol based solution. Can you recommend a homemade Braun renew solution using an alternative to alcohol?

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Thank you for your comment. If your dryness issue is a reaction to alcohol, it would be best to stop using the cleaning station and just rely on manually cleaning the shaver with warm tap water and some liquid soap. There’s no homemade solution that doesn’t involve the use of alcohol — the station will show an empty cartridge warning if the solution is not alcohol-based.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  14. Hi,
    I notice from the SDS sheet above that the solvent is not IPA (iso propyl alcohol or propan-2-ol) but rather propan-1-ol. I am a chemist so was interested so picked up the difference immediately. Maybe propan-2-ol (IPA) and propan-1-ol will behaving similarly but I wouldn’t know. I also notice from the ingredients list also shown above (from P&G link) that the main ingredient is “alcohol – denatured” one example of which is methylated spirits (meths) which has a small % of methanol added to prevent people from drinking it. There are lots of different formulations for denatured alcohols but I wouldn’t be too worried about the finer details of that. I’ve decided to base my formulation on the official ingredients list from P&G which shows the ingredients in order of highest to lowest.
    i.e. The below is the list that Scott provided which looks like exactly the same as on the P&G sheet:
    Alcohol Denatured – 70mL
    Propyl Alcohol – 70mL
    ISOTRIDECYL STEARATE – don’t know where to get this so won’t bother
    Aqua – 25mL
    Glycerin, ethoxylated – 5mL
    PARFUM
    Limonene – will add a few drops of lemon essential oils if I can find it on the market
    Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – won’t bother
    C12-18-Alkyldimethyl(ethylbenzyl) ammonium chlorides – won’t bother
    Quaternary ammonium compounds, benzyl-C12-16-alkyldimethyl, chlorides – won’t bother
    Didecyldimethylammonium chloride – won’t bother
    Citral
    The total volume comes to 170mL which I believe is correct.
    Hopefully the conductivity of the solution will be ok so that the red light doesn’t show up. The various salts listed above provide electrical conductivity in the solution so maybe the level has been set according to these to trigger the red light.

    Reply
    • Hi Chris,

      Many thanks for your comment. It’s nice to have an actual chemist explain some of the ingredients.
      If you have the time, do let us know how it went.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • Thank you for the heads up, Vinny. I haven’t tested the solution with 99% alcohol as I also used some water to lower the concentration. It’s probably best to stay within the 70–80% range.

      Reply
      • Hi Ovidiu, isopropyl alcohol does not conduct electricity at all so 99% is like nothing to sensors. Water is at least necessary. This justifies the 70% concentration. If still not working same salt is needed as Chris said above. The sensor reads conductivity of the solution. Also, Braun needs to follow some regulations to approve their solution. This is why so many ingredients in the original formula. I believe isopropyl 70% and lemon oil should do the job.

        Reply
  15. HI,
    I am so sorry but in your article you mention 70% – 100% alcohol 500ml. Mixed with oil? Which oil? and how much more or less?

    Thanks for a great article by the way. Im my country the refills or the originals are not available so I have to make my own. I need it to be 100%

    Reply
    • Hi Michael,

      Thank you for your comment. The alcohol must be mixed with the content of the CCRrefill packet (you can order it as they also ship abroad). It’s all you need in order to make the solution.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  16. Hi guys,
    I’ve been using my Series 7 for a few years now using only DIY cleaning solution.
    I use IPA from Kontact Chemie which is ready available in my country and a few drops of essential lemon oil.
    The C&C station showed yellow fluid level with it’s original fluid so I’ve just opened it and tied the two sensor wires together, now it shows full every time 😀 just remember to check the cartridge a few times a year and top up with IPA or thoroughly clean and make a refill, depending on mesh filter state.
    For the guys scared by the IPA (isopropyl alcohol) this is the ONLY alcohol that will completely evaporate and leave no residue behind, so if you are not using your shaver while still wet after cleaning you get no alcohol traces on your skin, only the lemon oils.
    The essential lemon oils seem enough for blade lubrication, shaver used 3-4 times/week, cleaned 1-2 times/week, has over 3 years and cuts just fine.
    Best wishes.

    Reply
  17. I contacted Braun concerning the CCRRefills and the representative advised not to buy it. Their packet is only a fragarence and no lubricant.

    Reply
    • Hi David,

      Braun recommends to only use the original cleaning solution; this is also stated in the user manuals that come with the cc shavers. The CCRRefills packets contain food-grade mineral oil for lubrication. I’ve been using them for years with good results and so have many other users. But of course, it’s totally up to you if you decide to use it or stick to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  18. As a Braun user (model 7899cc, started using it in June 2018) who doesn’t like the idea of buying those cartridges, I appreciate all the info here! I’ve been using isopropyl alcohol to refill the cartridge, and also rinse the shaver head with tap water after each use. Visually, the foil and cutter (and where they attach to the shaver) seem to have some sort of residue (call it less-than-spotless) after using the Clean&Renew station. I’ve never kept track of how many shaves it takes before the hygiene status indicates it’s time to use the Clean&Renew station, but I feel that I now get fewer shaves between cleanings than I had originally. Which factor might contribute the most to that: minerals in the water, lack of cleaning agents in the isopropyl alcohol, or something else?

    (I’m going to try one of the refill packets from http://ccrrefills.com/)

    Reply
    • The hygiene meter on all Braun shavers, not just the Series 7, is just a basic timer that resets after every automatic cleaning. So it just keeps track of how long the shaver has been running since the last cleaning. So it doesn’t actually account for anything like minerals in the water and such. Even if you were to turn the shaver on and just let it run (without actually shaving), the hygiene meter would still show that it needs to be cleaned after a certain period.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • You are lacking lubricant. You can add glycerin or limonene 3ml per cartridge of 170ml. Also, prefer distiled than tap water to preserve the metal parts of the head. Keep away from tap water. Oh, and do not use isopropyl concentration more than 70-80% otherwise it will do nothing to sterilization of blades. You need water mixed with alcohol to kill bacterias.

      Reply
  19. Hi Ovidiu, oil and water doesn’t mix. I would like to know if you see bubbles of the machine oil on top of the mixed solution or they mix evenly. If the oil is mixing with water the solution must have some tensoactive ingredient too and the final 500ml mix should not be transparent. How is it? Tks!

    Reply
    • Hi Fabio,

      I actually thought about that myself knowing that mineral oil is not soluble in alcohol, so I just assumed they added some sort of surfactant in the mix for that purpose. The final solution is transparent though and I didn’t see any oil beads in there. I am not by any means an expert in this field (until now I didn’t even know that the solution should not be transparent in this case), so I’m not sure what to think of it.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Thanks for the response Ouvidiu! Very interesting. Yes, surfactant will bind oil and water but the original P&G seems not to use any oil. They use limonene and glycerin as lubricants wich are soluble in water. BUT there are some surfactant in their product too. Maybe because limonene comes from orange oil. I’m doing a lot of experiences and will post results here. From now, I believe it is basically isopropyl, aqua, limonene, glycerin and surfactant (don’t know exactly why?). Now, machine oil is too extreme to any surfactant make it clear when mixed with water. I’m sceptical to believe they really use mineral oil in this ccrrefils.com as they say.

        Reply
  20. My issue with refilling the cleaning cartridge is that my Braun cleaning station does not accept the refilled cartridge. I have filled the ceratridge after cleaining it with 170ml cleaning solution but the red light will not turn off and the cleaning cycle does not start.
    Is there a way to reset the station?
    Do the latest Braun (series 7, 8, 9) stations have a counter that prevents refills?

    Any information will be appreciated.

    Henry

    Reply
    • Hi Henry,

      What cleaning solution did you use? What was the concentration of alcohol?

      The stations have no way of figuring out that a cartridge has been refilled. It would also be useful to try an original Braun cartridge to rule out any problems with the station itself.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • I have the same issue here. Cleaning station remains with the red light (empty) after refillign with my own liquid (99% Iso propyl alcohol, 1% limonene). Somebowdy recommended to add some water and/or salt to trigger the conductivity sensor. Is there really a sensor in the cleaning station?
      (I tried original cartridge and no issues found, light switch to ‘full’)

      Reply
      • Yes, there is some sort of sensor that likely measures the electric conductivity of the solution. I’ve seen this happening with DIY solutions and usually adding a bit of water solves the problem. I would start by adding just a teaspoon of water and go from there.

        Reply
  21. I have been using straight isopropyl alcohol in a plastic bowl to clean my razor with every charge for years – probably since 2011. It only takes 15-30 secs to clean it and costs pennies. No chipping, no plastic degradation. Threw away the bulky recharge/cleaning station and reclaimed my bathroom counter. No need for mixes or lubricants. Save money and the environment.

    Reply
  22. Hi there,

    Encouraged by this thread, i brew the following mix, enough foor 3 refills:
    – 500 ml Isopropanol 99.9%
    – 10 mc lemon etheric oil
    – 100 ml distilled water
    – less than teaspoon Na2CO3 (Baking Soda)

    The Na2CO3 is only necessary to make the solution electrically conductive, to prevent the famous red light. The electrical DC resistance of the fluid should be around 100k-300k Ohm to work.
    The cost is 5-6 euro, for 3 refills. In Europe 3 cartridges amount to app. 20 euro.

    In practice this witchbrew works well. The scent is fine, the solution dries completely in 24 hours, without residue. The shaver runs smooth, lubrication seems OK.

    Next thing i will try is SD – Alcohol 40 – B. But first i have a couple of refills to empty.

    Reply
    • Hi Martin,

      Thank you for your comment. That’s a really interesting take on making the solution more conductive using baking soda. If you have the time, please keep us posted when you have any updates.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • I made my 1st batch using 70% rubbing alcohol and some scented oil. I did get the red light. After adding about 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda the red light issue was resolved and the cleaner cycled as desired.

      Reply
  23. I have recently purchased a Panasonic shaver with an automatic cleaning station. Unlike the Braun, which I have owned for many years, the Panasonic cleaning station uses a container that you fill to a line with water then you add a sachet of solution. My question is, would it be safe to add the CCRRefils sachet to water? Would isopropyl alcohol be better, but if so why doesn’t Panasonic use that instead of water?
    I will add that I am loving my Panasonic shaver and I particularly like the fact that the cleaning station has a dry function which the Braun does not. However, the sachets, needing to be replaced more than monthly if you clean the shaver daily, certainly mount up in cost so I would rather use your recommended CCRRefils is I could.

    Reply
    • Hi Richard,

      I would firmly advise against that — the Panasonic sachets contain a special concentrated detergent that must be mixed with water in order to get the right cleaning solution. Adding the content of a CCRRefill to water will not do anything since it only contains food grade machine oil and essential oil. Also, the Panasonic station is designed to work with a detergent-based solution, not with alcohol.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Thank you for your warning. I have found a product called Shaver Shebang and one of their products is specifically a substitute for the Panasonic sachets. It is a lot cheaper than the Panasonic product so I may give it a try.

        Reply
        • You are very welcome, Richard. That’s great, definitely give it a try. I didn’t know there’s a Shaver Shebang alternative for Panasonic detergent (their Braun solution is quite popular).

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
          • Yes they have it for Panasonic. I know u can get it on eBay. Not sure about Amazon selling it though. Panasonic bottle will also work on Braun shaver s. If I recall what sales rep said is use it 50 % solution to other 50% add water. But from Braun shaver it get use straight 100% no mixing water. Have you tried this yet?

          • Hi Todd,

            Haven’t tried Shaver Shebang yet. I do know that their products work for all three brands, including Philips. You would need 50% water for use in Panasonic and Philips stations and no dilution for Braun stations like you’ve mentioned.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

        • I can across the same thing. The shaver Shebang. They also have it for Braun. But ask one of the seller he said u can use the same bottle wether Panasonic or Braun in both razors. There the same ingredients mixed for both razor. I guess the only difference is Braun u mix 100% and the Panasonic I think he said mix in half with water.
          I buy a used Panasonic series 7 razor from eBay. Got the extra warranty from square deal that Ebay sells .
          With most of your reviews u said Panasonic get a closer shave. Think model is Es- LK95s. Even though the Braun shaver suppose to get a closet shave I hoping this won’t be too hard on my sensitive skin. Since it used it like a four price if a new one. Plus Amazon very expensive even for new shavers for the same ones Ebay sells . But found out from Panasonic rep that they won’t warranty any products bought thru Ebay cause Ebay use 3rd party.
          Had any one tried the shaver shebang solution in their shavers? It lot cheaper than factory shaver cleaning solution. I not tried it yet. But may order some in a month or so. One bottle for the Panasonic shaver is equivalent to 14 packets.

          Reply
  24. William’s Lectric Shave

    This product which comes in a 7 oz bottle has its ingredients listed as SD Alcohol 40B! Could this be used as a cleaning agent for the electric razor?

    Reply
    • I don’t think it would be the best option, to be honest. While it does contain denatured alcohol, if you’re thinking about using it as a cleaning solution for the station, it will most likely cause it to signal an empty cartridge. I don’t know the alcohol concentration in Lectric Shave, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lot lower than the typical Braun solution. Besides, there are other ingredients in Lectric Shave designed to work as a pre-shave (that gets applied to the skin), so again, not ideal for cleaning a shaver.

      I also find Lectric Shave to have a very oily texture that leaves a residue on my skin — I definitely wouldn’t want that on my shaver. Sticking to 70% alcohol is probably your best bet.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  25. Hi, ok so for testing i have buy 2 pack (6 refills), and after empyting one pack in 500ml of some of my old 70% alcohol that i have around. Clean station works, but after dry process complet and shaver is full out of station shaver is not dry it have liquid inside of head, and no matter if i pull it out of station next day. Ok so maybe alcohol is problem lets buy new bottle make new solution and still same problem station works but shaver not dry

    Reply
    • Hi,

      I doubt it’s either the alcohol or the product causing it. Even if you were to clean the shaver with water (which takes longer to evaporate), by the next day the head should be dry. Remove the cassette from the shaver and let it air dry. If you leave the shaver in the station and it’s still dripping wet the next day, the drain hole may be partially clogged. I actually posted an article about that a while ago.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Just update about my situation. After i have used all of my 6 ccrrefills i have decided to use my own solution that i found on this website: 5ml of glycerine, 20ml of water, and 140ml (in my case) 70% aclohol. And i was using this solution ever since with my original cartrage that came with my series 9 shaver. But problem with head NOT dry after cleaning still remaind (i needed to air dry shaver for next day use). And after original cartrage get broken filter last month i desided to buy pack of 6 original cartrages (ccr5+1) since it was most economical, and after putting original cartrage inside of clean station, head of finaly dry when cleaning is compleated. So maybe 70% alcohol is to low for making diy solution. When i use all of my origina refills ill try to make solution with 97% and see what ill get.

        Reply
        • Hi,

          Thanks for the comment. Absolutely, there’s a big difference between 70% vs 90% (or more) when it comes to the drying time, regardless if it’s a DIY solution or a ready-made concentrate like the one from CCRrefills. If having the head perfectly dry is a must, I definitely recommend going for at least 90% alcohol in your solution.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  26. Hi, cleaning the ccr cartridge With water first then using dishwasher soap and rinse thoroughly With clean water makes the cartridge very clean.
    you could also use philips cleaning solution as refill as it is cheaper and dont smell that ugly lemon smell and functions very vell in the ccr cartridge.
    in refill peppermint is my favouritt 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Thank you for your comment.

      That is true, using a bit of liquid soap does help with removing the hairs that are stuck on the bottom of the cartridge. It does require a bit of work to rinse it clean though.

      Regarding the Philips Jet Clean solution, it does (surprisingly) work and the station won’t object despite not having any alcohol. However, it is not ideal in my opinion. Being detergent-based, it will foam A LOT, causing pressure buildup inside the cartridge and a lot of lathery foam in the cleaning chamber of the station as well. It is precisely the reason why Braun says to have the shaver clean of any soap residue before using the station.

      It is cheap and smells nice, but I don’t think it’s a viable long-term solution.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  27. I find that this does not work. I end up having a red empty light no matter what alcohol/ethanol I put in the cartridge.

    Reply
    • I can’t really say why is that happening; since I’ve originally posted the article, I used the refills with various alcohol concentrations (above 70%), both isopropanol and ethanol, and the station always recognized the cartridges as being full. Are you sure that the alcohol concentration and quantity are right?

      Reply
  28. Hello,
    Thanks for your detailed research on shaving matters.
    Here is my setup:
    Braun 790cc-4 Type 5692, purchased Sept 2015.
    Last week, I installed my 2nd or 3rd Braun Clean & Renew Cartridge, since Sept 2015.
    I shave about 5 times per week.
    Here is my once weekly cleaning routine:

    I remove the shaver foil/ cutter head (so called cassette) and vigorously blow air into it from different angles about 12 times and rap it on the counter several times to dislodge any more stubble & debris that will come out. I do not use the brush to clean the cassette, as the owners manual states the brush may damage the intricate & delicate parts of the cassette. However, I do use the brush to sweep out stubble from the top of the shaver.

    Then, I snap the head back on & insert the shaver into the cleaning station & activate the cleaning cycle. As long as I’ve used the station, the shaver head is often damp, even 8 hours after the cleaning cycle has ended. Perhaps my induction heating element has always been defective? However, the station does feel warm to the touch toward the end of the cycle.

    I have never cleaned the head manually with running water.

    About every 5 or 6 weeks, I pour 70% Isopropol Alcohol up to about 3/4 capacity of the cartridge, to replenish the evaporated alcohol from the Braun cleaning solution.

    Since the lubricant does not evaporate, it does not need to be replaced–for that reason.
    But maybe I loose lubricant through residual coating of all the tiny parts in the cassette?

    Using these techniques, I seemed to have been able to prolong the life a Braun cleaning cartridge for over a year, as I manually & respiratory remove most of the stubble before I ever activate the cleaning cycle on the station. But eventually, the solution does get soiled, so I insert a new cartridge.

    Please offer your thoughts.

    P.S.
    I just ordered a new Braun 70S Cassette, even though it seemed I was still getting close shaves.

    Reply
    • Hi Dan,

      Thank you for your comment, glad you found the information useful.

      Your cleaning routine is clearly working well and I don’t see anything particularly wrong with it except for the fact that using the same cartridge and just topping it off with alcohol for more than a year is maybe a bit too much. Not necessarily because you’ll lose some of the lubricating properties (which does happen to some degree), but for hygiene considerations. I’m all in favor of getting the most out of a cartridge, I even wrote a post on that topic, but I think this is really stretching it.

      Regarding the drying aspect, the inductive heating works best in combination with a fan (some Panasonic stations use such a system). The Series 7 doesn’t have a fan, so it’s not really unusual to find the head damp. I usually just remove the cassette from the shaver and let it air dry. It’s a lot faster this way.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  29. sorry simple question, I had an older Braun electric shaver7 series for many many years and it has finally broken the lock to keep the head from rotation which gives me more control over the shaving. The two questions I have are:
    A) I was aiming for the 9390 or 9385 as finally I thought I can clean by simply rinsing it down with water unlike the older model which I never dared to use water to avoid rust and malfunction. Am I wrong to assume I can operate it clean and effective using just warm water rinse? If I need to use the Braun solution I never thought about the cap to close it again and had to change the cartiage every month which was cost prohibitive.
    B) I am still concerned to switch over to Panasonic after reading you other article on it, was wondering if anyone has told you their experience of switching brands after prolonged use and shaving habits.
    Thanks for btoh responses in advance…

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Regarding your questions, you can definitely clean the Series 9 with water and not worry about any rust or other problems. Just make sure to clean it thoroughly after every use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I also posted a guide on how to manually clean an electric shaver.

      You can use the station every once in a while for a thorough cleaning.

      As for the switch to Panasonic, I’ve seen both positive and negative experiences. Some were delighted with the power and closeness of Panasonic shavers, while others couldn’t get used to the large heads or the more aggressive shave. Panasonic shavers also work the best on short facial hair that grows (relatively) straight. Both have pros and cons and in my opinion you should just go for the one that makes more sense for your needs and ignore the hype.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  30. Maybe the same problem as many on here, after refilling the cartridge with alcohol and a bit of lemon oil the red empty light remains on.it won’t reset to full, so no cleaning, any ideas. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Try adding a bit of water (progressively, in small amounts). That seems to solve the problem most of the time.

      Reply
  31. I found a way of cleaning it a lot better, Add liquid soap mixed with water 1/4, 1part soap, 4-water, it will bind 95% hairs and ur container will be almost like new

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment, Igor. I also found that liquid/dishwashing soap works really well since originally posting the article. I will be updating it soon.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  32. Good morning,

    I see the link for the packets. My bad. I thought that was generic replacement cart.

    Thanks again for your article

    Reply
  33. Don’t know if anyone will find this useful, but I took out 100ml of the braun cleaning solution and it had a mass of roughly 80 gm. I think this translates to about 90% to 95% alcohol. I’m assuming the other ingredients are going to have masses similar to water or alcohol or are in amounts small enough to not affect very much. Isopropyl and ethanol have similar masses per 100gm (less than a gram difference, I think).
    Also, I have a tds meter that I tried on the solution. Those just measure conductivity of the solution. It read 4ppm which is pretty low. Water from my reverse osmosis is around 10ppm, so using distilled water for a diy solution would be a must. Even my RO water would probably screw up the conductivity. Some 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol I have had for a couple of years read 0.

    Reply
  34. I appears that Amazon is out of stock of “Cleanerist” and are not sure if they with have stocks in the future. Do you know of any other supplier of this preparation please?

    Reply
    • Hi,

      I’m afraid I do not. It appears to be out of stock everywhere, at least for the time being. An alternative available in Europe would be the PROline cleaning solution, it’s got very good reviews, but I haven’t actually tried it yet.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  35. What do you think about the Shaver Shebang refills? I was considering purchasing the CCRRefills based on your review, but I am concerned about the safety of the food grade mineral oil. There is some evidence that food grade mineral oil can cause pneumonia when inhaled over a long period of time. I am concerned that the essential oil may be released into the air when running the cleaning unit, and that years of inhaling them every day could be harmful. The essential oil is taken up by lung cells and apparently can not be metabolized, and stays permanently in the cells. The Shaver Shebang refills apparently contain orange essential oil and tea tree essential oil. My understanding is that the essential oils are more natural, and likely safer than food grade mineral oil. They also seem to be more similar to the ingredients in the original Braun cartridges. I have found the information on your site to be incredibly informative, and I would appreciate any opinions you may have on the Shaver Shebang product.

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Thank you for your comment, glad you found the site useful. I’m afraid I cannot weigh in on Shaver Shebang as I haven’t used it yet, but from what I’ve heard, it should work really well. I think you should definitely give it a try, especially since you’d be more comfortable using it compared to the other options out there.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Thanks for the response! I have ordered the Shaver Shebang and I plan to give it a try. I happen to have a bottle of grain alcohol lying around that I have no use for, so I plan to mix that with the Shaver Shebang. Do you think the essential oils in the Shaver Shebang will provide enough lubrication without mineral oil? I was considering purchasing some of the lubricating oil you recommend, and occasionally adding a drop to each foil. Do you recommend that, or do you think the essential oils in the Shaver Shebang will be sufficient for lubrication? I know you haven’t used Shaver Shebang, but just looking for your opinion anyway given your extensiveknowledge.

        Reply
        • You are very welcome. The Shaver Shebang should provide the needed lubrication if you use it regularly. But if you want to, it definitely won’t hurt adding a drop of oil to the foils. By the way, grain alcohol is basically ethanol and Shaver Shebang recommends mixing their product with 91% isopropyl alcohol. While ethanol will probably work as well, the concentration should also be around that 91%.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
          • Thanks again for your advice! The Shaver Shebang website is a bit inconsistent. As you noted, on one page of the website it says to mix with 91% isopropyl alcohol. Elsewhere on the website it lists ethanol as on option. The page listed below says “Mix packet of concentrate with a 16 oz/500 ml bottle of 90% or greater alcohol (isopropyl, rubbing, ethanol).”

            https://www.shavershebang.com/products/ba-refills-braun-clean-renew-cartridges-shaver-shebang-ccr-ccr3-ccr4

            Based on some of the other comments on this site, I chose to use ethanol because that is what the Braun cartridges appear to be currently shipping with. Some of the comments on this site suggested that isopropyl alcohol might be slightly more likely than ethanol to dissolve the plastic on the shaver, so I have decided to go with ethanol to be on the safe side.

          • You’re very welcome. I think you can use ethanol without any worries as long as it has the recommended concentration. Braun actually uses either ethanol or isopropyl alcohol in their refills, I’ve received both variations and didn’t notice any differences during use.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

        • I check one of the reps from Shaver Shebang. Ebay also sell them. One rep on ebay can answer your question if web site seem confusing. I plan order some in next month or so. I think Braun shaver don’t get mixed . But they use straight from the bottle. Just talk to rep on using it for Braun or Panasonic shavers.

          Reply
  36. Hi Ovidiu,
    I purchased a new 7 series razor,type 5696 complete with cleaning station.The cleaning station is not working,when I set the razor into the station the blue lights just keep going through a cycle and never stopping.When taking the razor out the station it shows my refill is full but when resetting the razor back into the station the lights continue cycling through the different stages on the right hand side.I have tried resetting by pressing the start button twice but that has no effect.I purchased another cleaning station from amazon and that is doing the same thing with the new razor and my old razor.Surely I cant be unlucky enough to have two brand new faulty cleaning stations.
    Cheers,
    Derek

    Reply
    • Hi Derek,

      That is odd, to say the least. First of all, are the two stations and razors identical (same model)? There are quite a few of type 5696, like 799cc, 7899cc and so on. Since both are brand new, it would be extremely unlikely to get two units with the same issue. But then again, I don’t really see what else could cause that behavior. I think you should take advantage of the warranty, contact Braun and let them know about the problem. Their customer support department is usually very helpful in these situations.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Hi Ovidiu,
        The cleaning station has now started working but only after a long time of the lights cycling though constantly,then all lights go out.Then press start button twice and the unit starts cleaning.Its not like my old cleaning station where I could put the razor in and start a clean straight away but I can live with this as it is.Thanks for your advice anyway.
        Regards
        Derek

        Reply
  37. Thanks for this article. Previously I was bying one CCR per month and over couple of years of using them it added up to sizeable amount. Now I just clean the container and fill it up with the alcohol solution. Works like a charm.

    Reply
  38. I wash the cartridge with soapy water after each use. Once a week I soak it in alcohol and then spray it with Remington Shaver Saver. As best I can tell the cartridge remains clean. Since there are no plastic components in the cartridge I am not clear about the concern that isopropyl acohol might damage plastic.

    Reply
    • Thank you for the comment, Barry. I agree, I have been using isopropyl alcohol for years when making these solutions and never had any issues with it. The main concern was that it could affect gaskets and other similar components of the station, but haven’t found that to be the case. So in my opinion, both ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are equally good options.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  39. I was unaware there was a fine mesh filter in the larger cartridge opening until reading the posts. I do not see a filter in the one I have been using. I assume it is located at the top of the opening. The refill cartridge I bought was manufactured by Procter and Gamble bought on Amazon. Can the filter disintegrate after repeated use?

    Reply
    • The filter is located at the very bottom of the larger tube of the cartridge, the one that feeds fluid to the pump. It’s like a very fine mesh and its color is the same as the rest of the cartridge, so it can be difficult to spot, especially if the cartridge has fluid in it or is murky. I am yet to see one disintegrating even after repeated use, although in time it could get clogged or it can even tear. One that happens it’s definitely time for a new cartridge.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  40. Thank you for the wealth of information you are providing. A question from someone (me) who is mechanically challenged but curious. How does the cleaner work? The plastic “wall” that separates the two chambers appears solid but there must be an opening for the recirculation of the cleaning fluid that isn’t visible. How does the fan recirculate the fluid upward and where is it located?

    Reply
    • You are way too kind, Barry. The larger tube doesn’t extend to the very bottom of the cartridge; it stops right above that honeycomb-like structure where we also have the filter. Also, the wall doesn’t go all the way to the back of the cartridge, so that’s how the liquid can circulate. The electric motor inside the station drives a small impeller that pushes the fluid upward through the intake tube. You can actually see it in the images above.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  41. Hi, I am very glad to have started using electric shavers again after more some 25 years. I had a basic Philips shaver and it was confy, but it used to get hot and it irritated my beard. I read so many positive reviews, that I decided to go for the S9 and haven’t regretted it! It’s almost like the future should be, the thing doesn’t just work as it should – it actually works beyond your expectations, you don’t have to earn a university degree to be able to use it and doesn’t cause any significant problems.
    Now, I may have missed it in the discussion, but I hope that someone more experienced could advice me on a major issue that concerns me (and a small one just out of curiosity)…
    Regarding the major one, I understand that it depends on so many factors, but the first is the period (or roughly how many shavings) of usage of the cassettes before one can feel a drop in performance. To be clear, I don’t refer to the moment when it actually needs to be replaced.
    The second is (for now just out of curiosity, but sooner or later I will need to replace the cassette) in your experience what are some of the cheapest sources for replacement cassettes?
    Brethren, thank you in advance for your kind input!

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Thank you for your comment, glad you’re happy with your Series 9.

      The drop in performance will actually be very gradual and you probably won’t be able to pinpoint a specific moment. That said, it will depend on many factors, like how often you shave, the coarseness of your beard, how well you take care of your shaver (cleaning, lubrication). You may also notice some hairs getting yanked and the foils getting hot.

      As for buying the cassette, just make sure it’s from a reputable vendor that only sells genuine Braun parts. If you come across one that is suspiciously cheap, you probably should stay clear of it.

      Amazon usually has the Series 9 cassettes in stock (92s, 92b or 92M, they will all fit any Series 9 model).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Thank you very much for you prompt and precise reply.
        There may be others, but as far as I’m concerned, yours are really the most objective reviews you can get on the net.
        I am sure that it has been suggested many times, but you should also make more videos on YT and other platforms.
        Good luck with keeping up the good work!

        Reply
        • You are way too kind. Video reviews will definitely come as well, hopefully sooner than later.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
    • Hey,

      Thank you for the heads up, much appreciated. That’s ok, you can’t really do anything about content scraping. It would have been nice of them to mention the source though.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • Hi,

      I haven’t tried that brand (unfortunately they don’t ship to my location). It does seem similar to the other solutions like Cleanerist and it’s got good reviews.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  42. Thank you for the great, detailed, and informative article.
    I checked the prices for the packets and it
    Is not about $1 per refill as you mentioned for the larger quantity orders. It is about $3

    Reply
    • Hi Nosrat,

      At least in the case of the CCRrefills which are the cheapest option, buying a pack of 3 for example will allow you to refill a cartridge for 1 dollar (even less for a 4-pack and so on). By the way, by per refill I mean a refill cartridge (170ml), not the 500ml or 16oz bottle of solution obtained from one pack.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  43. Hi Ovidiu.

    First of all, thank you very much for your blog and all the energy and time you put into it. I read almost all the articles and comments under them and learned a lot of useful information and subtleties about electric shavers. This internet resource is fantastic. I became interested in electric shavers and switched to using them about a year ago. Your resource has transformed a simple interest into a passion for these technological things, a passion that my wallet pretty feals (I’ll send you an invoice, lol).

    Now I have many electric shavers including original Braun S7, Panasonic Arc 3/4/5, Philips 9000, Mijia. (By the way, do you prefer PayPal or MasterCard?). When I use all of them enough time, I will definitely share my experience and observations under thematically relevant articles. I am from Ukraine and my English is not very good. I don’t think that this is a problem, but I wanna emphasize this fact.

    I have original S7 Braun, Philips Norelco and first generation Panasonic cleaning stations. The original Philips Jet Clean 300 ml solutions are sold at smart prices, I don’t see much point in looking for alternatives to them. There seems to be no alternative to Panasonic Vortex cartridges. Although I will still try to pour Philips Jet Clean solution there as an experiment. However, there is no particular desire to use the Panasonic station on an ongoing basis, their razors are really very easy to clean by hand. But I got a small supply of cartridges at a symbolic price, so I still use it from time to time.

    For Panasonic’s second generation stations, which already seem more relevant to the Arc 6 (I don’t have one), I’ve found solutions from Shaver Shebang that have good reviews. They cost significantly less than Panasonic’s concentrate packs.

    And finally, Braun. As you have repeatedly noted, there are very practical and effective stations. I use automatic cleaning every 2-3 shaves, between them I just tap the bristles on the sink. Original Braun cartridges are expensive, so the search for third-party and proprietary solutions for Braun is very actual. Ready-made third-party solutions have a good price, but packs of concentrate are more economical. Plus, I like to do a little chemistry. The concentrate solution from CCRREFILLS and Shaver Shebang are very similar (actually, almost identical) and priced similarly. Both companies offer international shipping at a reasonable price. I just ordered 8 packs Shaver Shebang concentrate, they have good reviews and I got a good deal on Amazon. By the way, the packs with the concentrate have recently disappeared from their official website, they have replaced them with liter bottles, and the price for one refilling has increased significantly. For Braun, it has almost caught up with OEM solutions… But the concentrate is still available on Amazon. Apparently, in the future, CCRREFILLS will remain the only concentrated solutions.

    And, of course, the most interesting option is a proprietary solution for Braun. I have thoughts about this. In fact, I’m using it right now, and it seems to be quite successful. I will write about this a little later.

    Reply
    • Hi Artem,

      Many thanks for the kind words and for taking the time to share your experience — those are some really interesting and useful points. Really looking forward to reading about your experience with the shavers you currently own. I know it’s a pricey hobby and I’ve been collecting shavers for years. I used to sell the ones I didn’t use too often, but for the past 5 years or so the pile has been growing steadily.

      Totally agree regarding the Jet Clean solution, you can find some incredible deals. Haven’t tried using it with a Panasonic station, but I guess it’ll probably work — even a Braun station will work with the Jet Clean fluid, but I do not recommend using it (it will foam up a lot and overflow the cartridge). The refill concentrates are by far the most convenient option (economically).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  44. Very interesting fact is that solutions in the form of a concentrate from Shaver Shebang for all brands have an identical composition (Berry Based Surfactant Blend (proprietary), Propylene Glycol, Orange or Spearmint Essential Oil) and volume (10 ml), and the price per refill. This automatically suggests that different packages have been designed to give information on a specific number of refills and the separate instructions for preparing the solution for each brand, while the contents of the packages are the same. Here is the correspondence with the support service:

    “Hello. I have a stock of concentrate for a Braun cleaning station. I also have a Philips Norelco with a cleaning station. I see that the volume of the concentrate packet and the ingredients for both solutions are identical. Can I use Braun Concentrate for Philips station?”

    “You certainly can use the Shaver Shebang packets with Philips Norelco. There are two types. The SmartClean cartridge and the Jet Clean solution. Here are the directions:
    For both systems: Mix a packet of Shaver Shebang™ into a 500 ml/16 oz bottle filled ¾ with water, then fill to the top with water and shake. Use a well-rinsed water, juice, or milk bottle.
    Smartclean: One packet refills 3 cartridges. Rinse the cartridge by adding water and shaking. Drain through the medium hole so that particles are not caught in the filter. Repeat once. Results will not be perfect, which is perfectly okay. Fill through the large hole up to 80%-85%
    Jet Clean: One packet replaces 1.6 bottles. Fill the cleaning base to the max fill line, about .5 in / 1.25 cm from the top edge.”

    The Shaver Shebang concentrate packet is suitable for any brand that the manufacturer claims to support. Only the instructions for preparing the solution and the number of refills will differ.

    P.S. I see comments don’t support emoji. This gives some of my intonation in the previous comment a rough tone. I hope I haven’t been misunderstood 😉

    Reply
    • That is a very interesting observation indeed. What’s even more intriguing is that for the Braun solution, you will have to mix the concentrate with alcohol, not with water. But again, the product has been thoroughly tested and the user reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

      PS: the emojis do show up, but only once the comment has been posted. 🙂

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  45. A little research and thoughts about self-made solution. To begin with, let’s define its criteria: easy to prepare, cheap, effective (cleaning, disinfection, lubrication). Minimum ingredients, maximum efficiency. Here we immediately discard the idea of ​​​​using mineral oil, it is extremely difficult to dissolve it at home. So it’s best to follow Braun’s path. Let’s analyze the list of ingredients of each cartridge and throw out everything we can from it. But first, I wanna comment most of the instructions that I found in the search engine. All of them are based on the use of an alcohol-water solution and essential oil of lemon / orange or limonene. The problem with these instructions is that essential oils cannot act as a lubricant. There is a home test for the quality of essential oils. You need to put a drop of oil on the paper and let it dry. High-quality essential oil will evaporate completely, leaving no greasy residue. On the other hand, the lubricating properties of glycerin are widely known and it is (along with Isotridecyl Stearate) that Braun uses for this purpose. (By the way, the Philips Cleanerist only uses glycerin as a lubricant.) As an experiment, I put a drop of limonene and a drop of glycerin on paper. The limonene spread over the leaf like water and completely evaporated, leaving only a slight citrus smell. Glycerin had to be smeared on the sheet with a finger and after it dried, a greasy trace remained.

    So, the list of ingredients of the original solution (taken from the P&G website):
    Ethyl Alcohol Denatured
    Propyl Alcohol
    Isotridecyl Stearate (lubricant)
    Aqua
    Glycerin, ethoxylated (lubricant, surfactant)
    PARFUM
    Limonene (fragrance, solvent)
    Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (surfactant)
    Didecyldimethylammonium chloride (disinfectant)
    Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride (surfactant, disinfectant)
    Dodecyl(ethylbenzyl)dimethylammonium chloride (disinfectant, surfactant)
    (ethylbenzyl)dimethyltetradecylammonium chloride (disinfectant, surfactant)
    Citral (fragrance)

    It immediately becomes obvious that the original Braun’s solution, as well as third-party solutions developed by professionals, will have an advantage over their own solution. But, it is doubtful that this advantage will be significant in terms of cleaning and disinfection (spoiler: but not lubrication). Judging by the order of the ingredients and the place that water occupies on the list, it looks like the concentration of alcohol that Braun uses is over 90%. This high concentration of alcohol is more important for fast drying of the shaving head than for the quality of cleaning and disinfection, which in turn is important if you store the razor in the station. (I think, having a dry function is really critical only if you’re not going to take your shaver out of the station until your next shave.) And 70% alcohol in contact with the shaving head during the Braun cleaning cycle will perfectly sanitize your shaver. In addition, ethanol and isopropanol are excellent solvents and will almost certainly provide good cleaning of the shaving head without surfactants. That is, it seems logical to simply abandon all components from the category of surfactants and disinfectant. Different salts in the original solution also provide electrical conductivity and adequate performance of the cartridge usage sensor. This problem should be solved by adding a pinch of Sodium chloride to the solution (I know that this problem is also solved by simply adding water, but in my case, enough tap water did not solve the problem).

    Next is lubrication. Isotridecyl Stearate is extremely difficult to get, I also did not find glycerin in ethoxylated form. Therefore, both options are not viable at home. You can consider a simple form of glycerin (pharmacy version). But here 2 problems immediately arise (established experimentally): the hygroscopicity of glycerin leads to incomplete drying and after drying a greasy mark remains on the plastic.

    All fragrances can also be discarded or chosen according to your taste (limonene, essential oils of lemon, orange, mint seem to be a good choice).

    And so, the recipe that I tested and some thoughts:
    1) ETHANOL or ISOPROPANOL. (There is no persuasive evidence that isopropanol or ethanol is more aggressive than the other on plastic, paint or rubber, so I see both options as interchangeable. Unless pure isopropanol will leave white stains on plastic, but this is not important for us.) The concentration in the finished solution is from 70 to 90 %+. Shaver Shebang offers 90%+ which should make for quick drying. On the other hand, the higher the concentration of alcohol, the stronger the effect on the paint and the faster the problem of its peeling. (Also, the rate of appearance of this defect will be affected by the contact time of the solution with the shaver head. Therefore, if the station does not have a drying function, it’s simply necessary to remove the shaver and let it air dry completely.) I usually take the shaver out after cleaning and let it dry completely. With this option, it seems logical to choose a lower concentration (~75%). Although I definitely don’t mind if the shaver head dries faster. I also don’t really care about the distant prospect of paint peeling, again, this is an issue with the OEM solution as well. Also, when choosing the concentration >90% it is possible to safely leave the razor at the station with the drying function (although I do not do this). (By the way, the Cleanerist solution contains over 90% alcohol, and there is not a single report of a drying problem. Jatop is less than 75% alcohol, and almost all of the negative reviews are related to the problem of drying out the next day.)

    2) WATER. As much as it takes to achieve the desired% solution.

    3) GLYCERIN. I added 2%. By the way, WHO recommends adding 1.5% to antiseptics.

    4) PINCH OF SALT. Actually, I just first inserted the original cartridge into the station, after replacing it, the sensor worked adequately.

    5) PERFUME. Taste. It is possible without it. Not really caring about this aspect, I just added 10 drops of limonene and 3 drops of peppermint essential oil to the cartridge. The smell was quite pleasant and unobtrusive.

    It probably makes sense to pour a little less than the nominal 170 ml into the cartridge, but refill it a little more often.

    Self-made solution recipe I used:
    130 ml isopropanol + 10 ml filtered water + 3 ml glycerin + fragrance (essential oils).

    The results of experiment. There are no complaints about the quality of cleaning – the head is perfectly clean. But, as I already mentioned, the problem was that the head was not completely dry and there was a greasy stain on the plastic. The experiment was unsuccessful. I don’t sure, but I’m guessing that we need surfactants in the composition so that any lubricant does not remain on the plastic parts of the shaving head.

    Armed with a bottle of clipper oil, you can safely remove the glycerin from the solution and simply use 70-90% alcohol with a whisper of sodium chloride, and then apply mineral oil to a dry razor. In fact, I don’t see any other options for a simple self-made solution.

    In the end, I came to the conclusion that third-party solutions are the best options for reducing the cost of using a cleaning station. And after analyzing the options on the market, my favorite at the moment is Cleanerist, which has an excellent (and not least, fully described) composition. BUT, I literally just got a great deal on the German Amazon for 2 bottles and I have the option of getting a transfer from Germany. Otherwise, it would more expensive and my choice would be a concentrate. And here is my favorite – CCRREFILLS – the least expensive (especially if you wait for a good promo code and order on the official website). It also offers a fragrance-free option. You have suggested the really best options in the article.

    A couple comments about flushing the cartridge. You recommend pouring water into the small hole. It will be more efficient to direct running water in a small stream into a large hole and let the water drain from a small one. In fact, this is a recommendation from one of the third-party manufacturers. It will also clean the area around the filter better and extend the life of each cartridge somewhat. Another life hack: shake the cartridge well before draining the spent solution. This will cause most of the hair clippings to fall behind the walls.

    In conclusion. Bonus. A simple and effective option for a thorough cleaning of any electric shaver and part-time method of meditation. Pour into a wide container Philips Jet Clean solution or Sterilium in an amount that will cover the shaving head. Dip the electric razor in the solution for 5 minutes. Periodically turn it on for 10-20 seconds and admire how the bubbles envelop the head of the shaver. 🙂 I can’t imagine this being any less efficient than cleaning at any station. Unless there is no always a mood to meditate, and there is still this everyday fuss, and there are other methods of meditation too.

    Reply
    • Artem, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write this epic piece.

      There are some excellent points here and extremely useful for anyone pondering about making their own solution from scratch. And I totally agree, coming up with a solution that also lubricates the blades effectively without other compromises is the main hurdle here. I also pretty much gave up on my recipe because of that. Granted, you could just make a solution that only cleans the razor and then you can lubricate the cutters yourself. But with the price of the CCRREFILLS and even some of the ready-made solutions (especially in Europe), I don’t think it’s really worth the hassle.

      By the way, I always filled and flushed the cartridge through the small hole just to bypass the mesh filter. It’s still a bit unclear to me why using the larger opening when filling it would be preferred; if it helps clean the filter, then yes, it definitely makes sense.

      Thank you again for this amazing write-up.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Ovidiu, you are too kind. It’s my pleasure.

        Update. I was mistaken in the assumption that the ethoxylated form of glycerol differs from the usual form in the property of hygroscopicity. Using the original solution I always just wiped off any excess moisture with a tissue to speed up drying. But when I removed the head and left the shaver to air dry there was a little moisture on the head even after 3 hours. Obviously, glycerin delays the evaporation of water. (In this aspect, solutions with mineral oils should have an advantage). After a couple of hours the head was completely dry. The OEM solution probably has a slightly higher % alcohol and slightly less glycerin than the recipe I used in my testing. I refilled the cartridge changing the % of the ingredients (92% alcohol, 1.5% glycerin). I also added a pinch of salt and it worked excellent, solving the problem of low electrical conductivity. The final result in terms of drying is slightly better than before. It took several hours longer than the original solution for almost all of the moisture to evaporate. I note that we are talking about plastic, the foils dry out faster. If you leave your shaver to air dry until your next shave, or if you don’t mind wiping off any remaining moisture after you take your shaver out of the station, none of this may matter.

        When using the OEM, traces of lubricant on the head plastic were present too. But after rubbing with a finger they were different. Pure glycerin forms a hazy film, while after the original solution the lubricant was more like a wax polish. To find out the effectiveness of lubricants, I conducted a LITTLE TEST. I let the shaver work idle for 5 minutes, then applied the foils to my face. After the Braun solution the shaver was slightly hot, but this didn’t cause much discomfort. Glycerin gave a comparable result. The addition of mineral oil didn’t improve the situation, while the Andis 5in1 spray lubricant made the foils a little cooler (thanks a lot for the article about spray lubricants). I don’t know what else can be used as a lubricant in solution besides glycerin at home. Most chemicals that can serve this purpose or dissolve mineral oils are not available (unless you are a chemical business owner).

        The test I conducted does not give grounds to make final conclusions about the effectiveness of the lubricants. However, with constant contact with the skin, the degree of heating and the amount of lubricant on the foils will vary, as does the shaving time. At first glance, glycerin is quite suitable as a lubricant. Thus, a homemade multifunctional solution is a viable option. However, for now, I still lean towards professionally designed solutions. I haven’t had a chance to test the Cleanerist and Shaver Shebang yet, which are in transit. But even beforehand, due to the presence of well-chosen lubricants and surfactants in the composition, they should work better to some extent.

        I also tested 85% isopropanol with (choice of concentration is arbitrary) with a pinch of salt. Immediately after the drying phase, the outer part of the head was almost dry, but moisture remained inside. I left the shaver to air dry and it was completely dry in about 30 minutes. Such cleaning and subsequent lubrication with WAHL oil gave a result similar to solutions. An unlubricated shaver literally burns the skin. 

        Finally, spray cleaners and lubricants. Their efficiency is just on another level. With Andis Cool Care Plus, the foils stay pretty cool and comfortable. I also had the opportunity to test the Wahl Blade Ice spray and it gave a comparable result. Its difference is that it has practically no smell after drying. I don’t have a Remington Shaver Saver yet, but I’ve already ordered a little batch from the US. If it works even more efficiently, it’s a really great product. 

        About cleaning your cartridge. The idea is to let the stream of running water wash the entire cartridge, while the hair clippings flow freely from the small hole. This will be more efficient than alternately collecting and draining water. You will still need to shake your cartridge a few times and probably add some liquid soap through the small opening. It’s just a better technique. Thorough shaking of the spent solution and subsequent flow-through rinsing already gives a decent result. And due to the fact that the flow of water will directly wash the filter zone, its purity will also improve.

        Reply
        • Artem, again, your findings and level of detail are just incredible. The info you presented is by far the best and most thoroughly-researched piece I’ve come across regarding a Braun DIY solution. It pretty much answers all the questions regarding any pros and cons vs the commercially available options.

          Regarding the Remington Shaver Saver, I absolutely loved the product. I’ve tried every spray I could get my hands on and it was by far the most effective on foil shavers. I have an old Arc 4 from Panasonic (ES-LF51A), currently discontinued, and the foils would just get piping hot after 20 seconds or so. I did use it constantly for around 7 years, so the blades and foils are worn out. But after spraying them with the Remington lubricant, the difference was night and day. Perfectly close and comfortable shave, while the foils only got slightly warm towards the end of my shave. I think you’ll like it as well. Unfortunately, I cannot get it anymore where I live and the USA vendors won’t ship overseas. The Andis spray works well though and it’s really convenient price-wise.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
          • Ovidiu, your experience with your LF51 and Shaver Saver is very intriguing.

            Indeed, Shaver Saver vendors don’t ship it outside of the USA. But some of my national postal operators offer intermediary services at very reasonable prices. They provide a warehouse address in many countries, as well as a buyout service if the foreign merchant doesn’t accept your card. I used one of them, did a few deals in the USA and I’m glad with how it’s going. Remington didn’t accept my card for payment on the official website, but the payment went through at Walgreens. In fact, I ordered a Shaver Saver there for an excellent price (by the way, it’s now even better – $3.59 a piece with 20% Walgreens promo code, not including shipping). I also know that there are many other intermediaries. Maybe you will also succeed in finding a reliable one who will offer a reasonable price.

          • Hope you’ll find it just as effective, Artem. Thank you for the tips on how to get it, I will try to source it again as for me it has been a staple for many years. I’m sure it’s one of the reasons why I still have shavers with the original foil/blades that still cut effectively after years of use.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

      • Addition.

        I used the head of the first revision (Pulsonic) in the test, which has a different foils structure. It’s more prone to heat and less forgiving than foils with hexagonal holes. It became interesting for me to conduct the same five-minute test with the foils of the latest revision. This time the OEM solution performed better than the homemade 92%/1.5% solution. I added glycerin to the cartridge, bringing its concentration to ~2-2.5%, but this had not change the situation. I wiped the head of the shaver with a napkin each time and I didn’t care at all about the drying time or lubrication residue on the plastic. (I found it strange that when using the Pulsonic head, there was no difference between the OEM and the homemade solution. Since I usually use this head with my S7 at this time, I tested it again. The results were not very different from the first test. It was similar that the head is a little less hot after the Braun solution, but the difference is not so big that it’s clearly felt tactilely. Probably, a non-contact thermometer would show the temperature so several degrees Celsius lower. With the 70S head the difference was more obvious.)

        Unlubricated 70S head burned my skin. Adding a drop of WAHL oil (using it directly from the original bottle, I became to hate its cap; the whole bottle was in oil) gave a result similar to the original solution. Andis 5in1 worked like magic. If the Pulsonic head was noticeably warm at the end of 5 minutes, the regular 70S remained almost cold even after longer time (with solutions the second head was also cooler than the first one). I will use a pure 75% alcohol solution with Braun station or manual cleaning under tap water followed by spray lubrication with the Pulsonic head. With the usual 70S the original solution gives quite satisfactory result. I prefer just to tap the head on the sink and toss the shaver into the station with the Braun solution. A homemade solution using glycerin seems like a losing proposition. When I get Cleanerist and Shaver Shebang, I will definitely compare their effectiveness with the original solution, but I already have good expectations. But if I didn’t already have a small stock of original cartridges in my closet and third-party solutions in transit, I would seriously consider a pure 75% alcohol solution and spray lubricants which are simply a lot more efficient (than Braun solution, I don’t sure about third-party ones).

        I noted that in your article about spray cleaners and lubricants you mention silicone among their ingredients. In theory, this should be a great option for manually lubricating of electric shaver; and this option not well lit. Silicone oils are cheap, hypoallergenic and non-toxic. It became very interesting for me to test its effectiveness in the same small test. I have ordered silicone oil with a viscosity of 100 mm²/s. When I test it, I will share the results.

        Reply
        • Absolutely — cleaning (regardless of the solution or even manually with water and soap) + an effective spray lubricant will be better than even the original Braun solution. Looking forward to seeing the results of the silicone oil, that’s definitely uncharted territory for me.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
          • I have tested silicone oil with a viscosity of 100 mm²/s and it was completely ineffective. The oil was too thick and the razor heated up as if there was no lubrication at all. I also decided to buy and test the effectiveness of silicone oil with the lowest viscosity – 5 mm²/s. It’s liquid like water and its lubricating properties have proven to be excellent. It’s significantly more efficient than light mineral oil and it’s close in performance to Andis 5in1. This is most likely due to the fact that silicone oil of a given viscosity is thinner than mineral oils. I find it hard to point out the benefits of specialized mineral clipper oils (except that they are widely available). Low viscosity silicone oil works better and it’s definitely preferred for quick and easy manual lubrication (e.g. right before shaving when you don’t want to wait for the spray to dry). I haven’t tested all viscosities, but I can assume that anything above 10 mm²/s will be less effective or not effective at all.

            I noted that liquid low viscosity oils are best applied to a working shaver. This will help to immediately distribute the oil over the foil and prevent a drop from draining into the knife.

            Aerosol lubricants in any case have advantages over the silicone oil I tested: Andis Cool Care Plus seemed to me a little more effective; they don’t leave greasy marks; they are also excellent cleaners and disinfectants.

            I have tested Wahl Blade Ice a little more carefully. Its effectiveness is decent and exceeds that of mineral oil. But Andis 5in1 works better, it’s also cheaper.

            I have noticed several times that mineral oil lubrication and post-treatment with Andis 5in1 doesn’t work as well as just Andis spraying. That is, more lubrication is not necessarily better. I also noticed that when shaving, with the razor in constant contact with the skin, the foils heat up a little less than when idling.

            Now I see such reasonable lubrication options:
            1) manual (in ascending order of efficiency):
            – mineral oils for clippers (WAHL, Oster, Moser, etc.);
            – low viscosity silicone oil (~5-10 mm²/s);
            – Andis Cool Care Plus 5in1;
            – Remington Shaver Saver;
            2) lubrication by automatic cleaning stations.
            It seems we just need to empirically choose what will leave our particular shaver with a particular set of foils and knives at most a little warm by the end of the shaving. I have noted that cool foils are extremely important for a comfortable shave. Quality lubrication is what can turn a fairly aggressive shaver into a gentle one.

            You mentioned Panasonic LF51. I actually have this model (LF71) and know from experience how hot it is. This is the most prone to heat foil shaver I own. Even with new foils and blades and mineral oil lubrication, the foils become hot in a few minutes and by the end of a dry shave it simply destroys the skin of my face. I set this shaver aside for wet shaving only. Andis 5in1 spray lubrication has been a game changer. By the end of the shaving session, the foils on my LF71 are only slightly warm and provide a reasonable level of comfort for a dry shave. It’s definitely not my favorite dry shaver, but it’s an option. If the Remington Shaver Saver was able to cool down your LF51 with worn foils and blades, it should certainly be able to handle any shaver.

            As far as cleaning stations, if I want to use one of them and if the solution provides enough lubrication, that’s an excellent option. If not, I need to compromise and combine automatic cleaning with manual lubrication. Fortunately, each manual lubrication and subsequent automatic cleaning should gradually improve the lubricating properties of the solution, as the remainder of the lubricant will be washed off by the solution. At least, this assumption looks logical in theory. There is also the opportunity to experiment with solutions. There are plenty of third-party options for Braun. For Panasonic, we can use the original solution or experiment with Philips Jet Clean / Shaver Shebang.

          • Artem,

            Many thanks again for taking the time to share these findings in great detail. For me at least they are fascinating. Haven’t tried low viscosity silicone oil, but I certainly will.

            Have you used the Jet Clean solution with a Panasonic station? I’ve only tried it with Braun and it’s not a viable option (excessive foaming and pressure buildup inside the cartridge).

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

          • Ovidiu, it’s my pleasure.

            A very IMPORTANT NOTE regarding low viscosity silicone oil: it’s very liquid and 2 drops should be applied to each foil (one on each side). If you apply 1 drop in the center, there will be no lubrication at the edges and the foils at the edges will overheat.

            A little story about compromises with the cleaning station. Now I use the Panasonic LV81 most often (dry shaving). I like using this shaver with the cleaning station (maybe I’ll write a bit more about cleaning stations separately someday). After shaving, I just put the shaver into the station, start the cleaning and store the shaver there until the next shave. The only problem is that the Panasonic solution, like mineral oil, does not provide enough lubrication, the razor gets pretty hot and after dry shaving I feel some irritation. By the way, Philips Jet Clean doesn’t work better as a lubricant (if not worse). In my case, in order to get an absolutely comfortable dry shave with Panasonic, its foils must remain cool throughout the entire shave. Andis Cool Care proved to be quite effective for this. The LV81 station, along with effective cleaning, provides a very effective combined (induction heating + fan) drying and already somewhere in the middle of the cycle the foils and knives are completely dry. (I would see drying efficiency as one of the benefits of Panasonic stations). Another feature is that if you remove the shaver from the station while drying, it will run for another 30 seconds before the cycle is interrupted. And when the shaver is returned to its place, the cycle continues. So I usually just take the shaver out of the station somewhere in the middle of the drying cycle, calmly spray Andis 5in1 and put it back in place, letting the station complete the drying cycle. Now I also can apply silicone oil to the foils before my next shave and start. It definitely simplifies things and makes it possible for me to forget about the shaver immediately after putting it into the station. I think I’ll still use Andis sometimes depending on my mood as it works a little better and I like its smell, but silicone oil works well too and there’s really little difference (if it really exists and it’s not my bias). So once again I HIGHLY recommend low viscosity silicone oil for quick manual lubrication.

            In answer to your question about Philips Jet Clean, oh yes, I’ve tried it with a Panasonic LV81 station. I diluted it 1 to 1 with water, and also added about 0.5 ml of silicone oil, hoping for its defoaming properties. The experience was the same as yours with the Braun station. Excessive foaming, pressure buildup inside and solution flow.

            When the original Panasonic solution became less, I added some Jet Clean. The foam was very moderate and the station worked well. This is an option if you use ~20 ml per refill, but I have not yet tested such solution. The lubricating properties of Philips Jet Clean are definitely not suitable for foil shavers, so only the quality of cleaning needs to be evaluated here. I guess it should be pretty good, I’ve seen a few reviews of a similar bunch (15-20 ml Jet Clean + water and a first generation Panasonic station). I don’t have a second generation station yet, although I’m just waiting for a new shaver with one of them. Generally my LV81 is in very good condition, but I ordered the LV97 on eBay from the USA. It’s hard to call it an update, but I really like its design and I also wanted to get a new generation station. And of course, an extra Arc 5 will not be superfluous 🙂 I can’t say anything yet, but it seems to me that the new Panasonic station is able to withstand a large concentration of Philips solution.

          • Excellent points as usual, Artem. I can see why you’re using the LV81 + the old Vortex cleaning station — it seems straightforward and practical. The JetClean might actually work better with the new generation cleaning system since they’re so different and there’s no cartridge anymore. So it will be interesting to see.

            It’s no surprise really that the JetClean solution performs subpar as a lubricant, at least in the case of foil shavers that get really hot. For rotaries it’s probably fine — Philips won’t even recommend lubricating the shavers that don’t come with a station.

            I’ve only used JetClean once or twice with a Series 9 to see how suitable it would be as an alternative to the other Braun solutions. Well, it’s not really suitable because of the foaming issue. I don’t recall noticing major discomfort as a result of the foils getting too hot, but it was a brand new Series 9 with no wear on the blades, so that definitely helped.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

          • I received my LV97 today. Both – the shaver and the station – deserve separate comments. But now it’s not about them and I really have little to add to your wonderful detailed reviews.

            You are absolutely right about the two generations of Panasonic stations, they are very different, although they have similar features. And the new station is a serious leap in development. I tested the new station with a Philips Jet Clean solution. It works excellent. Foam is formed even less than in Norelco cartridge, there is no foam at all in the tank of the Panasonic station immediately after the cleaning cycle. The Philips solution is a great and obvious alternative to the original Panasonic solution. From a financial point of view, if you focus on Amazon prices, one refill will turn out to be 40% cheaper.

            In addition, I also suspect that if we want to further reduce the cost of ownership of the cleaning station, we can dilute the Philips solution 1:1 with water without much loss of effectiveness. But for this we need to additionally introduce Phenoxyethanol (or Euxil PE9010) into the solution. It’s the most common preservative used in detergents and cosmetics and is widely available. This is what Philips uses in their Jet Clean solution (I think in the most common concentration – 1%) and 1 ml of extra phenoxyethanol per refill will be more than enough.

          • Many thanks for the follow-up, Artem — that’s great news regarding the JetClean solution. Definitely worth considering as an alternative to the Panasonic detergent packs, especially when diluted. Hope you’ll enjoy using your LV97.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

          • Disclaimer: I don’t consider the dilution of the Philips Jet Clean solution described by me to be the preferred option and I wanna caution you against experimenting with phenoxyethanol. It’s limitedly soluble in water, and high concentrations can damage plastics. In particular, if you try to add it directly to the station’s tank, it will definitely damage the plastic before it dissolves. Great care must be taken with any experimentation with chemicals.

            Therefore, it’s safer and more reliable to use the original solution with the Panasonic station, or professionally designed and tested third-party solutions such as Philips Jet Clean or Shaver Shebang.

          • Thanks, Ovidiu. Using the LV97 is definitely enjoyable experience 🙂

            The site has regular issues with comment delays. I saw your morning comment only in the evening after I wrote mine. However, my comment didn’t appear.

            A small addition. I purposefully exaggerated the risks of damage in the previous comment. It’s very important to understand that once a surface has been damaged by an aggressive chemical, it cannot be restored. And stick to ready-made solutions is the safest and most proven option. As for phenoxyethanol, it’s an excellent antiseptic and preservative. But it’s important to make sure that it’s completely dissolved before pouring it into the tray of your station. Also, don’t exceed the concentration of 1%.

          • Hi Artem,

            Absolutely and I agree 100%.

            PS: I think I got to the bottom of the comments issue, it was a problem with a caching plugin causing you to see an older version of the page cached by your browser. Should be fixed now.

            Sincerely,
            Ovidiu

      • For first time i tried to refill cartridge with Isopropanol. The red light indicating empty cartridge still lit up and wouldnt go out. After reading all of the above i initially added some water but this didnt help. I then added baking soda and this didnt help. I then added some more water. Again no joy. It was only after adding around 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt that the red light went out and ckeaning proceeded. The salt appears to be a vital addition in my experience
        Finished off by adding few drops of Miaroma moisturising sweet almond base oil. All ok

        Reply
        • Thank you for the comment, Gordon. Yup, salt also does the trick when nothing else seems to work. You must really play around with the ingredients/proportions to get it right.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  46. The EU data safety sheet for “clean & renew” now lists only ethanol and not isopropyl alcohol as an ingredient along with 1-propanol.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the heads-up, Jay. It could mean they dropped Isopropyl alcohol and are now only using ethanol. I still have unopened cartridges with isopropyl on the ingredient list.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  47. I spent hours perfecting this mix and have been using it for about 6 years now, it seems just as good as the original and no bad effects (peeling paint off shaver or sore skin). I worked out the strongest isopropyl alcohol that can be used, if it is too weak it wont evaporate off dry by the next use and if too strong my series 9 cleaning station shows empty.

    85% Isopropyl alcohol (I make my own by diluting 99% alcohol, you have to measure by volume as alcohol and water have different densities)
    Few drops of bio laundry liquid (non bio prob as good as I’m sure the alcohol will deactivate the enzymes anyway)
    Lemon oil at 5ml for every 500ml.

    Then of this mix put 170ml into the clean and renew cartridge.

    Reply
    • Ps. I know essential oils may not be effective at lubrication but personally I hate an oily residue or feeling from the shaver and likewise hate it still wet from not drying. Effective or not i have not noticed any signs indicating I need to lubricate or oil the foils. I change them every 2 years and dont notice the new ones any better than the old either.
      Hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Hi Matt,

        Many thanks for taking the time to share the recipe.

        The essential oils are mainly there for the scent; in the original solution, there are other ingredients that provide lubrication (Isotridecyl Stearate and glycerin in a special form). If the foils don’t get hot during use, it means there’s enough lubricant.

        Sincerely,
        Ovidiu

        Reply
  48. Hi Ovidiu,

    First of all, thank you so very much for all of the work you’ve put into all these guides, I used them to finally make the decision and purchase the lv-97. Couldn’t be happier.

    I had a quick question about the cleaning station (specifically for the lv-97 but i doubt it makes a difference), is there any issue in leaving the cleaning station plugged with the shaver in there indefinitely when not in use? Will it damage the battery life or anything? I find it very inconvenient to keep unplugging and plugging the cleaning station into the wall but if it’s reducing the shavers lifespan I’ll definitely do it.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Aj,

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.

      To get the most out of (any) battery and prolong its lifespan to the absolute maximum, you’d want to keep the charge between 20% and 80%. But in a real-world use case that will be far from practical and pretty much impossible if you always leave the shaver in the station. I personally stopped babying my shavers and I charge them to 100% whenever I need to. When the battery is full, the electronics are smart enough to cut the power and only use a small trickle current to keep the charge at 100%. As I said, this will not be ideal/optimal for the battery, but the impact will not be that significant in the long run.

      I think it’s worth the compromise if leaving the shaver in the station works well for you.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  49. I’m wondering if the Cleanerist Cleaning Solution is discontinued since I can’t find it available anywhere. Every website that showcases it says it’s out of stock, it might have to do with covid and manufacture/ supply issues.

    Reply
  50. Hi Ovidiu,
    I have a question about the ready made cleaning solution.
    I have, thanks to the information on this site, a Braun 9Pro and Philips series 9 rasor.
    I also have ready made refills for the Philips cleaning station. My question is: can I use the Philips cleanong solution on Braun rasors? In other words can I refill the Braun cartridge with the Philips solution? And if I do what could hapen?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Barbaro,

      If you have the OEM Philips refills or the JetClean solution, I would strongly recommend against using them with your Braun station. While the cleaning cycle will start without the station protesting, the solution will foam up a lot, causing some pressure buildup inside the cartridge and will likely make a mess too. I also can’t say anything about the long-term use of this solution with a Braun cleaner.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  51. Have you guys tried the cleanerist on panasonic? On amazon.de and their website dieseifenblase.net they list one as appropriate for panasonic. The ingredients are the exact same as for the Braun. I imagine you would get much quicker evaporation because of the alcohol, but has anyone tried this?
    Thanks,
    Josiah

    Reply
    • Hi Josiah,

      Never tried it with a Panasonic cleaner. It should evaporate even faster, although even with the Panasonic detergent solution the inductive element & fan are quite effective.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Thanks for the response Ovidiu,
        My point about evaporation was more about the solution evaporating before it even gets used, since it sits in a more open container verses a cartridge.
        Thanks,
        Josiah

        Reply
        • You are very welcome. My bad, I thought it was about the station’s drying system. But you are right, it will probably evaporate faster when used in a Panasonic station.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  52. Hello,
    I appreciate your write-up reviewing the various products to save costs. I am interested in the Cleanerist product you reviewed as the others all require adding alcohol to the solution which I don’t want to bother with. However, it seems that this product is not available in the United States. Do you know of any other similar products?

    Reply
    • Hi Bruce,

      Thank you so much for the comment. Unfortunately the ready-made solutions are pretty much absent in the USA. I totally get you as I also prefer not to bother with alcohol, but at least for now, there aren’t any available in the USA. Oddly, in Europe there are even a few more in addition to the ones I’ve mentioned. Importing one would likely be difficult (because of the alcohol) and the shipping costs will pretty much cancel out any savings.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  53. Thanks for this post. What are the cleaning solutions compatible with panasonic cleaning stations? Can you post something about that? Thanks for the great content!

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Thank you so much. Unfortunately with Panasonic stations, the options are a lot more limited. The only one that I know of is the Shaver Shebang concentrate. And in my opinion that one just doesn’t provide enough lubrication which is even more important with Panasonic shavers. So if you do get it, I recommend oiling the shaver in addition to what the cleaning solution does.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  54. It seems like a basic question, so maybe I missed it, but why not just use isopropyl alcohol straight? It’s easy to put a drop of oil on the foils afterward for lubrication.

    Reply
    • Hi Barry,

      That’s a perfectly legit question and makes total sense. And yes, you can actually use a minimalist version of the solution made only of alcohol and (optionally a few drops of essential oil).

      The main drawback of this solution is that it lacks any lubricating properties and as you’ve said, you will need to address that yourself (you can use either clipper oil or a spray lubricant for electric shavers). For the end user, it would be nearly impossible to make an all-in-one solution from scratch that cleans and lubricates in the same way the original does. The ingredients are just not readily available and it takes some chemistry knowledge as well to put everything together.

      But provided you take care of lubricating the blades yourself, your solution can work.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply

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