Keeping your shaver in top working condition is good for both your wallet and your face.
Even though the initial purchase price is rather high when compared to a classic razor, it definitely can be a very good investment in the long run.
If given proper care, an electric razor will last for many years. And with a few vital, but easy-to-implement hacks you can definitely achieve this.
Here are my top 6 tips for taking care of your shaver the right way.
1. Clean your razor regularly.
This is the single most important thing you can do. It really is.
Nothing damages the blades and foil of an electric shaver more than build-ups of hair clippings, dead skin, dirt and other nasty things that also form an environment where bacteria will thrive.
This debris will also clog your razor, putting more stress on the motor and the shaver won’t cut the hairs efficiently, causing the hairs to get snagged and you’ll have an overall poor shaving experience.
A clean, sanitized razor will provide closer and smoother shaves and will greatly reduce the risk of bacteria infecting the skin.
If your razor doesn’t have an automatic cleaning station, you should give it a proper cleaning after each use according to your shaver’s user manual.
Most modern electric shavers can be safely cleaned with liquid soap and hot tap water.
Also, make sure all the parts are completely dry before putting the shaver together and storing it in a cabinet.
Bonus tip: Let your shaver air dry with the shaving head detached. This will allow all the moisture to dry faster and completely. Otherwise, a funky smell can develop over time.
Just remember to always follow the instructions of the manufacturer when cleaning your razor as it can get damaged if done incorrectly.
For example, a small percentage of electric shavers aren’t waterproof, so you’ll have to clean them with a small brush instead.
2. Lubricate your shaver.
The friction of the cutting blades against the foil or combs will lead to premature wear and you’ll need to replace those parts sooner.
Also, this friction can generate excessive heat, causing irritation and discomfort.
There is a very simple fix to this problem: lubricate the cutting blades using a light oil before shaving.
A couple of drops on the outside of each foil/comb is all it takes, but it will make a world of difference.
If your shaver also has an integrated pop-up trimmer, place a drop on it as well.
Some manufacturers — like Braun or Panasonic for example — will sometimes include a small bottle of lubricant in the package.
However, you can safely use any brand of clipper oil (some of the most popular ones are from Wahl, Andis and Oster).
Further reading: For a comprehensive explanation of how and when to lubricate your electric razor make sure to check out our guide.
3. Use a spray cleaner & lubricant for electric razors.
While cleaning sprays are not absolutely necessary, I think they make a great addition and you should really use one, especially if your shaver doesn’t seem to cut as well as it used to.
In my opinion is best to use them alongside the lubricating method described above (once or twice a week should suffice).
They clean, degrease, break down hard water deposits and also lubricate your shaver.
Further reading: For a complete guide on the best spray cleaners and how to use them check out this article.
4. Handle with care.
While most electric shavers are very sturdy and built to last, their cutting assembly is very fragile and can be easily damaged.
The blades and foils are very sensitive to mechanical shocks; for example, you should never tap the foils directly on the sink to remove hairs or use any harsh method to clean the cutting blades or foils as they are extremely fragile.
Always use the protective cap and take all the necessary precautions, especially when traveling.
5. Prolong the shaver’s battery life.
The lifespan and performance of a Li-Ion battery (the most widely used type) can be altered by how you charge your razor.
While modern Li-ion batteries aren’t affected by memory effect like the older NiMh and NiCd types, there are still several things you can do.
- Strive to maintain the battery level between 30% and 80%. The battery volume actually changes depending on how much charge it holds, so avoiding the extremes will minimize the mechanical stress.
- Avoid exposing the shaver to extreme temperatures as this will have a negative impact on the battery. Extreme cold causes the useful chemical reactions to slow down, reducing current output. Heat causes some side reactions to speed up, leading to electrode wear.
- A complete charge/discharge cycle can still be performed once a month or so. This will help with re-calibrating the battery level indicator, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Just charge your shaver whenever you need to.
A Li-Ion battery has a finite number of charging cycles. However, a partial charging cycle only counts as partial, so charging your shaver more often is not a problem if you follow the above rules.
Please note that you should never shave when the battery is almost out of juice.
Apart from the potential damage to the battery, the motor won’t be functioning at peak performance and this will have a negative impact on your shaving experience.
Hairs getting pulled can definitely occur in this situation and you’ll also be tempted to apply more pressure and go over the same area multiple times.
Note: Some electric shavers like the Braun Series 3 come with NiMh batteries. However, even in this case the maintenance is minimal, involving only a complete discharge every few months.
Props to Jostikas for providing the technical explanations in the comments.
6. Replace worn out foils and blades.
Failing to do so will result in poor performance. Never try to squeeze another shave or two from a dull blade or worn foils.
Depending on your shaving habits and your particular shaver, these parts will usually need to be replaced once every year or so.
Always buy the original parts recommended by the manufacturer for your particular razor.
An important aspect to be considered when purchasing an electric razor is the cost of these parts.
Some of them can be quite expensive at more than 50% of the price of the shaver, so you should definitely do some research prior to buying a razor.
The cost of ownership is something that can be easily neglected.
In my list of the best men’s shavers I also cover running costs, so make sure to check it out as well.
That’s really all there is to it — no fancy stuff, just getting the basics right.
Over to you now — do you have any extra tips that should be on this list? Please share it in the comments below.