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.
Regardless of whether you’re using a rotary or foil razor, the cutting elements will eventually wear out and will need to be replaced.
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.
24 thoughts on “How To Take Care Of Your Electric Razor: 6 Proven Tips”Leave a comment
The older NiMH and NiCd batteries exhibited memory effect, and are the origin of the myth of discharging as much as possible.
With Li-Ion batteries, unless the manufacturer specifies otherwise, the rule for long life is “avoid extremes”, for three main causes:
1. The battery volume changes with charge state, causing mechanical stresses. Moving between 40% and 80% causes considerably less mechanical stress than moving between 10% and 100% charge states.
2. Modern lithium batteries, to eke out as much capacity as possible, are usually charged to around 4.2 V. There are harmful side reactions, the activity of which rises exponentially with voltage. Thus keeping the battery at a high voltage (at 100% charge state) is also a problem.
3. Batteries hate temperature extremes (that’s quite universal). Cold causes the useful chemical reactions to slow down, reducing current output. Heat causes side reactions to speed up, causing electrode wear. This is the main reason why quick charging should be avoided when possible: quicker charging = higher current = higher temperature.
It’s still a good idea to do a total charge-discharge cycle once a month or so, but for Li-ion it has more to do with recalibrating the battery level indicator than with any memory effect. For Li-ion, “adding together partial cycles gives the total number of cycles” is a better rule of thumb than “Every connect-disconnect is one cycle” that was more true with nickel-based rechargeables. That goes for you phone and laptop too, by the way: business-class Thinkpads have BIOS options where you can set the “full battery” threshold to lower than 100% for this reason.
Thank you for the excellent and fact based explanation. I wrote the article a while back and unfortunately my stance on improving battery life was plagued by those myths that don’t apply to modern Li-Ion batteries. I will update the post accordingly and with your permission quote some of your statements. Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to offer such a thorough explanation.
Can you send me information on how to look after my Panasonic SE-LV65 wet/dry shaver battery please? Should I do a cull discharge once a month?
Apart from the things listed at number 4 in this post, there’s not much you can do. You could still perform a full discharge once a month, but that’s not really necessary with modern Li-ion batteries. I personally don’t bother doing it.
Such an amazing post !! I’m very glad to find article, It gives me information that I’m looking for. Thanks and keep sharing 🙂
One other thing should be mentioned. Before I shave I always soften my beard with a hot, damp facecloth for a few minutes. It is more comfortable shaving and is easier on the cutters, I think.
That’s a great addition to a pre-shave routine, but one that would be particularly beneficial in the case of a wet shave. Most electric shavers can be used with shaving cream or gel, so anyone should give it a try.
Regarding the charging tip, is there a way to use the cleaning station (ARC5 Gen2) without it charging the shaver? Otherwise it’s topped up to 100% every time.
There’s not much you can do about it. The only option would be to take the shaver out of the station once the cleaning cycle is completed.
So I worked out a method to use the cleaning station on the ARC5 without charging to 100% after drying. It’s important to note that it doesn’t charge the shaver until the drying cycle has completed.
Now that we know that, I’ll explain what I do. When I put the shaver in to clean, I do it the normal way. Once the cleaning is done and the drying phase starts, I insert a piece of paper to block the contact on the right (There are 3 on the back) from connecting (Works for the left contact too, just not the middle).
During the drying phase, if you disconnect the shaver contacts for less than 10 seconds or so, it doesn’t stop the drying phase, so just pull it back, insert something to block the contact and put it back so that the other 2 pins are in contact. When it reaches the end of the drying phase, it tries to charge, but it needs the 2 contacts on the sides to complete a circuit, so charging doesn’t start.
Note that it’s important to block the contact after the cleaning phase, otherwise the cleaning phase doesn’t turn the shaver on and off as it cleans, so obviously it won’t do a great job.
That’s a really clever workaround, thanks so much much for sharing.
Though I’ve had ni-cad shaver batteries, and more recently, pure electric plug ins, I just got my first li-ion battery shaver…the F5-5800. Since I rotate among my shaver collection, I only plan to use it two days a week…Tuesday and Saturday. I shave everyday but use different models and power sources (rechargeable and cord electric). My question is will the li-ions discharge between the 3 or 4 days I don’t use it? I have been so used to plug in with its convenience of no charging/discharging, etc., that this is new to me. I don’t want to use it everyday and prefer rotating among my shavers. Thanks.
All Li-ion batteries will lose some charge over the course of 3 to 4 days, but that will not affect their lifespan in the long run. Just plug it in if there’s not enough charge in the battery before your shave. Being Li-ion, you can charge it as often as you need without any worries.
Hi Ovidiu: I wrote to you recently just getting the F5-5800 Remington over the 7500D with its rubber switch cover. But I have to tell you something even I find hard to believe. On Jan 2, I fully charged my new F5-5800. I did a 5 minute test run. Then, every Mon/Wed/Fri since then, I used it for 3 minutes each of those days, using my other shavers on other days. Well, I’ve kept a log and it is now Feb 17 and I’ve had 23 three-minute runs (69 minutes) plus the 5 minute test run…about 74 minutes! I’m running it down as one of your column contributors mentioned recalibrating the battery indicator. I think that ‘s what threw me off. After the first 2 shaves, it went down to 80%. I called Remington. They asked for the date of manufacture and said maybe the battery was defective, so they sent me another one and told me to keep the original (due to COVID they didn’t want it back). I think the battery indicator must have been off as I have had at least 8 shaves with the red 0% remaining light on. I will only go to the extremes (0 and 100%) occasionally as Remington says, but it is hard for me to fathom why I’m getting over 70 minutes on one charge…and I assume there is some discharge, or leakage, over the last six weeks (jan 7-Feb 17)…on days I’m not using it. The only thing I do is clean (with alcohol) the foil and cutters, and als oil the foils each time I use it. I know that keeps the friction low, and maybe the battery from stressing. I am just amazed and the shaver is still running, albeit a bit slower. I wouldn’t want to run it this slow each cycle, but perhaps every six months as Remington recommends I will run it down. Gosh, maybe I got an “experimental” battery that goes much longer than 60 minutes. I’m pleased for sure. Any thoughts as to why? I have an average beard but do shave every day so no long stubble.
Many thanks for the update. That’s really interesting and useful to know. Also, 74 minutes is quite impressive. I’ve had the pleasant surprise of getting more than the official numbers from a single charge a few times (with Braun and Philips, Panasonic usually can’t match them), but it wasn’t that impressive though. Cleaning and oiling the blades regularly definitely helps; if there’s a lot of friction, the motor will work extra hard just to keep the blades moving. That, plus your average beard and a good routine to take care of the battery can explain the excellent autonomy.
I personally charge my shavers when the battery is at around 20% as I can always detect even an incremental drop in power.
Thanks, Ovidu. I plan on doing exactly what you are doing…recharging at about 20%, and charge up to perhaps 80% if I remember to unplug it. I know lithium-ion battery specialists say that is the best thing to do for my laptop too…never let it get below 20%. I’ll do a full discharge/recharge every six months or so as Remington recommends. As I mentioned before, one of your contributors mentioned that a full discharge/recharge is really to benefit the battery level indicator calibration, as there is little memory effect on lithium-ions. Thanks so much for your insight, Ovidu. It’s rewarding to read your columns, especially since you are among the most knowledgeable experts on shavers, and your advice is sound and welcome. Bob
You are way too kind, Bob — I’m glad you found the site informative. I think that’s an excellent long-term strategy.
I have one question: How do we should store our electric shavers (a Braun Series 9 in my case)?
Can humidity affect the mechanism or blades if we simply store it in the bathroom in a drawer? Would it also be better to put it in a case or zip bag?
Thank you in advance! I love your site!
I mean the humidity of the shower especially.
The most important thing is to make sure that the shaving head is completely dry before storing the shaver in a drawer, case, cabinet, etc. All are equally good options. I wouldn’t use a zip bag though because if there’s still some moisture left, it will not evaporate.
If the high humidity is only temporary, like right after taking a shower and the shaver is in a drawer, I don’t think there’ll be any issues in the long run. Otherwise, it’s probably best not to store it for an extended period of time in a very humid environment.
I am making the switch from rotary and have a dumb question. What do you do with the shaver between shaves? Most of the rotary shavers come with a charging stand while only the most expensive foil ones do.
I usually rinse it with water, let it air dry overnight on the countertop and then store it in my shaving cabinet. But as long as the shaver is clean and dry, you can store it in any safe place (away from direct sunlight though), including its travel case or a toiletry bag.
Another cleaning method: Remove the head, take a deep breath, and blow hard on each surface. A drinking straw focuses and increases the force of the air-stream. Cheaper than “canned air”. Use the little brush if needed for any remnants. Also, I use a little oil before each shave, and the braun cleaning station once a week or so.
Thanks for the comment, Kevin. Definitely a quick and effective workaround.