How To Clean An Electric Shaver The Right Way (Quickly And Efficiently)

No cleaning station? No problem!

In this guide I am going to show you how to manually clean your shaver, be it rotary or foil, in only a few quick and easy steps (with detailed images plus a video).

The best part? It will take you less than a minute to do it — literally.

Cleaning your electric razor thoroughly on a regular basis is the single most important thing you can do — alongside lubrication — in order to prolong its life and to ensure optimal performance.

Yes, an automatic cleaning station can take care of all that hassle for you.

However, not all shavers come with one and those that do are generally a lot more expensive and also imply higher costs of ownership — you will need to constantly buy the cleaning solution as well.

Luckily, most modern electric razors are very easy to clean manually if you follow a simple, but effective routine.

The best way to clean an electric shaver

I’ve been using electric shavers for almost 20 years and I can say without a doubt that the easiest, most effective way to clean them is with warm tap water and a bit of liquid soap.

This of course implies that your shaver is waterproof and can be safely rinsed with water.

If it’s not, you are pretty much doomed to stick to dry cleaning (I will share a few tips on that as well at the end of the post).

So, before moving on to the next part that shows the exact steps, make sure your shaver is waterproof and can be cleaned with water.

This information should be explicitly listed in the specs sheet of your shaver or in the user manual.

Do NOT wash your electric razor with water if it was not designed to handle it because it will get irreversibly damaged.

Before proceeding, make sure the shaver is turned off and it’s not connected to a power outlet.

Since we’ll be using water to clean it, you don’t want it to be plugged in for obvious safety concerns.

With that said, let’s see how to get it cleaned.

How to clean an electric shaver (step by step)

1. Remove most of the hairs from the shaving head.

Once you’ve finished shaving, with the razor turned off, remove the shaving head and gently tap the plastic frame on the sink or countertop.

Tapping the shaving head on the sink to get rid of the hairs.

Do not hit the foils on a hard surface, they can get damaged easily.

This simple action will remove the bulk of hairs from the shaving head. Alternatively, you can use a small brush, but only on the inside of the head and not directly on the foils.

If you use a rotary shaver, some will have the front part of the shaving unit attached via a hinge (image A) while others have it friction fitted and must be removed completely (image B).

Rotary shaver shaving units

Either way, you should try to remove as many hair strands as possible from the inside of the shaving unit by gently tapping the plastic frame.

TIP: Using a can of compressed air can also work great if you have one lying around.

If you use shaving cream or gel, then tapping or brushing the hairs is pretty much out of the question as the shaving head will be stuffed with lather. Instead, give it a quick rinse under the tap.

Once you’ve removed the hairs, put the cutting block back and let’s move on to the next step.

2. Apply a bit of water to the shaving head, then pour a few drops of liquid soap over the foils/combs.

Applying a bit of liquid soap to the foils

You can use hand soap, dish wash soap or even some shower gel.

3. Turn the shaver on.

Turning on the shaver to lather the soap

We’ll want the soap to lather nicely and coat the foils/heads of the shaver.

You’ll most likely need to add a bit more water at this point, so use your free hand to sprinkle a few more drops and distribute the lather across the entire surface of the shaving head.

Let the shaver run for around 10 seconds.

Tip: Panasonic electric shavers have a special cleaning mode (called sonic mode) that is activated by pressing and holding the power button for a few seconds.

Cleaning the shaver with soap and water.
Cleaning a Panasonic razor in sonic mode.

If you own a Panasonic shaver, you’ll probably want to take advantage of that as it will make the blades vibrate at a much higher rate, dislodging any stubborn dirt, and will also prevent water splashes.

4. With the shaver still running, rinse the head generously with warm tap water.

Rinsing the shaver with water

This will remove most of the foam and hair clippings from the shaving head. Rinse it for approximately 10 seconds.

5. Turn the razor off, remove the shaving head and rinse it thoroughly.

Removing and rinsing the shaving head again

Depending on your shaver model, this can be a bit different.

For example, Panasonic shavers have two inner (removable) blades and the rest of them are integrated into the foil block.

If you have a Panasonic shaver, remove the foil frame and rinse it thoroughly, both the inside and the outside.

Rinse the two inner blades as well — you don’t need to detach them from the shaver for this.

Rinsing the foils and inner blades of a Panasonic electric razor.
Rinsing the foils and inner blades of a Panasonic electric razor.

If you own a Braun shaver, then most likely it uses a so-called cassette.

This basically means that the blades and foils are all merged into a single piece (unlike the shaving head of most Panasonic razors).

A Braun Series 7 cassette

If that’s the case, remove the cassette, then wash it with water, both the outside and the inner part.

It’s very important to do it rigorously since these cassettes have a very intricate inner part that offers limited access and some dirt may remain lodged inside.

Rinsing a Braun cassette.
Rinsing a Braun cassette.

The best way to avoid that from happening is to clean it in this manner on a regular basis, preferably after every shave.

If you own a rotary razor, then you must open or remove the top part of the shaving unit and rinse it.

As mentioned previously, on some models, particularly the lower-end Philips Norelco razors, the top part of the shaving head remains attached and can be easily popped open with the press of a button.

Whichever the case may be, make sure to rinse everything thoroughly, both the inside and the outside.

6. Shake off excess water, gently pat with a clean cloth and let the parts air dry completely.

Letting the shaver air dry completely

It’s very important to allow the blades and foils to dry before putting them back together and storing the shaver in a cabinet or case.

If you fail to do so, the remaining water will take a lot more time to evaporate and you may even come across a damp shaving head the next day. And that’s not ideal if you shave dry (and most of us do).

And do not, under any circumstances, put the protective cap on if the shaving head is not completely dry.

If you’re constantly storing the shaver with water trapped inside the head it can even develop a funky smell over time.

And that’s pretty much it! Your shaver should now be squeaky clean.

If the above steps sound like a lot of work, here’s a video that illustrates these steps from start to finish using a Braun Series 7:

Bonus cleaning tips (rotary shavers only)

If you’re a foil shaver user, that’s pretty much all the cleaning you’ll ever have to do.

However, rotary razors will require a more in-depth cleaning every once in a while — apart from the standard routine described above.

Once a month or so, it would be a good idea to clean each pair of cutters and combs individually.

This of course implies disassembling the shaving unit and cleaning each of the rotary shaving heads.

The procedure takes a bit of time and can be fiddly, but at least you don’t have to do it often.

The most important thing here is not to mix the cutters and combs as they are matching pairs.

Mixing them will likely translate into a sub-optimal performance of the shaver and it will take a couple of weeks for the blades to adapt and sit flush to the inner surface of the combs again.

However, this will also wear them out faster, so it’s best not to mix them in the first place.

The procedure can be a bit different depending on the model of your rotary shaver, but you’ll always start by removing the retainers that hold the blades in place.

It can be a single piece (usually on lower-end models), like the one below:

Philips shaver retaining bracket

Alternatively, each cutting head can have its own retaining ring.

For example, here is the shaving unit of a Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige with the three blue retaining rings that must be turned counterclockwise in order to be unlocked.

Philips Norelco S9000 shaving heads

Your shaver’s user manual should provide detailed instructions on this.

Once the retainers have been removed, you can proceed with cleaning the rotary blades and their corresponding combs.

It’s highly recommended to do it one pair at a time to avoid mixing them.

Wash the blade and the comb with water, removing any hairs and grime.

Cleaning the circular blades of a rotary razor

You can then gently pat them with a cloth or paper towel and let them air dry completely.

Once dry, you can also spray the blades and the inner part of the combs with a spray cleaner and lubricant since the shaving unit is already disassembled and you have access to the blades.

Put the combs, blades, and retainer rings back together in reverse order. Make sure to lock the retainers, usually by turning them clockwise.

Again, I must stress that it’s very important not to mix the cutter & comb pairs.

That’s pretty much it. This thorough cleaning routine only applies to rotary shavers and it is optional, but I would recommend doing it just to avoid gunk building up inside the combs.

Performing this once a month (or even less often) will be good enough.

Can’t use water and soap? Try this instead

I mentioned in the beginning that your electric razor must be waterproof in order to clean it with water and soap.

If however you own one of the very few modern shavers that aren’t waterproof (for example, a few Remington models or several travel shavers) or maybe you have an older/vintage shaver, then you must resort to the so-called dry cleaning.

Here are a few tips you may find useful in this case.

  • You can use a can of compressed air to blow away hair strands a lot more effectively than by simply tapping the shaving unit or by using a brush.
  • Use a spray cleaner and lubricant. These products are specially designed to be used on electric shavers and they work great.

Not only do they lubricate the blades, but also clean them very efficiently.

Remington Shaver Saver Spray Cleaner

Remington Shaver Saver

See the price on Amazon

And since they dissolve water mineral deposits, it’s also a good idea to use one even if you clean the shaver with water and soap.

Mineral deposits, especially if your tap water is very hard, can increase the wear of the blades and shorten their lifespan.

For more details on how to use a spray cleaner and which one should you buy, check out this guide.

Final word

That’s pretty much it — as you can see, manually cleaning an electric shaver is actually very easy and straightforward.

Performing this quick cleaning routine after every use will ensure optimal hygiene and performance.

Do not neglect lubricating your shaver on a regular basis as well. Soap will remove any traces of lubricant from the blades, thus increasing the friction and causing excessive heat and wear.

Here’s a complete guide on how and when to lubricate your electric razor.

Get these two right and you’ll have an electric shaver that will serve you well for years to come.

Disclaimer: shavercheck.com and the author of this post are not responsible for any damage caused to you or to your device.

Article by

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

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

105 thoughts on “How To Clean An Electric Shaver The Right Way (Quickly And Efficiently)”

Leave a comment
  1. Hello. Excellent article. Thank you!

    I have a question regarding cleaning. I have a Braun Series 5 with a cleaning station. I know that when using shaving cream I am supposed to manually clean it first before putting it back in the cleaning station. My questions are:

    1) Do I need to let the cartridge dry first before I put it back in the station after manually cleaning it? Will water interfere with the cleaning solution?
    2) Do I need to oil the razor if I manually clean but also use the cleaning station?

    Reply
    • Hi Derek,

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. Those are actually some excellent questions.

      1. No, it doesn’t have to be perfectly dry, but make sure to shake off the excess water and wipe it with a paper tissue/towel. Water that ends up in the cartridge can affect the electric conductivity of the solution which can trigger a false empty cartridge reading — the station uses the electric conductivity of the alcohol fluid to determine when it’s time to replace the cartridge.

      2. No, if you also use the station regularly there’s no need to oil the blades. The cleaning solution also lubricates the shaver, so it’s all good.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
    • If you’ve previously mixed the blades and parts of a rotary shavers is there a way to get them back in correct order? Are they numbered?

      Reply
      • Unfortunately now, they are not numbered. All you can do is continue using your shaver, but it might take some time until the cutting performance is restored (meaning the blades sit perfectly flush with the inside part of the guards). This can increase the wear of the parts, which is why you should be very careful not to mix them.

        Sincerely,
        Ovidiu

        Reply
  2. Ovidiu,
    Thank you very much for this article. I have some extended travel coming up that makes it impractical to use my cleaning station. The timing of this post could not have been better.
    The photographs and video complement the article very nicely.

    ShaverCheck continues to be a solid reference source for me.
    Respectfully,
    Ben

    Reply
    • Hi Ben,

      Thank you for your kind words. Glad to know you found the information useful.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  3. Hi Dear Ovidiu, thanks in advance for your useful information…. I face some topic that I kindly ask you follow this subject even by Braun Company too.

    Last year I bought one series 9 as 9299… At the beginning it was wonderful and satisfy me as well for shaving and also noise that is very important for any person…. As I used it many time its noise not disturb me but:
    As my offer, my brother buy the new one series 9 as 9295 and NOW that I compare the new one and the other one that used about one year, we understand that after one year usage the noise of this shaver is terrible….

    Perhaps No body fill this problem because nobody compare his shaver with new one, but I think because of very high vibration 40.000 ( 4*10.000) it damage the shaver too…By the way, I lubricate my shaver 2-3 times per month by oil too.

    In the same situation and location for both shaver, the difference for decibel is around 15 DB that I check with my smart Phone.

    Ovodiu, please pay attention that when I change the old cassette with the new one, nothing change and the terrible noise is remained.

    Let me know your opinion because of your skill in this field.

    Thanks again.
    Ciao
    Mehran

    Reply
  4. hello

    I have a braun 9090c, do you know if it is waterproof ?
    on the manual, they say that the 9090c can be cleansed with tap water, and only the model 9095cc and 9040 are ”wet and dry” which would mean they are better at being waterproof ????

    Reply
    • Hello Mark,

      Both the dry only Series 9 and the wet & dry models are waterproof, so they can be washed under the tap. However, only the models specifically labeled as wet & dry can be used in the shower for example. There are two types of Series 9: type 5790 (dry only) and type 5791 (wet & dry) which may hint at better waterproofing in the case of the latter.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  5. Instead of using the stiff plastic brushes that come with electric shavers, I use a small camel hair or natural hair artist brush. This way you can brush the foil or combs directly without risking any damage to them because the natural bristles are very soft. And it does a better job for a thorough cleaning.

    Reply
  6. First of all, your website is incredible. I’ve had to learn all of this myself because I’m a trans male; I grew up shaving my legs and such with a manual razor! On testosterone for over four years, I have a full, neckline beard and mustache with coarse hair and sensitive skin. My father has passed away so I do not have anyone to teach me. I only use the electric razor on my cheeks, shape my sideburns, and under my neck. I trim my beard using an electric trimmer.

    I’m here for clarification on how to best clean the Braun Series 7 cassette since I did not buy one with a cleaning station. I dry shave every other day. (I might try wet shaving after reading your article on it, though!) The video you provided was immensely helpful.

    Finally, here’s the question: how do I use the cleaning brush, specifically after dry shaving? I’m honestly not sure how to use it best—I’ve been using it on the inside of the cassette head but there are so many moving parts so I usually give it a good shake,
    tap on the sink, and some brisk flicks with the bristles. I’m getting a replacement cassette tomorrow so I want to know how to best take care of it.

    Thank you for your site!

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’m glad you found the information on this website helpful.

      Regarding the cleaning brush, you are pretty much limited to using it on the inside of the cassette (never directly on the foils) and also for brushing any remaining hair strands from the pivoting head unit (the one that remains attached to the shaver). In my opinion the brush is only useful for a quick clean when for some reason you cannot use water. A quick rinse under the tap would still remove more hairs from the cassette even when dry shaving.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  7. Thanks for a really informative site. I bought a Braun 3080s around 9 months ago and was very disappointed when I was getting a really dreadful shave after 9 months, despite carrying out what I thought was the proper cleaning regime. It was only when I bought a new cartridge that I found that (1) the shaver gave me a great shave again and (2) the old cartridge was clogged with gunge. I only shave dry and assumed that tapping the head to remove hairs plus a tiny drop of Wahl oil on the foils from time to time would suffice, but obviously not. Just as an experiment, I tried cleaning the old head quite rigorously but some of the gunge was immovable! So I think my future schedule will be tapping out the hairs as recommended, supplemented by an occasional blast of compressed air, a minute drop of Wahl oil on each foil every few shaves and a complete wash, dry and light lube every so often – perhaps every week?

    Thanks again for a great resource……

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Thank you for your comment, much appreciated.
      Oil along with hairs, grime, and dead skin cells can gunk up the razor in time. So your new routine should definitely be an improvement over just tapping out the hairs. I personally would do a quick rinse under the tap after every shave. Lubricating with a single drop of oil on each foil should depend on how you clean the shaver. If you don’t use liquid soap, oiling once a week will easily be enough.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Thanks for that useful info, Ovidiu – I’ll follow your guidelines. The problem with daily cleaning with fresh water is making sure that the Braun head is in a safe spot while it’s drying out, otherwise at the mercy of a wife who may “tidy it away”. I’m working on that!

        Regards,
        Iain

        Reply
  8. How to clean the center cutter on a 5 head electric shaver. I can clean the 4 outer blades but cant figure the middle one. Dont want to break it tryong to get it out

    Reply
    • Can you please specify the brand and model of your electric shaver? Cleaning the shaving head should be very straightforward for all the blades (same process described in the article).

      Reply
      • Hi Ovidiu,

        First of all, thanks for all your articles. They helped me to choose my first electruc shaver!

        My question is when to apply oil? Should the razer be completely dry after the cleaning or I can put oil immediately after I washed it?

        Reply
        • Hi Sergey,

          You are very welcome, glad you found them useful. I would strongly recommend applying the oil when the shaver is completely dry. I personally do it right before I shave.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  9. I use a water pick to clean mine. The first time I did I was amazed how much hair was flushed out even after cleaning and tapping the blade. (I have a Braun similar to the one in the article)

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment, Scott. I don’t have a water flosser, so I’ve never tried cleaning an electric shaver using one. But pressurized water should clean the shaving head quite effectively, just make sure not to use too much pressure as over time the foils could get damaged.

      Reply
  10. I have a Phillips Norelco Aquatec in which I just replaced the blades. While doing so, the other part came loose and I can’t get it back in. I don’t know if something broke or what.
    It is triangular in shape and sits in the bottom, as opposed to the blades on top.

    Reply
    • Hi,

      From what I can tell, I think you’re referring to the triangular locking bracket (you can check it out in this image). If that’s the case, you must put it back in place and lock it (usually by rotating it clockwise, but this can vary depending on the shaver model).

      Let me know if if you managed to fix it.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  11. Very good article with pictures and video. Thanks for making it available.
    I have a Panasonic wet/dry shaver and was wondering on two things:
    – how to get rid of the white residue from the shaving foam that accumulates over time
    – should we be using any oils on the blades to keep them functioning well?

    Thanks again

    Reply
    • Hi Hussain,

      Thank you for your comment, those are some excellent points.

      First of all, if you use shaving cream, it would be highly recommended to give your shaver a thorough cleaning after every use just to avoid that hardened shaving foam that will accumulate over time. But even so, some foam residue will still remain in the corners of the foils (on the inside).

      It’s happened to me as well as I tend to use shaving cream with my Panasonic razors. The best solution I’ve found is to remove the inner blades and outer foil and let them soak in a bowl of warm, soapy water for 30 to 60 minutes. You can use dishwash soap, but any liquid soap will do. After that, give them a thorough rinse. There may be some traces of hardened foam left at the very corners of the foil, but it shouldn’t interfere with the actual functioning of your shaver.

      Hardened foam is difficult to remove and it’s best to avoid getting there by regularly cleaning your shaver as described in this post for example.

      As for lubrication, I highly recommend it, particularly if you use water (and) soap to clean your shaver. You can use light machine oil, clipper oil or a spray lubricant for electric razors (like Remington Shaver Saver). You can read my guide on lubrication here.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  12. Hi Ovidiu,

    Incredibly detailed and well written article! I have a question. I have the Panasonic 5 blade shaver(ES-LV6Q). It has been having the musty smell even after washing with soap and leaving it out to dry. What would u suggest to be done to get rid of the musty smell and prevent it?

    Regards
    Tim

    Reply
    • Hi Tim,

      Many thanks for your comment. In order to avoid any funky smells from the shaving head of your razor, there are really only two things you must take care of: proper cleaning and letting the parts dry completely. From your comment I understand that you are doing precisely that. Can you describe in more detail your cleaning routine? Maybe there’s something along the way that causes the issue. Do you clean it with soap and water after every shave?

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • I have the same question as Tim. I rinse the outer and inner blade under running water after I shave. I assembly it, apply some liquid soap, turn on cleaning mode, and rinse it in last 5 second before the cleaning mode off. Then rinse the outer and inner blade again and air dry them.

        But when I lubricate it the next day, there are still hair float on the oil and it also have some unpleasant smell. Where are those hair come from??

        Reply
        • Hi Edmond,

          Your cleaning routine looks good to me, so normally you shouldn’t have any of those issues. I’ve always cleaned my Panasonic shavers with water and soap and it’s been really effective. So in this case my only recommendation would be to be a bit more thorough: apply enough soap and water, let it lather with the shaver turned on and spread it all over the foils. Rinse everything clean, shake off the water, pat dry and let the foils and blades air dry. Unless there’s something that prevents the moisture from evaporating (high humidity or a closed cabinet), I really can’t see what else you can do. Again, it seemed perfectly fine to me as it is.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  13. Hello Ovidiu!.Is it mandatory to use warm water if I use liquid soap or is cold water also suitable. In the instructions for braun it is written to wash only in hot water that there was no smell. And the instructions for panasonic say that it is forbidden to use hot water, that is, you can wash it cold. Where I live sometimes there is no warm or hot water but only cold. Sorry my bad English.

    Reply
    • Hi Pavel,

      You can definitely use cold water as well. Warm water is just a bit more effective when combined with soap and feels nicer to the hands. 🙂

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  14. Thanks for such a detailed and interesting cleaning guide. I agree that keeping an electric shaver clean and lubricated is critical to maintaining performance, while also avoiding all sorts of potential skin and shaving problems that could arise from a bacteria-laden, clogged shaver.

    I have a few questions about my routine. (Incidentally, I use a three year old Braun Series 7 as my daily shaver.)

    You propose using liquid hand soap, but I sometimes use kitchen washing up liquid (Dawn). It’s quite a gentle detergent (they use it on rescue birds and animals after oil spills). Do you see any issues there? I mean, there’s nothing magic about liquid hand soap per se is there, as compared to Dawn?

    My usual routine is first to rinse the shaver so that most of the hair chips, skin, and debris are cleared away, and then to wash it. But my practice is a bit different from yours. I use a small bowl, filled with warm water and liquid soap/detergent. I then upend the shaver and run it in the soapy water for 20-30 second. This seems to give a very thorough sluicing out.

    After washing in the little bowl, and while the shaver is still running, I rinse the foils under a running tap of warm water.

    Then I disassemble and lightly pat the “cassette” dry with a clean hand towel.

    And here’s another thing I do a bit differently – next I dry it with a hair dryer for 20 seconds or so with the heat on low. Do you see any problems there? (I prefer to use the hair dryer, because that way I don’t have to wait for the shaver to dry before lubricating it.)

    Finally, I use a light appliance oil. Although you suggest placing one drop mid-foil, I tend instead to make a “line” of oil (just a tiny line, no more than a spread-out drop really) along each foil and also the center reciprocating cutter. Then, with the shaver running, I lightly (no pressure at all) spread the oil across the foil just a tad more with my finger. I figure this ensures that the oil is working the entire foil and blade.

    Finally, I dab the foils with a disposable facial tissue.

    Done. After that routine, I’m satisfied that my shaver is as clean as it would be using a cleaning base or by any other method. It all seems to work fine.

    Let me know if you see any issues with any of this. As always, a terrific web resource on shavers. I’m really impressed.

    I fi

    Reply
    • Many thanks for your comment, David, glad you found the site useful.

      Your cleaning routine is excellent. In fact, it’s even more thorough than what I describe in this article, but I wanted to keep the process as short as possible while getting the maximum benefits.

      It’s perfectly fine to use dishwashing soap, there isn’t anything special about regular liquid hand soap. Using the hairdryer with the heat on low should also be perfectly safe. Some older Series 7 cleaning stations even have an inductive heating element to accelerate the drying. The way you lubricate your shaver is also correct — again, I tried to keep everything as simple as possible so it wouldn’t feel like a chore.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Thanks for your response, and I’m glad my cleaning regimen is up to par.

        Related (but different) issue:

        From time to time, instead of the routine I outlined above, I’ve instead used Eltron (Parks) Shaver Cleaner. It’s a liquid shaver cleaner. (I think it’s some sort of alcohol with lubricant mixed in – probably not unlike Philips Norelco Jet Clean Solution.)

        When I use it, I just pour some into a bowl and upend the shaver heads into the solution, then run the shaver for 20 seconds or so.

        The nice thing about doing that is that it just evaporates – no need to dry or to lubricate.

        Two questions:

        1) Do you see any problems cleaning the shaver by running it in an alcohol-based cleaner like Eltron/Parks, instead of soap and water?

        2) If we compare three possible methods (cleaning base vs. my soap+water+oil vs. a commercially available alcohol-based cleaner lubricant) do you have an opinion as to which would be most thorough?

        Again, thanks for your great shaver resource. Cheers and all the best, David

        Reply
  15. Hi,

    I have either a Braun 5020s or a 5030s. It has a red trim around the head. Can I wash this razor the way you showed with the soap? It is not a wet/dry razor but it can be washed… I think.

    Reply
    • Hi Daniel,

      Yes, you can safely rinse it with water. Both the 5020s and 5030s are waterproof (even though they are to be used only for shaving dry).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  16. I shave my head once a week and it is ALWAYS the lower back portion of my head and back of neck that I get bumps that I’ve been told from ingrown hairs to folliculitis. What am I doing wrong??

    Reply
    • Hi Ben,

      I’ve been cutting my own hair as well for more than a year now and while I only shave the back and sides of my head with an electric razor (skin fade), I also have a similar issue. I used to get quite a lot of irritation and razor bumps on the back of the neck. Here’s what I did about it:

      • I switched to a Braun Series 9 which is a lot gentler than any of the shavers I’ve used before
      • I am a lot more careful when shaving the back of the head, making sure to apply only very light pressure and let the weight of the shaver do the work
      • I don’t wash my hair/head with hot water afterward as that seems to worsen the irritation quite significantly. Instead, I only use lukewarm, almost cold water
      • I apply a hydrating aftershave balm on the back of my neck. Here are some of my favorite ones

      After I started following this routine, things have gotten much better, even though the problem is not completely gone.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  17. Hi Ovidiu,

    Congrats on your great article. Best that I have yet seen. Really!

    My 89 y.o. father shaves endlessly (30+ minutes — no jokes — he really is somewhat obsessed with getting the closest shave possible) with a new water proof Panasonic. He does clean it after each daily use with tap water (only — need to get him to add the soap in his routine) but he would put back the clear plastic head cover too quickly. As you mentioned, his new shaver developed a really “funky” smell that I am trying to get rid of. To this point, I have used in decreasing quantities a mix of a few drops of dish water soap, a few ml of water and a larger quantity of Isopropyl Alcohol 70% USP. I even let the shaver dip upside down in the solution for about 30 minutes with the disassembled screen head and blades at it’s sides. Despite this, his razor does still have a “funky” odor that clings to it. Do you have any additional suggestions to help get rid of that very unpleasant lingering odor? Could I safely use some javel (diluted chlorine) water? I have already hidden the plastic head cap so that he can no longer use it. And I will run and practice with him your full routine to keep it clean on a daily basis also including the one about lubricating it to ease a closer shave.
    Many thanks in advance for your interest & help.

    Reply
    • Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your comment, glad you found the information useful. If everything else failed so far, I would also try a cleaning spray for electric shavers, although I’m not exactly sure that it can help at this point. I’ve always managed to solve this problem by letting the foil and blades soak in a warm soapy solution.

      The chlorine solution could actually work, in the sense of getting rid of the smell, however, it is not recommended (as a rule of thumb) to use it on stainless steel as it can actually attack the outer layer. A highly diluted solution might be ok, but again, I cannot recommend it as I’m not entirely certain that it won’t cause any damage.

      You could also consider replacing the foil and blades if the smell is still really bad. By the way, some of them cost the same as a brand new shaver, if that’s the case you might as well buy a new one.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  18. Hi Ovidiu: I’ve written you before and was able to get over 70 minutes on my Remington F5 5800 through cleaning and lubrication. I may pickup a rotary shaver for the gym, electric plug in as I don’t want it running down in the middle of shaving. But since I use alcohol to clean the foil on my Remington foil shavers…and a Q-tip, if I don’t want to use water on a rotary, do you think the cutters and combs would do fine with no water, just brushing out and using a fine brush dipped in alcohol to clean and thoroughly degrease the cutter and combs? I would use either Remington Shaver Saver or my clipper oil on the blades then to lubricate them. I really want to avoid water with a pure electric plug in. Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Bob,

      As long as you clean each cutter and comb, it should be perfectly fine, especially if you’ll be using the Remington Spray which also helps with cleaning (apart from the lubricating properties of the product).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  19. Hey, great article! Using the soap and water cleaning method on a Series 9 wet/dry, how would you advise disinfecting or sanitizing? And how often?

    I have very sensitive skin, so I avoid the cleaning station, and would like to avoid any solutions that involve unnecessary scents or chemicals. I’m thinking an ethyl alcohol solution, maybe once a week? And do you have any ideas on where to buy some for this purpose?

    Reply
    • Hi Drew,

      Thanks for the comment, much appreciated.

      Any brand of rubbing alcohol (70% or more) will be effective. Even soap and water alone are enough if you do it after every shave in my opinion, but using alcohol a few times a month can’t hurt. All other cleaning solutions for Braun electric shavers do have fragrance, surfactants and other components.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  20. Hi Ovidiu. As you know I recently got an Arc 5 after reading your articles. I’m very meticulous about cleaning it and I realized something and thought I should share it.

    The pop out trimmer always gets filled with water during the cleaning process. I found that if I don’t flip open the trimmer and let it dry in the open position, water stays trapped inside. It’s interesting that the razor can still lay flat on its back with the trimmer open and the trimmer will not touch the surface that its resting on. Leaving the trimmer open also reminds me that I should lubricate that blade as well.

    Also opening the trimmer before I shake the razor of excess water, locks the head and makes the shaking process less prone to damage. We all know that the Arc 5 shaver head is massive and floating. If you gave it a good hard shake without either holding firmly on the shaver head itself, or having it locked in place, you might risk damaging it. Having the trimmer open keeps the shaver head locked and allows one to shake water out of the trimmer recess as well.

    Thanks for all your articles man. You do us all a great service.

    Reply
    • Hi MJ,

      That’s an excellent observation, thanks some much for taking the time to share it. I’ve been noticing that as well, although I have never gone as far as opening the trimmer before letting the shaver air dry. I always put it on the back though so the water can drip out. I totally agree regarding the shaving head, one should never shake an Arc 5 with the switch in the free position. Really great tips, thank you again for sharing.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  21. I have a Braun series 9 and have bought the Andis spray. What part of the shaver should I spray and should I detach anything when spraying?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Liyad,

      I personally remove the shaving head (cassette) to avoid spraying the shaver’s body. I spray the outside of the shaving head, making sure the product gets on all four cutters. You can even spray the inner part once. I then put the cassette back on and turn the shaver on for a few seconds to coat the blades evenly. After that, you should let the cassette dry completely before shaving.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  22. Thank you. How do you let the cassette dry completely do you wipe it with a cloth or anything? Also is the cassette considered the whole part of the top part of the shaver that detaches? Thank you

    Reply
    • Unless there’s a lot of product on the plastic foil frame, I simply let it air dry detached from the shaver (no wiping needed). The cassette is the top part that detaches and contains the 4 cutters (picture for reference).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  23. Thank you! And lastly (this is the first time I’m using an electric shaver so thank you for answering all queries :)).

    1. How often do you spray lubricant on the electric shaver

    2. Is lubricant andis spray a replacement for washing the electric shaver under water and with soap?

    3. Is it ok to wash Braun series 9 shaver under water?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • You are very welcome, Liyad.

      1. After every cleaning that involves water and soap. The cassette must be dry before applying the spray. If you only use water (no soap) or just the brush, I would spray it twice a week.

      2. Not really, it’s mainly used for its lubricating properties.

      3. Absolutely, you can wash it under the tap.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  24. Hi

    Please can you let me know what your recommendation is on how to clean the Panasonic arc 5 after using the electric shaver with shaving cream/gel etc.

    Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Rio,

      I would follow the exact steps described in the article above and clean it with warm water and liquid soap after every use. I’ve been cleaning my Arc5s in this manner for years and never had any issues.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
        • Hi Rio,

          Any small brush with softer plastic bristles can work. Never use it directly on the foils and never across the inner blades of the Arc 5 (please check the user manual). I would actually clean the shavers with water and soap, it is a lot more effective. Regarding the dermol lotion, from what I can tell, it won’t be as effective as a typical liquid hand soap. Maybe you can use some just to clean your shaver and as long as you rinse the shaving head thoroughly, it shouldn’t cause your skin any problems.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
    • Hi Anup,

      Thank you for the comment, much appreciated.

      I’m definitely in favor of using pre-shaves and the one from Speick is one of the best in my opinion. Another favorite of mine is the one from Tabac. I wrote a detailed guide on pre-shaves here if you want to check it out.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  25. I got a Ateen shaver for Christmas last Year was using it the all of a sudden a s come on the shaver it’s self and also says’s clean me looked in functions booklet that came with razor nothing in that but I have cleaned it and put it on charge I take it means a new razor many thanks if anyone can help me A Scott

    Reply
    • I haven’t used any Ateen shavers, but cleaning them shouldn’t be any different. I would clean it with warm water and a bit of liquid soap and also lubricate the blades with clipper oil or a lubricating spray for shavers.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  26. At 89 years, and about 60 odd years of shaving with, you name it:
    Philips, Remington, rotary etc. with cable and rechargeable, and occasionally cleaning my doctor’s razor 50 years ago ( which were full to the brim with hair, skin fat etcetera) with solvents-white benzine etc.
    I was able to clean his when no help was available.
    Now I have been using a new Braun 350cc-4 for about 8 years, purchased at the duty free in the airport, and it was packed with a
    Braun ‘Clean & Renew’ ( 170ml).
    I have cleaned carefully with long hair brush after every shave.
    When it started getting sluggish, and cleaning did not help, i decided to purchase by mail order, not one, but 3 new cutting heads
    by mail order; shipping for 1 or three was the same.
    I am now trying to catch up to the methods of cleaning by running warm water with some liquid soap.
    I feel that the exotic cleaning station does not warrant the price.
    I did not get at the time, a users hand book.
    I would like to know if as a lubricant for the cutting blades, I can use WD-40, which I have and use at home, or because it is a fish oil, and will smell.
    So far, I have never lubricated any of the cutter heads, round or straight
    The warm water tap, and liquid soap for lather sound good to me; or running the motor with blades down in lightly soapy water; rinsing ,cleaning, and drying before use, make good sense to me.
    I will be happy to get any feedback from you.

    Reply
    • Hi Jackie,

      Thank you for your comment. I do not recommend using WD-40 on electric shavers. Your cleaning routine with water and soap sounds great, but you would also need to lubricate the blades. I recommend sticking to highly refined mineral oil (clipper oil works best) or a spray lubricant for electric shavers/clippers (like Remington Shaver Saver or Andis CoolCare Plus).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  27. Helllo, i would like to know that should i use my cleaning station after every use? or will it be fine if i use it one or twice a week? thanx.

    Reply
    • Hi,

      You absolutely don’t have to use your station after every shave. Once or twice a week should be perfectly fine and you can safely rinse it with water in the meantime.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Thanx for response.

        Well, i dont want to rinse it after every shave. Actually dont want to rinse it at all 🙂 I would like to use my cleaning station instead.
        So how often should i use cleaning station if i never rinse it ?

        Reply
        • No problem. If you don’t at least tap out the hairs from the shaving head or use the brush, then you’ll likely have to use the station after every shave. Hair clippings pile up fast inside the head and there will be no physical room for the blade to move unrestricted with full range of motion, severy impacting the performance of the shaver and the quality of your shave.

          Sincerely,
          Ovidiu

          Reply
  28. This is an email I just received when I asked why I couldn’t find Shaver Saver anywhere. Spectrum Brands is the parent company of Remington.

    Spectrum Brands is constantly reviewing the products we sell and it was a business decision to stop selling this product.

    Kind regards,
    Chris Drew
    Consumer Service Specialist
    Personal Care
    800-392-6544 REM

    Reply
    • Hi Kevin,

      Thank you for the comment, much appreciated. I am aware of the product being discontinued. It’s a shame because it was by far the best spray cleaner for shavers. I will be updating the post with a few alternatives.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  29. braun blades will gunk up with ad-hoc cleaning if you use gel or cream. this has led me to falsely conclude that a blade lasts only 4 months and i suspect is misleading others as well. a gunked up blade can be seen if removed and held up against a window and can be properly cleaned by dunking it while running in a bath of undiluted hand soap, the viscosity is necessary and will restore it to like-new

    Reply
    • Yes, Braun cassettes can definitely clog if you don’t clean them properly after every use if you shave with cream/gel. Warm soapy water will work as well (half-hour soak), but ideally you don’t want to reach that point when you can’t even see daylight through the foils.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  30. I just cleaned up my Philip’s 8240XL. Sharpened the cutters with polishing compound, rewashed and sanitized the head assembly. Now letting it dry out so I can spray the heads with Remington Shaversaver. It’s amazing how much gunk can build up inside the combs in a week. I thought rinsing would keep them flushed out.

    Reply
    • Thank you for the comment, Clayton. Even with regular rinsing, over time rotary cutters can get clogged with a lot of gunk, so a deep cleaning is necessary.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  31. Hi! I have a problem with cleaning my shaver.

    I use Braun foil shaver for wet shaving, and after every shave I clean it thoroughly with soap and warm water, but there’s still some limestone residue building up from hard water that doesn’t go away with soap. Can I use vinegar, or will it damage the blades?

    Reply
    • Hi Peter,

      Mineral buildups can be an issue unfortunately even if you clean the shaver properly with soap and water. I don’t think vinegar will do any damage to the foils or foil frame (it probably needs like 10 minutes to act). But I wouldn’t use anything harsher than vinegar.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Thanks! I diluted some vinegar in water, let the shaver head and foil soak in it for a few minutes, and it seems like it helped. It didn’t fully remove the residue, so maybe next time I need to give it a little more time.

        Reply
  32. Just did a deep clean and blade sharpening on my Philip’s 8240XL. Had a nice shave before I cleaned things up. This old shaver sure gives a smooth comfortable shave with the HQ-9 Triple Track Heads.

    Reply
  33. Back in the day I remember watching my father take his Norelco apart to clean it. He did it weekly, and after rinsing the heads and cutters he would soak them in rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes while he cleaned the rest of the shaver. Once everything was dry and reassembled he gave each shaver head a drop of mineral oil. That old Norelco VIP Rotary Shaver was in use for over 35 years. I recycled it in 2010. Dad alway’s said take care of your tools and they will take care of you. My 20 year old 8865, 8240, and 9190XL shavers are testimony to that.

    Reply
  34. I noticed Philips replaced the HQ-8, and HQ-9, blade sets with the newer SH-50 blade set. I wish they would have kept the triple track design of the HQ-9’s, I like them better. I guess I’ll just keep resharpening the old one’s as long as I can.

    -Clayton

    Reply
  35. Very good article and lots of great information. I hope you do not mind me asking a question.
    I have the Braun Series 9 electric razor with cleaning station. I normally use the cleaning station around once a week. Should I clean the cartridge more often than this using the cleaning station or would washing it under the tap with a little liquid soap be ok? And also, should I clean the cartridge after every use?

    Many thanks

    Neil.

    Reply
    • Hi Neil,

      I think cleaning the shaver once a week with the station is a perfectly good compromise. I personally do the same and simply rinse the shaving head after each shave with warm tap water. I don’t always use liquid soap since I normally shave dry with my Series 9. I do however always clean it with soap after a wet shave (with shaving cream).

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  36. Im very keen on the same method as rotaries.. Just dipping the foil into a dishwash soap bath and turn in. To me it seems more efficient due to the blades and vibrations will force soapy water into every creek and nook nook, whereas holding under the tap will contain airbubbles and all, plys the machine might work against the water before all the soap has been rinsed out..
    Any consceous on this? I have a braun 9 pro, and its in theory waterproof so its a yes?

    Reply
    • Hi Ørger,

      Both methods are in my opinion equally effective. I prefer the one in the article because it’s quicker and I think most users are more likely to do it after every shave — the sink is right there and so is the soap. No need for a container with soapy water. But if that’s not an issue I think it’ll work just as good. You would need to rinse everything with water afterward and remove all the soap.

      The Series 9 is waterproof, but make sure not to submerge the shaver, just the head up to the foil frame.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  37. I was stunned when a guy from Braun told me that the 94M shave head for the Series 9 Pro is made of Thermoplastic and wasn’t even a metal housing. After all you can start tapping it and see that more & more hair comes out with starting to bang it and you have to be careful! Has no idea that the shave head had a plastic housing that just looked like metal. Surprised that the shave head never fragmented into pieces! Be careful! A lot of us don’t have a counter around our bathroom sink therefore have no room for the clean & charge station and are forced to dry clean it! Was also told not to be used on the foil or brush under the head and that it was only to be used for the top of the shaver when the head is removed only!

    Reply
    • Thank you for the comment. The foil frame of Braun cassettes is indeed made out of plastic material and has been so for many years. I personally don’t think that’s necessarily bad — there’s high quality plastic and there’s poor plastic as well. And from personal experience I think it’s a lot more likely for the actual metal cutting elements to break before the housing of a Braun shaving head.

      Regarding the brush, that is true, I would only use it on the top of the shaver where the head gets inserted and maybe only on the inner plastic part of the cassette, never directly on the foils. I don’t use a brush if the shaver is waterproof; a quick rinse is safer and more effective.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  38. MAIN QUESTION: Can you think of any strategies to prevent mineral build up which incorporate to the cleaning phase / lubricating phase of every shave?

    Second & third optional questions: Although the Remington product can deal with hard water deposit build up after the fact, because I only lubricate right before shaving, doing this “deep clean” where you break down the razor every-time is an unrealistic strategy to prevent mineral deposits from ever taking place. I’d like to prevent mineral deposits from being present ever (but I can’t avoid rinsing my shaver with the hard water I have on tap). An idea I’m curious about at the end of rinsing, add tiny bit of diluted vinegar (used normally on hard water stains around the sink and tub) onto the blades and foil. I wonder how I could use this to prevent mineral deposits, or if there are any real risks. Like, would this actually hurt anything? Those are stainless steel , so that should be fine during its service life. Although I’d be careful to avoid the water sealing gaskets, I wonder f they’d be okay. This depends on their composition (natural rubbers, silicone, butyl-synthetic rubber, and ethylene-propylene all would be fine). Do you know what material the Panasonic Arc5 Series generally uses for water seals?

    This next part is just a thanks:
    I’ve already bought my pre-shave lotion, electric razor, and replacement kits. Now using it for learning proper care and maintenance. All have been very very helpful articles. You’ve built an awesome resource and deserve support. I’m now using your work to decide on a body grooming device! 😀

    Reply
    • Hi Jon,

      Thank you so much for the support, much appreciated.

      I would still consider the use of a special spray a preemptive strategy to avoid mineral deposits — even if it doesn’t mean doing it right after the shave. In the end it just prevents mineral deposits.

      Diluted vinegar should be fine to use on stainless steel provided you don’t soak them for an extended period. Also, I would argue that doing this after every shave would be overkill. A single quick rinse with tap water just isn’t enough for anything to happen.

      I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to tell what material is used for the gaskets/seals and Panasonic never made this info available.

      The mineral deposits issue may not be that much of a problem. I also got hard tap water and it has never been a problem for my shavers. I only spray them like twice a week, directly over the inner blades and foils, so it only takes seconds. Unless your tap water is unusually hard, I don’t think there’s reason for concern.

      In my opinion the most practical way to mitigate the problem would still be the use of a special spray.

      Thank you again for the feedback and kind words. 🙂

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
      • Appreciate you answering this with your experience. This is one of the most impressive and trustworthy sources for consumer information I’ve ever come across. I will be sure to send more of my friends this way!

        Reply
  39. Hi Ovidiu,
    Personally I never use tap water to clean Braun shavers foils as I believe it makes them blunt very quickly. I am using a Braun 300s at the moment without a clean station. To clean the foil daily I use a small plastic sealable container (very small sandwich type box) filled with Braun cleaning solution alcohol, I run the shaver head down in the liquid for 30 seconds, wipe off excess and air dry. This leaves the shaver clean and lemon fresh ready for the next shave.

    Reply
    • Hi Mike,

      Many thanks for the comment, it’s certainly a very effective and viable cleaning method.

      I think blunting could be an issue in the case of very hard water as mineral deposits do increase wear. I’ve been cleaning my shavers in this manner for 20+ years and never had any issue (I would say the water is like moderately hard). It is the most easy and straightforward way of cleaning with basically zero costs and effort. Your cleaning routine is definitely very effective and I think it would be beneficial even in conjunction with the water cleaning method. It’s basically what I do with my Braun shavers (every three or so shaves) only that I use the cleaning station instead of a container.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  40. Hey Ovidiu,

    Great article!

    One add I’d make to your additional section on rotary razors. My Norelco has notches to align the comb back into the head… It seems obvious but you need to align those notches with the corresponding rib. Here’s the thing… you CAN reinstall the comb with the notch/rib not aligned. It’s not easy, but you can do it (how do I know that?… I’m old and my eyesight isn’t what is used to be) and once you do… getting it back out again is not as easy as you’d think… So, save yourself the headache and just align it when you put the cutter/comb back together.

    Reply
    • Hi Ken,

      Thank you for the feedback — that’s a great point and even though my eyesight is still good (well, with the aid of glasses), I did that a few times as well. Now I simply grab the comb between my thumb and index once is in the cradle and I press it down lightly while rotating it. Once the winglets align with the notches I would just feel it snap into place and I know it’s in the right position. It’s not the most elegant way of doing it but it works, so I guess it’s good enough.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  41. Ovidiu, your guide on cleaning electric shavers, is a game-changer for those who want to maintain our shavers in top condition without the added expense of a cleaning station. The detailed steps, accompanied by images and a video, make the process seem less daunting and more approachable. I appreciate the emphasis on safety and the reminder to ensure our shavers are waterproof before proceeding with water cleaning. Your tips on dry cleaning for non-waterproof shavers are also invaluable. This article is a must-read for anyone looking to extend the life of their electric shaver. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

    Reply

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