Alongside cleaning, lubrication is a key aspect in prolonging the life of your electric shaver and ensuring optimal performance.
Just like your car’s engine needs oil for lubricating the moving parts and reducing the wear, so does your electric razor.
In order to provide a close shave, the blades, foils and the metal combs of an electric razor are machined with very low tolerances and these parts actually come into contact with each other.
During use, this friction causes heat and wear. To reduce these effects to a minimum, regular lubrication of the moving parts is vital.
Here’s everything you need to know about how and when to do it.
Why is lubrication so important — Advantages of lubricating your razor
- It reduces the heat generated by the friction between the blades and foils, improving the comfort during your shave. This will reduce the risk of razor burn, irritation, and blemishes.
- It prolongs the life of the foils and blades, so you won’t have to replace them as often.
- It improves the closeness of the shave. As you constantly use your shaver, the wear of the blades and foils will gradually affect their performance. In some extreme cases the blades will actually eat through the foils, so you’ll definitely want to replace them before that happens as the risk of serious injuries is real. With a properly lubricated shaver, this process is slowed down and you’ll be able to get close and comfortable shaves for a longer time before the parts need to be replaced. Another bonus side effect is the reduced generated heat, which in turn allows you to use more strokes and even apply a bit more pressure to get a smooth and close shave.
- It puts less stress on the motor. A lubricant allows the cutting parts to glide with minimal resistance, meaning the motor will work less hard to keep them moving and most of the power will be used for actually cutting the hairs, with minimal loss in the form of heat.
How to lubricate your electric razor
Now that we’ve seen why lubrication is important, let’s see how to actually do it and what the different options are.
1. Light, low viscosity oils and lubricants
The first option is to simply use a multi-purpose light oil. Hair clipper oil and sewing machine oil work great for lubricating electric shavers.
Some manufacturers (like Braun and Panasonic) sometimes include a small bottle of lubricant (which is basically highly refined mineral oil), but that’s not always the case.
An excellent and inexpensive lubricant that works great with electric shavers is the clipper oil from Wahl.
Wahl Clipper Oil
I also have been using some light sewing machine oil for my shavers as it’s very effective, cheap and widely available.
Either option will work equally well.
Applying the oil is extremely simple and straightforward. For foil shavers, just put a single drop on each foil and also on the pop-up trimmer as it can get even hotter than the foils during use.
Again, a little bit goes a long way and a single drop on each cutting element will suffice.
After applying, turn the shaver on for a few seconds to allow the oil to spread evenly across the foils.
If needed, gently pat the foils with a paper tissue to absorb any excess oil. Remember, a little bit goes a very long way.
For rotary razors, you don’t necessarily have to take the shaving unit apart; place a few drops on each shaving head (on the slits and holes), then let it run for a few seconds and you’re all set.
That’s pretty much it.
If you regularly use a cleaning station with your electric razor, then there’s no need for additional lubrication as the solutions used for cleaning also act as a lubricant.
2. Spray lubricants for electric razors
Spray lubricants are a very easy and practical way of cleaning and lubricating a shaver.
They also degrease the blades from skin oils and break down mineral deposits (from hard water).
Before applying the spray I recommend removing the bulk of hairs from the shaving head.
You can use a small brush (but not directly on the foils) or gently tap the foil frame on the sink.
A compressed air can will also do the job.
If you use your razor with shaving cream or gel, then definitely give it a thorough cleaning beforehand — warm tap water and (optionally) a bit of liquid soap should do it (always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning your razor).
Note: the shaver should be completely dry before applying a lubricating spray.
Generously spray the blades and foils while holding the can 2 to 3 inches away. You can then put the shaving head back together and let the shaver run for a few seconds to distribute the lubricant evenly.
If you have a rotary razor, then you should disassemble the shaving head and spray the blades, as well as the inner part of the combs.
Make sure to put them back together exactly the same as they are matching pairs and failing to do so will affect the performance of your razor.
There are quite a few options of good spray lubricants out there; the Remington Shaver Saver is one of the more popular ones and comes in a 3.8 oz can.
Remington Shaver Saver
The Shaver Saver spray is reasonably priced, widely available and works great as a cleaner and lubricant.
Alternatively, you can also get the Braun Cleaning Spray which is a good (and cheap) option, especially in Europe.
It smells nicer too, but in my experience, it’s not quite as efficient as the one from Remington.
Spray lubricants can be used as stand-alone products or in conjunction with the first lubricating method described above. They’re not 100% necessary, but I find them very effective, easy to apply and they’re also fairly inexpensive.
Cleaning & lubricating sprays make a noticeable difference to the performance of my shavers and I highly recommend getting one, especially if you clean your electric razor with soap and water.
They’re particularly effective when used on an older shaver that doesn’t seem to cut as well as it used to.
For a comprehensive guide on the various spray cleaners and how to use them properly make sure to check out this post.
How often should you oil your shaver?
Lubrication frequency must take into account how you use and clean your razor. My recommendation is this:
- Once or twice a week if you don’t use liquid soap to clean your razor. A spray lubricant is probably more practical in this case as it also helps with cleaning the parts.
- Before or after every shave if you clean your razor with soap and water. This cleaning method will also strip off the blades and foils of any form of lubrication. I personally put a few drops of lubricant before shaving, but there’s no right or wrong way of doing it.
Hopefully this article helped to clear some of the confusion regarding the proper lubrication of an electric shaver.
And it really is THAT important, as it will save you money in the long run, improve the comfort and ensure optimal performance for your shaver.
If you have any questions, make sure to post them in the comments below.