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Should You Wet Your Razor Before Shaving?-West Coast Shaving

Should You Wet Your Razor Before Shaving?

If you’ve been interested in classic wet shaving for even a hot minute, then you are probably aware that it is also called wet shaving. And for good reason. Water plays an important role in the process throughout your shave. From face prep to brush soak to lather creation, H2O is a primary player in your shaving game. 

But maybe you’ve been asking, what about the razor? A metal razor with a metal blade doesn’t usually survive water well. So, what do you do with your razor in this wet shaving game? Do you wet the razor before shaving or not?


Let’s explore some reasons why you should and shouldn’t wet your razor.

Do wet the razor:

  • It can be advisable to wet your razor with water/hot water before you begin your shave to warm the cold metal. Taking cold steel to your face isn’t a very appealing prospect so warming the blade with water can mitigate this effect.
  • A wet blade can also glide better with your well-hydrated lather
  • You will also use water on the blade throughout your shave to rinse the residual lather and clean it when you are done.

Don’t wet the razor:

  • However, it is important not to leave your razor wet. If you are done shaving, make sure to dry the razor as much as possible. Some classic wet shavers will even dry the blade on a towel between passes or while they are whipping up and applying more lather (particularly straight razor aficionados). In an interesting conundrum, one key of “wet” shaving is “don’t leave the razor wet”.
  • To that end, we also recommend that you don’t leave your safety razor in your shower or in a drawer after use. Investing in a razor stand is a good idea for keeping your utensils in tip-top shape. They are less likely to rust if they are allowed to dry well between uses. Never store a wet razor.

Tools and techniques are the heart of this classic shaving gig. Where do you fall on this question? Do you wet your razor before taking it to your face or not? Let us know in the comments below.
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Clarence - April 12, 2021

I just love the feel of the hot razor head on my skin while shaving, rinsing in hot water in between passes since I am no good in whipping up hot lather.

Pete in NC - January 18, 2021

Beware rinsing with alcohol. Yes it will remove the water, but it also leaves the blade completely oil free and exposed to the oxygen in the air to oxidize. Stainless steel is rust resistant, not rust proof, and the better the blade’s ability to take and hold an edge, the less resistant to rust it is. So follow up your alcohol rinse with a drop of oil – 30 weight works for the tough guys, but mineral oil or even olive oil is generally preferable!

Ronald - September 9, 2020

I typically always hold my razor under hot water for a few seconds immediately prior to taking the first stroke of my shave. Also, as I almost invariably shave after showering, I hold the head of my razor lightly against the bath towel around my waist and tilt it up and down to absorb excess water after rinsing between passes. I find it also helps to do this to the sides of the razor. I always get a great shave, and make certain to dry each razor component separately and thoroughly at the end of post-shave. I never wipe the blade, but press each side down firmly on a dry towel before re-assembling the components. Life is good.

Real Men - September 9, 2020

Heavy thick beard hair can clog the shaver blade, therefore real men may find that a safety razor works best when rinsed frequently with water…..

Paul Kriegler - September 9, 2020

Have a vessel with alcohol in it. Dip your razor in it after your shave. Alcohol will help to evaporate the water from the razor and blade, leaving it dry. Disinfects the razor and blade too

JohnDavid Forrest - September 9, 2020

OK let’s see? First I wash my face with warm water. While washing my face I also let my brush soak in a cup of warm water too.

When I’m ready to make lather I’ll give the brush a good shake before I start to load it up with soap. Then I take the loaded brush and begin stirring it around and around inside of.a small lather bowl. After about a minute of swirling the brush around and around the lather bowl I’ll have a nice head of lather ready to go. Now I’ll ‘paint’ my face!

When I’m done shaving I rinse everything well in warm water, shake the brush out several times; and, finally, l rinse the razor off too.

The brush gets hung, bristles down, in its stand. I use an old washcloth to dry the razor off as best as I’m able. Then the razor gets hung in a vertical stand of its own in order to dry out a little more.

About once a month I take my (I’ll admit expensive) razor apart; and, if it isn’t too crudded up with soap, I’ll wipe everything down with pharmaceutical grade mineral oil before putting the parts back together.

If an internal inspection reveals that the razor’s parts are covered with too much accumulated soap scum, I’ll simmer the razor, for a few minutes, in a small pot (no more than 12 oz) of hot water mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar, a drop or two of dishwashing liquid, and a half teaspoon of baking soda.

(This usually cleans the razor’s internal parts up very well and leaves everything with a nice satin shine!)

I’ve been wet shaving, now, for more than 50 years; and this is how I do it. Works for me!
Anthony F. Cianciolo - September 9, 2020

When I’ve finished shaving, I rinse my razor with water, of course. Everyone does that. Then I dip my razor in a jar of alcohol and leave it to air dry. Which doesn’t take long. I use 91% alcohol but 70% will do also.

lawrence albergo - September 8, 2020

I do not wet the blade before shaving. I soak my face , then apply shave soap. If your beard is wet enough

itoldjaso - September 8, 2020

PPS (Post post shave):
The last stage in my post shave routine is disassembling the safety razor, drying the components and drying the blade, making sure that I flip it over before reassembly, so that the blade wears evenly both sides of both edges.

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