One of my first swaps when shifting to minimal waste bathroom products was ditching the disposable razors for a reusable alternative: a safety razor. Honestly, this has been one of the hardest swaps because it's a pretty different experience than shaving with a conventional razor. So, here are some tips and tricks on how to be successful with a safety razor. This is the razor I have.
1. Use some sort of soap or shaving cream. I just use the same body soap as needed. This allows the blade to move a little more freely and helps prevent cuts.
2. The other key to shaving with a safety razor is using 30-degree angle and using a short motion. While most traditional women's razors allow you to make one long pull up your leg, safety razors struggle with this and that's how you're most likely to cut yourself. Take many, short pulls up the leg (or whatever area). I've only cut myself badly once, but it bled like crazy and tore off a good piece of skin. I don't mean to be gross or dissuade you, but just didn't realize at the time how important it was to remember that safety razors are different. It takes some adjusting, but it can make a big difference to your environmental impact if you cut out disposable razors. I've never cut myself with my safety razor when I was really trying to be careful. It's always when I'm rushing or feeling overly confident.
3. Dry off your razor after every use and ideally don't store it in the shower. Keeping the razor handle and blade dry will prevent it from rusting and extend the life of your handle. Just give it a quick and careful wipe down when you're drying yourself off. If your handle does get rusty, just place it in a bowl with vinegar for a while and then give it a good wipe down. The vinegar should help remove the rust.
4. Change the blade regularly. You can change it after every use if you want. Using a fresh blade will give you the best shave. I usually swap out blades after every 2-5 uses depending on if I'm shaving my legs or just my armpits. When you swap out blades, place the used blade in an old tin can with a slit in the top, or a mason jar with a lid. Once the container is full you can make sure it's all sealed up and then recycle it!
5. Stick with it! It's definitely an adjustment, but it's well worth it. It's an almost closed cycle if you buy razor blades in recyclable packaging and then recycle the blades too. That's a big difference from tossing out a disposable razor every few months.
If you have questions or comments on safety razors, leave your feedback below!