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How To Lubricate An Electric Razor: The Complete Guide

Everything’s better with a bit of lubrication: Slip N’ Slides, door hinges, and also your electric razor. It’s also pretty easy, so here’s how to lubricate an electric razor. 

Table of Contents

Do You Need To Oil An Electric Razor?

You need to oil most electric razors. 

Oil helps to add lubrication, so the blades will move more comfortably over your skin and give you a better shave. Oil also has water-repelling effects, so it’ll create a protective layer over your blades that will prevent rusting and dulling. That’s why most manufacturers recommend that you lubricate your electric razor blades regularly.  

Some brands make electric razors or trimmers with self-sharpening blades that don’t need to be oiled as frequently, or at all. Always consult the razor manual to see what the manufacturer recommends. 

What To Use To Lubricate An Electric Razor?

There are a few options out there, but they’re not all created equal. 

Razor Oil 

This is your best bet since you’ll know that a razor oil is designed specifically to go with whatever electric razor you have. In some cases, you might actually receive a small vial with your razor kit, although if you don’t, most electric razor brands sell their own blade oil or lubricant for a reasonable price. Usually, the razor oil is made of highly-refined white mineral oil.  

Mineral Oil 

If razor oil is mineral oil… can’t you just buy mineral oil? Well, yes, but you’ll want to be a little careful. There are a lot of different types of mineral oils out there, so make sure you choose a highly-refined version made of “white mineral oil” or “liquid paraffin.” 

The main thing to watch out for is thickness. This really depends on your shaver, but sometimes, commercial mineral oils can be a little thick, and they may clog up your razor. If you have the option of buying a dedicated shaver lubricant, that’s always the better choice. 

Additionally, make sure to choose a skin-safe mineral oil. Avoid industrial oils, and instead look for food-grade, medical-grade (look for the acronym USP), or cosmetic-grade mineral oils. These kinds of oils won’t contain impurities that can irritate your skin. 

Cleaning Lubricants

You can save yourself some time with a two-in-one cleaning and lubricating spray. They often cost the same as mineral oil, but the formula can include disinfectants (usually just alcohol) while the lubricating component is usually silicone-based. I recommend a spray like this if you share your electric razor or if you use your clippers to give friends or family members amateur haircuts.

How To Lubricate An Electric Razor

There’s more to this process than just coating your blades in oil. Here’s how to lubricate an electric razor correctly, no matter what kind of shaver you use, along with some important tips for before and after. 

Make Sure Your Shaver is Clean 

Unless you’re using a two-in-one cleaner and lubricant, it’s important that your shaver is clean before you oil it. Some shavers can be rinsed under water, while with others, it’s better to just gently brush away any debris with a dry brush. If you’re not sure how to go about clean-up, here’s my guide on how to clean an electric shaver.  

Make Sure Your Shaver is Dry

This is key. If your razor blades have any water on them (even microscopic droplets), the layer of oil could lock them in, which may damage your shaver, and definitely defeats the purpose of using a blade oil. 

The best way to make sure your shaver is dry is either to avoid cleaning it with water altogether or to give it enough time to air dry after you’ve washed the blades. A lot of men choose to oil their electric razors before shaving, which is not a bad idea since it’ll give the blades time to dry if you rinse them clean.

Apply a Few Drops of Oil

Actually applying oil to your electric razor blades is pretty straightforward, but there are some minor differences depending on the kind of shaver you use. 

Foil Shaver

Turn on your foil shaver, and then apply a tiny drop of oil on each foil or cutting implement of your foil shaver. You really don’t need more! As it runs, the shaver will distribute the oil evenly across both the foils and the blades.

After a few seconds, turn it off and use your finger to spread the oil a little more over the foils themselves. 

If necessary, you can remove the foils, you can remove the foils to check that the blades are indeed well-oiled. If they aren’t, you can add another drop while the shaver is running without the foils. 

Rotary Shaver

Switch your rotary shaver on, and then apply a single small drop of lubricant to each rotary shaving implement. Keep it running for a few more seconds, to allow the spinning motion to spread the oil around evenly. Then, switch it off, and use your finger to gently rub the oil into the rotary foils themselves.

Electric Trimmer or Clipper

With your clipper running, apply a few drops of oil from the underside of the blades, since the lower layer is the one responsible for cutting. Let the trimmer run for a few seconds, which will spread the oil around. 

Wipe Off the Excess

Finally, no matter what kind of razor you own, wipe off any excess oil with a tissue or soft cloth. Be gentle as you wipe, and opt for a dabbing motion if your shaver is a little more delicate. 

Spray Instead 

If you’re using a two-in-one spray, you may need to disassemble your shaver completely, especially if you’re using a foil or rotary shaver. That way, you can thoroughly spray the individual parts thoroughly. It’s also a good idea to do this if you have a trimmer with easily detachable blades. 

Lay the parts on a paper towel, and then spray both the foils and blades from each side – one pump should be enough. If your trimmer blades aren’t easy to detach, you can spray the blade carefully from an angle, so that the stream of lubricant won’t cover too much of the body. 

Let the shaving components air dry for 5-10 minutes, then use a paper towel to dab off the excess, and put your shaver back together. 

If you feel like you’ve used a lot of spray but you’re not confident that the blades are evenly covered, you can replace the pieces of the shaver without letting them dry. Then, turn the shaver on and let the blades do the work of spreading the lubricant around. 

Note that this method will definitely suffice for lubricating your blades, but it might not be enough to disinfect them completely. For completed disinfection, you might need to submerge the blades and foils in the solution.  

How Often Should You Oil Your Razor?

This depends on the type of electric razor you use, how you clean it, and the manufacturer’s suggestions. This is a general guideline, but it’s worth double-checking the manual you’ve received with your shaver. 

  • Aim to apply oil to your razor either before or after every shave, especially if you tend to rinse your blades and foils under the tap after you shave. 
  • If you remove debris from your shaver without any water, you can probably get away with oiling every 3-5 shaves
  • Finally, if your electric razor is advertised as having self-sharpening blades, you can probably lubricate it just once a month. 

Can I Use Olive Oil On My Electric Razor?

I wouldn’t recommend using olive oil on a regular basis. You’re staying at an Airbnb for a week, and olive oil or some other edible oil is all you have? In that case, okay, fine, go for it. Otherwise, I’m going to go with no.

There’s a reason why we keep edible oils in sealed containers. When exposed to the air, these oils oxidize and go rancid pretty quickly. That means they’ll smell bad, but worse than that… they can actually cause your razor blades to dull! This is a bigger risk with regular use and probably won’t happen if you use a cooking oil just once. 

Additionally, oils used in cooking can be pretty comedogenic because of their high oleic acid content, so you could end up breaking yourself out. 

Mineral oil, on the other hand, is much more inert and it’s not considered likely to cause acne (especially not from incidental contact). 

Can I Use Baby Oil To Lubricate Electric Shaver Heads?

Baby oil is basically mineral oil with perfume, so it can be a safe choice for lubricating your electric razor. Just watch out for signs that it’s too thick and clogging your razor – a tiny amount will go a long way. If you have very sensitive skin, you should also watch out for signs of irritation from the fragrance which can be an allergen.

Miles is a professional men's grooming analyst who believes that to look good a man just needs to take good care of himself. He’s all about wet shaving, sustainability, and evidence-based grooming - an obsession he’s ready to share. Miles is known for his in-depth analysis of men's grooming products, brands, and best practices you can't find anywhere else.