It’s a pain in the neck when your disposable razor blades slice open your trash bags, and throwing away loose razors is a hazard for your garbage man. Do everyone (including yourself) a favor, and learn how to remove the blades from a disposable razor – the RIGHT way!
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How To Remove The Blades From A Disposable Razor
The safest way to quickly remove the blades from a disposable razor is by heating up the plastic and gently tugging out the blades. Let’s break down those steps
• A Candle, Lighter, or other small open flame.
• Tweezers or Needle-Nose Pliers.
• Just in case: Gloves and Safety Glasses.
- Safety First
You should always use caution when you’re working with sharp and hazardous materials. Cutting yourself with a razor blade can cause infections, and you’ll need a tetanus shot if you get rust in the wound. (Hopefully you haven’t been shaving with a rusty razor.)
Use protective eyewear while you work with the open flame and razor blades. And as long as it doesn’t hazardously restrict your range of motion, consider also wearing thick gloves.
- Heat Up The Plastic
You don’t need to melt the plastic razor, but heat it up over your open flame so that it gets soft and pliable. Focus on the head where the blades are, and rotate the razor as you go so that it heats up evenly.
You might notice the plastic starting to darken – that means it’s more than ready for your next step.
- Gently Pull Out The Blades
Using your tweezers or pliers, gently pull the blades out of the softened plastic head of the razor.
If you’re struggling to pull the blade out, you need to spend more time heating up the plastic. Don’t yank at the blade. It could fly out and cut you. Move slowly and be gentle but firm.
- Throw Away The Components – Properly!
Once you’ve separated the razor blades from the plastic body, you’re ready to throw it all away.
The plastic can go straight into your trash. It’s not recyclable, but it’s also not hazardous.
As for the blades, you need to seal them up. You can use any metal or plastic container to do this – some razor companies manufacture special blade disposal kits. But to be eco-friendly, use something you were already going to throw away anyway, like a coffee tin, ketchup bottle, or tupperware. Don’t use a glass container.
You can also opt to wrap the blades in paper towel and tape. Either way, the goal is to keep the blades from cutting you, your trash bag, or a sanitation worker.
Whatever method you choose, be sure to label it “Sharps Disposal” or “Used Razor Blade.” This lets your sanitation workers know that the container should be handled carefully.
Can You Remove The Blades From A Disposable Razor Without Burning It?
You can remove the blades from a disposable razor without burning the plastic, but the alternative isn’t as safe.
Using a pair of heavy-duty scissors, cut the plastic near the blades until you can separate all the components. Then follow the same disposal steps above.
I highly encourage you to wear protective eyewear and gloves if you choose this method.
I even more highly encourage you to use the heating method instead. Cutting up your razors is a fast ticket to getting cut. You’re more likely to accidentally drop the blade or launch it toward yourself. Heating up the plastic gives you more control over the process.
Can Disposable Razors Be Used More Than Once?
You can expect to use your disposable razor 5-10 times before the blade gets dull and unusable. Disposable and safety razors blades aren’t built to last.
The lifespan of your blade partially depends on how thick and coarse your hair is, as well as how often you shave. If you notice the blade tugging, cutting, rusting, or dulling, you should definitely get rid of it. It won’t do a great job of shaving anyway.
How Do You Know When A Razor Is Dull?
If your razor is cutting your skin more than usual, or if it’s tugging at your hair and taking more than 3 sweeps to get a clean shave, your razor blade is dull.
You shouldn’t shave with a dull blade – not just because it won’t give you a good shave. Dull blades are more likely to give you skin infections or skin irritation. When you notice those symptoms, it’s definitely time to remove the blades and dispose of the razor.
If you hate the biweekly process of removing and throwing away razor blades, disposable razors might be the wrong shaving tool for you. Look at a safety razor or straight razor instead for some relief.
Can Plastic Disposable Razors Be Recycled?
There are some companies like TerraCycle that accept disposable razors, blades and all, for recycling. But chances are your local recycling plant doesn’t take razors.
If you’re hovering over the trash and recycling bin right now, put the properly secured blades and the plastic in the trash. On the other hand, if you have time to send in your razors to be recycled, visit www.terracycle.com to find a drop-off location near you or send in your blades yourself.
How To Make Your Disposable Razor Last Longer
To be on the safe side, you should really plan to change your disposable and safety razor blades every 1-2 weeks.
You can stretch that lifespan by storing your razor in a dry place when you’re not using it, and running the blades against denim fabric to sharpen them slightly (sweep in the opposite direction, not the cutting direction).
But to avoid cuts, skin irritation, infections, and other dull razor problems, plan to replace the blade before the 2 week mark. Your skin will thank you.