An electric shaver, like any tool, has to be maintained. Keep reading – our electric shaver maintenance guide will help you keep your shaver (and your face) in tip top shape!
It all Starts with Cleanliness
Shaving, no matter how you slice it (pun intended), is messy. Hair is lopped off, and dead skin cells are sloughed away. Ideally, every bit of shaving detritus would end up in the bathroom sink, and your electric shaver would remain pristine. In the real world, hair particles, bits of skin, dust and and facial oils accumulate in even the best electric shavers, necessitating regular cleaning.
Every one to Three Days
Remove your shaver’s cutting head, and gently tap out accumulated debris after every one to three shaves. Doing so requires little time, and goes a long way toward keeping an electric shaver clean. If you own a wet/dry shaver, it’s faster and more convenient to quickly rinse the cutting head under hot, running water after each use.
Men with particularly flaky or oily facial skin might consider manually cleaning the inside of the cutting head with rubbing alcohol and a cleaning brush, old toothbrush, or cotton swab. Swabs are ideal for cleaning hard-to-reach areas. Alcohol acts as a solvent (dissolving oil) and disinfectant (killing microbes).
Once a Month
Every thirty days, disassemble your shaver’s cutting head. No need to worry – most electric shavers are mechanically simple. Remove the foil guard and cutting elements, brush or rinse them off, and submerse them in rubbing alcohol. While they’re soaking, pour a little alcohol over a microfiber cloth or soft-bristled brush, and wipe down the entire shaver.
Alcohol evaporates quickly; you can allow the shaver to air-dry. (Tip: use rubbing alcohol in a ventilated space, as the fumes are strong.) After five to ten minutes, remove the cutting head components from the alcohol, let them dry, reassemble the head, attach it to the shaver, and you’re good to go!
Using a Cleaning Station
Some electric shavers include an automatic cleaning station, which negates the need for tapping out, brushing away or rinsing off debris. Cleaning stations are easy to use – simply insert the shaver in the station, press a button, and the shaver will be cleaned and sterilized, ready for its next use. However, cleaning stations do not clean the shaver body – that’s why we still recommend periodically wiping down the shaver with alcohol.
Lubrication for Smooth Operation
Lubricating an electric shaver is nowhere near as daunting as it might sound. All of a shaver’s internal components are sealed away, requiring no attention. The only parts that require regular lubrication are the the cutting elements, which make contact with your face.
After performing a thorough, once-monthly cleaning (as described above), turn your reassembled shaver on, and apply one drop – yes, one single drop; this is a case of less is more – of mineral oil, baby oil, or, if included with the shaver, blade oil, to each of the shaving heads. Run the shaver for fifteen to twenty seconds, allowing the oil to disperse. To avoid attracting debris, wipe off any remaining oil.
Oil helps prevent rust and reduces friction, allowing blades to move freely. The more easily they move, the better their cutting performance, and the less strain is placed on the shaver’s motor. (Note: the above are general guidelines. If your shaver came with specific instructions on lubricating the cutting elements, follow them.)
Replace Worn-out Parts
As with almost anything mechanical, certain parts of an electric shaver can wear out. Little surprise, really – rotating and vibrating thousands of times a minute, facing a barrage of water, sweat, skin and oil, and mowing through innumerable, copper wire-tough facial hair is bound to take a toll on even the best-made components.
Consider replacing all foils, blades and cutting blocks every 18 to 24 months (one-and-a-half to two years). After that much use, the precisely ground perforations, teeth and sharp edges will have worn down, resulting in diminished performance.
Your electric shaver is like a car – drive it enough miles, and something’s going to give. But with an occasional investment in new parts, you can expect years of use.
Practice Good Charging Hygiene
Virtually all electric shavers sold today are of the cordless, rechargeable battery-powered variety, and that’s a good thing! But batteries, those enablers of convenient, cord-free operation, require a bit of attention to keep them working at their peak.
For starters, avoid running your electric shaver while it’s plugged in. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Shaving while the battery is charging can damage it over time, reducing its capacity to take and hold a charge. The only exception is if the battery drains while you’re shaving – in which case, plug the shaver in, finish what you’re doing, and allow the battery to complete its charging cycle. Charge the battery according to the included instructions. Some battery chemistries allow for recharging at any time; others must be fully discharged first, in order to prolong their life.
Use, Don’t Abuse
Electric shavers are robust, within the constraints of their intended use. It’s to be expected that repeated falls, impacts with hard surfaces, unintentional submersion in liquid, and exposure to extreme temperatures will shorten or end the life of even the highest quality shaver.
Use common sense. Keep a firm hold on your shaver. Don’t toss it from one hand to the other, flip it in the air (no matter how cool and coordinated you think doing so makes you look) – or shave when tired, preoccupied or otherwise out of sorts. Store electric shavers away from young children, and when traveling, protect them in a padded case.
A Healthy Shaver is a Happy Shaver
Maintaining an electric shaver is easy. Just keep it clean and lubricated, replace parts as necessary, follow good battery charging protocol, and handle your shaver with care. A well-maintained electric shaver should provide many years of reliable service and close, smooth shaves.