How can I reuse or recycle disposable razors?

Disposable razorI use plastic disposable razors. I admit it but I’m not happy about it.

I don’t use them that much – just for my armpits say, once a week (since I’m not that hairy and/or bothered) – but it still seems incredibly wasteful.

I’ve tried using ones where you just replace the blade – but they always go rusty really quickly and so work out really expensive for the amount I use them – and I have a rechargeable electric razor for my legs – but that doesn’t work well on my pits for some reason – so I’m left with the disposable ones. Boo.

Any suggestions for reuses or ways to recycle them? Or other ideas?

(Photo by chris2k)

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19 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle disposable razors?”

  1. kelly says:

    I don’t have any suggestions for what to do with the ones you have, but I can suggest these for future use. (then you can send them back to the company to recycle them)

  2. rani says:

    Also, not useful for what to do with the extras, but you could reduce your future waste by resharpening the ones you have:

    Also, you can get one of those covers for the interchangeable blades so that they don’t rust (or just keep them out of the shower when you’re not using them).

  3. Kevin says:

    I had been worried about the waste and expense involved with disposable razors for some time. As a result I decided to try using a straight razor. I purchased a full set up (blade, strop, soap and a cup) online and also did a bit of research about it over the internet as well since I had absolutely no one to teach me the skill around. There was a bit of a learning curve but the act of shaving without a safety razor isn’t nearly as psychotic as it might seem if you simply keep the blade flat to your skin. That is not to say that I haven’t pulled down my share of nicked skin while I was learning (I kept my spare safety razor blades around that needed to be used anyway and came in handy if I was rushed for time). A well maintained straight razor will last for life. They are soft metal so have a tendency to rust but that is easily checked by making sure the blade is dried and mineral oiled after each shave (which takes all of 5 seconds). I use recycline toothbrushes also but the best way to recycle anything is to purchase it and expect it to work for you for life…though I wouldn’t want to try that with any of the current models of toothbrushes.

  4. Jason says:

    I agree with Kevin above. I went down this path 10 years ago and have never looked back. With a good straight razor shave (about 10 – 15 minutes) I can get away with shaving every second day. The learning curve is there but once you have it you’ll have it for the rest of your life. You can also forgo shaving the most difficult areas and grow a goatee. The key to a good straight razor shave it shaving after a good hot shower or using a hot towel on your face like at the barber. It loosens and softens the hair on your face and makes it very easy to shave. Never try it without this step!

  5. Amber says:

    The straight razor is a great idea for men, but try to imagine shaving a woman’s armpit with it. No way. I get cut enough with the tiny little disposable razors. Here’s my tip for making the disposables last longer. Every time you use them, coat them with oil (vegetable, olive, whatever) and they won’t rust in between uses. I have a little jar with olive oil in the bottom of it and I just place the razor in there after I’ve rinsed it off. This is the best solution I’ve come up with…

  6. Delusion says:

    Just a thought how about waxing? Or even better Mooming! Moom is an organic (wax like) product with washable strips! So you arent throwing anything away.

    Its got all natural ingredients and while its not always the quickest method, with a little forward planning you can make sure you always have time… not to mention it lasts 3 WEEKS!

    They sell it in

    PS: My partner uses a cutthroat razor and refuses to go back! Great invention! :)

  7. Kim says:

    Straight razors are great for faces guys, but having used one for my legs I can tell you reaching around to the backside can get pretty dangerous. We (my huband and I) both have straight razors. I prefer waxing but am presently living in a country that doesn’t have affordable availablity (they don’t remove hair here).

    I suggest everyone bombard the companies that sell disposables with letters and emails asking them what to do with them. Perhaps they can come up with something or maybe we should just bag them up and mail them back to the company they came from. It may not be recycling, since they will probably just toss them, but it will raise awareness which is the first step.

  8. Mea says:

    Razors that are too dull to cut hair can still be used to remove pills from sweaters or other fuzzy clothing items.

    Keeping them in oil is a fantastic idea! The disposables I use recently seem to go rusty before they go dull (they used to go dull first…I wonder what’s up with that?)

  9. Keith Cunningham says:

    Surely the both the plastic and the steel could be recycled.

  10. TimM says:

    Keep in mind that a razor that is intended to be reused needs to be sterilized. You’d be frightened by the amount of bacteria on a razor you have been keeping for a couple weeks.

  11. anne says:

    I wouldn’t consider using a disposable razor. I use a regular razor. yes, after a few shaves I throw away the blade. But that seems much less wasteful than the entire razor. Sorry, as a lady I know…you can’t use a straight razor for armpits. No….not the smoothest, nor the tightest skin on your body. Leads to lots and lots of ouchies.
    good luck

  12. Gulia says:

    Shave off curled wool on a sweater.

  13. gail ross says:

    How about let’s try to change our culture’s idea of what looks good….ie, hairy legs !

  14. cherrylips says:

    i cant help you about recycling your disposable razors but i do know how to make them last twice as long. THe first time you use your disposable razor always keep it submerged in a small container of mineral or baby oil. This keeps them from rusting and therefore keeps them just as sharp as the first day you used it.

  15. subbiah says:

    you can make cloth hanging hooks by carefully removing the blade part and inserting it in the middle of the handle(keep it horizontal) crevice.two holes on both side of the horizontal handle for fixing it on the wall will be enough.i tried it and found working with gillete presto brand.

  16. Voyevoda says:

    Keeping the razors in Oil will definitely help them retain their sharpness.
    In between shaves I also suggest cleaning the razor with a small dish of rubbing alcohol to get all that nasty bacteria and scum off the blades.

  17. Heather says:

    @subbiah: Can you explain this cloth hanging hook in more detail? I love that you found something to do with the disposable razor, but I can’t picture it at all

  18. Sam says:

    Keep a look out for a Rolls Razor kit in antique/ charity/junk shops. The Rolls razor is more like a safety razor to use, but has a sharpenable blade and it’s own stone and it’s own easy sharpening system (stone and strop) built in to the case. If buying one, check the stone isn’t broken, although I’m seriously considering cutting down a diy diamond sharpening stone to fit.
    Anyhow, easier to shave with than a cut-throat, and easier to sharpen, and will probably work under arm.
    I must admit I just bought my daughter an electric Depilator: the type with discs that act as continuous tweezers, and she reckons, after a couple of rather painful goes to start with, her skin seems to have got used to it and it doesn’t hurt now.

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