How can I reuse or recycle safety razor blades?

Razor bladeWe’ve had an email from Victoria, saying:

My grandfather has moved out of the house and left a very large collection of used razor blades. For what reason he never seemed to throw them out and just let them pile up in a bathroom cabinet. Can this item be recycled?

I’m presuming Victoria means safety razor type blades – not fully disposable razors or straight blades.

If they’re just metal (without plastic casing) then I suspect they can be recycled in the same way as other steel (most household waste sites have special containers for scrap metal) but what about reuses?

(Photo by iannai)

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9 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle safety razor blades?”

  1. Angelina says:

    hmm.. have you tried resin casting? if so, they could make interesting, steampunky pendants or charms..
    actually you can probably cast about anything
    like a keep away sign for your front door ^__^

    hope i helped!

  2. Ashutosh says:

    I cut the blade into two. From such pieces, I made a sign showing our House number and put it at the front gate. I stuck the pieces to a cardboard using an adhesive. It’s simple and elegant.

  3. I know of two possible ways:
    1) (DO NOT attempt to do this! Sticking electric wires in water is a very, very bad idea, and you may get hurt. The information here is for amusement only!) Back in Soviet times, young lads who had to live in dormitories built water heaters out of old razor blades. The idea was that pure water does not conduct electricity and, if you would stick in two blades with wire attached to each and a small gap between them, then the water would heat up as the electricity passes through it — just as a light bulb. So they took two blades and some matches to create the gap, put it all together and attached wires to each blade, making sure the blades don’t touch. Then they’d plug it in and throw inside a glass of water. A great way how to electrocute yourself, no? I’ve never done this and cannot repeat enough that you must not do this as well — or at least use a battery instead of plugging it in.
    2) Another way that I also haven’t tried is to recycle these into low quality magnetic tape for reel-to-reel recorders (I read it in an old magazine). You should stick some inside a bottle of acetic acid and wait. They will dissolve eventually, and then the liquid is supposed to be slightly magnetic. Then you just take a paper tape, soak it with the liquid, dry it out and use in your reel-to-reel recorder. I’d love to hear if someone actually does it.
    Other than that, I’m afraid they’re pretty useless.

  4. Allison says:

    I’ve heard from some people that you can take old razor blades to art stores for recycling. You could also get a razor safe or sharp items box and then take them to a recycling center.

  5. Emily Traxxi says:

    in at class we were looking for anything like that to make an art piece by reusing metal objects, though i understand the safety concerns, they would have been a great way to use them. Especially as it was really quite hard to find things like that. So i think that quite alot of artists would be willing to reuse the razor blades to create something………

  6. Max says:

    I’ve seen my dad use razor blades to quickly heat up a cup of water. He does it often to use for shaving in winters. However, instead of using matchsticks, he uses shirt buttons to keep the blades from touching each other. They allow you to pass thread through them so they are easier and more secure to tie, plus using 2 buttons of same type will ensure that you maintain almost the same distance between the blades. He ties the blades at the ends with the buttons to keep them separate. An absolute must is to ensure that the 2 wires do not touch each other, so he makes sure that stray strands of wires are not finding their way to the other blade. He then holds the contraption in a cup of water and I’ve seen the cold water come to a boil within 5 seconds.

    Please do bear in mind that even though this works, it can be extremely dangerous if you do not know how to handle it properly. I myself have never dared to try it out and will not recommend it to anyone else either. My dad knows what he’s doing and comfortably builds and handles the contraption. My recommendation to you is to not to try it unless you’re doing it with someone who has done it before and is comfortable with it.

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