Ok this post is going a little personal, but then, I’ve already written about toilet paper, so you’re used to that by now I hope. Today I’m spilling the beans on making the switch to a plastic-free safety razor.
I’ve been trying out the DELPI14 DE Razor from Edwin Jagger for a few weeks now, and I wanted to share my thoughts in case you’re also considering making this switch. For the record, this post is not sponsored, I bought the razor with my own hard earned cash!
Since turning my eye toward the low-plastic lifestyle, I’ve seen loads of adverts pop up for safety razors, and all my favourite plastic free shops like Ripple in Cardiff seem to carry them (see a list of plastic-free shops around the UK here). But I was kind of intimidated by this plastic free switch. I wondered: would I slice my leg open? Were they designed just for men? Which one is a good option for a total novice?
I had so many questions and not many articles I read seemed to be that helpful.
I ended up picking the model I did because it claimed to be designed for women, and to be honest - bear with me here- I also liked that it was pink. Now is probably not the time or place to go into gender-based marketing and all the issues with that. I’m well aware of all of that, but at the end of the day, I just still really like pink. The colour was a sort of bridge for me: my old plastic razors were pink, and it psychologically made this leap seem more normal. I simply don’t like the idea of shaving with a huge masculine metal razor, so sue me. (There are tonnes of other options for women that aren’t pink, just FYI).
Ok so what’s it like actually using a safety razor?
It is scary at first. The razor is really sharp at first, but then dulls down a little. So it’s good to start out being a little cautious, but after a week or so, as you get used to the feel / weight of it, it gets easier.
Loading up the razor blade into the holder was nerve wracking. Actually mine didn’t even come with instructions! I found this is the best way (do this at your own risk though):
Unscrew the head by holding the top and base between thumb and finger, and unscrewing the handle by turning.
The head can then be taken apart, and the blade inserted on the head top over the posts and screw thread.
Place the base plate back on to the top plate, with the branding going towards the blade (and top of the razor).
Then hold the head and base plate on top and bottom as before, and re-screw the handle into place. Make sure not to over tighten.
Don’t push down at all with a safety razor. Instead, let the weight of the razor do it’s thing.
Ditch the shaving foam and just use foamy soap instead. Maybe this is a personal preference thing, but I found the razor works just fine with a little soapy water.
What will using a safety razor will save?
Carbon, as plastic razor handles and razors are made in low-cost manufacturing plants or specialised facilities, respectively - both in far away places. Making this switch cuts down on the transportation of goods.
Plastic from going to the landfill. This is the obvious onem but don’t forget, using a safety razor will save plastic from the disposable razor packaging and plastic from the handles and catridges themselves. It’s worth mentioning here that all of the packaging for my safety razor was made from recylable paper.
Just think - if you use 12 razor cartridges or disposable razors each year, at an average of 50 years of shaving, that’s 600 bits of plastic you’re sending to landfill over your lifetime. In the US, the EPA estimates that 2 billion razors make it to landfill each year. Depending on the type of landfill and its conditions, plastics can take between 400-1000 years to decompose. Let that marinate. Clearly this is a great opportunity to reduce your plastic footprint.
Where to find?
Where to dispose of your safety razor blades?
Blades for a safety razor are made of steel, so they can be recycled. But you cannot simply put them into your regular recycling. You need to create a ‘blade bank’ or a receptacle for the used blades. You can then take these to your recycling centre once you’ve saved them up. Edwin Jagger sell them, as do Amazon. Even better- make your own out any containter with a solid lid so the blades cannot spill out.
Hopefully that will ease your fears a litte I hope. I’m a few weeks in and I feel like I’ll never look back!
Please let me know if you have tried a safety razor, and what you think.
This post contains several affiliate links.