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How to lubricate an electric razor properly? And what to use?

how to lubricate an electric razor

Whether you’re a first-time shaver or a veteran user, you need to learn how to lubricate your electric razor.

Your shaver is loud and shaky? The motor runs sluggishly? It gives you a poor shave and even hurts? You pay around 40 bucks every 3 months for a head replacement? It’s lubrication time.

Note: If your shaver comes with a cleaning station as a default, you don’t need to use any lubricant. The cleaning station will do the job perfectly.

Why should you oil your electric shaver?

With an electric razor lubricant, you’ll get the smooth operation of a brand-new shaver back. Also, it will give you a pleasant shaving experience and save you a lot of money.

  • Electric shaver lubricant forms a protective barrier between the razor parts. So it reduces the friction between the blades and foil and decreases the heat as a result. This will give you a comfortable shave without skin irritation or razor bumps.
  • No more squeak or noisy sounds. Your electric razor will perform quietly again as it should.
  • It extends the life of the blades and foils. A good lubricant reduces the wear of the cutters. It also slows down the gradual corrosion process between foils and blades. In this way, the foils will last wayyy longer and you’ll need fewer head replacements.
  • It off-loads the motor burden. A part of the motor’s power is lost due to resistance between the cutters. Here comes the role of the lubricant to overcome this issue. This will speed up the motor to give you optimal shave with less pulling on your beard.
  • Wise power consumption will boost your battery lifespan.
  • Combine the less generated heat with the restored motor speed and you’ll get comfortable close shaves.
  • Keeping your blades oiled will protect them from rust and will keep them sharp.

What makes a good electric razor lubricant?

The perfect lubricant for your shaver must have the following criteria:

  1. It must withstand the low and high temperatures.
  2. Your chosen lubricant must be light with minimal thickness. High-viscosity stuff will gunk up your electric shaver.
  3. Must be stable under various environmental circumstances. For example, some vegetable oils (like linseed oil) might be oxidized or transformed into a solid-state.
  4. Non-toxic to your skin or your body. You can use the material safety data sheet (MSDS) if you’re uncertain. It gives you all the safety information about a particular product.

What can I use to lubricate an electric razor?

You have two options to use for lubricating your electric shaver. You can use low-viscosity mineral oil as the factory clipper oil or any electric razor oil substitute.

The second option is to use a spray lubricant that is capable of cleaning and lubricating your gizmo. 

The first option: Electric razor oil

I see plenty of questions around forums about whether to use a certain oil as an electric shaver lubricant or not. I need to talk about two basic types of oils to answer these inquiries thoroughly.

#1.Mineral oils (food-grade mineral oils)

Mineral oil

They are highly-refined light oils with no odor or color that is produced from crude petroleum oil.

Typically, most electric razors ( like Panasonic and Braun) come standard with a tiny bottle filled with mineral oil.

Examples:

#2.Edible Vegetable oils

olive oil

As the name suggests, these oils are extracted from usually the seeds of vegetables and fruits. Vegetable oils own lubrication effects as they have high viscosity and can reduce wear.

Examples

So who’s the winner here?

Mineral oil is the best shaver lubricating oil. It ticked all the boxes of our criteria for a good shaver lubricant. It puts a protective coating on the moving parts to reduce friction and wear. It also doesn’t attract loose stubble or debris that can gum up your razor. Add to this that it’s safe on sensitive skin to reduce the risk of irritation or ingrown hair occurrence.

Although vegetable oil is a safe option, it may kill your clipper. It’s very thick which encourages dirt build-up. It’s also unstable under different temperatures and many types are prone to oxidation (rancid oil formation). These types are called “drying oils”.

Electric shaver lubricant substitutes

Here are great options that can replace your electric razor oil.

A highly-recommended product that will give you smooth quiet operation with sharper blades. It’s a cinch to use with a drip nozzle. Yet, you need to cut the tip off before the first use. This large size for this cheap price is a great deal.

Another cheaper clipper oil of the same size. Great performance. Some users complained about leakage issues when the package arrived.

This is a Braun shaver oil substitute if you’re virtuous and want to play it safe with your premium Braun shaver. It has almost the same formula as the factory appliance oil. Yet, this alternative is more expensive with a smaller size.

How to oil an electric razor?

The process of oiling your shaver is easy as one, two, three. 

For foil shavers

  1. Make sure that your shaver is completely dry before starting. If you happen to wash your razor, give it sufficient time to dry.
  2. Put a teeny tiny bit of mineral oil in the center of each foil from the outside ( the business side). If you applied oil to the backside of the foils, it would allow the loose whiskers to accumulate and gum up the razor.
  3. Repeat the previous step by putting a single drop on the pop-up trimmer.
  4. Run the drop of oil in the two directions to let it spread evenly across the cutting elements
  5. Turn on your foil shaver and turn it off after 30 seconds.
  6. Use a paper tissue or a cotton swab to wipe off the excess oil.

For rotary shavers

It’s no different here. Just repeat the above procedures by applying 1-3 drops on each shaving head and run the shaver. It’s that simple!


For hair clippers

Oiling clippers

You need to use the “ 5 Point Oiling Method “ as Wahl suggests. These five points refer to the places in which you should apply the hair clipper oil.

  1. Put 3 drops on the top of the clipper blade. One on the right corner, one in the center, and one on the left corner. [3 points]
  2. Place one drop on each side on the bottom of the top blade. [2 points]
  3. Turn on your clipper and turn it off after a few seconds to allow the oil to be distributed evenly.
  4. Use a paper tissue or a soft cloth to remove any excess oil and you’re done.

The second option: Silicone spray lubricants for electric shavers

Spray lubricants are a feasible option for cleaning all shavers, beard trimmers, and hair clippers. They use silicone grease for lubrication and isopropyl alcohol for deep cleaning.

They will remove the skin oils, minerals, and dirt that stick to the razor blades. Spray lubricant will minimize friction and wear. Meaning, you will get the most of your shaver.

Best spray lubricants

If you’re considering this option to lube your grooming tool, here are my top choices.

This my favorite cleaning spray. Your shaver will run smoothly like new. It speeds up the motor and boosts the total performance. I also like its refreshing vanilla scent.

This’s a very effective and affordable option that will prolong the life of your foil and keep the cutter blades super sharp. The great smell is a nice bonus.

This spray is widely popular among barbers. It smells good. If you live in Europe, this is the right choice as you can find it easily.

How to lubricate your electric razor with spray lubricants?

Pop off razor head

If you use a foil shaver:

  1. Pop off the cover of your razor head.
  2. Gently brush out the foils with a small narrow brush to clean the beard dust or you can use a can of compressed air instead.
    If you’re a wet shaver who uses a shaving cream or a shave oil, use hot water and hand soap to clean the shaving head. This will remove any oil residue.
  3. Make sure your shaver is totally dry before applying the spray. You can use a hairdryer or air dry if you have time.
  4. Hold the can close to the razor head and spray the foils and blades generously.
  5. Snap the head back in place and switch on the shaver to allow the lubricant to spread evenly.

Brushing out cutters of rotary shaver

If you use a rotary razor, you need to take the shaving head apart and repeat the same steps. Remember to lay out each cutter and its corresponding blade as a set in order. So, you can put back every pair in the right position.


However, spray lubricants have an edge over electric razor oil because they work as a lubricant and a cleaner, mineral oils will lube your razor more efficiently.

Either way is great, yet if you use dry shaving, mineral oil and warm water will be sufficient for oiling and cleaning.

Spray lubricant is more convenient when you use wet shaving.

How often should you oil your electric shaver?

You should oil your electric shaver after every shave. Yet, two times per week is the bare minimum to do it. How often you should lubricate the inner parts and the blades depends on how often you shave and your way of cleaning your razor. 

Cleaning your shaver with soap would strip away the oil from the foils and blades. So, if you use wet shaving or you clean your clipper with soap, I recommend lubing it after each use.

Can I use baby oil to lubricate my electric shaver heads?

Simply, you can use it. Baby oil is mineral oil with a fragrance added. So there’s no problem using baby oil in your electric shaver lubrication unless you hate its scent. 

You can check the baby oil safety data sheet from here.

Is sewing machine oil the same as Clipper Oil?

Nope, Sewing machine oil is not the same as clipper oil. Sewing machine oil is a mixture of Teflon (PTFE), kerosene, and paraffin oil. So, paraffin oil is the only common factor here. Unlike clipper oil, the safety data sheet of sewing machine oil suggests avoiding contact with skin. Although its great lubrication performance, it’s not safe to use on your skin. 

Can I use wd40 on my electric shaver?

No, you can not use wd40 spray on your electric razor. A can of wd40 spray contains petroleum base oil and hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbon is a water displacer that can deform your electric shaver materials. Also, its prolonged contact with your skin may cause irritation and dermatitis. The stench of petroleum in wd40 adds insult to injury.

Can you use 3in1 oil on hair clippers?

No, It’s not recommended to use 3 in 1 oil on your hair clippers. It’s a petroleum-based oil that can harm your skin and cause defatting dermatitis and irritation with repeated use.

Can I use olive oil on my electric razor?

No, you can not use olive oil on your electric razor due to its thick consistency. Extra virgin olive oil has weak oxidation stability. It transforms into a gummy mess that will clog your razor. You can use mineral oil instead.

Can you use coconut oil on an electric shaver?

Nope, coconut oil is vegetable oil with high viscosity. It also can not stand the heat. This will gum up your razor and worsen its performance. You can use mineral oil as a better choice.

Verdict

Lubrication is super beneficial for your electric shaver. It speeds up the motor, protects the blades from getting dull, and maximizes the razor performance. It will give you comfortable clean shaves and lengthen the life of your foils and blades.

Do yourself and your shaver a favor and lube it regularly.

Resources

  1. Sewing machine oil MSDS
  2. WD40 MSDS
  3. 3-in-1 oil MSDS

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