Should You Rinse the Razor After Every Stroke?

If you want the closest (and least irritating) shave you’ve ever experienced, then yes.

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It’s tempting to zip through a shave without repeatedly rinsing the razor when you’re rushing out of the house in the morning. But you’re not doing your face any favors by doing so. According to Tyree Hicks, a man who’s shaved his head a grand total of 1,560 times and counting, and Travis Fields, DSC’s resident shaving expert, rinsing your blade after each and every stroke can ward off irritation and ultimately provide you with a smoother shave.

“Not only does it take more passes to achieve a close shave when your blade is clogged with hair and shave lather, the extra pressure and friction necessary to shave with a clogged blade also causes razor bumps and irritation,” Hicks explains. On top of that, skipping rinses doesn’t actually save you any time in the long run: “Razor blades are much tougher to clean when you don’t just swish them in the sink between strokes,” Fields adds. That’s because the combination of hair and lather solidifies into a tough crust when it isn’t immediately rinsed off with warm water, and that crust is a real pain to remove.

If you do experience an incredibly clogged blade, gently wipe the razor clean with an old toothbrush to bring it back to life. Lastly, if you encounter clogged pipes or a slow-draining sink as a result of hair and shave products running down the drain, check out our plumber’s guide to not clogging (or unclogging) your sink when shaving. You’ll have a shave-ready sink in no time.