We’ve come a long way from the days of the cut throat razor. From safety razors to Ultra Glide blades, our centuries of innovation have made shaving so smooth and effortless that it’s startlingly easy to forget you’re wielding a really, really sharp bit of metal. Not only does that make shaving a fine and precise art that’s not to be rushed – it also makes proper, responsible disposal of your razor blades an important consideration.
Whatever you’re using – whether it’s a disposable razor designed to be thrown away or the kind of reliable shaving stalwart that you’ll keep by your side for years (remembering to swap the blades occasionally) – tossing it carelessly into the bathroom wastebasket won’t cut it.
Even your one-off throwaway razors need to have their plastic covers replaced after use in order to ensure safety. If you’ve already thrown that bit away, then wrap the head in paper or tissue.
But when it comes to the kind of supremely sharp, precision-engineered blades that you dispose of every few shaves, there are more steps to take…
How To Dispose Of Razor Blades Safely
1. Keep the packaging
You might be the sort to hang onto wrapping anyway, or you might feel the need to fling it into the recycling the moment it’s off your product. Whichever you are, it’s likely that your replacement razor blades arrived in packaging that’s designed to protect your hands – so this should be your first port of call when it comes to disposal. Store it somewhere you can find it when the time comes, and get the blades packaged up again in the same way.
2. Never just throw blades away
It’s not worth the risk. Razor blades are dangerous, and while it’s easy these days to bin just about anything without thinking twice about it, you don’t want to be responsible for someone’s hand unwittingly coming into contact with one. At the very least your blade needs to be wrapped up and securely taped, in order to protect both you and any pets or toddlers that might start fishing around – but the best approach is not to throw it away just yet…
3. Find somewhere to store them
We’re not suggesting that you become a razor-blade-hoarding hobbyist and amass a collection that you can pore lovingly over once in a while. But it’s worth finding a way to collect used blades and then throw them away in batches – such as in an old jar or container that you can use as a ‘blade bank’. This saves you wrapping up blades individually and means they can be disposed of more efficiently. Just make sure it’s something that can’t be accessed accidentally, including by you.
How To Recycle Razor Blades in the UK
Unfortunately, disposable razors that are a mix of plastic, metal & rubber can’t be recycled, but you can recycle individual blades made entirely of metal – like the kind you’d use in a double edge razor. The simplest way to recycle razor blades is to store them in a blade disposal tin. If you can’t buy one of these, you can craft one yourself out of a tin can. You can then recycle the whole tin along with blades, which makes life easier.
You could also read our guide on environmentally-friendly razors, which are super easy to recycle.
Remember to check with your local authority if you can put this in your recycling bin at home or if you need to take it to a recycling centre.
Is it necessary to buy replacement blades?
Yes – not only will a dull blade give you a less effective shave, but it can tug at hairs, irritate skin and cause inflammations such as razor burn. Not only that, but after several uses it’s likely to be housing the kind of grime that you don’t want to be smearing across your skin.
Are some types of razor blade less sharp?
No matter what kind of razor you buy, the blade needs to be handled with care. Housed inside a safety razor, one of our blades will give you an unbeatable shave – but take it out to dispose of it and you’re holding something that needs to be handled with extreme care.