How frugal is too frugal? The inimitable Clark Howard, host of the aptly named Clark Howard Show,* which is about saving more, spending less, and how not to get ripped off, has pushed the envelope on just how frugal a tightwad can be. If you surmised from the title that he used a disposable razor for a full year, you would be correct.
Now, I know that some of you are squidging up into a little ball like a pill bug in the sunlight at the mere thought of using a disposable razor for a full year, but hear the man out:
So a man calls me up who was an engineer and said that he had the real money-saving secret when it came to razors. He told me that by drying my disposable razor after each use, that would make it last for months or even years. Blades degrade from moisture, as the man explained, not so much from the actual friction or wear of shaving stubble.
So I tried blotting my disposable razor dry on a towel after each use. That’s not the way he suggested I dry it, but I opted for a lazy man’s approach and it has worked for me. (Others recommend using alcohol or a little drying machine you can buy at the drug store.) I found that with drying the blade on my towel, I could go 6, 8 or even 10 months on a single disposable razor.
Oh Clark, there’s more than one reason to use some alcohol on your blade – MRSA. MRSA is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and you can look it up on the Internet your own self, because a picture of a ruptured MRSA abscess is easily in the top ten most disturbing things I’ve ever seen category.** Remember, you can see, but you can’t un-see. Consider yourself warned.
The point is that patting a steadily dulling disposable razor blade against a towel isn’t going to kill any bacteria. To put the grody factor in perspective, consider washing your face, then drying it with the same, unwashed towel for a full year.
If you’re possessed of the inclination to reuse your disposable razor for far longer than they were meant to be used, please sterilize it. That’s just good sense.
Can you think of any other examples of false economy? Let me know in the comments!
* Full Disclosure: I named my pet dog “Dog.” I really have no space to make fun of the man.
** I had to think a bit about the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen to get a sense of how high a MRSA abscess would rank, and, wouldn’t you know? All the most disturbing imagery I’ve ever seen has come to me courtesy of the internet. Thanks, internet!