Double and single edge razor shaving is fun, but what do you do with your used blades? I didn’t feel comfortable tossing a blade into the trash, so at first I wrapped it up in several layers of tissue paper and taped it shut. Not a huge deal, but a bit of a pain in the ass. There had to be a better way, and I started researching what other razor blade shavers were doing.
When razor blade shaving was more popular, some homes had a slot in the wall for spent blades. The first home I ever owned, a post-WW2 pillbox style GI home, had one. Who knows how many spent blades are trapped in the wall of that house. Since we’re in a rental I figured this wasn’t a nice thing to do.
The other traditional method is a blade bank. They were usually made out of metal or ceramic. If you do an image search for “vintage blade bank” you’ll find quite a variety. Most were promotional in nature, advertising a shaving soap, blade manufacturer, or other hygiene products. Listerine apparently created a set of ceramic blade banks for Democrats and Republicans in donkey and elephant shapes, respectively.
However, like all vintage shaving gear, these blade banks are commanding a premium cost within a trendy niche market. Plus I didn’t feel like the ceramic banks were a great idea — what do you do with them once the bank was full? Toss ‘em part and parcel? Doesn’t seem very eco-friendly.
I wandered around the house looking for a container I already owned that would serve as a decent blade bank. I would give myself bonus points if it helped me recycle the spent blades once the container was full.
Enter the cheap ass blade bank.
Here are the attributes I looked for:
- All metal construction
- A removable top that was rigid enough to keep the blades from escaping
- Required no cutting of the metal container
- Was already paid for, or free
That’s right, an empty Sriracha pea metal can. I dug it out of my recycling bin. I had already rinsed the inside out due to recycling restrictions about food particles. You may or may not want to clean the inside of something similar, but given my end-game strategy of recycling this whole thing I wanted the bank as clean as possible.
I cut a thin rectangle out of the soft plastic lid:
Slicing the soft plastic top with a spent razor blade seemed much safer than the other can-based blade bank ideas that require cutting into the metal with an X-acto knife or similar.
As you can see, I’ve yet to put a dent in my blade bank. I don’t know if I will fill it up any time soon, but once I do I plan on recycling the whole thing. Some members of shaving forum Badger and Blade soak their blades in alcohol to handle any biohazard concerns. Other members contacted their local recycling centers and were told that as long as no sharp edges protruded from their blade banks they could just toss the whole thing in their recycling bin.
If Sedagive? comes across a blade bank on the cheap at an estate sale I might consider using it, but for now I’m happy with my Sriracha pea can cheap ass blade bank.