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  1. #1
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    Default A final word on sterilization

    Hi all,

    Wasn't sure where to put this but given that cleaning is mentioned for this sub-forum I figured I'd put it here and mods can move it if need be.

    In trying to learn more I've read the numerous, conflicting, contradictory, and often downright wrong comments posted re: razor sterilization on this and several other boards. And while I agree that it's a matter of preference, I figured I'd post both the CDC & EPA's spectrum which correlates pathogens and level of disinfection necessary:



    And also the link (already posted in another) of the comprehensive list of products meeting these requirements in each of the levels:

    Antimicrobial Products that Address TB, HIV-1, and Hep B Virus

    Now, how far you want to go is up to you but from assessing these, it would seem that if you just want to addres your most common baddies all you need to do is straight ethanol (70%; sold in stores as Ethyl Alcohol) or common household cleaners (Fantastik, 409, Clorox w/o Bleach, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes) that contain Alkyl Dimethyl Ethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride/Alkyl Dimethyl Ethyl Ammonium Chloride (>.105%) or Hydrogen Peroxide (>0.5%; if you buy in stores, the USP designation means 3.0% so you're good).

    Let me say this clearly - ALL of these three will act as INTERMEDIATE-level disinfectants meaning they address TB, Hep, HIV, and your other major concerns...the only ones not addressed by this are the Bacterial Spores in our diagram above. And if you are worried about these, switch to DE, take your razor to a dentist or surgeon and ask them to Autoclave it (or autoclave just your razor's blade, and re-scale it with NEW scales)

    Now then, to break it down to a simple regimen that will assuage all the paranoid ones out there I've come up with 2 simple regimens which you can use based on what you have laying around:

    Method 1:
    1. Soak in Ethyl Alcohol (70%), 10 mins
    2. Soak in Hydrogen Peroxide USP (3%), 10 mins
    3. Rinse under extremely hot water.

    Method 2:

    1. Wipe with Clorox/CVS/(Whatever brand as long as it has the active Ammonium Chloride listed above and EPA registration numbers on the back) Disinfecting wipes, THOROUGHLY, and allow to air dry.
    -If you have a spray, thoroughly spray down the razor, allow to sit for a few minutes (10?) and wipe clean.
    2. Rinse under extremely hot water.

    Please feel free to use this as a rough guideline and modify, I just wanted to put a definitive thread out there with facts to back up the point that a simple disinfection process with what you have around your medicine cabinet should do the trick for 99% of your common concerns! (And I apologize if people think this is adequately covered in other threads but the info was useful to me and I wanted to compile it in case anyone else could use it)


    Disclaimer: If you use my methods and do end up getting something I accept no responsibility. The content presented herein is informational only and is not professional disinfection advice. It is merely a compilation of information from other sources and should be treated as such. If you have doubts, do your own research and develop your own routine. This guide is provided for convenience and I am not responsible for anything you do with the information, it is your responsibility to be absolutely certain that you have adequately disinfected YOUR razor to YOUR satisfaction.

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Sansnom For This Useful Post:

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  3. #2
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Since this is information meant for everyone, I am going to move it to the general forum.... Thanks for searching it out...

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    Thank you very much! I have put the post into the safety category of the Wiki: Sterilization - Straight Razor Place Wiki.

    It would be nice if someone ironed out a few rough edges WRT language in the Wiki. Thanks!

  5. #4
    The only straight man in Thailand ndw76's Avatar
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    It looks like all the baddies I'm worried about can be killed with my usuall soapy water and a tooth brush followed by lots of alcahole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndw76 View Post
    It looks like all the baddies I'm worried about can be killed with my usuall soapy water and a tooth brush followed by lots of alcahole.
    Yep - clean the razor with the soap then drink the alcohol?

    Seriously though, this is really helpful. I have tried to work out what does what with regard to disinfecting, but all I found was conflicting information.

  7. #6
    The only straight man in Thailand ndw76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrensandford View Post
    Yep - clean the razor with the soap then drink the alcohol?
    This is the method my grandfather used. Drink a lot of alcahole. But I don't remember him using any soap. On his razor or on himself.

  8. #7
    Comrade in Arms Alraz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sansnom View Post

    In trying to learn more I've read the numerous, conflicting, contradictory, and often downright wrong comments posted re: razor sterilization on this and several other boards. And while I agree that it's a matter of preference, I figured I'd post both the CDC & EPA's spectrum which correlates pathogens and level of disinfection necessary:

    Now, how far you want to go is up to you but from assessing these, it would seem that if you just want to addres your most common baddies all you need to do is straight ethanol (70%; sold in stores as Ethyl Alcohol) or common household cleaners (Fantastik, 409, Clorox w/o Bleach, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes) that contain Alkyl Dimethyl Ethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride/Alkyl Dimethyl Ethyl Ammonium Chloride (>.105%) or Hydrogen Peroxide (>0.5%; if you buy in stores, the USP designation means 3.0% so you're good).
    I am sorry to disappoint you but there is nothing really final in science, remember that job security is involved ;-). I would like to thank you for trying to clarify this issue for all of us. One thing that I must point out in defense of previous posts/ers is that very frequently, because of the format of the forum, what is written can be easily taken out of context.

    Since you mention both alcohol and quaternary ammonium compounds in your "recipes", I have included this link from the CDC website where the ability of several disinfectants to eliminate certain classes of pathogens is shown:

    Appendix </P><P>Disinfectants and Their Properties

    As you can see, none of these compounds is really effective against all pathogens or work in all situations (i.e. hard water). Also, the corrosive effects on metal of any of these or their wetting properties have been considered in this study. Note that CDC is not a regulatory agency and does not test, evaluate, or otherwise recommend specific brand-name products of chemical germicides. Even with these guidelines, Local or state environmental health officers might have recommendations for appropriate disinfectant selection and precautions for environmental effect, when using these in large scale.

    I understand people's concerns regarding acquiring infections from blades. Because of it, I consider this as a delicate subject.

    Al raz.

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    So without going crazy, is Barbicide all I really need?



    R

  10. #9
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Being a professional tattooer for a couple of decades I have some experience with auto clave sterilization. I respect the concern people have for sterilizing the used razors that they get off of ebay or from an antique shop, yard sale, or wherever but I don't share it.

    I know that the main bug to worry about is hepatitis. It will live on a surface a lot longer then most. The AIDS virus is long gone in a matter of seconds on a countertop or what have you. When I get a razor that hasn't been used in months or years I hit it with some semi-chrome or Flitz and rub it with a paper towel. The honing, stropping and rinsing with hot water is enough for me YMMV.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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  12. #10
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    I apologize, I should have been clearer that this was meant to highlight that a simple alcohol soak and H2O2 soak would eliminate most issues that people are worried about. After reading through several threads I was frustrated at the conflicting information, so I wanted to put together a simple protocol that included redundancies and was accepted as effective against most things that people are concerned about.

    I was definitely not looking to create an end-all-be-all of "this protocol will cover everything" because really to do that you'd need to do about 6 soaks and use formaldehyde, and then autoclave the thing (or just melt it down and start again).

    But yes, you're absolutely right that there's no absolutes in science That's why my thesis never got finished! However, if you review my OP, the main issues of concern are bacterial and HIV-1, which are well-addresed by any bactricide and confirmed by your chart. HIV dies quickly outside a host and this is thus not as much of a concern but the multiple redundant soaks should address this as well - particularly the peroxide.

    So my original point, which is that a simple regimen as I outlined would kill those low-level contaminants of most concern, is still valid. But you're absolutely right that if I wanted to kill bacterial spores like anthrax, this wouldn't work. But if you're trying to kill anthrax on your razors maybe you shouldn't be using vintage razors?

    (Please don't be offended by any of my post, I agree with you, and I'm being tongue-in-cheek; my original point was about a simple sterilization technique sufficing for most common pathogens, not about a comprehensive sterilization) Cheers
    Quote Originally Posted by Alraz View Post
    I am sorry to disappoint you but there is nothing really final in science, remember that job security is involved ;-). I would like to thank you for trying to clarify this issue for all of us. One thing that I must point out in defense of previous posts/ers is that very frequently, because of the format of the forum, what is written can be easily taken out of context.

    Since you mention both alcohol and quaternary ammonium compounds in your "recipes", I have included this link from the CDC website where the ability of several disinfectants to eliminate certain classes of pathogens is shown:

    Appendix </P><P>Disinfectants and Their Properties

    As you can see, none of these compounds is really effective against all pathogens or work in all situations (i.e. hard water). Also, the corrosive effects on metal of any of these or their wetting properties have been considered in this study. Note that CDC is not a regulatory agency and does not test, evaluate, or otherwise recommend specific brand-name products of chemical germicides. Even with these guidelines, Local or state environmental health officers might have recommendations for appropriate disinfectant selection and precautions for environmental effect, when using these in large scale.

    I understand people's concerns regarding acquiring infections from blades. Because of it, I consider this as a delicate subject.

    Al raz.

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