It is somewhat difficult to repurpose old disposable Gillette razors; aside from using them to remove pile from sweaters or in arts-and-crafts projects, they do not have many alternative uses. The heads are large and contain many component parts that are difficult to separate; separating the blades from the cartridge can cause injury. Once separated, the blades cut through plastic trash bags and can cause further injury.
The cartridges also serve as breeding grounds for microbes and bacteria that feed on skin, hair and residue caught between the blades.
Rather than repurposing them, many users turn to creative methods for extending the useful life of these razors or developing novel ways to resharpen them. One method involves soaking the blade in a solution of soapy water and storing it in oil such as olive, vegetable or mineral oil. The soapy water solution dissolves any accumulation of hair, skin and shaving cream residue caught between the blades, while storing the cartridge in oil prevents the blades from becoming rusted and corroded and helps keep the razor lubricated.
To resharpen dull blades, an easy method involves using an old pair of denim jeans or fabric. In this method, the user slides the blade upward 10 to 20 times, then downward 10 to 20 times, similar to the way a barber sharpens an old-fashioned straight-edged razor with a leather strap. Users claim that these methods can extend the lifespan of a disposable razor that normally lasts about a week to as long as six months or more.