Brass or Bronze Over Stainless Steel.... A discussion of Antimicrobial Materials

Discussion in 'General Shaving Talk' started by bigwaverazor, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. bigwaverazor

    bigwaverazor Well-Known Member

    First off, this post isn't to be read as prescriptive but just thought provoking!!!! I want to show that certain metals have outside benefits that others don't. It's to be informational only!!!

    I've had dozens and dozens of razors, some vintage and most modern, stainless steel. My newly owned KARVE is the only razor I've owned so far that is made of brass. Other companies offer razors in bronze, too. For a bit of metallurgy background, brass is a combination of copper and zinc and bronze is a combination of copper and tin. My brass KARVE is beginning a beautiful transformation process of tarnishing. I was totally taken by this when I saw it getting darker, like a door knob from an old home. I first wanted to polish it out. I am now not worried by it. Brass razors have character. I'm actually happy to find out that razors made of such alloys have other benefits, too. They are antimicrobial. I somewhat knew this from my chemistry background that certain alloys are, in effect, antimicrobial. This is called the Oligodynamic effect. Brass being one metal alloy that can kill bacteria in a matter of a few hours, as well as any antibacterial soap. Silver is even better at killing bacteria than brass and bronze. Doorknobs are probably the most touched objects in the world. I'm still wondering if brass was chosen in the past to make doorknobs because of its resistance to moisture corrosion or because it can protect the public from disease transmission when using high volume doors? Furthermore, brass is highly used on marine vessels for being antimicrobial and resistant to moisture corrosion. Stainless steel can RUST; never let someone tell you otherwise. Stainless steel is just much more resistant than bare iron (Fe). Brass and bronze are super at being anti-corrosive. They will tarnish but maintain their metallurgical properties at the surface. You've probably noticed from museum visits that many lasting artifacts were made of such alloys and are thousands of years old.

    When considering a new razor purchase, consider brass and a couple of other metals for having the ability to clean themselves from germs. In a given amount of time these metals are able to sterilize themselves! Stainless steel and aluminium metals aren’t able to do this. Most people clean their razors very efficiently and shouldn't be alarmed by this discussion. It's always good to disinfect ALL razors when buying or passing razors around. Brass and bronze just might have your back better without knowing it. LoL. The tarnish look can also be very attractive. This is not an advertisement for brass but just an educational argument for not being afraid to try another metal, other than the usual SS that we might all be accustomed to. :)
    SHAVE ON!!!
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  2. brit

    brit in a box

    how is nickel for antimicrobial benefits as a large selection of vintage are nickel plate over brass..most water fixtures are brass as well..not a germaphobe ,just curious..
    gorgo2 likes this.
  3. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    And silver is reported to be harmful to werewolves as well.
    win-win, lol.
    As far as the tarnishing building character, I'll quote the last samurai by saying(with heavy Asian accent), "they're all perfect"
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  4. bigwaverazor

    bigwaverazor Well-Known Member


    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
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  5. bigwaverazor

    bigwaverazor Well-Known Member

    I'm uncertain, and I can't answer yet. I'll look into it a bit. Maybe a true biochemist around here will have a quick answer? Great Question!!!!!
    brit likes this.
  6. BigMark83

    BigMark83 [...........] this space intentionally left blank


    Alcohol also helps for your personal use, Barbicide in the event of a pass around. Hepatitis C can live outside of the human body for up to 6 weeks in ideal conditions. HIV is a serious illnes, but let's not forget about HCV, and even HBV. This is all knowledge available to the public. If you don't want to use Barbicide I'd recommend against participating in a pass around. Even then the only true guarantee is using an autoclave. Sure, it's not a surgical instrument, but a little paranoia isn't a bad thing. This is why I don't participate. Sorry to be a buzzkill but this serious stuff.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
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  7. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    They typically don't shave often, though.
  8. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    I still use occasionally use original Merthiolate and Mercurochrome. They work.
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  9. bigwaverazor

    bigwaverazor Well-Known Member

    My main purpose of this discussion isn't to generate a concern over microbes and shaving or that stainless steel is bad to shave with. I'm wanting to investigate that certain metals make good materials that maybe one hasn't considered before. Stainless steel isn't the easiest metal to CNC, yet it's used almost exclusively in high-end razors. Maybe we're conditioned to like it's high luster when polished? I like stainless steel. I am now thinking that, perhaps, I've been alloy blind for the past 6 years. I never considered buying a brass razor until the KARVE and then was not used to seeing a material tarnish. It's a plus that brass is a germ killer. I'm getting used to a razor not looking brand new from its tarnishing. Cool!!!!
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  10. bigwaverazor

    bigwaverazor Well-Known Member

    If interested, this YouTube video discusses metals and antibiotics. Pretty interesting stuff. Easy to understand, too. Enjoy

    Metal vs Bacteria - YouTube (4:37 min)
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  11. Eeyore

    Eeyore Well-Known Member

    As long as you are the only one who uses your razors, I don't think it really matters.

    And I personally don't worry about bacteria on hand rails, door knobs, keyboards, or in public transport. As long as you are in good health, your immune system should be able to deal with those.
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  12. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Yep. A tour through the dishwasher spiked with three drops of Dawn is the only cleaning mine get, and that's only upon their arrival. After that, normal rinsing... if I'm not already infected with something, how can I infect myself?
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  13. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    and occasionally wash your hands because many people simply don't!

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  14. Frijolero

    Frijolero Well-Known Member

    My guess is that it's mostly the illusion of indestructability.
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  15. Frijolero

    Frijolero Well-Known Member

    Don't forget the worst one - money!

    And as long as you don't cultivate your vulnerability by going to extremes to avoid them.
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  16. bigwaverazor

    bigwaverazor Well-Known Member

    True... I don't either. I don't care to wash my hands that frequently. I'm not afraid of gems. I just find it interesting that brass has that wonderful quality! That short video I posted talks about hospitals may go back to brass and bronze to avoid MRSA instead of making everything stainless steel. Why use antibiotic cleaners and create resistance when a metal can kill for you. I hope this post is thought provoking and not prescriptive! Shave ON! :)

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  17. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    Interesting subject, I like to place my razor blades on a magnetic Business card and according to the Youtube film that was provided it kind of screws up germs magnetically with negative charges .:duel::sick002:
    Silver is used in water purification I believe also.
    Alcohol used to clean old razors has some merit, When I buy vintage razors I like to boil them in water and scrub with dish soap and then I like to soak razors in a alcohol jar for 10 minutes and I feel its good to go when dried out (it's over kill maybe but I like to think I did what was needed.)
    - video on alcohol.
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  18. bigwaverazor

    bigwaverazor Well-Known Member

    Thx for the video link

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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