What The Slit In The Back Of Your Old Medicine Cabinet Is Actually For

Every homeowner knows that houses can be a mystery sometimes. You may often find yourself wondering how and why your home came to be the abode that you know and love today. Whether it be the mystery of the wallpaper selection, those eerie, creaky floorboards, or questioning what exactly may be up the chimney, houses, especially vintage ones, often have a lot of quirks to explore. One of the most commonly seen yet heavily misunderstood features of older homes would be slits found in the back of bathroom medicine cabinets.

If you open an old medicine cabinet, there is a chance that you will see a small, narrow slit in the wall that spans only about 2 or 3 inches. Though they can often be easy to ignore when obstructed by skincare and medicine, these slits still rack the brains of many. Wondering what these slits are for and how exactly they got there? Well, the explanation will probably surprise you: it's all to do with razor blades.

Old-fashioned razor blade disposal

Many older homes strategically and intentionally placed slits in the back of medicine cabinets, and these slits were meant to serve as a means of razor blade disposal. 

Today, at-home razors for hair removal are typically made in plastic cartridges with disposable, interchangeable razor blades. These razors are incredibly safe and virtually foolproof, so long as you know what you are doing and aren't too heavy-handed. In the early twentieth century, however, razors were not so safe. Old-fashioned razors were typically just small, thin, sharp-edged pieces of metal — and about the size of that slit in your old medicine cabinet. Since these tools were so sharp, they could easily cut through garbage bags. Also, for the sake of cleanliness and preventing contamination, it was preferable for these razors not to end up in a landfill or on the street. 

Thus, the advent of the medicine cabinet wall slit, where you could seamlessly dispose of your old razors. But where did they go? Nowhere: they'd happily sit to rust and wait as long as it took for someone to find them. So, no need to worry. Those medicine cabinet slits are just a holdover from the prior century!