These clean & refill cartridges are for use in what I think is a very effective cleaning system. I use them with my Braun 8985 shaver and I'm always impressed at not only the standard of the clean (pop the foil off the shaver after a cleaning cycle and it's virtually spotless inside) but also how it makes the shaver smell, look and feel. Not only does the cycle leave the cutter and foil clean and smelling fresh, it lubricates the cutting head by just the right amount and really does improve the standard of the cut by a large margin. Fail to clean the shaver once and the next time you use it, it will seem to produce both an inferior, and less hygienic, cut.
I get about 6 weeks' use out of each refill and they work out at around £3.75 or so each. This is more than I was paying for razor blades, but for environmental concerns more than cost I try to go a bit careful on the frequency of cleaning cycles, perhaps one every other day. Braun say that the refills are safe to throw out with the household rubbish, and there is no doubt that the shaver works much better when clean, but throwing away this much plastic seems a bit of a waste these days.
One word of caution, albeit a minor one, is that the very tip of the shaver body gets coated in solution during the cleaning process, and if you don't clean the body after each clean it can get discoloured very quickly. A wipe over with the tip of a damp towel soon sorts this out, although it is a bit of a pain having to remember to do it each time.
To sum up, I really would miss the system if I had to use more conventional means to keep the cutting head free of accumulated muck; it cleans better and is more convenient than cleaning the shaver manually. All in all, a solid four stars for a good product, missing out on five only because of the cost of refills - after all, how much can it cost Braun to produce a lump of plastic filled with a bit of liquid?