03-11-2013, 02:23 AM
#1
  • Mike D
  • Junior Member
  • Germany
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Having taken more of an interest in the finer points of wet shaving because I was asked to make a shaving soap, I have spent the last two weeks learning about the subject. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have usually just shaved with the bath soap I make and just sudsed it up in my hands. Thanks to comments and videos from SharpSpine and ShadowsDad, I now understand the lathering technique and properties of “Ultralather” in more detail and I am getting better in practice at trying to produce it and applying it…I did not get any lather in my nose this morning.

4 points were made to me about the desirable qualities of the lather:

> Extremely cushiony when tested between the fingers and thumb
> extremely slick when tested between the fingers and thumb
> When brushed on the arm (as a test) it should last for 5 minutes or more before drying, in humid weather even longer.
>the very best lather, ultralather, will have an almost yogurt like consistency.

This started me thinking about what ingredients in the soap would be most conducive to enhancing these properties…aid in producing a lather that is like “Yogurt”. Immediately I went to mixing and produced a series of 6 samples with different oil ratios which are pictures below. Note: disregard the daffodil form. I used this form because it was the most uniform shape (half sphere) for samples with a weight of 100 grams that I had.

The testing for lather qualities will begin tomorrow.

   

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 03-11-2013, 03:54 AM
#2
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this is interesting. i look forward to see the results from your testing Smile

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 03-11-2013, 03:59 AM
#3
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
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(03-11-2013, 03:54 AM)tonsorius Wrote: this is interesting. i look forward to see the results from your testing Smile

+1 !

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 03-11-2013, 04:24 AM
#4
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 03-11-2013, 05:34 PM
#5
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Interesting! Subscribed.

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 03-11-2013, 06:47 PM
#6
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This should be fascinating! Good luck with the experiment.

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 03-11-2013, 09:39 PM
#7
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I too will be keeping up with this thread, great idea.

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 03-12-2013, 02:56 AM
#8
  • Mike D
  • Junior Member
  • Germany
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Yesterday I acquired a new shaving brush. One of the first things I noticed about the assortment of brushes available is that the price range varies over two orders of magnitude. Also the accessories can be in the range that requires a bit of financial planning. (Note To Self: Consider making custom brush handles and accessories.). Upon bringing my new shaving brush home and unpacking it I showed it to my wife. The expression on her face read “you already have one”. Anticipating this reaction I immediately explained that it is “part of a science experiment” …a reply that I have more than once used.

The attached picture is that of the brushes that will be used in the lathering test. Alpha is the original brush my wife bought me a long time ago and has until last week sat in the back of cabinet. Bravo is the new addition and is of badger hair. The bristles on Alpha are more stiff side and of a cream color so I would make a guess that it is boar hair. The two can be used to compare how well the soap lathers with the different brushed.

I actually shaved twice this morning…I do not recall ever doing that before…once with one soap and the next with another.

Now to define the experimental parameters:
The water content in the brush
How many “Loading swirls” on the soap
The surface on which the proto-lather is converted to lather

And the categories for rating the resulting lather
Viscosity
Lubricity
Air Bubble size and density…are there air bubbles visible in the lather?

If there are any other parameters or categories that I should be looking for please make a suggestion.

As a first test of the method, I compared two samples this morning. I could notice a difference in the viscosity and the air bubble density. This evening I will work more on the experimental method.

Attached Files Image(s)
   

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 03-12-2013, 03:48 PM
#9
  • Mike D
  • Junior Member
  • Germany
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The first testing of the samples was completed this evening.

Soaps made from seven different oil ratios were compared. Of the seven only two distinguished themselves. However a trend was observed as to what oils were not conducive to producing lather with the desired properties. The two mixtures that displayed more desirable characteristics in lather viscosity and a low air bubble density are shown in the two videos and also the attached pictures.

These videos were made with my camera which limits the size to about 24 seconds. Also, this was my first time uploading videos on youtube.





Also to note: The attempt to standardize the amount of water in the brush at the beginning of the lather building process proved to be unsuccessful. This is attributed to the variation in the sample formulas. The method that appeared to be the most successful was to complete the loading process of the brush by holding the soap in the palm of the hand and allowing the system to come to equilibrium by itself. Excess water would drain out of the system and the feel of the proto lather in the hand provides constant feedback.

The next series of samples will be based on the formulation of the two samples that have distinguished themselves.
           

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 03-20-2013, 05:03 AM
#10
  • Mike D
  • Junior Member
  • Germany
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Update:

On the 5th sample series I found a mixture of oils and butters that produces a really nice thick lather. I am working on refining the recipe now and seeking to improve the conditioning properties of the soap for the skin while still keeping the lather quality.

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