05-02-2012, 12:53 PM
#1
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
User Info
How long do you load from soaps and hard creams?

I'm still a relative noob (4+ months so far), though I have done my homework pretty exhaustively. One thing that has always struck me is the wide variation in suggested load times for soap use.

Many tutorials and conversations mention 30-60 seconds. And I can surely get plenty of lather when I load that much. A bit more for hard soaps, a bet less for soft.

On the far end of the spectrum, I've seen some people mention up to 2 minutes loading time. (I want to say it was cvac one of the times, but I'm not certain.)

On the opposite end, in one of the mantic59 videos he suggests loading for 3-5 seconds!

I don't want to waste soap. It's not the expense, I just want to prolong my enjoyment of my favorite products as much as possible. On the other hand, I don't want to miss out by under-loading and getting an inferior lather.

Today, thinking about all this, I tried loading my RazoRock Caprician Lemon for 10 seconds with my Semogue 1305. It made a great lather, and STILL more than I needed. I didn't notice any degradation of performance since the last time I used it, either.

So, gents (and ladies, if applicable), how do you load your brush? What convinced you to settle on that length of time?

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 05-02-2012, 12:58 PM
#2
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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I load the brush for,at least, 40 seconds,if the soap its triple milled and 30 seconds in case of a soft soap/hard cream.If I use a stick,I rubbed it really well over my beard and later load the brush again with the soap.I don't like to reload the brush so Ill rather get more soap/cream than being short of product.

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 05-02-2012, 01:05 PM
#3
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I do a slow 30 count, in which I get about 2-3 revolutions of the brush on the puck on every 'count'. I'd guestimate this is about 35-40 seconds worth. I usually have zero problems creating enough lather from this method, and can get 3-4 passes worth easily either face lathering or bowl lathering from most soaps.

I have so many soaps I don't worry if I over load, and the half minute or so I spend loading is fairly peaceful so I don't begrudge the time.

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 05-02-2012, 01:07 PM
#4
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I don't count seconds or swirls or any of that. There are too many variables. Which brush? Which soap? How much water is left in the brush? How hard are you pressing the brush? Has the soap been used recently or has it been sitting in your cabinet for months? Water hardness? Water temp? Did you have water sitting on it while the brushes soaked?

As simplistic as it seems, I just load until it looks like I have enough soap. If it turns out I didn't, I make a mental note for next time. That rarely happens, though, as I like to err on the side of too much lather.

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 05-02-2012, 01:10 PM
#5
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Something between 45 - 60 seconds, and sometimes more. I like my lather to be very thick, and I usually make 3 - 4 passes, plus touch-ups and the comfort pass.

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 05-02-2012, 01:14 PM
#6
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(05-02-2012, 12:58 PM)Teiste Wrote: I load the brush for,at least, 40 seconds,if the soap its triple milled and 30 seconds in case of a soft soap/hard cream.If I use a stick,I rubbed it really well over my beard and later load the brush again with the soap.I don't like to reload the brush so Ill rather get more soap/cream than being short of product.
In addition to the above, add a teaspoon of warm water on top of the puck of soap and leave for 3 minutes, it will work like magic!!
Thanks
Jim

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 05-02-2012, 01:16 PM
#7
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Probably 15 seconds in one direction and then 15 seconds in the other direction. I do not bare down on the brush, I let the tips do the work. Usually good for three passes. This is for hard soaps that I apply directly to the face after loading the brush.

When it comes to creams, about an almond size dab in the scuttle and whip until it looks like something I would put on my pie.

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 05-02-2012, 01:19 PM
#8
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
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I do relatively short loading times. Probably around 10-15 seconds in most cases and that's enough for me. I use smaller knot brushes though typically so I need less product.

It does vary by soap though. The soft soaps I'll go the 15 seconds but harder soaps like tabac I may go 30. I guess with the first few times that I use a soap I kind of figure out the ideal time to load.

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 05-02-2012, 03:15 PM
#9
  • njpaddy
  • Member
  • Central New Jersey
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With my well water I find 100-120 swirls on a hard soap is just about right. I change direction every 20 swirls or so just because it's easier to keep track. Sometimes I shake some water out of the brush before I load and sometimes I don't. If I shake water out of the brush, I dip the tips in water halfway through loading. Soft soaps I no longer use.

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 05-02-2012, 03:17 PM
#10
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(05-02-2012, 01:07 PM)5Savages Wrote: I don't count seconds or swirls or any of that. There are too many variables. Which brush? Which soap? How much water is left in the brush? How hard are you pressing the brush? Has the soap been used recently or has it been sitting in your cabinet for months? Water hardness? Water temp? Did you have water sitting on it while the brushes soaked?

As simplistic as it seems, I just load until it looks like I have enough soap. If it turns out I didn't, I make a mental note for next time. That rarely happens, though, as I like to err on the side of too much lather.

+1...Same here.

As you become more familiar with each of your soaps and gain experience with the brush in general, it will become 2nd nature to you.

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 05-02-2012, 03:19 PM
#11
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I used to load everything for at least a minute if a hard soap and 45s if soft. Now I've had some success with only loading for 10-15 seconds. FWIW I have very hard water too. I'll probably stay safe and load everything for about 30s though.

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 05-02-2012, 03:38 PM
#12
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I load everything from 30-60 sec, depending on how much water is in the brush, and how the soap is lathering on the puck, or in the bowl, in the case of creams.

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 05-02-2012, 03:40 PM
#13
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Thirty seconds, at most! I think it will vary depending on whether you started out with a wet soap, or not. I usually add some water to my soap while showering, and my brush is sitting in a brush scuttle getting warm and wet. Then when I do start to lather it is frothing within seconds.

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 05-02-2012, 03:58 PM
#14
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Average loading time for me is usually between 1-2 minutes, sometimes a little longer. Hard soaps tend to be on the longer end of the spectrum. Keep in mind I generally use a hybrid technique where much of the lathering process takes place right on top of the soap (beyond "protolather" or just "charging the brush"), then facelathering for fine-tuning.

And I do NOT count time either. I just keep working the brush until the lather looks "ready" to take to my face for my method.

The reason I do this is because life is way too short to worry about wasting soap and I've found that this method works best for me to get the kind of lather I prefer.

If you like airy foam or put more pressure on your brush than you might realize or care to admit then of course you could use less loading time. Note also that most people merely "charge the brush" and then move to the face or bowl. Overall time used for my method really isn't that much more than the average guy.

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 05-02-2012, 04:05 PM
#15
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45 seconds to two minutes.

Anything under 45 seconds and my lather is crap. And I don't even think my water is all that hard.

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 05-02-2012, 05:18 PM
#16
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(05-02-2012, 01:07 PM)5Savages Wrote: I don't count seconds or swirls or any of that. There are too many variables. Which brush? Which soap? How much water is left in the brush? How hard are you pressing the brush? Has the soap been used recently or has it been sitting in your cabinet for months? Water hardness? Water temp? Did you have water sitting on it while the brushes soaked?

As simplistic as it seems, I just load until it looks like I have enough soap. If it turns out I didn't, I make a mental note for next time. That rarely happens, though, as I like to err on the side of too much lather.

+1

Pretty much what I was going to write.

I go by feel and I always use too much soap. Soap is inexpensive and so is the water to make too much soap turn out great. I have very soft water, so even short load times work out for me.

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 05-02-2012, 05:22 PM
#17
  • Craig
  • Not a ragin Cajun; a mild mannered one
  • Astoria, NYC
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Same here. I just prefer my lather when I load or what seems like a very long time. Makes it more dense and slick...just a better lather for me. It helps that it uses a ton of soap so I actually finish some products!

(05-02-2012, 03:58 PM)cvac Wrote: Average loading time for me is usually between 1-2 minutes, sometimes a little longer. Hard soaps tend to be on the longer end of the spectrum. Keep in mind I generally use a hybrid technique where much of the lathering process takes place right on top of the soap (beyond "protolather" or just "charging the brush"), then facelathering for fine-tuning.

And I do NOT count time either. I just keep working the brush until the lather looks "ready" to take to my face for my method.

The reason I do this is because life is way too short to worry about wasting soap and I've found that this method works best for me to get the kind of lather I prefer.

If you like airy foam or put more pressure on your brush than you might realize or care to admit then of course you could use less loading time. Note also that most people merely "charge the brush" and then move to the face or bowl. Overall time used for my method really isn't that much more than the average guy.

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 05-02-2012, 06:51 PM
#18
  • Sully
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Cedar Park, Texas
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I load anywhere from a 45 seconds to 2 minutes. For soft soaps It's closer to 45 seconds and for hard soaps, or hard to lather soaps it's closer to 2 minutes. I don't like to go back to the puck for more soap if I can help it. I figure I've already made lather one time and got it just the way I like it, I don't want to do it a second time to finish my shave.

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 05-02-2012, 07:33 PM
#19
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I'm almost ashamed to admit that loading time isn't something I have given much though at all... and now I'm wondering if I've been underloading my brush all this time.

Well, I guess that mean I learned something new today Biggrin

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 05-02-2012, 08:35 PM
#20
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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I'm glad you brought this up because it's such an important question. When I first started wet shaving I was only loading for about 15 seconds because I didn't know any better. Eventually I was told to try lathering for 30-60 seconds and the difference for me anyways was huge. Typically I lather for about 30 seconds now.

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