02-11-2015, 06:19 PM
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I am having a tough time getting Williams to give me a good lather.... Any advice or input?   Is it tougher than Van der Hagen?  I sure am having a tougher time?

3 117
 02-11-2015, 06:57 PM
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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(02-11-2015, 06:19 PM)txtag1 Wrote: I am having a tough time getting Williams to give me a good lather.... Any advice or input?   Is it tougher than Van der Hagen?  I sure am having a tougher time?

Williams is a shared 'right of passage' for new shavers. You have 'the right' to 'pass' the puck over your shoulder into the trashcan. Take a deep breath, order something better and start over. It's not you and our most talented shavers would do no better. 

2 3,167
 02-11-2015, 07:34 PM
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In my opinion, everyone should learn to dial in Williams. When done...in about 4 months, you can move on to the others in this big wide world, and no other soap will ever challenge you again. 

8 169
 02-11-2015, 08:54 PM
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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Williams is not worth messing with but vintage Williams is. But if you must I found soaking the puck in hot water prior to use helped, like a bathing soap left in a soap dish full of water in the shower  . Also a tougher bristle boar brush worked better than badger. If all else fails and you need a shortcut just put a bit of shaving cream on top of the puck and lather. Consistently, shavers complain that Williams lather dries on their faces also its less protective than other soaps including VDH.

 I think you should try Arko soap. Its what modern Williams should be, inexpensive, good performer , easily lathered.

15 549
 02-11-2015, 09:20 PM
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Most folks will concur that the older version of Williams is much easier to lather as opposed to the newer formulation. Good luck if you persist!  Thumbsup

93 21,373
 02-12-2015, 01:58 AM
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Let's help the guy out here, guys. Give him a break. Let's be honest.

Here's what you're going to do:

1. Take your Williams puck in right hand
2. Open trash can with left foot or left hand
3. Make a soft throwing action with your right hand towards the center of the trash can
4. Take a deep breath and open a cold beer or a tepid glass of red wine
5. Now go buy some decent or even better great performing shaving soap or cream and never look back !

All other stuff you buy will outperform what you just threw out !!

25 7,098
 02-12-2015, 05:40 AM
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Gonna buy a pick of Williams and go to town one night just to see what I .ca get

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

19 1,125
 02-12-2015, 07:51 AM
  • dajmacd
  • Member
  • Tennessee River Valley
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Foo to all the naysayers say I.  I love this soap and will use it as long as I can get it locally.  Use a very damp, but not dripping brush.  Swirl on the puck until you get a foamy lather.  Take the foamy lather to your face or a bowl and start working it.  The lather will thicken up and get slicker as the water gets incorporated.  If you overload it at the start, it's an uphill battle.

4 194
 02-12-2015, 08:14 AM
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Williams actually can be lathered and when I first began blade shaving I'd have a puck in a tub in my rotation. I remember it being a water hog and not the easiest soap to get lather from. Too, I don't remember it being great lather. But I persisted because I could get it locally.

When my SAD began showing it's head I realized just how little I liked using modern Williams, and the puck sat unused until one day I decided I had too many soaps in the cabinet that I really didn't enjoy using. Williams was in the first batch to join the column of soaps that I'd use every day to use them up. Even there the Williams got no further love, and I finally wound up finishing it off in the shower. I haven't opened a puck of it in years.

IMO, VHD is a much easier to use soap. I found the easiest way to use Williams and get a decent lather was to keep it in a lidded tub, and before I'd put it back in the cabinet I'd give it a teaspoon or so of water, then put it away. The next time I used it I'd flip it over and it would be ready for brush loading. After doing that  half a dozen times, whatever that was in the soap that made it work disappeared. So that technique had diminishing returns for me. No special techniques required for VDH.

What really surprises me about this thread is that no one has of yet compared the scent to a urinal cake. Normally that doesn't take very long to happen. I'm someone who had no problems with the scent. For me it was all about performance.

Too, not many years ago there would be a Williams thread almost continually on the first page of soap threads, but that has calmed down. This is the first that I can remember in a long time. This thread regarding Williams was started quite innocently as compared to those others.

Txtag1, possibly some better performing soaps that you might find locally are Kiss My Face and Proraso, but they are creams and not hard soaps. I can find KMF at my local health food market and Proraso (Bigelow label) at Bath Works. Until recently I would mail order soaps.

32 6,609
 02-12-2015, 09:35 AM
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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It is possible to get a serviceable lather from Williams, it just won't hold a candle to truly quality soaps.

For best results:
1 soak the puck in water overnight
2 dump that water and cover again with hot water for a few minutes before your shave
3 dump that water and load your lightly shaken out brush until there is ample soap (about 45 seconds for me using a boar or badger with decent backbone)
4 begin lathering for a good 30 seconds and slowly add water until it gets a shiny consistency
5 shave
6 cover the soap to prevent the moisture from evaporating so that you can avoid step 1 on your next try.
7 realize that you can now get lather from all but the most unlatherable of shaving soaps once you have mastered Williams

160 2,902
 02-12-2015, 11:15 AM
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(02-11-2015, 06:19 PM)txtag1 Wrote: I am having a tough time getting Williams to give me a good lather.... Any advice or input?   Is it tougher than Van der Hagen?  I sure am having a tougher time?

Take your puck in a cup and wet brush.  Put brush in cup and swirl a few times to get runny mixture.  Empty mixture in your bowl and start swirling, add few drops of water as needed, should have enough lather for at least 3 passes.

0 6
 02-12-2015, 10:56 PM
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If you want something similar to Williams, but something that lathers by just looking at it, get some Arko, you won't regret it.

0 65
 02-13-2015, 02:57 AM
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Thanks for all the input... I have arko and it does leather much easier than the Williams... I just wanted to know that I was not missing something as I couldn't get it to lather up like my other soaps

3 117
 02-14-2015, 07:09 PM
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(02-12-2015, 10:56 PM)ShavedBacon Wrote: If you want something similar to Williams, but something that lathers by just looking at it, get some Arko, you won't regret it.
Hahaa, i love this!

1 1,975
 02-21-2015, 08:25 AM
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If you're like me and too cheap to follow the excellent advice of tossing in the shower or trash, just load your brush heavily, then add a drop of your favorite (or least favorite) cream and you should get stable, usable lather.  I got quite good shaves from this technique and used up my first/last puck of Wms.

0 173
 02-21-2015, 08:59 AM
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Whatever you do, appreciate your time and effort. You can achieve great things if you stick to your goals. A product little cared for by the manufacturer  might or might not be worth your time though!


21 1,175
 02-21-2015, 12:41 PM
  • chazt
  • Super Moderator
  • Queens, NY
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Williams is available locally at Pathmark Supermarkets. Because it was an institution for my grandfather's generation, I've tried it a few times, three pucks in the last year to be exact. It required waaaay too much effort for use as a shave soap. otoh, it's a nicely scented soap for showering.

20 5,835
 02-25-2015, 02:31 PM
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you can use your puck with a different cream, mix them together and make a super later! 

0 240
 02-26-2015, 06:21 AM
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One thing I've found that makes a HUGE difference is the water used.  I've tried to lather modern Williams using hard water and got no where.  Using soft or distilled water I get great lather from modern Williams. Try a different water and see what happens.  You might like it

4 952
 02-26-2015, 12:59 PM
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Yeah, I gave up on modern Williams years ago and can't stand the smell either!

Vintage Williams though, crazy easy to lather but mostly unscented.  Well worth tracking down a puck of vintage.

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