06-15-2017, 11:58 AM
#1
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Anyone know if water pH can make any kind of difference in the quality of your shaving experience? For example; whether you use acidic, neutral or alkaline water?
Thanks

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 06-15-2017, 12:03 PM
#2
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I use (successfully, I might add) the wonderfully filtered and treated water delivered to my home, courtesy of Citizens Energy. It is what it is. Most people don't get to choose the acid content of their shaving water.

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 06-15-2017, 12:04 PM
#3
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Based on nothing more than a gut feeling, I'm assuming pH values far outside the normal will affect the lather in some way... perhaps some of our soap artisans have more details?

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 06-15-2017, 12:15 PM
#4
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Persons with hard water may have issues lathering some soaps.  However, I don't know if that would affect the quality of the shave.  The hard water where I live does not affect the quality of my shaves.

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 06-15-2017, 02:44 PM
#5
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I choose not to use hard water (my Los Angeles tap water) because it makes my brushes (using badger 99% of the time) feel sticky, gunky, or a big draggy. Second reason is at the end of my shave, if I rinse my face with the tap water, it stings quite a bit as well as leaving the skin somewhat scaly or tacky.

Luckily though using distilled water ain't that hard for me to use during my shave. Leaves my brushes clean and skin feeling fresh.

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 06-15-2017, 08:44 PM
#6
  • RobE
  • Active Member
  • NY USA
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Neutral or alkaline, and not too high an alkaline pH, (I'd guess not beyond 9 or 10). Forget acidic, not a good idea at all.

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 06-16-2017, 04:10 AM
#7
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I would think that if you had water pH levels off enough to affect your shaving experience, it would have manifested itself already in a whole number of other ways.  Most soapmakers, including artisans, include pH regulating ingredients.  However, if you do have very hard water, the solution is to either soften it or use more product.  Or move to New England!  We have incredibly soft water!  In fact, its so soft that when I brew up a nice old-school IPA, I actually have to harden the water by adding minerals and salts.

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 06-16-2017, 05:47 AM
#8
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(06-16-2017, 04:10 AM)jpakstis Wrote: I would think that if you had water pH levels off enough to affect your shaving experience, it would have manifested itself already in a whole number of other ways.  Most soapmakers, including artisans, include pH regulating ingredients.  However, if you do have very hard water, the solution is to either soften it or use more product.  Or move to New England!  We have incredibly soft water!  In fact, its so soft that when I brew up a nice old-school IPA, I actually have to harden the water by adding minerals and salts.

Have you ever visited Vancouver, Josh? Our water might be the softest I have ever encountered.  Shy

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 06-16-2017, 06:05 AM
#9
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For those of you who don't use tap water, do you heat the distilled water for each shave?

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 06-16-2017, 06:25 AM
#10
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(06-16-2017, 05:47 AM)celestino Wrote: Have you ever visited Vancouver, Josh? Our water might be the softest I have ever encountered.  Shy

I'd love to go!  Although I don't know how thrilled my wife and kids would be to come to check out the water.  Just as how my dream of seeing all the Japanese baseball teams and parks has been a vacation plan non-starter.

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 06-16-2017, 10:01 AM
#11
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(06-16-2017, 06:05 AM)TexBilly Wrote: For those of you who don't use tap water, do you heat the distilled water for each shave?

I live in L.A. and the water is hard.  So, I have been using distilled water for several years.  I do zap it in the microwave for several seconds.  Do I get a better shave?  If I can get a bowl full of lather from soaps that traditionally are difficult to lather in hard water, then yes I do get a better shave.

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 06-16-2017, 10:35 AM
#12
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(06-16-2017, 06:05 AM)TexBilly Wrote: For those of you who don't use tap water, do you heat the distilled water for each shave?

Yes, I used to microwave a bowl of water but now just have a hot water maker (I guess they are for coffee maybe) in the bathroom and a jug or two of distilled aqua underneath the counter. I probably use about 4 cups of water worth for every shave. I'd say ⅓ of that is for the rinsing of the badger brush at the end.

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 06-16-2017, 10:40 AM
#13
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(06-16-2017, 10:35 AM)zaclikestoshave Wrote: I'd say ⅓ of that is for the rinsing of the badger brush at the end.
Considering how much tap water I use to rinse out my brushes, I'm surprised this is enough!  However, it sounds like you have a good process so good for you.  By the way, we have hard water in my area but practically everyone has water softeners installed.

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 06-17-2017, 03:56 AM
#14
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
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(06-15-2017, 02:44 PM)zaclikestoshave Wrote: I choose not to use hard water (my Los Angeles tap water) because it makes my brushes (using badger 99% of the time) feel sticky, gunky, or a big draggy. Second reason is at the end of my shave, if I rinse my face with the tap water, it stings quite a bit as well as leaving the skin somewhat scaly or tacky.

Luckily though using distilled water ain't that hard for me to use during my shave. Leaves my brushes clean and skin feeling fresh.

I just finished a project where I had to travel about an hour east of LA for the last several weeks.  I did notice a difference in the water there and in Georgia.  I had to use more product to get a good lather and my brush did seem to have a bit of a film left on it.  I did not notice anymore irritation though.

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 06-17-2017, 05:21 AM
#15
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(06-16-2017, 10:40 AM)TexBilly Wrote:
(06-16-2017, 10:35 AM)zaclikestoshave Wrote: I'd say ⅓ of that is for the rinsing of the badger brush at the end.
Considering how much tap water I use to rinse out my brushes, I'm surprised this is enough!  However, it sounds like you have a good process so good for you.  By the way, we have hard water in my area but practically everyone has water softeners installed.

I don't know how much it would change my tap if a water softener was installed. Doesn't mean I wouldn't use it but just hate the scum of the deposits it leaves in/on the brushes. Skin really feels it to the point that I don't even bother. 

In terms of rinsing my brushes out, I usually load heavy and hydrate very thoroughly. So there are times where the brush probably needs more water than that. I usually spend the most time lathering during a shave, followed by the rinsing, whipping and post shave care to the knot.

(06-17-2017, 03:56 AM)DayMan Wrote:
(06-15-2017, 02:44 PM)zaclikestoshave Wrote: I choose not to use hard water (my Los Angeles tap water) because it makes my brushes (using badger 99% of the time) feel sticky, gunky, or a big draggy. Second reason is at the end of my shave, if I rinse my face with the tap water, it stings quite a bit as well as leaving the skin somewhat scaly or tacky.

Luckily though using distilled water ain't that hard for me to use during my shave. Leaves my brushes clean and skin feeling fresh.

I just finished a project where I had to travel about an hour east of LA for the last several weeks.  I did notice a difference in the water there and in Georgia.  I had to use more product to get a good lather and my brush did seem to have a bit of a film left on it.  I did not notice anymore irritation though.

We're you using a product that had tallow in the base formula when you were shaving in LA?

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 06-17-2017, 02:37 PM
#16
  • Quando
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(06-15-2017, 12:15 PM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: Persons with hard water may have issues lathering some soaps.  However, I don't know if that would affect the quality of the shave.  The hard water where I live does not affect the quality of my shaves.

Most of the US has hard water.

Hard water = chock full of minerals, and, can be, usually, solved by a filter.  

If anyone has any suggestions for neutralizing basic, or, acidic water, I would love to hear it.

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 06-17-2017, 04:35 PM
#17
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As a soap maker, I add citric acid to my shaving cream and lactic acid to my shaving soap.  Citric acid is a plant derived water softener while lactic acid is a byproduct of fermentation and helps boost lather.  Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is also quite common but has some severe side effects.  I suggest shaving with a vinegar solution (acid) and a baking soda solution (base) then let us know the results.  I doubt there will be much difference except an irritated neck.  

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 06-18-2017, 12:11 PM
#18
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
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(06-17-2017, 05:21 AM)zaclikestoshave Wrote:
(06-16-2017, 10:40 AM)TexBilly Wrote:
(06-16-2017, 10:35 AM)zaclikestoshave Wrote: I'd say ⅓ of that is for the rinsing of the badger brush at the end.
Considering how much tap water I use to rinse out my brushes, I'm surprised this is enough!  However, it sounds like you have a good process so good for you.  By the way, we have hard water in my area but practically everyone has water softeners installed.

I don't know how much it would change my tap if a water softener was installed. Doesn't mean I wouldn't use it but just hate the scum of the deposits it leaves in/on the brushes. Skin really feels it to the point that I don't even bother. 

In terms of rinsing my brushes out, I usually load heavy and hydrate very thoroughly. So there are times where the brush probably needs more water than that. I usually spend the most time lathering during a shave, followed by the rinsing, whipping and post shave care to the knot.


(06-17-2017, 03:56 AM)DayMan Wrote:
(06-15-2017, 02:44 PM)zaclikestoshave Wrote: I choose not to use hard water (my Los Angeles tap water) because it makes my brushes (using badger 99% of the time) feel sticky, gunky, or a big draggy. Second reason is at the end of my shave, if I rinse my face with the tap water, it stings quite a bit as well as leaving the skin somewhat scaly or tacky.

Luckily though using distilled water ain't that hard for me to use during my shave. Leaves my brushes clean and skin feeling fresh.

I just finished a project where I had to travel about an hour east of LA for the last several weeks.  I did notice a difference in the water there and in Georgia.  I had to use more product to get a good lather and my brush did seem to have a bit of a film left on it.  I did not notice anymore irritation though.

We're you using a product that had tallow in the base formula when you were shaving in LA?
No. I used Kiss My Face and CO Bigelow. CO Bigelow worked better out there for me.

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