10-12-2018, 12:57 PM
#1
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Does anyone have an idea, or information, as to the shelf life of hard or soft shave soap that's in a sealed container or open mug? Most manufacturers and artisans omit this information.

I always throw-out pucks and soft soaps that I haven't used for a long period. Now, with the expense of these soaps, I'm thinking I should keep them around or sell them if the shelf life is timeless.

To the garbage? Give away as gifts? Try and sell..... thoughts?

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 10-12-2018, 01:12 PM
#2
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Some last a long time, some do not. Depends on the ingredients that is used and how they are stored.

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 10-12-2018, 01:20 PM
#3
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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EU makers and artisans are obliged to give that information.

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 10-12-2018, 01:29 PM
#4
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(10-12-2018, 01:20 PM)nikos.a Wrote: EU makers and artisans are obliged to give that information.

Thanks, I live in the US (Oregon)

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 10-12-2018, 01:38 PM
#5
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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If you're that aware of the shelf life of your soaps, I'm sure you can buy EU made products in the US( Bullgoose has some very quality EU products). It's called free-market.

Here are some examples for you.

All EU cosmetics, cheap or expensive, even an alum, have that info. Otherwise they have no certification and can't be officially sold.


FYI Nuavia says 24 months shelf life, but I bought it exactly 37 months ago. The product still shaves though, scent is amazing and it hasn't turned rancid( so far).

[Image: bc5b3bd0ef016e399e4b146d3d0a219c.jpg][Image: fe14e56291ae1585f4e1856377df3d66.jpg][Image: df05bf8b7a7ffabb3b888459db5f46bb.jpg][Image: cbf1533096bb7b33e34aa113aac11b5c.jpg][Image: c5953bc05c5a45b1535e1706e1b858a4.jpg][Image: 7ad795ccb6822e986aae5bb25afc937f.jpg]

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 10-12-2018, 01:54 PM
#6
  • Steelman
  • SUPPORT OUR POLICE OFFICERS
  • Delaware
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A hard, triple milled soap can be stored for years, even decades if stored in a dark, cool place.

Softer soaps are more inconsistent. Some lasting years but some only months.

Generally speaking, I’ve learned it’s good to stock up on hard soaps (MWF, Valobra, SV, Green Mountain) but I now use my softer soaps (US artisans) up before restocking. Same for creams.

The “shelf life” info on the soap tin typically refers to shelf life AFTER OPENING, not the unused storage life

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 10-12-2018, 01:59 PM
#7
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For me, high quality hard soaps (especially vintage ones like Penhaligon's or Floris) lost none of their lathering qualities of several years of use after opening.  But they do gradually lose their fragrance, so that eventually all of them just smell like 'old soap.'

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 10-12-2018, 02:04 PM
#8
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In my personal experience harder pucks can last for decades, and only the scent might/or might not get weaker as time goes.

But when it comes to softer soaps, especially the more natural artisan soaps, some brands will last for eyars and years, while others will start to develope mould on the top of the soap and it should be binned.

I made a post in the cream/soap section, where I wrote about my experience with 8-10 unopened and unused Wickham shving soaps from 2016, that were all stored along some LPL, Mike's Natural and MDC soaps away from direct sunligt in a large basket in a cupboard in our guest room. I checked the Wickhams when I bought them in 2016, and have not touched them since. When I opened them 2 weeks ago, all my stash of Wickhams shaving soaps were rancid looking on the surface, while all the other soaps in that basket, that also had been resting there since 2016 without being opened, were fine looking.

So some artisans make their soaps with all natural ingredients, that can't tolerate storage over a longer period.
All the Wickham soaps were in perfect condition, when I got them from Connaught Shaving.

I also had one CRSW Oliva Honey soap and my one time used Acqua di Parma shaving cream(new version from 2016), that both looked a bit weird on the surface, and I binned them too.

Other than that all my shaving soaps looks to be in fine condition and I own several 100 shaving soaps.

I will however say, that creams in many cases will have a tendency to either turn rock hard or get runny and some, especially the newer ones without parabens, can have a tendency to turn rancid at some stage.

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 10-12-2018, 02:19 PM
#9
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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(10-12-2018, 01:54 PM)Steelman Wrote: A hard, triple milled soap can be stored for years, even decades if stored in a dark, cool place.

Softer soaps are more inconsistent. Some lasting years but some only months.

Generally speaking, I’ve learned it’s good to stock up on hard soaps (MWF, Valobra, SV, Green Mountain) but I now use my softer soaps (US artisans) up before restocking. Same for creams.
Yes, but even a triple milled soap will lose its scent after some years. It will shave you, but the scent will be gone or faded. So the shelf life regarding these soaps is debatable.

I never understood why someone chooses to shave with soaps that were made decades ago, even if they're great, when amazing soaps are currently in production. Nostalgia maybe? For collection? What's the pleasure in shaving with a soap that has little to no scent and actually smells strange?

Also, some pay exorbitant prices for a discontinued P.160 or other famous almond scented italian soft soaps. Why? Scent has gone a long time ago, they smell of tallow, which is a repulsive scent to shave with, from white colored they are now brownish... Long story short they have turned rancid. Cella will turn rancid within two years. I have thrown away a kilo of this. I was given a sample of the original P.160. It shaved good, but everyone will get superior shaves from a great "modern" soap.

I'm sure someone out there understands what I'm talking about.

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 10-12-2018, 02:25 PM
#10
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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(10-12-2018, 02:04 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: In my personal experience harder pucks can last for decades, and only the scent might/or might not get weaker as time goes.

But when it comes to softer soaps, especially the more natural artisan soaps, some brands will last for eyars and years, while others will start to develope mould on the top of the soap and it should be binned.

I made a post in the cream/soap section, where I wrote about my experience with 8-10 unopened and unused Wickham shving soaps from 2016, that were all stored along some LPL, Mike's Natural and MDC soaps away from direct sunligt in a large basket in a cupboard in our guest room. I checked the Wickhams when I bought them in 2016, and have not touched them since. When I opened them 2 weeks ago, all my stash of Wickhams shaving soaps were rancid looking on the surface, while all the other soaps in that basket, that also had been resting there since 2016 without being opened, were fine looking.

So some artisans make their soaps with all natural ingredients, that can't tolerate storage over a longer period.
All the Wickham soaps were in perfect condition, when I got them from Connaught Shaving.

I also had one CRSW Oliva Honey soap and my one time used Acqua di Parma shaving cream(new version from 2016), that both looked a bit weird on the surface, and I binned them too.

Other than that all my shaving soaps looks to be in fine condition and I own several 100 shaving soaps.

I will however say, that creams in many cases will have a tendency to either turn rock hard or get runny and some, especially the newer ones without parabens, can have a tendency to turn rancid at some stage.
Humidity can cause damage to metals, imagine what it can do to soaps and cosmetics in general.

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 10-12-2018, 03:15 PM
#11
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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Smell is the most emotion and memory-evoking scent. I agree that there are great modern scents, but smelling something that maybe your grandfather wore, or something that reminds you of a trip to the barbershop with your dad - that's worth a lot to people. I'd tend to agree.

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 10-12-2018, 03:24 PM
#12
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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(10-12-2018, 03:15 PM)chamm Wrote: Smell is the most emotion and memory-evoking scent. I agree that there are great modern scents, but smelling something that maybe your grandfather wore, or something that reminds you of a trip to the barbershop with your dad - that's worth a lot to people. I'd tend to agree.
True. If they actually smell just like the old days, I totally agree on that. Unfortunately, most have no scent left.

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 10-12-2018, 03:42 PM
#13
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(10-12-2018, 01:38 PM)nikos.a Wrote: If you're that aware of the shelf life of your soaps, I'm sure you can buy EU made products in the US( Bullgoose has some very quality EU products). It's called free-market.

Here are some examples for you.

All EU cosmetics, cheap or expensive, even an alum, have that info. Otherwise they have no certification and can't be officially sold.


FYI Nuavia says 24 months shelf life, but I bought it exactly 37 months ago. The product still shaves though, scent is amazing and it hasn't turned rancid( so far).

[Image: bc5b3bd0ef016e399e4b146d3d0a219c.jpg][Image: fe14e56291ae1585f4e1856377df3d66.jpg][Image: df05bf8b7a7ffabb3b888459db5f46bb.jpg][Image: cbf1533096bb7b33e34aa113aac11b5c.jpg][Image: c5953bc05c5a45b1535e1706e1b858a4.jpg][Image: 7ad795ccb6822e986aae5bb25afc937f.jpg]
Thank you for the pics and information; much appreciated.

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 10-12-2018, 03:51 PM
#14
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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I have some hard soaps from the early to mid 1980's and they seem like new. I also have some older vintage hard soaps (e.g. Yardley) which are also fine despite being 50 years old or older. The soaps from the 80's still have a nice scent to them whereas the 50 year old soaps have lost their scent.

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 10-12-2018, 03:57 PM
#15
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(10-12-2018, 02:04 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: In my personal experience harder pucks can last for decades, and only the scent might/or might not get weaker as time goes.

But when it comes to softer soaps, especially the more natural artisan soaps, some brands will last for eyars and years, while others will start to develope mould on the top of the soap and it should be binned.

I made a post in the cream/soap section, where I wrote about my experience with 8-10 unopened and unused Wickham shving soaps from 2016, that were all stored along some LPL, Mike's Natural and MDC soaps away from direct sunligt in a large basket in a cupboard in our guest room. I checked the Wickhams when I bought them in 2016, and have not touched them since. When I opened them 2 weeks ago, all my stash of Wickhams shaving soaps were rancid looking on the surface, while all the other soaps in that basket, that also had been resting there since 2016 without being opened, were fine looking.

So some artisans make their soaps with all natural ingredients, that can't tolerate storage over a longer period.
All the Wickham soaps were in perfect condition, when I got them from Connaught Shaving.

I also had one CRSW Oliva Honey soap and my one time used Acqua di Parma shaving cream(new version from 2016), that both looked a bit weird on the surface, and I binned them too.

Other than that all my shaving soaps looks to be in fine condition and I own several 100 shaving soaps.

I will however say, that creams in many cases will have a tendency to either turn rock hard or get runny and some, especially the newer ones without parabens, can have a tendency to turn rancid at some stage.
Wonderful, insightful information here. Now that's information we all can use. CHSeifert, thank you for taking the time and congrats on your shave soap collection. I'll be sure to visit your posts in the future!

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 10-12-2018, 04:03 PM
#16
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(10-12-2018, 01:54 PM)Steelman Wrote: A hard, triple milled soap can be stored for years, even decades if stored in a dark, cool place.

Softer soaps are more inconsistent. Some lasting years but some only months.

Generally speaking, I’ve learned it’s good to stock up on hard soaps (MWF, Valobra, SV, Green Mountain)  but I now use my softer soaps  (US artisans) up before restocking. Same for creams.

The “shelf life” info on the soap tin typically refers to shelf life AFTER OPENING, not the unused storage life
Nice info here, thanks for taking the time!

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 10-12-2018, 04:10 PM
#17
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(10-12-2018, 03:51 PM)bullgoose Wrote: I have some hard soaps from the early to mid 1980's and they seem like new. I also have some older vintage hard soaps (e.g. Yardley) which are also fine despite being 50 years old or older. The soaps from the 80's still have a nice scent to them whereas the 50 year old soaps have lost their scent.
50 years! That is truly incredible and encouraging. Great information here. Thanks, bullgoose!

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 10-12-2018, 04:17 PM
#18
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(10-12-2018, 02:19 PM)nikos.a Wrote:
(10-12-2018, 01:54 PM)Steelman Wrote: A hard, triple milled soap can be stored for years, even decades if stored in a dark, cool place.

Softer soaps are more inconsistent. Some lasting years but some only months.

Generally speaking, I’ve learned it’s good to stock up on hard soaps (MWF, Valobra, SV, Green Mountain)  but I now use my softer soaps  (US artisans) up before restocking. Same for creams.
Yes, but even a triple milled soap will lose its scent after some years. It will shave you, but the scent will be gone or faded. So the shelf life regarding these soaps is debatable.

I never understood why someone chooses to shave with soaps that were made decades ago, even if they're great, when amazing soaps are currently in production. Nostalgia maybe? For collection? What's the pleasure in shaving with a soap that has little to no scent and actually smells strange?

Also, some pay exorbitant prices for a discontinued P.160 or other famous almond scented italian soft soaps. Why? Scent has gone a long time ago, they smell of tallow, which is a repulsive scent to shave with, from white colored they are now brownish... Long story short they have turned rancid. Cella will turn rancid within two years. I have thrown away a kilo of this. I was given a sample of the original P.160. It shaved good, but everyone will get superior shaves from a great "modern" soap.

I'm sure someone out there understands what I'm talking about.
My point exactly! Thanks, nikos.a

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 10-12-2018, 04:23 PM
#19
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(10-12-2018, 01:59 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: For me, high quality hard soaps (especially vintage ones like Penhaligon's or Floris) lost none of their lathering qualities of several years of use after opening.  But they do gradually lose their fragrance, so that eventually all of them just smell like 'old soap.'

Thank you. Your just up the road from me, I live in Oregon. Ah, the pacific northwest!

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 10-12-2018, 06:29 PM
#20
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Hard soap really does not go bad if it is left dry.  Or, at least in my experience they have not.  I have actually often put away my shaving soaps wet and abused then a bit without any going bad.  I would venture out to say that bar soap will not go bad if stored properly.  There is not enough water for the soap to go bad and bacteria does not eat the soap nor the free oils.  Cream and liquid soaps are a different matter.  If the pH of a liquid soap is not high enough then it can develop microbial growth.  Since cream soaps are always made with an oil discount and many times have citric acid, the pH is often too low thus their lowered shelf life.  

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