08-24-2019, 04:18 AM
#1
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Gents,

I know that some folks HATE this term, and don’t see the point!

It doesn’t bother me, and in the past typically I have put 3-5 ounces of warm water on top of the soap.

I have found that it seems to work well with some soaps such as the vintage tallows like Safari, Old Spice, Seaforth, AOS Sandalwood, etc. I discard the water in a mug, and sometimes would use it to wet my face before applying lather or to dip my brush into it to get more water into the soap as I whip up the lather in a bowl or on my face.

However some soaps such as Tallow & Steel and Shannon’s Soap with the goat milk edition, do not seem to respond well to this. These are softer soaps, and in the case of T&S...I felt like some of the “slickness” was lost to the “bloom” water, instead of my face...which undermined its performance. In the case of Shannon’s, the water I poured on essentially melted the soap into a mess (thank goodness it didn’t do lasting damage to the puck which resolidified and is doing great)!

I think that T&S is a fantastic soap on all marks, especially the scent strength which really allows the shaver to enjoy it while shaving. I also love the Shannon’s Soap base with the Goat Milk!

So my technique for “blooming” the soap has evolved to simply putting just enough on top of the puck to let it soak into the puck of soap, so no extra liquid needs to be discarded. I think that helps to keep the performance of the soap on my face instead of sending it down the drain!

I can’t wait to read folks’ thoughts on the idea of losing performance when extra water off the top of the puck is discarded...it’s my experience, and when I thought about it, it makes sense to me!

Have a great weekend!

Vr

Matt

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 08-24-2019, 04:56 AM
#2
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Miami has hard water.  In the past I have bloomed soaps which would otherwise not lather well.  I no longer keep any soaps which don't lather in hard water.  There are many good soaps which don't require blooming, and I don't want to go through any additional steps to get quality lather.  I just want to put the wet brush on the soap and quickly get the lather I want.  If I have to do more to get what I need from a soap, that soap is not for me.  That's just my personal approach.

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 08-24-2019, 05:07 AM
#3
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Hey Matt

I'm no expert but on soaps like SV I wet the upper layer with a few drops of hot water, let it sink in for no more than 5 minutes, pour the blooming liquid in to the mixing dish, lather up in the tub first and then whip it up to the right consistency (for me) in the dish.

This has not worked as well on other brands but the results for Pere Lucien and MdC have been more than passable.


Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

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 08-24-2019, 07:42 AM
#4
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I always put a tablespoon or so of water on the puck before my shower, while at the same time soaking my brush. Once out of the shower I squeeze the brush, leaving it damp, and lather up - never removing the ‘bloom’ water from the puck but instead working it into the lather.

Notes about me:
1. I’m a heavy loader
2. I don’t mind taking longer than most when loading
3. I add a lot of water during loading anyway, so this is just pre-hydration
4. Some soaps take a lot more water than others (mike’s take takes a lot, shannon’s takes a little) yet this technique works with them all
5. I originally used this method with hard, thirsty soaps like Mike’s, but have found it effective with every soap I have - even CRSW Glide.

If you decide to try this technique, just ensure your brush isn’t too wet when you begin making lather.

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 08-24-2019, 07:46 AM
#5
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I bloom hard soaps briefly, i.e. I pour warm water onto the soap and let it sit for maybe 30 seconds. Then I use the soap-water as pre-shave, rubbing it on my face. When I load, I add water to the brush as needed. With soft soaps/croap I don't bother blooming at all.

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 08-24-2019, 08:59 AM
#6
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(08-24-2019, 07:42 AM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: I always put a tablespoon or so of water on the puck before my shower, while at the same time soaking my brush. Once out of the shower I squeeze the brush, leaving it damp, and lather up - never removing the ‘bloom’ water from the puck but instead working it into the lather.

Notes about me:
1. I’m a heavy loader
2. I don’t mind taking longer than most when loading
3. I add a lot of water during loading anyway, so this is just pre-hydration
4. Some soaps take a lot more water than others (mike’s take takes a lot, shannon’s takes a little) yet this technique works with them all
5. I originally used this method with hard, thirsty soaps like Mike’s, but have found it effective with every soap I have - even CRSW Glide.

If you decide to try this technique, just ensure your brush isn’t too wet when you begin making lather.

Hi Mike! This is what I have started doing when I do put any water on top!

Vr

Matt

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 08-24-2019, 09:23 AM
#7
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I only bloom triple milled soaps or other hard soaps, e.g. D.R. Harris, I Coloniali, Klar Seifen, and Saponificio Varesino, and sometimes some of my older softer soaps that have dried out over the years. It's probably not necessary to bloom these, although it seems to speed up the lathering process a bit.

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 08-24-2019, 10:20 AM
#8
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I second what Richard does.....

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 08-24-2019, 10:33 AM
#9
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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 08-24-2019, 11:24 AM
#10
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I always bloom. Put water to cover the puck and soak the brush while I shower. Then use that water on my face for the oils. Puck also seems to lather really quickly.

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 08-25-2019, 08:15 AM
#11
  • RyznRio
  • Active Member
  • Connecticut
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Connecticut has hard water so before my shower: I soak my brush, put a few drops of distilled water on the puck with about a tablespoon of tap water. After the shower, I use the bloom water as a preshave and put a few drops in my hand made ceramic bowl. I load the soap then bowl lather adding tap or distilled water at a 4:1ish ratio. Then I leave the puck uncovered for a few hours to dry out before screwing on the lid and storing the puck for its next turn in the rotation.

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 08-25-2019, 08:23 AM
#12
  • RyznRio
  • Active Member
  • Connecticut
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(08-24-2019, 10:33 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote: http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=35149&pid=592694#pid592694

I like the idea of priming the brush with bloom water.  Sbathroom_grooming_shaving_100-100

Since I already have my Sunday morning BBS, priming the brush will be my monday morning experiment.

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 08-26-2019, 03:37 AM
#13
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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I have well water. A block over is the house I grew up in from the age of 13 when pop retired from the U.S.A.F. The well there has water so good you could bottle it and sell it at a premium price.  Mines hard. But after my first year or so of wet shaving I've gotten to where I can pretty much lather anything anyway. I go through phases where I bloom my soap but it's not out of necessity,  just like to change things up. Right now I'm just going straight from the puck to my face or bowl.

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 08-27-2019, 04:31 AM
#14
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I've always bloomed all my soaps, it's all I know lol. But never more than about 3-4 tablespoons of water. Never felt as though I received any negative effects from doing so, but rather I'd be kicking myself for forgetting to bloom.

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 08-30-2019, 08:15 AM
#15
  • RyznRio
  • Active Member
  • Connecticut
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(08-25-2019, 08:23 AM)RyznRio Wrote:
(08-24-2019, 10:33 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote: http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=35149&pid=592694#pid592694

I like the idea of priming the brush with bloom water.  Sbathroom_grooming_shaving_100-100

Since I already have my Sunday morning BBS, priming the brush will be my monday morning experiment.

i tried priming the brush with bloom water but whipping up the bloom left bubbles in the lather that required dedication to eliminate. 

did i do something wrong or are bubbles to be expected?

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 08-30-2019, 07:14 PM
#16
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I prime my brush with the bloom water as well. I don’t ever bloom really when I’m using my cashmere synthetic, but as much as I reach for that brush, my true loves are boar that I always bloom every soap and prime. I squeeze out the soak water and then pour the bloom and squeeze again before loading. I do this for both my SOC and omega from Connaught and the soaps range from B&M, declaration, and noble otter to AYLM.

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 08-30-2019, 11:16 PM
#17
  • TomG
  • Member
  • Perth, Western Australia
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I bloom all my soaps except soft croaps such as CRSW Glide and Tabula Rasa.

I pour the supernatant bloom water into the brush, so that it gets into the full length of the bristles.

Works for me.

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 08-31-2019, 09:55 AM
#18
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(08-30-2019, 08:15 AM)RyznRio Wrote:
(08-24-2019, 10:33 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote: http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=35149&pid=592694#pid592694

i tried priming the brush with bloom water but whipping up the bloom left bubbles in the lather that required dedication to eliminate. 

did i do something wrong or are bubbles to be expected?

It is all in the ratio of soap to water.  If you drown the soap in water to bloom it, the poured-off bloom water will not make lather sculpture (though it may make an excellent beard preparation for shaving, nonetheless).  As you may see from the link above, the lather that I produce using the method is much thinner than a large cohort within this forum would find acceptabble.  As — aside from simply wetting the whiskers, which can be accomplished with water alone — the work that the lather does is largely performed at the level of a micron or so above the surface of the skin, most of the visual aspects of the lather produce more show than function.  

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  (nod in the direction of Seinfeld)

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 08-31-2019, 10:00 AM
#19
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I mainly use vintage hard soaps, and I have been blooming them with a few finger-sprinkles of water a couple minutes before starting the build lather.  But I also soak my brush in lukewarm water at the same time, and I realized that the lather frequently was quickly a bit too wet.  So now I am still soaking the brush but no longer blooming the soap at all, and I'm happier with the early lather creation.

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 08-31-2019, 10:31 AM
#20
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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(08-31-2019, 09:55 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(08-30-2019, 08:15 AM)RyznRio Wrote:
(08-24-2019, 10:33 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote: http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=35149&pid=592694#pid592694

i tried priming the brush with bloom water but whipping up the bloom left bubbles in the lather that required dedication to eliminate. 

did i do something wrong or are bubbles to be expected?

It is all in the ratio of soap to water.  If you drown the soap in water to bloom it, the poured-off bloom water will not make lather sculpture (though it may make an excellent beard preparation for shaving, nonetheless).  As you may see from the link above, the lather that I produce using the method is much thinner than a large cohort within this forum would find acceptabble.  As — aside from simply wetting the whiskers, which can be accomplished with water alone — the work that the lather does is largely performed at the level of a micron or so above the surface of the skin, most of the visual aspects of the lather produce more show than function.  

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  (nod in the direction of Seinfeld)

As Mel said, when I do bloom a soap I use the pour off to wet my beard before lathering up and as John said,  it does make for a wetter lather, but still works fine. Right now I'm liking the thicker lather I get from not blooming. I should mention,  I don't know if it matters,  that all my soaps are hard, triple milled or the like.
And I never bloom my vintage soaps.

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