09-06-2021, 02:11 PM
#1
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Lately I have been struggling with making a decent lather. Over the years I've gone back-and-forth between using a scuttle and face lathering. For a while now I've been face lathering. Never really used to have trouble making a decent lather, though I always would see other peoples lather and be kind of envious of my lather never look like that. But lately, I've been ending up with a really, really thick brush load and even adding some water just wasn't enough. These are soaps that I had used before and never had any problems. I watched a tutorial on using a scuttle to lather, and adding water as you go. I always added water very sparingly, for fear of thinning out the lather too much. It would seem that I definitely was not adding enough. As I was watching a video, and he kept adding water, I was like "Whoa, that's a lot!" It turns out that it works. It did seem to increase the volume, while also making the lather much more smooth and slick. I also took a lot more time than I normally would, and I was also working the lather with the brush much less aggressively, and not splaying the brush out as much. It looks like I'll have to continue to experiment with how much water the different soaps need, and definitely spending a bit more time developing the lather.


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 09-06-2021, 03:10 PM
#2
  • chazt
  • Super Moderator
  • Queens, NY
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Yes. I have found that time taken creating lather is time well spent. Someone once said, “It’s called wet shaving for a reason.” A simple but profound truism.

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 09-06-2021, 03:26 PM
#3
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I definitely take a lot of time to create lather. If I try to go too fast, or add too much water too quickly, I end up with sudsy/foamy lather (the fix is to pour off all water and just work the remaining lather (load it) for a while which will work more soap into the mix). I’d also mention that soap thirsty-ness varies across products, and the resultant lathers can look/feel different due to ingredients. SV gives me a medium-density protective and silky smooth lather, Mike’s Naturals a yogurty wet lather, and Nuavia a thick sticky/stringy lather. I create all three with the same technique - Mike’s takes the longest, followed by SV, and finally Nuavia the least time & water.

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 09-06-2021, 05:22 PM
#4
  • David
  • Senior Member
  • Toronto
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I don't know about face lathering—never tried it.  However, with a scuttle, I add the water very gradually, and work it for about 2 minutes with most soaps.  And, as I discovered on holidays a few years ago, water quality matters.  If it's hard water, you just won't get good lather.  So, on the advice of a fellow member of our forum, I went out and got a bottle of distilled water to use for the rest of the vacation.  EURIKA!  I suddenly got perfect lather.

So, add water very gradually.

Take lots and lots of time to build the later.

Make sure your water quality is good.

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 09-06-2021, 07:28 PM
#5
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(09-06-2021, 03:10 PM)chazt Wrote: Yes. I have found that time taken creating lather is time well spent. Someone once said, “It’s called wet shaving for a reason.” A simple but profound truism.

Very true. I definitely found that I have been spending much less time creating lather than I used to. This could explain why my lathers have been not quite what I would like.

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 09-06-2021, 07:30 PM
#6
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(09-06-2021, 03:26 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: I definitely take a lot of time to create lather. If I try to go too fast, or add too much water too quickly, I end up with sudsy/foamy lather (the fix is to pour off all water and just work the remaining lather (load it) for a while which will work more soap into the mix). I’d also mention that soap thirsty-ness varies across products, and the resultant lathers can look/feel different due to ingredients. SV gives me a medium-density protective and silky smooth lather, Mike’s Naturals a yogurty wet lather, and Nuavia a thick sticky/stringy lather. I create all three with the same technique - Mike’s takes the longest, followed by SV, and finally Nuavia the least time & water.

Yes, I'm aware that different soaps will need more\less water than others. I will definitely have to relearn which soaps can handle more water. I definitely spent more time on this lather, adding more water a little at a time, and I worked the lather much less aggressively than I usually do. I used to just kind of go right in there with the brush, smash it down, and work it.

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 09-06-2021, 07:32 PM
#7
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(09-06-2021, 05:22 PM)David Wrote: I don't know about face lathering—never tried it.  However, with a scuttle, I add the water very gradually, and work it for about 2 minutes with most soaps.  And, as I discovered on holidays a few years ago, water quality matters.  If it's hard water, you just won't get good lather.  So, on the advice of a fellow member of our forum, I went out and got a bottle of distilled water to use for the rest of the vacation.  EURIKA!  I suddenly got perfect lather.

So, add water very gradually.

Take lots and lots of time to build the later.

Make sure your water quality is good.

I know the water quality matters, I've really never had a problem related to water quality. Though I never really thought about the distilled water concept. I definitely spent much more time building a slather than I have lately. And it definitely paid off because it was very creamy, slick, and it's starting to look like what I think a good lather should.

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 09-06-2021, 08:52 PM
#8
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I think water quality is overblown. I live in a hard water area, and have no issues with great lather.

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 09-07-2021, 05:05 AM
#9
  • Bax
  • Active Member
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For me it's about my daily objective.  If my thrill for the day is trying a new razor, then I use a known "standard" blade (for me, that means a Wilkinson from India) and I don't fuss much with lather.  Ditto for testing blades; lather isn't the center of my focus.  Some days I'm in a hurry.  Some days I'm just lazy.  But if I'm comparing soaps or bowls, then I take a lot of time, care, and diligence to work up a lather; usually it takes 4-6 minutes (minimum) to get a nice looking lather that works well.  I figured out that it's easy to get frustrated with too LITTLE water, and hard to screw it up by using too MUCH water.  Experimenting is always fun, though!
  :-)
- Bax

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 09-07-2021, 01:05 PM
#10
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(09-06-2021, 08:52 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: I think water quality is overblown. I live in a hard water area, and have no issues with great lather.

I also live in a hard water area and have no difficulty lathering most soaps.  I say "most" because a small number of soaps just won't lather in my water.  I face lather and am not inclined to spend time or effort on a method to lather difficult soaps.  If a soap doesn't produce lather easily, I just don't keep it.

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 09-18-2021, 10:59 AM
#11
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Still working, getting good results. Can't seem to not end up with bubbles. I've seen it said that there shouldn't be. The lathers are coming out soft, pillowy, and abundant. Adding water really does help the lather to build and become voluminous. I load my brush less, add more water. When making lather, I also don't splay the brush like I used to. Quite violently. I work more gently, without splaying the brush, then splay it shortly and work it. Then I go back to gentle. Saw it on YouTube. It seems the key is finding the right amount of water and time. I didn't time this lather, but last time I spent about 5 minutes building it. It gets to the point where etc scuttle can't contain the lather and it gets a bit sloppy. The one thing I do kind of hate. But the lather and the shaves are the payoff. 


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