11-11-2012, 08:18 PM
#1
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Hi everyone.

Last night I used distilled water.
I realized my water was hard because my TF&H razor had gunk (calcified is the proper term I think) all over the corners and its barely a month old. Apparently we do have hard water here. Which makes sense. Its seawater desalinated. I'll start a new thread about it though.

The first thing I noticed was how the blade glided over my face.

For a few passes I thought I wasn't getting the angle right and I was just moving the head (for lack of terminology) over my face until I realized the hair was gone with almost no effort.

When using normal tap water the blade would bump along my face no matter how taut I made my skin or how swift ,lightly but firmly I pulled the razor on my face. With distilled water it was smoother.

Also, the lather magically exploded!

I read about exploding lather before but did not imagine it to be this literal.

My setup:

Soaked brush in a bowl of distilled water (room temperature)
Washed my face with distilled water
Put squirt of cream on brush and face lathered
Dipped razor in distilled water
Did first pass
Rinsed razor in bowl of distilled water
Rinsed face with distilled water (distilled ice water)
Second pass and so on
Finally rinsed face with iced distilled water

I could not fathom how smooth distilled water shaving would be until I tried it.

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 11-11-2012, 09:00 PM
#2
  • OldDog23
  • Senior Member
  • BeanTown MetroWest
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the first thing I noticed when moving to this locale, was that shaving went downhill immediately. it was the moderately hard well water. ( great for brewing ales with filtering and a bit of added burton salts, however !) I too, use distilled water for shaving and the lather and results are as you described, much improved. I do a final rinse to my razor and brush after finishing up, and that put an end to the water scale buildup on the razor. 6 of 1/ 1/2 dozen of the other...no chlorine or flouride in the well water, a plus as far as I'm concerned, but hard water scale, the downside. .88 cents/gallon is a cheap fix for an annoying problem. easier on the skin, also. Smile

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 11-11-2012, 09:48 PM
#3
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Great to hear and congratulations! We sure are extremely lucky in Vancouver as it seems we have the softest water around!

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 11-11-2012, 10:57 PM
#4
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I think a cheap Brita filter will yield similar results and not break the bank if cost is a concern. I personally use RO water. Don't know how expensive it is, but it does create a lot of waste water so that needs to be factored into any true accounting.

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 11-12-2012, 01:08 AM
#5
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Just surprised at how smooth the blade glided over my skin.

It was so smooth I actually nicked myself thrice in yesterday's shave!

I stopped nicking myself a couple of weeks after learning to use a DE. But last night was so smooth I literally could not feel the blade making contact with my skin.

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 11-18-2012, 08:03 PM
#6
  • HUF
  • Member
  • Massachusetts
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Gee... I need to try distilled water as well!

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 11-19-2012, 04:33 AM
#7
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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I use it for every shave. I wash and do a final cold rinse on my face with water from the sink which is fairly hard well water but I soak my brush and build my lather and then re-wet my face all with distilled water.
I also use distilled water for a final brush soak/clean and spray my razor down with it after the shave.

A *MUCH* better result than doing the whole shave with my well water. Explosive lather with less product and a much cleaner feel plus I rarely ever have to clean my brushes and my razors stay sparkling clean too.

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 11-20-2012, 04:11 AM
#8
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I also wash my brush with distiller water.

I find this task consumes the most water.
The brush-soaking water is reused after soaking the brush, don't need water to create lather as my face & brush are wet enough to generate lather. Rinsing my face between faces also doesn't take much water. It's the chubby 3 that needs the most when washing it after a shave.

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 11-20-2012, 07:35 AM
#9
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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What I actually do for the end of shave brush rinse, it to use sink water for the majot cleaning and then use the initial, still clean, brush soaking water for the final rinse.

I've found that this works well enough for keeping the soap residue build up to none on the brush. I initially tried as you mention Hedonist, using the whole end of shave brush rinse with distilled water and it was just too much to deal with and it took too much time.

I think that this final portion will depend on how "bad" your tap water actually is but give it a try and see how it goes.

Lastly, between passes, I give myself a quick spray with the distilled water before re-lathering. Sort of a hybrid tap/distilled water shave method be a better descriptor for my shaves! Smile

(11-20-2012, 04:11 AM)hedonist222 Wrote: I also wash my brush with distiller water.

I find this task consumes the most water.
The brush-soaking water is reused after soaking the brush, don't need water to create lather as my face & brush are wet enough to generate lather. Rinsing my face between faces also doesn't take much water. It's the chubby 3 that needs the most when washing it after a shave.

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 11-20-2012, 01:41 PM
#10
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I ALMOST (and even more emphasis on the almost) wish I had a way to find out what you all experience with hard water.

But I'll just have to suffer along w/o knowing.

It's not all roses however... It takes FOREVER to rinse soap from skin. Of course one does get accustomed to that, uses less soap and rinses less, or at least comes to grips that more rinsing is required.

Too, don't fall into the trap of using so little soap that all of a sudden the lather just disintegrates with one more addition of water. That's extremely easy to do.

Good luck gents!

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 11-20-2012, 01:56 PM
#11
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I was pleased with the results when I used distilled water to make lather but eventually decided the extra step wasn't worth the effort.

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 11-20-2012, 02:04 PM
#12
  • OldDog23
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  • BeanTown MetroWest
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(11-20-2012, 01:41 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: I ALMOST (and even more emphasis on the almost) wish I had a way to find out what you all experience with hard water.

But I'll just have to suffer along w/o knowing.

It's not all roses however... It takes FOREVER to rinse soap from skin. Of course one does get accustomed to that, uses less soap and rinses less, or at least comes to grips that more rinsing is required.

Too, don't fall into the trap of using so little soap that all of a sudden the lather just disintegrates with one more addition of water. That's extremely easy to do.

Good luck gents!
Hi Brian....I live in N.central MA, have well water...part of it at least, from my limited look-up, is that the mineral content affecting the Ph, impedes the ability of the fats in the soap to "co-mingle" with the water (water "surface tension"), and the resulting lather and "cushion" is degraded. agree, been dealing with hard well water since 1970, it's no picnic. there are elaborate filtering and softening equipment available, usually both are needed. but we'd have to hit Powerball, or mortgage the farm to install one. so we cope, and dream. and use distilled for lathering. Dr. Bronner's works okay and lathers and rinses, great for bathing. countertop filter takes care of drinking and cooking, but doesn't affect Ph. no chlorine bleachy-taste or flouride is great. when you mention, "w/o knowing", do you mean your tapwater is soft enough that you have no unusual issues with it regarding shaving/bathing/laundering ? would that be municipal surface water, or your own well ?

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 11-20-2012, 02:11 PM
#13
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(11-20-2012, 01:56 PM)squire Wrote: I was pleased with the results when I used distilled water to make lather but eventually decided the extra step wasn't worth the effort.

I have to second this. Yes, I've found it easier to lather with distilled water. However, the prep the night before doesn't always get done and with 2 little ones in my house I limit my movements and noises as much as possible! Winky

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 11-20-2012, 02:24 PM
#14
  • OldDog23
  • Senior Member
  • BeanTown MetroWest
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(11-20-2012, 01:56 PM)squire Wrote: I was pleased with the results when I used distilled water to make lather but eventually decided the extra step wasn't worth the effort.

for me, hard water/lathering issues were the main impetus to switch to canned shave cream/goo for years. shaving was that bad. it isn't too pesky to use distilled. I just nuke a cup for a brush soak, a bit to cover the puck for a couple of minutes while washing, pour it off, and then start lathering. then use the rest for a final rinse for the equipment and face, and a bit for a cold splash to the face. go through maybe 3-3 1/2 gal/month for shaving. $.88 cents/gal at Wallyworld.

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 11-20-2012, 02:29 PM
#15
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I take my soaking mug, fill it with RO water out of the sink. Microwave it for 45 seconds (it's cold these days), and go on with my prep.

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 11-20-2012, 07:49 PM
#16
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(11-20-2012, 07:35 AM)EHV Wrote: What I actually do for the end of shave brush rinse, it to use sink water for the majot cleaning and then use the initial, still clean, brush soaking water for the final rinse.

I've found that this works well enough for keeping the soap residue build up to none on the brush. I initially tried as you mention Hedonist, using the whole end of shave brush rinse with distilled water and it was just too much to deal with and it took too much time.

I think that this final portion will depend on how "bad" your tap water actually is but give it a try and see how it goes.

Lastly, between passes, I give myself a quick spray with the distilled water before re-lathering. Sort of a hybrid tap/distilled water shave method be a better descriptor for my shaves! Smile

(11-20-2012, 04:11 AM)hedonist222 Wrote: I also wash my brush with distiller water.

I find this task consumes the most water.
The brush-soaking water is reused after soaking the brush, don't need water to create lather as my face & brush are wet enough to generate lather. Rinsing my face between faces also doesn't take much water. It's the chubby 3 that needs the most when washing it after a shave.

I'd thought about washing my brush with tap water and then giving it a final rinse with distilled water.
But I think the harm would've been done by the time I rinse it with distilled water because hair is adsorptive (not absorptive). I imagine that the minerals from the tap water immediately bond with the hair and rinsing it with distilled water either does nothing or does very little to help disband the minerals from the hair.
I was washing my car once and I'd let a drop of water evaporate off the roof while I polished the rims. Can you believe it stained the car? There was a tiny cloudy patch where the water was. These are the minerals adsorbed by the car surface. I had to buff the car to get it off. Which is essentially exfoliating a teeny bit off of the surface.

Yesterday I found an easier way to clean the brush. When pouring from a jug you waste a lot of water. I poured about 300ml of distilled water into a bowl and washed the brush in there then a final rinse with distilled water from the jug.

(11-20-2012, 01:41 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: I ALMOST (and even more emphasis on the almost) wish I had a way to find out what you all experience with hard water.

But I'll just have to suffer along w/o knowing.

It's not all roses however... It takes FOREVER to rinse soap from skin. Of course one does get accustomed to that, uses less soap and rinses less, or at least comes to grips that more rinsing is required.

Too, don't fall into the trap of using so little soap that all of a sudden the lather just disintegrates with one more addition of water. That's extremely easy to do.

Good luck gents!

Yes I noticed that! It takes much longer to wash the soap/lather off of my face with distilled water. Its like the water is displacing the soap as opposed to washing it off.

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 11-20-2012, 08:17 PM
#17
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(11-20-2012, 02:04 PM)OldDog23 Wrote: "w/o knowing", do you mean your tapwater is soft enough that you have no unusual issues with it regarding shaving/bathing/laundering ? would that be municipal surface water, or your own well ?

* Steve, if i can answer for Brian, yes, our tap water in Vancouver is that soft. i am not sure how soft he water is in Maine, but, here, it is just incredibly soft. It takes forever to rinse soap off the skin. Hee hee. My parents are in Ontario and they have heavy water and it is quite a bit of a challenge and i empathize with all of you. i can not even imagine using well water as i know how hard that can be for the body, externally and internally. Good luck.

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 11-21-2012, 08:14 PM
#18
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That was an old dog quote, not Brians. You threw mw there for a minute. I thought I was in the advanced stages of Alzheimers or something. Biggrin I couldn't remember writing that. But brain farts do happen.

Hedonist, you can see for yourself the effect of soap with hard water and soft water. It's easy to conduct the experiment. Make one soap solution, not detergent, soap. Using an eyedropper and the same quantities of both hard and soft water (you don't need a lot), add a drop of soap solution at a time and see how many more drops it takes in the hard water to make suds. But that also means the soap appears to rinse off much sooner since the added calcium in the rinse water kills the soap almost immediately.

Hard water appears to have other effects also. Today I was contacted by a gent who uses my bay rum. I never knew hard water would affect scent and moisturizer. He is at a location that has soft water and he told me how the moisturizer in the BR is so much more effective and the scent is more vibrant (my adjectives) than after using the hard water at his home. I never would have thought that. He decided today that he intends to finish his shave with distilled water from now on to keep that enhanced effect going.

Edit: Oh, BTW, I have absolutely dead soft water here. No limestone within at least 50 miles and "my" aquifer is granite and glacial till.

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 11-21-2012, 09:46 PM
#19
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(11-21-2012, 08:14 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: That was an old dog quote, not Brians. You threw mw there for a minute. I thought I was in the advanced stages of Alzheimers or something. Biggrin I couldn't remember writing that. But brain farts do happen.

Hedonist, you can see for yourself the effect of soap with hard water and soft water. It's easy to conduct the experiment. Make one soap solution, not detergent, soap. Using an eyedropper and the same quantities of both hard and soft water (you don't need a lot), add a drop of soap solution at a time and see how many more drops it takes in the hard water to make suds. But that also means the soap appears to rinse off much sooner since the added calcium in the rinse water kills the soap almost immediately.

Hard water appears to have other effects also. Today I was contacted by a gent who uses my bay rum. I never knew hard water would affect scent and moisturizer. He is at a location that has soft water and he told me how the moisturizer in the BR is so much more effective and the scent is more vibrant (my adjectives) than after using the hard water at his home. I never would have thought that. He decided today that he intends to finish his shave with distilled water from now on to keep that enhanced effect going.

Edit: Oh, BTW, I have absolutely dead soft water here. No limestone within at least 50 miles and "my" aquifer is granite and glacial till.

Thanks for the writeup!
Our water is desalinated seawater.

Is there a way I can test hardness by ordering a small kit or so? Don't have the resources to get a guy to test it.

Something like those home swimming pool test kits?

Thanks

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 11-21-2012, 11:25 PM
#20
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Well, I don't know. I bet if you did some research with the experiment I suggested you might get close. OR, contact the folks who supply your water and see if they can supply an analysis. You know what to expect more than I do, so do what you think is best.

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