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Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
11-13-2012, 11:06 AM
Post: #1
Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
   

I'm going to start this review by copying and pasting a post made by William "Bill" Neumann II, CEO/President of Wm. Neumann & Co.

Now let's take a look at Wm. Neumann & Co. Shaving Soap:

Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Safflower Oil, Glycerin**, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbitol, Sorbitan Oleate, Soybean Protein, Wheat Protein, Bentonite Clay, Fragrance (Contains Natural Oils), Camellia sinensis* (Green Tea) Extract, Aphanizomenon flos aquae* (Blue-Green Algae) Extract, Urtica dioica* (Nettle) Extract, Stellaria media* (Chickweed) Extract, Ulmus rubra* (Slippery Elm) Extract, Silybum marianum* (Milk Thistle) Extract, Althaea officinalis* (Marshmallow Root) Extract,
*Organic, ** Kosher

The Coconut, Palm, and Safflower oils are saponified via the Sodium Hydroxide. The process is exactly the same as you would do with a tallow based preparation, except in this case, non-animal oils are used. Twenty percent Vegetable Glycerin is introduced. The Sorbitan Oleate is the emulsifier. Sorbitol is added for its moisturizing properties, and the Soybean and Wheat Proteins are conditioners. We use bentonite clay in our formula for its inherent natural slip properties, however, it's an ingredient that must be in the correct proportion or it's of no value, and can hinder the overall desired effect if not prepared and used correctly. We prepare ours jointly with our Slippery Elm Extract, as it also is utilized for its ability to contribute to a slick surface in the presence of water. I've seen many formulas using way too much clay in an attempt to make a poor soap better; it doesn't work. As a quick lesson, let's think of traditional gunpowder: Traditional Gunpowder contains three ingredients: Sulphur, Charcoal, and Saltpeter. The Sulphur and Charcoal act as fuels, while the Saltpeter works as the oxidizer. If you think that by increasing the Saltpeter you could increase the oxidation, well that's not the case. You'll ruin the mixture, and it won't even ignite. Likewise is the case with bentonite clay in shaving soap. It must be at a precise ratio to be effective, and ours indeed is. Additionally, our soap contains our exclusive blend of soothing herbal extracts: Green Tea Extract, Blue-Green Algae Extract, Nettle Extract, Chickweed Extract, Slippery Elm Extract, Milk Thistle Extract, Marshmallow Root Extract.

So what does this all mean?:

Coconut, Palm, and Safflower Oils--Saponified oils create a creamy, dense, slippery cushion of lather

Oat Straw, Marshmallow Root, and Chickweed--Soothes and calms irritated skin

Kosher Vegetable Glycerin and Sorbitol--Naturally hydrate and soften the skin

Soybean & Wheat Proteins--Natural Conditioners

Slippery Elm Bark and Bentonite Clay--Create a Natural Slip

Green Tea and Blue-Green Algae--Powerful natural antioxidants, encourage the healing process

Nettle, Milk Thistle, and Black Willow Bark--Well known for their healing qualities

Now, all good news comes with a caveat: This soap has been refined where as each ingredient is on a razor's edge (excuse the pun). In other words, when water is introduced, it is absolutely essential that the water:soap ratio (which can vary due to your local water supply) is optimally achieved. Get it right, and you'll be well rewarded with a nice and dense creamy lather.

Hopefully this answers some questions for you.


After several tries, I got the water/soap ratio figured out and have been rewarded with wonderful smooth shaves. I recommend you put some "hot" water on top of the puck and let it set while you are prepping your face. Start with a slightly damp brush, load the brush off of the puck until you are satisfied with how much soap you have, then start building your lather adding just a very small amount of water at a time to build a rich full lather. If you use to much water, you will not be pleased with the results.

Once lathered correctly, the lather is rich and creamy, which provide abundant cushion and slickness, for a great shave.

I'm not sure how to describe the scent. My wife says it smells manly and she likes it, which is the most important thing. For you guys my age, it reminds me of everything about the old barbershops from the late 40's early 50's. It reminds me of how my Father and Grandfather use to smell. But after reading a little bit about the company, I'm not surprised. After all, it was Bill's Grandfather that came up with the formula back in 1911.

This company makes several wonderful scents, but the 1911 is my favorite. Not only is the 1911 soap in my rotation, so is their 1911 After Shave and 1911 After Shave Balm.

Oh, and for you MWF lovers like me, the 1911 After Shave really compliments the shave.

Bill is great about returning PM's, so give him a shout if you have any questions. They are one of our quality vendors listed under WmNeumann.

Check them out:

Wm. Neumann & Co.
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11-13-2012, 12:08 PM
Post: #2
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
Johnny, thank you for the review. How would you say this soap's lather compares to Conk, Mama Bear, TSD?
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11-13-2012, 12:09 PM
Post: #3
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
Can't say Brian, I've never tried those three soaps. I can say however that once you get the water/soap ratio figured out, it is every bit as good as MWF, Cella, Proraso, and many others.
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11-13-2012, 12:10 PM
Post: #4
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
(11-13-2012 12:09 PM)Johnny Wrote:  Can't say Brian, I've never tried those three soaps.

I'm sorry Johnny. I thought you had. Thanks!
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11-13-2012, 12:11 PM
Post: #5
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
Thanks for the review, Johnny. Both the 1911 and 1907 sound good.
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11-13-2012, 01:11 PM
Post: #6
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
First, thanks for bringing this soap maker to our attention! Its always nice to see a good ol' American family tradition business! And it sounds like they put alot of care and effort into crafting fine, top notch products.

Also, I appreciate the honest tip of needing the ratios just right. There are a few really good soaps out there that I've encountered that have this... condition, for getting a good lather. Mike's is one for example. I have to be honest, based on that fact I don't think I'll give it a try. To me, that's more work for the same result I get effortlessly with others. But that's what's great about an honest review, it lets people make honest judgements.

Thanks Johnny, and welcome to the Nook Wm. Neumann!
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11-13-2012, 01:40 PM
Post: #7
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
Interesting. Thanks!
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11-13-2012, 05:18 PM
Post: #8
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
Thanks for the review Johnny. Their products interest me a lot. Especially their aftershave, I'm always looking for quality splashes with good scents.
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11-13-2012, 08:07 PM
Post: #9
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
I will be trying these out very soon. Smile
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11-15-2012, 03:39 PM
Post: #10
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
Thanks for the review, Johnny!
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11-15-2012, 04:12 PM
Post: #11
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
Informative and helpful review, Johnny!

I am awaiting an order of the 1911 and 1907, and look forward to trying them out.
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11-25-2012, 04:27 AM
Post: #12
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
I'm awaiting also, 1907 + 1911 = 3818, ha ha. Thanks to a good friend in PA. Without him it would not have been possible, because Neumann does not send outside USA.
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11-26-2012, 10:39 PM
Post: #13
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
I have used their aftershaves (and like them) but have not yet tried the soap. I'll have to give it a whirl later in the week.
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11-26-2012, 10:57 PM
Post: #14
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
Start with a dryer brush and add a little water at a time. When you get the water/soap ratio correct, it makes a great lather.
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11-26-2012, 11:08 PM (This post was last modified: 11-26-2012 11:09 PM by ayodh.)
Post: #15
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
Got my 1911 set today. Shaved with the complete set, the soap, splash and balm. Have to say that the shave was a complete BBS. The soap lathered as well as any I have used (very similar to klar).

Unfortunately the scent is not for me. Its too deep and I prefer brighter scents. So this wont make my rotation. The folks at WMNeuumann were kind enough to include a sampler. Based on that I liked the Signature 1907. Maybe someday.
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11-26-2012, 11:17 PM
Post: #16
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
I have quickly become a huge fan of these soaps. I disagree with CyberJCM this soap is well worth two or three test lathers to get it right.

While at this time I have about 35 soaps and creams I will not be restocking most as they run out. 1911 and 1907 certainly will remain in my long term rotation.
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12-04-2012, 01:57 PM
Post: #17
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
(11-25-2012 04:27 AM)Dr Dulcamara Wrote:  I'm awaiting also, 1907 + 1911 = 3818, ha ha. Thanks to a good friend in PA. Without him it would not have been possible, because Neumann does not send outside USA.

Today I received these soaps. Well, in a few days I can tell you my first impressions.
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12-04-2012, 02:02 PM
Post: #18
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
Johnny, awesome review, this is definitely a must try soap.
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12-05-2012, 03:25 PM
Post: #19
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
Thanks for the review , Johnny.

I truly like the presentation of these soaps.Very classy and elegant , yes.
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12-05-2012, 05:30 PM
Post: #20
RE: Review: Wm. Neumann 1911 Soap
(12-05-2012 03:25 PM)Teiste Wrote:  Thanks for the review , Johnny.

I truly like the presentation of these soaps.Very classy and elegant , yes.

Put the puck in one of their shave mugs and leave it opened after using, and it provides a nice aroma for the bathroom.

   
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