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The perfect shave towel
04-08-2012, 08:51 AM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2012 08:13 PM by ShadowsDad.)
Post: #1
The perfect shave towel
What is your perfect shave towel?

Maybe I should preface what follows by saying that I don't really use a "shave towel", but something that is more of a hybrid washcloth/towel. I use one per day because when I'm done with it it's soaked and has been used at the very end of the shave to clean up the cut whiskers from the basin and any lather that got onto the countertop. So one per day and it goes directly into the partially full washer, it's not a washer that uses 1 liter of water per load, but one that has a few gallons in it per load. If a wet piece of cloth is allowed to sit wet it'll mold and mildew, but sitting submerged in water it's good until the next load gets washed.

OK, the towel... I've been searching for the perfect towel for over a year now, not diligently, but I've had my eyes open. Lately I decided it was time to find the perfect towel and be done with it. I bought a dozen towels from the web that really aren't very good for shave towels. My towels before that were the perfect size, but left a lot to be desired for quality. They were white shop towels from Home Depot. Then I bought a high pile terry cloth towel (Canon) and it was simply too heavy in total but I liked the high pile, there was just too much of it. Frankly the way I use a towel there was 2x too much towel there.

OK, so how do I use a shave towel? When I do my hot towel face prep I run a basin of water, and our tankless heater is set to make 104°F water which isn't hot by any stretch of the imagination. So I add boiling water to the basin to get the water to the point where I want to use it on my beard. That's somewhere above 130°F. I could nuke the towel, but that's not trustworthy and the odds are too high of having a towel that's way too hot. So I use my basin method. The towel goes into the basin to warm up and soak up the water. Then I wring it out and cover the entire lower portion of my face. I need to do this a number of times for 3-4x . Then after mopping off my face at the end of the shave, rinsing it out, wringing it as dry as possible to "dry" my face, then I sop up the area around the sink. So while I call it a towel it's more like a hybrid washcloth towel.

So the perfect design would be about 15"x15", highly absorbent to hold more water for more heat against the face, be soft, and high pile.

We were at the local liquidation store and I spied microfiber drying towels for automobiles. The size was 2x what I wanted, but I was thinking "Cut them in half, do something to keep the cut edge from fraying, and I bet that would work.". So I bought one and tried it w/o cutting it. Of course it was far too large, but it definitely showed promise. The softness was almost too much.

The other day we went and saw our wizard with a sewing machine and ultimately got the towel cut in half and the proper stitching down on the cut edge. I used one today for the first time and the result was what is for me the perfect shave towel. It holds heat far better than any other towel I've used, wrings out almost dry, holds a phenominal amount of water when that's needed, and is close to a perfect size.

After the stitching she left the threads just hanging for me to finish as I wanted. She suggested I tie a knot to prevent the stitching from unraveling. OK, so my stubby fat fingers found that impossible. So a drop of superglue (any cyanoacrylate glue will work) on the stitching where it meets the towel prevents unraveling. After allowing the glue to cure I trimmed the hanging lengths.

The price? I paid $2.97 for the towel and the sewing was free because she's a friend. So now I have 2 perfect shave towels for under $1.50 per. I already told het that I'm going to buy 5 more for an even dozen and she has no problem with that.

One thing I haven't tested with these towels is longevity. But we regularly use microfiber cleaning cloths and in all the years we've used them have never worn one out. I don't know if they can be bleached; I suspect they can't be though.

Here it is. The added stitching is white for clarity and because I told our friend that I didn't really care what she used for thread color. Both sides of the towel are seen here. It may not look like it's high pile but it is.

Any decent auto store or auto department of a big box store should have them. You want to look near the chamois. The package will advertise the towel as being used for drying off automobiles.

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04-08-2012, 08:57 AM
Post: #2
RE: The prefect shave towel
Thanks for the tip! I have been using an AoS towel that they threw in free when I bought some of the creams. Not perfect, but it kind of works. I will have to look for these towels, and try them out.
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04-08-2012, 09:18 AM
Post: #3
RE: The prefect shave towel
I've been tempted to pick up some more towels like those. I have several around, but not for shaving. I keep one in the car to pick up dust from the dashboard between washings, a couple at work for various dusting/cleaning jobs, one near the TV for dusting, one on each motorcycle for various jobs... They are ideal for cleaning finger prints off computer monitors (I run new hire classes of 14-18 people and they can never keep their fingers off the screens!Angry), wring as much water out as possible then clean away. My area's Sam's Club has a giant bag for 15 bucks, or something like that. Looks like I'll have to grab it next time I'm out.
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04-08-2012, 09:25 AM
Post: #4
RE: The prefect shave towel
Just be sure to not get the version that's designed for cleaning. The pile on those is vestigial at best. These are like terry cloth, but of course microfiber.

Yes, I've had one in the car for dusting the dash and so forth also while I wait for the wife. So many uses.
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04-16-2012, 12:53 PM
Post: #5
RE: The prefect shave towel
Just wanted to add that I was in Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday with the little lady and they have a nice selection of Microfiber towels and wash cloths. The full size bath towel is $5.99 and could be cut into multiple shave towels of any size you would want. They also have a much better selection of colors to suit your needs. I did grab a bath towel for "normal" use and it is very nice indeed. I might have to see if I know anyone with sewing skills to fix up some towels for me. I also found a couple unused auto detailing cloths I have around and put one in the bathroom. Glad I found this thread, I really like the way it works.
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04-16-2012, 02:53 PM
Post: #6
RE: The prefect shave towel
Wow, I have a pile of unused microfiber towels sitting around. So many uses indeed! Thanks for sharing.
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04-16-2012, 07:17 PM (This post was last modified: 04-16-2012 07:19 PM by ShadowsDad.)
Post: #7
RE: The prefect shave towel
Andy, our wizard with the sewing machine told me that a "surge" attachment is required to get the edge.

Thanks for the info about BB&B.
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04-17-2012, 07:24 AM (This post was last modified: 04-17-2012 08:15 AM by Possum.)
Post: #8
RE: The prefect shave towel
I simply go to my barber and have him place an order with his barber supply outlet for a dozen of the terry shave towels.

Just the right size and they are much cheaper than a microfiber towel and you don't have to cut and sew.
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05-04-2012, 01:44 PM
Post: #9
RE: The prefect shave towel
So I went back to the "Distressed items" store and the way it works is they may get in 6 months worth of an item and at times they onlt have 6 pieces of something.

So when we got back after making the prototypes of my "perfect shave towel" they were out of the proper ones. But wait long enough and anything can show up. Today I checked that aisle and nothing yet again. I walked out of the aisle and in a rack ahead I spied a roll of similar microfiber towels; 12 in the roll. Hmm, I examine the packaging, 16"x16" exactly what the prototypes turned out to be. $8 for the rollup of twelve, and all made into towels, no sewing.

Not the colors I would have chosen, but form follows function and they are hidden in my cabinet, not on display, so the deed is done. I have "perfect" shave towels for a very long time.
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05-04-2012, 02:30 PM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2012 02:38 PM by Harvey.)
Post: #10
RE: The prefect shave towel
So much trouble.....I just use a nice washcloth..soaked in warm water and wrung out..very soothing. I think Royal Shave sells special towels in the accessories section but everybody has a wash cloth so why bother.(under Mirrors and Towels)
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05-04-2012, 02:31 PM
Post: #11
RE: The prefect shave towel
Possum, I think that's a great idea........I'm going to the barber shop tomorrow.
Thank you and
Best Regards!!
Safaripete

(04-17-2012 07:24 AM)Possum Wrote:  I simply go to my barber and have him place an order with his barber supply outlet for a dozen of the terry shave towels.

Just the right size and they are much cheaper than a microfiber towel and you don't have to cut and sew.
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05-04-2012, 02:34 PM
Post: #12
RE: The prefect shave towel
I do admit those barber towles are nice. I should add that some kitchen supply houses carry a very similar, terry towel for a reasonable price. We use them in the kitchen and I may "borrow" one or five for the TexBilly nook. Blush
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05-04-2012, 03:29 PM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2012 03:30 PM by slackskin.)
Post: #13
RE: The prefect shave towel
(04-08-2012 09:18 AM)MrGuy Wrote:  I've been tempted to pick up some more towels like those. I have several around, but not for shaving. I keep one in the car to pick up dust from the dashboard between washings, a couple at work for various dusting/cleaning jobs, one near the TV for dusting, one on each motorcycle for various jobs... They are ideal for cleaning finger prints off computer monitors (I run new hire classes of 14-18 people and they can never keep their fingers off the screens!Angry), wring as much water out as possible then clean away. My area's Sam's Club has a giant bag for 15 bucks, or something like that. Looks like I'll have to grab it next time I'm out.

MrGuy - does that mean you use a towel UNDER the motorcycles (assuming at least one to be a Harley) to catch the oil drips? Wink Biggrin Of course, you might hurt the bike's feelings, as Harley's don't really leak oil but instead are marking their spot.
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05-04-2012, 04:19 PM
Post: #14
RE: The prefect shave towel
Very interesting information here. For years I've used extra large white wash cloth, but I may have to go to BB&B and see what they have.

See, you can teach an old dog new tricks. :)
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05-04-2012, 06:19 PM
Post: #15
RE: The prefect shave towel
I use a white wash cloth to soak my beard with hot water for two or three minutes, and wipe everything down with a white hand towel.

I don't use aftershave, so I just wipe my face with the damp wash cloth and call it good.
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05-04-2012, 09:29 PM
Post: #16
RE: The prefect shave towel
(05-04-2012 03:29 PM)slackskin Wrote:  MrGuy - does that mean you use a towel UNDER the motorcycles (assuming at least one to be a Harley) to catch the oil drips? Wink Biggrin Of course, you might hurt the bike's feelings, as Harley's don't really leak oil but instead are marking their spot.

No Harleys here, a BMW and a Yamaha, don't have enough towels to clean under one of them Tongue
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05-05-2012, 07:45 PM
Post: #17
RE: The prefect shave towel
MrGuy, you have a couple of good motorcycles..... I have a Suziki Intruder. Bought it in 93'. Never leaked. My son has a Harley. When he bought it, the dealership's display models on the floor had baking pans under them to protect the rug. I'm not kidding, the dealership is on Long Island. That was in 95' let's hope things have changed by now.........maybe they now use coffee cans. Back on topic. I just purchased a dozen towels $9.95 from Appleton Barber Supply. I'll let you know how they are when I try one. They also sell many products that might interest my fellow shaving buddies.
Regards!
Safaripete


quote='slackskin' pid='28416' dateline='1336174199']
(04-08-2012 09:18 AM)MrGuy Wrote:  I've been tempted to pick up some more towels like those. I have several around, but not for shaving. I keep one in the car to pick up dust from the dashboard between washings, a couple at work for various dusting/cleaning jobs, one near the TV for dusting, one on each motorcycle for various jobs... They are ideal for cleaning finger prints off computer monitors (I run new hire classes of 14-18 people and they can never keep their fingers off the screens!Angry), wring as much water out as possible then clean away. My area's Sam's Club has a giant bag for 15 bucks, or something like that. Looks like I'll have to grab it next time I'm out.

MrGuy - does that mean you use a towel UNDER the motorcycles (assuming at least one to be a Harley) to catch the oil drips? Wink Biggrin Of course, you might hurt the bike's feelings, as Harley's don't really leak oil but instead are marking their spot.
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05-13-2012, 12:37 PM
Post: #18
RE: The perfect shave towel
Maybe I should be sent to court for crimes against shaving, but I just use a regular hand towel that one would normally use to dry their hair. Most of my brushes have hair so if the towel works for me it should work for them too, right?! Wink
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05-13-2012, 02:05 PM
Post: #19
RE: The perfect shave towel
Dr Harris have a nice face towel and hand towel offering. I often considered purchasing some for shaving.

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05-13-2012, 02:23 PM
Post: #20
RE: The perfect shave towel
ben74, where are they offered for sale?? Thank you, safaripete
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