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  1. #1
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    Default Whipping up a Lather

    Been having difficulty getting my lather up to snuff...

    I'm using a Tweezerman's Badger Hair Brush and Col. Conk's glycerin soap. I soak the brush in hot water in a mug for a few minutes, empty the mug and gentle squeeze some of the water out of the brush. I then whip the brush ontop the soap until a light lather appears. Then I move over to the mug and continue whipping. Trouble is no matter how long I whip, I never get a thick foamy lather. It just stays down... a fairly light lather. After a few minutes I put the light lather on my face, but it's kind of runny and a lot of it ends up dripping off my face. Not to mention in all that time spent whipping up a lather, it's grown a bit cold and isn't the nice hot lather I'd like to have...

    Yesterday I also tried moving the soap over to the mug, and just whipping up a lather with the soap in the same mug. No real change.

    What's the deal here? Most of the pictorials I've seen show people whipping up a lather without too much effort... I'm spending several minutes with no visible difference...

    Cheers,

    - HJ

  2. #2
    Member PaulX608's Avatar
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    MORE SOAP. I like Col. Conk's glycerin soaps. They're very inexpensive and work well. But you gotta use it. Get in there and get more. When you think you've got enough, get more. When you think you have too much, you're almost there. Remember you can always add more water in the bowl if it's too thick, but you've got to have plenty of soap to work with.

  3. #3
    Large Member ben.mid's Avatar
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    I've no experience with either the brush or soap, but it sounds like you need more soap.
    I swirl & scrub the brush over the mine for 20-30 seconds.
    Try getting some more soap in there. You can always add water if it's too thick.
    When you've whipped it up for a minute or two it should look a bit like meringue. You know it's done when you can't clean it out of the bowl with the brush.
    Last edited by ben.mid; 05-10-2009 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Not quick enough!

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    WORKSHOP:SOTD:CUSTOMS Maximilian's Avatar
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    it's defenitely not the brush (I have one too that I use at times and it's an awesome cheap performer), the soap isn't at fault either. So basically you're looking at your soap/water ratio combination. Hard water can also come into play. Don't give up but instead try different ways. Take some warm water and let it soak on the soap when taking a shower or when prepping your shave. This pre soap prep does help soften the soap and load the brush much faster.
    Max Sprecher
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  5. #5
    Moe
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    As others have said, use more soap. It seems when I load, load, load, load the brush with soap, I get great lather, and enough lather to do umpteen passes. Whenever I think i'm being wasteful because of all the left over lather and try to cut down on the soap i'm using, i never get a good lather and have to reload the brush to get it going.

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  7. #6
    Senior Member BHChieftain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungeJ0e View Post
    Been having difficulty getting my lather up to snuff...

    I'm using a Tweezerman's Badger Hair Brush and Col. Conk's glycerin soap. I soak the brush in hot water in a mug for a few minutes, empty the mug and gentle squeeze some of the water out of the brush. I then whip the brush ontop the soap until a light lather appears. Then I move over to the mug and continue whipping. Trouble is no matter how long I whip, I never get a thick foamy lather. It just stays down... a fairly light lather. After a few minutes I put the light lather on my face, but it's kind of runny and a lot of it ends up dripping off my face. Not to mention in all that time spent whipping up a lather, it's grown a bit cold and isn't the nice hot lather I'd like to have...

    Yesterday I also tried moving the soap over to the mug, and just whipping up a lather with the soap in the same mug. No real change.

    What's the deal here? Most of the pictorials I've seen show people whipping up a lather without too much effort... I'm spending several minutes with no visible difference...

    Cheers,

    - HJ
    I suspect you have too much water in your brush, vs. not enough soap. I've been using Conk's soap for 2 months now. In the beginning I had this problem-- basically too runny. Here is my routine (I keep the soap puck in 1 mug, and I have another mug I use to heat up my brush)

    1) soak brush in hot water in a mug1
    2) put about 1/2 teaspoon of hot water on top of the soap puck in mug 2
    3) shower, strop (not in the same place...)
    4) take the brush and sqeeze out 90% of the water (you can always add water, so when in doubt, squeeze harder...)
    5) swirl the brush over the soap. I actually don't pick up all that much soap-- I have noticed the soap will go a long way. You should see a "clump" of soap on the tip of the brush, pretty thick

    At this point, I used to then use a light whipping action on top of the soap puck, adding a drizzle of hot water at the base (near the handle) of the brush. But I've found I end up wasting a lot of soap. Now, I build lather directly on my face-- besides, I like the extra massage.

    6) Start to build lather. It should not be runny at all-- it should start out thick and dense. The idea is to slowly add water until it starts to whip up. Again, I've found it easier to judge this by building later on my face. To add water, I drizzle a verly small amount of hot water into the base of the brush, near the handle.

    I really like this method, because when I want to relather for another pass, I just drizzle a bit of hot water into the base of the brush, and I get more warm lather-- I don't need a scuttle. I get ample thick, foamy, warm later.


    Give this a try and let me know if it works for you,

    -Chief

  8. #7
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    I use a different brush, different soap but was having the same problem. Though I have only been shaving for a few weeks now, I have consistently had some sort of issue with my lather. Initially, I would soak almost the entire brush in a bowl of hot water while I was in the shower, after which, I would remove the brush and then holding it vertically, allow the excess water to drain. I wasn't agitating the brush to remove the excess water because that's what several postings said not to do. Then I would whip it around on the soap until I thought I had enough (I was wrong) move it to my mug and again, whip it around until I got something that resembled a good lather. Unfortunately, the lather appeared to be decent but it never felt think enough or lubricious (thisi is a whole other beast) enough for my shaves. Now what I do is the following:

    1. soak the brush in hot water after my shower while I strop my razor.
    2. agitate the heck out of it to remove excess water. It's easier to add more water down the road then to start all over because you have too much.
    3. as mentioned above, mix the brush around on the soap for at least 30 seconds. You want to have the soap "caked" into the brush so that you know your brush is truly loaded with soap. IMHO, the soap is your friend and will protect your face so make sure to treat the soap well and it will take care of you.

    On a different note, because I was having "lather woes" I began adding a dollop of AoS's Lavender Shaving Cream to my mug prior to whipping my soap loaded brush. This is not necessary for a good lather as many of the people here will tell you. However, it will add more scent to the process which is pleasant, it will add more glycerin to your face which is always nice (I have sensitive skin), and it may help you with making a better lather for you.

    Just my two cents.

  9. #8
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    Have you taken a look at this Wiki article, yet? Making basic soap lather - Straight Razor Place Wiki

  10. #9
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    Hi,
    I've not used that soap.
    For what it's worth here's what I do.
    I keep a small noodle bowl on top of a thermal cup of boiling water.
    I put hot water in the bowl and leave brush in to soak during shower, I also put hot water on top of the puck.
    I don't flick any water and the brush is saturated with water, after emptying the bowl I put it back on the cup with a few drops of glycerine inside.
    I work the brush directly onto the puck loading as much soap as possible not afraid to realy pump the brush onto the puck, this happens over the cup of glycerin so the excess soapy water runs into the bowl.
    I let the loaded brush tips sit in this water/glycerine mixture while I strop, prepare etc.

    Irrispective of any prep I do I will build the lather on my face, the first thing on my skin is hot soapy water with plenty of soap in the brush or easily three passes. I keep the tip wet in bowl between lathers.

    I don't know if this would work with your soap, but it works for me (I use woolfat). It's all a question of what works however unorthodox it may seem, try any method until you get it to work.

    I find I can't tiptoe around shaving soap and find myself being quite aggressive when loading the brush.
    Can't speak for cream I have never used it.

    Good luck

    Joey

  11. #10
    I Bleed Slurry Disburden's Avatar
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    You can always face lather and toss all the whipping in a bowl mumbo jumbo out the window. Worked for me. Plus, Imo, it preps your beard better.

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