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Thread: Best soap for a man who should probably pay his bills instead

  1. #1
    Member Kyleybob's Avatar
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    Default Best soap for a man who should probably pay his bills instead

    I got the VDH premium shave set probably 4 years ago. I knew nothing about straight shaving, and clearly knew not about this site. Attempted to shave a few times then the soap (still inside the little holder it came in) sat in my bathroom until now.

    So, I'm at it again, only this time I have a wealth of education at my fingertips (meaning of course this site) I seam to remember being able to get a pretty good lather with the soap, but now not so much. I'm going to chalk that up to the fact that its been sitting around for 4 years. It works but it drys up on my skin VERY fast. So, I'm thinking I need to purchase some more. Unfortunately, I live in a place where the is no such thing as shave soap. I was excited to find out there is a brand made in Booneville, Arkansas. I grew up playing them in football, or loosing to them rather... But, I need to be as frugal with my money as possible at the moment. Being an adult is just stupid as hell!
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    Senior Member Porl's Avatar
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    I wouldn't give up on the soap you have, try a little more (and I do mean little) water.

    You can find lots of great soaps on the internet and buying soap is a frugal way to shave anyway. Even if the initial outlay is more than supermarket canned goop, it will almost certainly last much longer.

    You need to figure a few things out, do you want hard soap? Do you want soft creams (arguably easier to lather)? Does it bother you if it has animal products in it? The questions could go on. This is one reason we all try so many different ones. For me though if you want something that performs well and doesn't break the bank, yet offers some variety in scent. You can't go far wrong with D.R. Harris. That's just my opinion. Look to the internet if you can't buy locally it is widely available.

    To answer some of my own questions, it is a hard soap, and has animal products (tallow) in it.

    Good luck.
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    NZ's okayest dad 1997 Grazor's Avatar
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    Arko is the best value for money if you are on a budget. makes a nice lather.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I'd have to agree with the previous poster not to give up on the VDH soap. I have a puck of VDH Luxury soap and it is a decent shave soap. Sitting out in the open for 4 years so probably lost some of it's moisture content.

    Just dribble some water on top of the puck and let it sit a bit. Then take your brush give it a good shake and load the soap like you hate it for a good while. You may have to dribble a bit more water now and again as you go. When you have a good whack of pasty soap loaded start face lathering.

    This vid may help explain better.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4zESTQWDuw


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    Senior Member Porl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grazor View Post
    Arko is the best value for money if you are on a budget. makes a nice lather.
    Very true, if you can get along with the scent you can't do better in terms of value for money and it is well regarded too.
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    NZ's okayest dad 1997 Grazor's Avatar
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    I don't mind the scent at all, in fact I look forward to it if I haven't used it in a while because I know it is going to be a good lather.
    Have used a few vintage soap sticks that still worked fine with a bit more water. Some of them smelled downright terrible compared to Arko.
    Would definitely try re hydrate the one you have if money is an issue.
    Even a mid range soap like cella or proraso works out much cheaper than a can of foam. A little goes a long way once you have your lather making routine down pact.

    Sent from a moto x far far away
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    Senior Member GreenRipper's Avatar
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    I would agree with everyone else that there is certainly no reason not to give the VDH a chance to redeem itself. I have a puck of their glycerin soap floating around the shave den someplace that I bought some time back when I was experimenting with different lathering techniques. I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of this stuff but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it and if you have it, and should be spending your money elsewhere, then learning to use it will serve you well when you pick up some other soaps.

    You mentioned Booneville, Arkansas so I can only assume you are talking about Stirling Soap. This is legitimately good soap (Obie places it in his Third Tier but many of us rate it higher) and with their wide range of fragrances you shouldn't have any problem finding something that grabs your attention. This is a soft tallow soap so if you are vegan I'd give it a pass but otherwise its definitely a soap that I'd suggest you try. Rod and Mandy, the owners, seem to be great people and a pleasure to deal with.

    As BobH mentioned, Arko is cheap and lathers well but some of us take exception to the scent. D.R. Harris, as Porl pointed out, is very good soap that is pretty easily found online. D.R. Harris is one of the best soaps on offer at a reasonable price but, once again, this is a tallow soap and the scents, while mostly spot-on, are limited.
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    Member Kyleybob's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for the advise! The soap was definitely a bit stale. After a couple uses of it drying up so fast on my skin, I decided to spray water in the little case it was in and leave it over night. Then I grated it down into my bowl, which was very easy as it was now pretty soft. So its in my bowl now, and is soft enough to be pushed in with your finger, but still drys very quick. I am still new though, so odds are its just me.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Gasman's Avatar
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    Arko Is cheap! It would be worth picking some up. If you can do without 2 cups of coffee, you have saved enough to buy a stick. Maybe one cup of coffee if you buy it out at starbucks. Its not one that I use often but its hard to beat when it comes to a shave soap on price.
    Jerry...

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    That's Stirling Soap Co in Booneville I believe. Stirling is a good straight razor soap and a great value. You can get a larger amount in a tub or a smaller amount as a refill. They have sales fairly often and offer seasonal scents too. And the bath soaps are good too.

    Cheers, Steve
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