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Good soap lather in a hard water area?

Good afternoon all.

I have used my shaving soap (the one I got for my birthday) a good few times now, but my lather still seems a bit 'thin'. Is there something I am doing wrong? I just can't seem to get the thick creamy lather that features in some YouTube shaving videos. I live in a hard water area; could this be the problem? Or am I loading my brush with too much/not enough water? Or should I try another brand of shaving soap?

I much prefer to use the soap over the cream; it just seems to feel so much better.

Jason.
 
Hard water apparently makes lathering difficult although I have not experienced it myself. One thing to consider is that many shavers, myself included, consider that the thick, creamy, yogurt type lather that you see in lather shots and in some videos, is actually terrible for shaving and is best left atop a comedy ice cream cone; others love it of course. When using a DE, I prefer a slick, thin lather, for the first and second passes, with an even thinner lather for the final ATG pass. When using a straight or Artist Club razor I like an even thinner lather. I would try a variety of lathers and see what works best for you without regard for what others think constitutes a good lather. This hobby is about finding what works best....for you. 👍
 
Hard water apparently makes lathering difficult although I have not experienced it myself. One thing to consider is that many shavers, myself included, consider that the thick, creamy, yogurt type lather that you see in lather shots and in some videos, is actually terrible for shaving and is best left atop a comedy ice cream cone; others love it of course. When using a DE, I prefer a slick, thin lather, for the first and second passes, with an even thinner lather for the final ATG pass. When using a straight or Artist Club razor I like an even thinner lather. I would try a variety of lathers and see what works best for you without regard for what others think constitutes a good lather. This hobby is about finding what works best....for you. 👍
Ahhh thanks. I have never considered that; the thick creamy lather in the Youtube videos is just for show if you see what I mean.

I have used my Sledgehammer razor twice now with the shaving soap and it really does give a nice gliding layer. Compared to my Beautytrack razor, I hardly felt the blade at all with my Sledgehammer. I'll try another brand of soap when mine runs out. I am doing a lot of research on shaving soaps. I'm sure I'll find something that suits my requirements. (One fundamental aspect; it HAS to be unscented because I have very sensitive skin).

Jason.
 
What soap are you using? If you're trying to compare your lather to any youtuber I wouldn't bother with that, like @EclipseRedRing said. Particularly if you're trying to chase the type of lather that CDB makes. I've never seen anyone make anything close to that. He must have some kind of magic water! Experiment, find what works best for you.
I am not sure what brand of soap I have. It was a birthday present from my wife and it was in an Amazon box; no branding on the soap itself. But it does the job and its a good beginners soap. Would love to have something much more luxurious when it runs out.

Jason.
 
Hard water usually just makes you use more soap, and takes more effort to make the lather. You can add a small amount of citric acid (from canning section of the market) to your water to soften it. You can also try lathering using distilled water from the grocery in a separate bowl.

For an unscented soap, maybe try a sampler of the Sterling unscented soaps. Each sample is 1 oz. and will last you many shaves. Those soaps are Sheep, Unscented with Beeswax and Naked & Smooth.
 
I have extremely hard water in my area, water softener systems they sell are ineffective here (not exaggerating) and we have to get custom made units that costs 5x the price of the top end water softeners, which I didn’t replace my high end water softener with but they say the custom ones work, allegedly.

Anyways, many soap brands don’t work with my water no matter how much soap I use, Barrister and Mann is the only one that comes to mind that works well with my water. I keep a jug of distilled water in the bathroom and use a spray bottle to add the distilled water to the bowl and soap as I build the lather and to spritz my face between passes. I use distilled water with every soap to keep it consistent and have had no issues building lather with my soaps of different brands.
 
I've hard water, but have never had problems. I think makers add something to ensure no problems in hard water areas.
The only soap which was hopeless is trumpers hard puck. I think it is hopeless in any sort of water.
I think your wife needs a few suggestions next soap present!
 
Some soaps do not seem to get along well in hard water, it's true, but there are other possible reasons why you're having trouble with your lather. Not enough soap on the brush to start with is a common troubleshooting point. Getting the water ratio right, or adding too much too soon, are other considerations.

There was a tutorial of sorts posted recently that might be a useful resource to look through: here first, and then here for the 'advanced class'.

Edit: thought I fixed the links, but let me know if you're still having trouble. (First link: Foolproof Lather Method (TM) - any soap - any brush - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/foolproof-lather-method-tm-any-soap-any-brush.613233/)
 
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shavefan

I’m not a fan
Without knowing which soap you are using this is difficult to answer. It might not be your water, but your soap that is the issue. Some soaps are just not great latherers, in any water, and some lather better in soft water but adequately in hard water. I live in Dallas, one could break rocks with our water :lemo: but I have little trouble with most soaps.

Saponificio Varesino Artica Tundra is an excellent soap in every regard, and while not 'unscented' it is very mild and generally sensitive skin friendly. As all SV shave soaps, it also lathers very easily (even in hard water). Their Dolimiti is another sensitive skin friendly formula.
 
hard water and some just do not perform as well as others have been told this by RazorEmporium when I go there also by reading and by my own experience so yeah hard water changes things is all :)

PHX so basically liquid rocks in our water :) hahahaha

I do find super thin works better for ME :)
but the hard water I have some like proraso cream is on or off and when its ON wow great slick stuff learning to dial that one in and love its performance just have to try the other colors in single blade varieties :) hate the smell of the green

today the Fine American was horrid I have gotten it to work but never as good as say Col Conk or Proraso or TOBS jermyn which I love ! so the Fine went in the sell/trade pile :)

I know I can get other water or add stuff but just want to make it work without more tweaking my source and breaking the flow of simple ? otherwise for sure do what it takes to make it soft


like others for me so far I find the thinner not thick lather works best for me (is that the hard water no idea never lived with soft when I was shaving like this)
 
As everybody has said, those lather pictures you see on the web are shaving porn and shouldn't be taken seriously. I recommend trying out a gallon of distilled water for about a dollar. It should last a month or so. You can wash up afterwards with tap water, but before shaving, wet the brush and soap with distilled water. This will tell you whether the problem is with your water, or your soap, or your technique. I tried this myself and found my whole problem was with the nincompoop holding the brush.
 
I've been to some very "hard" water areas around the world. Never had problems lathering.

Usually, if you are not getting the lather you like, you are not using enough product. Don't be stingy on the load.
 
I have hard water too and usualy thin lather is just lach of product. Try load heavily, a lot more than you think, with fairly dry brush and slowly add water
 
M

mtcn77

Hi, we have hard water here in the capital, yet even the minerals in your sweat can create soapscum and limescale that can clog up your brush. No amount of additives get rid of that and that is why I use a sacrificial shaving brush rinsing it in boiling water I use for razor tempering. It both sterilizes the set and cleans the brush.

You wouldn't believe how dirty it gets if you omit it a couple of shaves. I used to leave lather on the brush to dry in order to soften it, but that had negatively affected its splay. The first time I used boiling water to clean it, it literally dissolved a white residue with a consistency of glue. I had to soak it boiling hot again and again which resulted it giving off this rancid material for a couple of washes.

I never leave it to dry any more, always keeping it immersed in water after rinsing it in leftover hot water from the last shave. It still keeps heavy scents for 1-2 shaves.

The lather is also important. I keep a translucent shine which I associate with proper water ratio.
 
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