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How to make great lather from a soap ~ Tutorial

The following is a guide and suggestions for the foundation for a great lather.

This tutorial was developed by a group of B&B members in collaboration. A team of struggling new wetshavers worked with more experienced members to learn how to make great lathers with a variety of soaps. They documented their progress, triumphs and setbacks and developed the method shown below. This method of lather making is not the only way to get to a great shave it is however in our collective experience the simplest and easiest to communicate through our chosen medium. We hope with this we can get our new lathermeisters on the fast track to great shaves. Enjoy!

OK lets get started~
If you are using a soft brush it may take up to a full minute to fully load your brush, or as little as 15 seconds with a premium soap brush.

1. Fill sink with hot water and submerge bowl in water.

2. Place brush into bowl and let soak while you are showering- at least a couple of minutes.

3. Place a thin layer of water on your soap and let soak for at least a couple of minutes. (A teaspoon's worth)

4. Remove brush from bowl and squeeze bristles vigorously. Give it a couple of good shakes as well.

5. Dump the thin layer of water off of soap. (Your lather bowl is a good place for this)

6. Begin swirling your brush in a circular motion with light to medium pressure. Add some plunger motions, use the whole brush including the sides of the brush. Continue swirling until a paste-like consistency begins to form on the top of the soap and on the brush.
Bubbles mean too much water. A large volume of lather means too much water.
Continue to swirl until a noticeable audible and tactile difference is made when the brush moves over the soap. When the paste is forming the brush is noisier and seems to drag over the soap instead of smoothly going over the top. The brush will start to drag and feel heavy.

7. Take a look at your brush, do the bristles clump together? If yes, you're done. If no, continue to swirl and load.

8. Now you can build lather on your face or move to a bowl!

9. Add water as needed- a few drips at a time.

Have FUN!

Thanks to Kyle, ALBaron, Daniel,and Thomas !:badger: :badger: :badger: :badger:
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At the onset of this study, I firmly believed that I already had very good lather building skills in relation to soap lathering. My process involved taking a gravity-drained brush and scrubbing on the puck while allowing the "soup" to drip and slop into my lather bowl. Afterwords, I would move on to the lather bowl and mix my loaded brush with the aforementioned soup. This produced a lather that was adequate for a good shave but not overly protective. Ensuing shaves were good but noting special.

When I first viewed the prescribed steps for this method, I was a bit skeptical about going to the puck with a relatively dry brush. It actually took me four or five attempts to make myself fully follow the directions. When I did finally take the plunge, however, I was amazed at the quality of lather that I achieved. It was very dense, yet did not spread too thickly. It was creamy as all get out and far more luxurious than any soap or cream lathers that I have previously experienced. This is a fantastic method and one that ensures adequate use of product (don't try to be frugal with your soap) and maximum product performance.

Being a perpetual tinkerer, I've also varied this approach by dropping a tsp of water into the brush, skipping the lather bowl, and proceeding to build lather on a wet face. Either way you go, the results are nothing short of excellent. I've begun to develop a whole new appreciation for both glycerin and tallow based soaps and am not far off from being a complete convert.
I entered this project as a new DE shaver; especially new to a brush and shaving soap. I had been messing around with the brush and had been achieving, unbeknownst to me at the time, rather poor lather that left my face unprotected and, thus, marked with nicks from time to time. My usual lather making process before this project usually involved a drip-dry brush and a dry bowl of Mama Bears Rosemary Mint. After producing tons of lather that would gush out of the bowl, I thought I was doing it right. I was never more wrong. I found that giving the brush a good squeeze (and a shake for good measure!) and then working it over the soap that had been soaking for a bit allowed me to produce the best lather I've ever achieved. I've been regularly attaining the best shaves, and the only time I leave the bathroom bloody is because I am inattentive.

As was Kyle, I was skeptical of the rather dry brush, but after giving it a go and some trial and error, this method produces lather for me on a consistent basis. Something that wasn't happening before.

Thanks to Jim and the rest of the gents for helping me out and giving me the opportunity to participate.
It's only after you get a few good cookbooks that you realize how much better your cooking can become. Well, I think that also applies to building lather and shaving.

I had some soaps but avoided using them since my lathers were hit-and-miss. That is the case no longer - fortunately the good gents here saw my mistakes and set me right. I found that loading the brush was entirely different from making the lather - before I would just swipe the brush around on the soap like I was whisking eggs. It's now a more deliberate process, but also faster since there's no more need to re-do or try to live with my mistakes.

Today my lathers are thick no matter which soap I use. I cut myself less and my face looks better than it has in a long time. These gents have done a great service and I thank them all!
I've begun to develop a whole new appreciation for both glycerin and tallow based soaps and am not far off from being a complete convert.
Remember Kyle. It's OK to convert. Soap will accept you just the way you are.

I can definitely see the possibilities with this method. I normally just whip up lather right on top of the soap, but that can shorten the life of the soap. With cheap soaps it's no big deal, but now that I'm into $20 soaps I am more aware of wasting.
This is a great tutorial! Now I wish I had brought my shaving equipment with me on my short trip (2 days). Oh well, come Thursday I'll try it out.

Have FUN!

Thanks to Kyle, ALBaron, Daniel,and Thomas !:badger: :badger: :badger: :badger:
Gentlemen, I can't thank you enough for this. Not only does it show me how it should be done, it shows me how bad I was screwing up things before. Now I can't wait to get a shower tonight and a shave after!!!

2 questions, if I may:

1./ Do you squeeze the water from the brush into the sink, or in the lather bowl?

2./ Do you ever add Glycerine to your soap lathers?

Once again, thank you very much!!
I'll give it (your procedure) another whirl...

What soap did you use...Great pix by the way
I've used this method with QED, Trumper's, D.R. Harris, and SCS soaps, and it works well with all of them.
1./ Do you squeeze the water from the brush into the sink, or in the lather bowl?

2./ Do you ever add Glycerine to your soap lathers?

Once again, thank you very much!!
I squeeze excess water into the sink and don't/won't use glycerin.
I used Tabac and Provance Sante (triple milled soaps), and a variety of Mama Bear (glycerin soaps).
No additional glycerin was added.

Again, thanks to Jim for putting this together
Now you know I have to try this-to bad I did not see this before I had shaved tonight!

Excellent post-should this go in the shaving soap section as a sticky so it can always be found?

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