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I am finally ready to admit it- I hate Williams Mug Soap!

I know some of you out there are big fans of Williams. I get it, I really do. There is an allure to getting a soap as inexpensive as Williams to work. If it works for you, great. Unfortunately, I just cannot get Williams to work for me.

I first purchased Williams a couple of years ago so I could see what everyone was talking about. I had a terrible time trying to get Williams to lather, but at that time my water softener was not working properly and my tap water was super hard. Thus, I figured the problem was the hard water.

If used if again about a year ago after my water softener was replaced. I still found it difficult to lather and did not get a great shave.

I tried it again this morning. Since it had been so long since I last used it, I started to rehydrate the soap three days ago. Even with the hydration, it still took me three times longer to load my brush than it does with most of my soaps. Then I started to whip up a lather in my lather bowl. I kept at it until my wrist started to hurt, but I still could not eliminate the large bubbles.

I went on and applied the lather to my face and started my shave. I normally do a four-pass shave (WTG, XTG, ATG plus clean-up). After the first two passes, my face was so irritated that I could not go any further. Normally, I can do all four passes with zero irritation. I skipped the final two passes and left a lot of stubble remaining as my face could not take any more abuse.

Normally, my post-shave routine is to rinse off the soap and apply witch hazel. I did that this morning, but my skin was so irritated that I had to use a post-shave balm. I have not had to use a balm since last winter when the temperature and humidity were quite low. Most of the soaps I use leave my face feeling moist and nourished, not so with Williams.

So, I now officially admit to being a hater of Williams. I tried hard not to be, but it just did not work out for me. The puck of Williams that I used a few times will go into the garbage. Another unopened puck will be donated along with a bunch of other soaps I no longer use.

I do not like using Arko as the soap leaves my face feeing very tight and dry. However, I can at least get a decent shave using Arko. With Williams, I cannot even get a decent shave. What is left of my Arko purchase will be donated as well.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
I'm sorry to hear this!

I can't relate, as I love them both, but I don't do anything except rub them on my face like a stick and face lather.

Would you consider doing that, or is that just not your thing?
 
I'm sorry to hear this!

I can't relate, as I love them both, but I don't do anything except rub them on my face like a stick and face lather.

Would you consider doing that, or is that just not your thing?
My face is so sensitive that I avoid face lathering. Even when I tried Arko, I sliced a piece off the stick, pressed it into my shave bowl and then built my lather. I did get a decent shave with Arko. My complaint was that it left my face feeing very tight and dry. That is a feeling I won't tolerate.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
My face is so sensitive that I avoid face lathering. Even when I tried Arko, I sliced a piece off the stick, pressed it into my shave bowl and then built my lather. I did get a decent shave with Arko. My complaint was that it left my face feeing very tight and dry. That is a feeling I won't tolerate.
Dang it. I knew that you had a sensitive face, should have remembered that. My dad did. Mine is tougher than shoe leather until the worstest part of winter...
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
I'll bet Williams would work great in the shower, unless you are sensitive skinned all over. My dad just plain could not use certain soaps, even certain laundry soap could light him up.
 
I'll bet Williams would work great in the shower, unless you are sensitive skinned all over. My dad just plain could not use certain soaps, even certain laundry soap could light him up.
I have used up a few shaving soaps in the shower. However, when I shower, that is part of my preshave prep, so I would never consider using Williams or Arko for that purpose.
 
With all the options in the world today, it’s just not worth it if you don’t get complete satisfaction with any give soap. Use it as a boat soap in the shower and grab you something new.
 
Felt so sad to hear it didnt work out for you.

I felt so sad to see another attempt to turn believer didn't deliver.

Lost in these thoughts as to why my savior Williams did not work for you, I strolled to my bathroom ready for the morning ritual.

What would it be today? Had to be William's.

Posts on this thread some saying yay and others Nay echoed in my mind as I took up the William marvy cup with some hot water splashed on the Williams puck.

As my thoughts continued my wrists did its job and whipped out some slick creamy lather and was to apply to my face when I came back from my thoughts and started at the oddles of lather puzzled why it riddles others so ?

Went on to start a quiet solemn shave, my shovel head with a 30 shave old Gem PTFE did the only talking in the shave as my thoughts were flashbacks to so many years so many moments when a William's shave had saved the day with its amazing slickness and wonderful pasty lather.

Between passes i paused staring at the lather for long, as if to test what others lament and fear and woefully give up "would you betray me this time"?
Crash crumble and dissipate ??

It didn't. Phew

Continued the shave.

Like an old faithful, time tested post shave feel, clean, smooth and soft. Not uber soft like Tabac or MWF but a perfect shave.

Let out a grateful sigh as I deposited the boar brush back on top of the puck in the mug yet loaded with tons of precious lather still to go - thoughts racing on this wonderfully sublime shave for just a dollar and some more.

"Why Oh Williams, Why - wont you work for so many who want to believe."?

As I splashed the Veg liberally all over my BBS face, a smile came to me - perhaps I am special, a chosen one !
 
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With so many choices I think everyone should use whatever makes them happy. I've tried so many fine soaps that I'm afraid to try these two, but I will someday just to satisfy my curiosity.

I believe you get what you pay for - if you're lucky - and almost never get what you didn't pay for, so I can't say that I am shocked you didn't find your bliss here. But part of the fun is the journey. Lots of soap out there.
 

SliceOfLife

Contributor
Thing is though soap is cheap.

Packaging, branding, (some) scenting, etc. That's pricey.

There's no reason why a soap marketed like Cella (1kg bricks at a low price) can't be the best performing soap and one of the cheapest. What makes soaps work well is Stearic acid, coconut oil, tallow, Potassium Hydroxide... All quite cheap. Cost comes in with nice boxes, hand batching, expensive and designer scents.

Williams WAS in my opinion the best shaving soap ever made. It stopped being that in the early 2000's. It was cheap in 1940 just like it was cheap in 1970 and cheap in 1999. Maybe the reformulation was to keep it at a particular price... but we're talking $1 vs $1.05 here. It's not going to be a noticeable difference in most of OUR opinions (now the retailers who were stocking it may be another story).

Where I personally suspect product reformulations go wrong is not in cost cutting so much as in outsourcing (or changing from one outsourced source to another). I suspect many/most soaps that got reformulated to allow a different (possibly cheaper, possibly the old plant shut down) base soap pellet or pellets to be used. This threw the ratios of ingredients off, even if it doesn't change the ingredient list (there's a LOT of leeway in an ingredient list. I can make a great soap with Williams ingredient list and I can make a completely worthless soap with the exact same ingredient list.) But from the perspective of the guys MAKING the soap... the ingredient list isn't changed... the recipe isn't changed. That's why Williams claims there was no reformulation. There was... obviously... but as long as they didn't have to reprint the packaging b/c of it... from THEIR perspective, there was not.
 
With so many choices I think everyone should use whatever makes them happy. I've tried so many fine soaps that I'm afraid to try these two, but I will someday just to satisfy my curiosity.

I believe you get what you pay for - if you're lucky - and almost never get what you didn't pay for, so I can't say that I am shocked you didn't find your bliss here. But part of the fun is the journey. Lots of soap out there.
With 190 sopas in my current collection, I have plenty of choices. Williams will not be missed at all. I am trying to pare down my collection by getting rid of any soaps that do not please both in performance and scent. The first ones to go will be soaps like Williams and Arko that do no satisfy either on scent or performance. Then there are those whose scent is nice, but the performance no longer satisfies, even if at one time I thought they were decent soaps. Finally, there are some soaps whose performance is quite good, but the scents just do not please my nose, so they will go as well.

I would like to get rid of 40 soaps. That will still leave 150 soaps, 75 of which I consider to be high end soaps from the likes of: Ariana and Evans, Barrister and Mann, Declaration Grooming, Gentleman's Nod, Grooming Department, Highland Springs Soap Co, Hub City Soap Co, Murphy & McNeil, Oaken Lab, Wholly Kaw and Zingari Man. I can use the latest formulations from any of those artisans to get a near-BBS, irritation-free shave. The remaining 75 soaps do not measure up to the level of performance of those top-tier soaps, but they perform well enough to give an excellent shave and I enjoy the scents.

Even though I have more than enough soaps to last the remainder of my natural life, there are still a few I hope to add to my collection:
1. Barrister & Mann SoftHeart/PP-8 (If Will releases a scent I might like. I do not want a soap that smells like a swamp.)
2. Ethos Grooming (If Frank ever gets his website up and running.)
3. Grooming Dept upcoming Mallard release, hopefully soon.
4. Mammoth Shaving Tusk formula. A couple of soaps are listed on the web site, but they are not yet available.
 
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