rethink the 3xmill bloom process

Discussion in 'Shaving Soaps' started by Canada, Jul 11, 2019.

    One day I asked myself 'why do I soak a whole puck when I only need a few grams' and 'is it necessary to press my expensive 30mm Silver-tip for what seems is 50 or more swirls into a puck? Recently I have been using a carrot peeler or cheese crater to remove a few grams from my favourite tripe milled hard soaps and putting it my scuttle with just a bit of water and filling the scuttle with boiling hot water. After a shower the soap is very easily loaded onto my brush with just a few swirls (not 50+ with the tub held upside down). I then build the lather in my mixing bowl and transfer the lather and brush to the hot scuttle for a few minutes of heating. This loading method has got to better for the expensive brush and it makes things a lot easier to clean up. I find most 3xmilled soap containers to be much to small for loading, especially if you load a big knot and the soap tends to get all over the place, its a mess sometimes. Has anyone else given up on the old method of loading hard soaps? What is your method?
  1. You're right. The large brushes can be difficult to work with. I have a 31mm silver-tip and the question I ask myself is "why ever did I get such a beast?" I'm not that big of a man.
    I need a dedicated extra-wide bowl for lathering. Soap containers, and most bowls and mugs are usually too small.
    Seems like you've found a system that works for you.
    I never thought that swirling the brush on soap was particularly detrimental. After all, it doesn't wear like a boar brush. Just getting wet and drying off every day is what eventually dooms that kind of brush, in my experience. I pay close attention to rinsing it out well, and thoroughly batting it dry. I have a badger brush that's well over 20 years old and it looks virtually none the worse for wear. With that kind of life-span, it's not worth it to trouble myself with babying the brush. It can take it, and I load everything with it.
  2. I think you're right, it really doesn't harm a good brush. What I was getting at was I find the effort of tipping the soap upside down and swirling my brush over the surface of the soap just seems to take much more effort then if I scrape off a few grams and just bloom that small amount of soap. All two + grams of triple milled hard soap is plastered onto the the big silver-tip with just a few swirls. Then I can move to my lathering bowl and start to build the lather. Once the lather is made I transfer it from the mixing bowl back into the hot scuttle and set the brush in the hot scuttle for a few minutes. If you don't use a hot Scuttle I guess it really doesn't matter.
  3. naughtilus

    naughtilus Contributor

    Nothing good comes from blooming a puck. If you can't get good lather from swirling a wet brush on a dry puck for 30-60 seconds, you have problem with the water. Best to add some distilled water in the mix, or add a pinch of citric acid in the sink.

    Also cleaning brushes with curd soap and conditioner really rejuvenates the bristles and improves lathering efficiency.
  4. There are lots of different methods that work. If I am using a very soap soap/croap or creak, I will scoop out about 1/4 teaspoon (about 1.5 grams) of soap, press it into my bowl and add 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) of hot water. I soak my brush while I shower, but I always squeeze and shake out excess water before lathering.

    If I am using a mid-hard soap, I will add the Tablespoon of hot water to the tub and allow the soap to bloom for about 1 minute and then pour the bloom water into the lather bowl to use for lathering. Again, my brush is soaked, but excess water is removed before loading the brush directly from the tub. Generally, a 15-30 second load will suffice depending on the soap and the brush.

    If I am using a triple milled soap, I usually add 1 Tablespoon of hot water and allow the puck to bloom while I am in the shower. I have a large collection of soaps, so a given soap may be used only once every three months. Unlike softer soaps that are kept in covered tubs, my triple milled soaps are left open, so dry out between uses. If I were using the soap every day, the lengthy bloom would not be needed. Even with blooming, it may take a full minute to load the brush.

    If you do bloom a soap, never waste the bloom water. It contains a lot of good stuff. Also, do not rinse out any proto-lather that may remain in the tub or on the puck. Allow that to remain to kick-start your next lather session.
  5. Roy


    When I bought my chubby 3 badger, advice was to be gentle.. I did for a while, but now load hard pucks vigourisly and same face lathering.. fantastic lather and no sign of brush deteriorating. No hair loss or ends breaking off either.
    I do bloom the puck as some soap makers advise it .I'd say this makes loading and face lathering easier with hard water and the bloom water makes superb pre shave..
  6. naughtilus

    naughtilus Contributor

    If a puck has dried up from infrequent use I simply load longer and drizzle water to get more paste going. What's the point of saturating the whole puck with water only to scrape minute amount of soap on the top surface?
  7. The entire puck does not get saturated. I am only using 1 Tablespoon of water and if the puck fits that container, the water sits on top of the puck and oly penetrates the top layer.
  8. johnwick

    johnwick Contributor

    Another thing you could do is grate the soap into your lather bowl for loading and then lather on the face like many of us do!
  9. It's interesting, all the manipulations that folks go through with a hard soap to make a soft soap, they might as well just be using a cream to begin with. I don't bloom and get a good lather from every hard soap I've tried.
  10. Unfortunately, my face is to sensitive to face lather. I cannot tolerate any scritch or scrub from a brush. Even premium silvertip badgers are not soft enough. That is why I bowl lather and then paint it on my face with minimal brush contact.

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