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Soap loading time is irrelevant in terms of judging if enough soap is loaded

Brush with the pit or across the pit axis? Also, is Arko considered a stick, a roll-on, a stick-on, or a mistake?

I'm glad you asked, this can be a contentious issue, and one that is widely misunderstood. Brushing with the pit appears to be effective, but that is contrary to the extensive testing that I have conducted. Across the axis is the only way to truly stimulate the follicles and open up the pores in the pit, thereby doing a deep cleanse.

Arko is fine for some, however applied. These people are beyond help and, frankly, what they do to their armpits is the least of our concerns as a society.
 
Yep. The only metric that matters to me is the amount of soap I load, not the amount of time I swirl my brush....
 
I'm always bewildered when I read, especially on reddit, posts about this "loading method", or some other pseudo-scientific clap trap about how to put soap on your face.

I get that people really dig the hobby, and that tends to breed a desire for complex understanding and systemic thinking about it, but lathering? Really?

Wet your brush. Mush it on the soap. Scrub it around your mug. Shave. Profit. If you want to insert a bowl or scuttle into the process, knock yourself out.

Now, I'm off to write a 500 word treatise on "how to wash your underarms using the precision loading method." Remember to upvote, like and subscribe!
I don't watch Youtubers shave (I'm not that interested in shaving).

However, I do use a "loading method." At a minimum, it creates a starting point that helps me to dial in new soaps/creams by adjusting water/soap amount as needed.

If you're one of the gifted shaving savants who always gets perfect lathers without having having to put any thought into how you do things, that's fantastic! More power to you, say I! Unfortunately, some of the rest of us mere mortals need every bit if help we can get.

As with most things in this hobby, it's very much a YMMV issue. 🙂
 
The biggest thing I've learned about "loading time" is that I have (maybe...) been using more time than is necessary. I was recently amazed at how little time swirling I needed to gather enough soap and achieve a great lather. (I face lather btw)

It's so much fun swirling, that I guess I just thought, "why not just keep going?" 😁
 
Loading time is not a good judge of soap loaded with very soap soaps, croaps, and creams or with very hard tallow pucks.

However, for 90% of the artisan soaps in my den, I use a loading time of 8-10 seconds whether I am using a badger, boar, horsehair or synthetic brush. Most of my brushes are in the 24-26mm knot range. I use moderate pressure when loading and try to make two swirls per second. That amount of soap produces sufficient lather for five passes for my shaving routine (three pass shave, clean-up pass plus bonus lather for skin conditioning. I do bloom my soaps for 10 seconds using 1 Tablespoon of hot tap water before loading. The bloom water goes into my shave bowl for lathering. I squeeze and shake out all excess water from my brush before loading so as to add minimal extra water to the lather.
 
I have a mixture of soaps and creams.... and some of the creams are about halfway in between the two, truth be told. But I bowl lather... so even a hard soap, after it's scooped out and smeared thin lathers up quickly. It can't take more then 30 seconds more for me to lather up a soap than a cream.

I don't seem to have a problem finding that extra 30 seconds, but I'm retired. <eg>
 
Late to this thread (for some reason I'm always late to threads) Lol!
I not once have timed my brush loading. I swirl the tips till I see them bunched together and that's all it takes. Whatever time it takes for thet to happen is the time it takes!
 
Maybe this thread is more suitable to be posted in "Shaving Soaps" section but I feel it's an important issue that needs to be addressed.

I have been following this forum for couple of years. First couple of years as a lurker, now as semi active poster :) and I've noticed a big surge of using "loading time" as judging factor if load is good or not. I believe that this is irrelevant factor. There is so much variables when loading a brush, that just loading time can't be deciding factor.

Brush bristles are made out of different materials, mostly badger, brush and synthetic. Each material has their own specifics, some eat lather, some don't, some retain a lot of water and again some don't.
Brush knots...where do I even begin. Soft, stiff, big, small and everything in between. All of that directly influences loading.
Soap...soft soap, croap, triple milled, all load differently. Is soap used regularly or is it sitting in a rotation? Was the soap bloomed beforehand and for how long? Bloomed soap loads faster for example, so do soft soaps.
Actual loading! How much pressure do you use? How fast are you swirling? How much water is in the brush? I prefer to start on a bit dry side and add droplets to load more soap if needed.

Personally I prefer to use weight of my brush as a measure of loading. I realize it is not the most exact measurement but for me it works and I feel you can better judge if load is good or not. So what I do I load until brush feels almost as heavy as when it's full of water.

I am not saying we should abandon loading time, I believe is a good metric for when we measure "ease of loading" but for proper amount of soap loaded weight is better option.
Hi Samhain666,

You are right that loading time should not be the only factor in determining if enough soap is loaded. Lather outcome: The ability of the loaded brush to produce enough lather of the desired quality for the desired number of shave passes is the key indicator. This is dependent on all the factors you mentioned in the areas of soap characteristics, brush type/size/stiffness, lathering technique (face, bowl, pressure, blooming etc.), and so on. Using a fully dried out soap puck versus one softened by daily use also has a significant impact. Finally there are personal lather preferences that range from piles of Instagram worthy lather to the thinner/slicker lather that some prefer.

The reason for preferring an outcome based lathering success indicator is that by varying our tools/technique excellent lather can be produced from almost any quality soap. For example a stiffer boar generates great results from triple milled soaps like Williams or MWF while a soft synthetic is excellent for softer pucks and croaps.
 
Loading time is not a good judge of soap loaded with very soap soaps, croaps, and creams or with very hard tallow pucks.

However, for 90% of the artisan soaps in my den, I use a loading time of 8-10 seconds whether I am using a badger, boar, horsehair or synthetic brush. Most of my brushes are in the 24-26mm knot range. I use moderate pressure when loading and try to make two swirls per second. That amount of soap produces sufficient lather for five passes for my shaving routine (three pass shave, clean-up pass plus bonus lather for skin conditioning. I do bloom my soaps for 10 seconds using 1 Tablespoon of hot tap water before loading. The bloom water goes into my shave bowl for lathering. I squeeze and shake out all excess water from my brush before loading so as to add minimal extra water to the lather.
Hi RayClem, are the 90% of soaps referenced above primarily softer blends that lather easily or does this include hard triple milled pucks? Recall you posting that generating good lather from MWF required a more involved process from above.

I mostly use hard pucks and typically load for between 30 and 45 seconds (high end of range for a dry puck, low end for one with retained moisture from recent use) with plenty of pressure to generate 3+ passes worth of soap. Load until lather starts to generate in my apothecary mug and then move to face lathering. Use a boar on my triple milled and a synthetic on my softer (but still considered hard) pucks. For my one croap, Proraso red, 15 to 20 seconds with a synthetic is all it takes. My above technique with a stiff boar would destroy a soft croap like Proraso. Both my brushes have 26mm knots.
 
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I dip my synth in water and shake most of the water out.

I load until I can't see water on the soap, only proto-lather.

Generally takes 15 seconds and generates enough lather for my 4 passes.
 
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