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What's a Cheap and Easy Way to Harden Water?

I've been experimenting with soaps/brushes/lathers for a few decades now, and the slickest, most protective lathers for me have been uber-hydrated and bubble-free to the point of translucence. Using my hand in lieu of a brush keeps bubbles to a minimum and gives me the slickest lather, but I really love using a brush. The trouble is that brushes make bubbles, and air is a lousy lubricant regardless of how tiny the bubbles are. Using painting strokes helps keeps bubble down, but it's still nowhere close to the lather I'm looking for.

It struck me that the solution might be in the water, rather than in the technique/equipment. It's pretty well established that hard water makes it easier to make lather without bubbles. I'm trying to figure out a cheap and easy way to harden my water, to see if I can use my brushes without losing slickness. Anybody have an idea of how to do that?
 
Hard water is water with dissolved gypsum and/or limestone. So calcium and magnesium carbonate and bicarbonates. It dissolves as the water moves through the stone over a long time. I do not know how soluble say, chalk or gypsum (the "rock" in sheetrock) is. Maybe sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)? This is honestly the first time I have ever heard of someone wanting to mineralize their water. Interesting question for sure. Sorry I can't be of more help.
 
If you want to mineralize water go to a health store and ask mineral drops.

want to control the hardness of water… go to a pond aquarium shop they have both test kits and drops to soften or harden carbonate hardness

some people with koi ponds add clay powder
 
Hard water is water with dissolved gypsum and/or limestone. So calcium and magnesium carbonate and bicarbonates. It dissolves as the water moves through the stone over a long time. I do not know how soluble say, chalk or gypsum (the "rock" in sheetrock) is. Maybe sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)? This is honestly the first time I have ever heard of someone wanting to mineralize their water. Interesting question for sure. Sorry I can't be of more help.

This is an interesting idea. I'll give that a go tomorrow morning. It's certainly cheap and easy.
 
That's something I never would have thought of. I'll take a look on Amazon and see what they have.
Most likely you want the aquarium dosage flasks for a 5000 gallon koi pond it usually comes in buckets
You should be looking for kh and gh

and you would want something called gh+ or gh extra to increase the total gh hardness

alternative if the lady in the house uses a clay mask… dissolve a little bit and dip the brush in the water

I live in a region with relative hard water so rain water softens and tap water easily lifts it back up
 
I've been experimenting with soaps/brushes/lathers for a few decades now, and the slickest, most protective lathers for me have been uber-hydrated and bubble-free to the point of translucence. Using my hand in lieu of a brush keeps bubbles to a minimum and gives me the slickest lather, but I really love using a brush. The trouble is that brushes make bubbles, and air is a lousy lubricant regardless of how tiny the bubbles are. Using painting strokes helps keeps bubble down, but it's still nowhere close to the lather I'm looking for.

It struck me that the solution might be in the water, rather than in the technique/equipment. It's pretty well established that hard water makes it easier to make lather without bubbles. I'm trying to figure out a cheap and easy way to harden my water, to see if I can use my brushes without losing slickness. Anybody have an idea of how to do that?
  • Use a water distiller to process a few gallons of regular water, but stop distilling 3/4 of the way through. Use the distillate for some other purpose like your car battery or radiator. Shave with the residual water that did not get distilled. You will have concentrated the minerals the water originally had.
  • Get some well water from Western Pennsylvania, Northern Ohio, Southeast Michigan, etc.!
:laugh:
 
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thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
Well water from NH is also hard. We’re not the envy of Osaka and that’s the _only_ reason I can imagine.

You might be candidate for the super-fatted croaps that have kaolin, bentonite, and other dissolved spider silks.
 
Or razorock mudder focker which is a nice soap anyway
 

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Many homebrewers adjust the pH of their water to mimic the waters of particular brewing regions. Check a homebrew supply shop or online for gypsum or other things.

Or find someone with a well that has hard water. Our well has "some" hardness -- it's not enough to make me treat it -- along with a whiff of iron. I use it straight out of the faucet for lather. Wells drilled into limestone will have more hardness. Our ranch in South Dakota had a 475-foot deep well into Black Hills limestone, and the water was perfect for brewing pale ales, porters and stouts. I won a number of awards for them.

O.H.
 
Just for the sake of experimenting would it make sense just to take a few empty jugs and go to the nearest fresh water spring and just fill up a few and add some iodine tablets to kill off anything and try a few shaves to see if it makes any difference or better yet have a few shaves there while its nice out. Just thinking out loud.
 
I've been experimenting with soaps/brushes/lathers for a few decades now, and the slickest, most protective lathers for me have been uber-hydrated and bubble-free to the point of translucence. Using my hand in lieu of a brush keeps bubbles to a minimum and gives me the slickest lather, but I really love using a brush. The trouble is that brushes make bubbles, and air is a lousy lubricant regardless of how tiny the bubbles are. Using painting strokes helps keeps bubble down, but it's still nowhere close to the lather I'm looking for.

It struck me that the solution might be in the water, rather than in the technique/equipment. It's pretty well established that hard water makes it easier to make lather without bubbles. I'm trying to figure out a cheap and easy way to harden my water, to see if I can use my brushes without losing slickness. Anybody have an idea of how to do that?
Quick Crete?
 
Get some well water from Western Pennsylvania, Northern Ohio, Southeast Michigan, etc.!
The eastern part of Kentucky has really hard water. You can see the minerals leaching out of the rocks where they’ve cut through the mountains. And when I used to visit my grandparents the shower was in the basement and had a concrete floor and you could see where the well water they used until I was in high school or just after staining the floor
Many homebrewers adjust the pH of their water to mimic the waters of particular brewing regions. Check a homebrew supply shop or online for gypsum or other things.
I was going to suggest that too
 
Freeze it. 🤓

I know you were joking, but this is actually an interesting idea. I seem to have less irritation when I do cold water shaving, but I noticed it only helps in the winter when the tap water temp is around 40 degrees F vs summer when it's 65 degrees F. I might try dropping a few ice cubes in my shaving mug while I'm soaking the brush, and use the 35F water/mug for lathering one of these days. First I want to try the baking soda idea though, I don't want to change 2 variables at once.
 
Thinking outside the box:

Why not get a can of Gillette gel goo and forget about all this lathering stuff, water hardening whatnot crazy stuff.

And instead of buying a bunch of chemicals, get a bottle of that award winning liquor from @Old Hippie...🥃😆
 
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