Shaving soap for a straight razor

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Tinlee

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I have been searching through the forums for a good shaving soap. I am not really sure what qualities I am looking for, so I am hesitant to try and develop a recipe on my own. I do know that it needs to be slick and it needs to be creamy, and it needs to form a nice hard bar.

I will be using stearic in this recipe, which is a first for me. I have never had any trouble with trace, but I want to guarantee the hardness. I have seen pros and cons posted in relation to the use of stearic acid. I do know that I want to minimize the use, but I have definitely decided it is a must. I plan on using both shea and cocoa butters. I may, depending on what the calculator says, use castor oil. Probably not, though since I usually use that for bubbles. I don't expect to use clay. I expect to use avacado oil and possibly coconut oil. I am not experienced in dual lye soaps and I don't want to start now.
Does anyone have a successful recipe that uses only a single lye and that incorporates these or similar ingredients?
This will be a gift to my son who shaves with a straight razor.
Thanks all for your advice.
 

Dumfrey

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I've not been able to get a really good slick soap without adding bentonite clay no matter what recipe I tried.
I ended up using 100% KOH, and 33% lye solution with hot process to get a firm(ish) soap that is quite slick. It does need a lot of water to get there, but it holds up well.
 

beckster51

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I make my husband's shaving soap in the crock pot with stearic acid, I don't have the recipe at hand now, but it is so slick, I call it "snotty". It can be worked up into a creamy lather by hand or better yet, with a shaving brush. I find adding clays or shea butter do not contribute to the qualities required in a good shaving soap, but I realize that is personal experience. I originally got the recipe from the guys at Badger and Blade. Have you looked at their thread for DIY shaving soap?
 

Tinlee

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What type or brand of shave soap does your son use now?


IrishLass :)
Irish Lass, he has said what he uses, but I don't remember. He has been asking me to make it for him for a while. It is a shame that his mother is a soaper and can't give her son what he wants... I can make a soap that is suitable for when he spends time in the woods and for when he is out on the lake, I can make deodorant and toothpaste, body wash, you name it. I make beard oil for his brother. I should be able to do this one simple thing for him. My next goal will be baby soap for the little one he and his wife are expecting. I'm not crazy about any of the castille recipes that exist, but I have made baby safe soaps in the past. Time to brush off the "old" recipes and make something special for this little one.

I've not been able to get a really good slick soap without adding bentonite clay no matter what recipe I tried.
From what I understand, bentonite clay is wonderful for slip but horrible for the blade?

I ended up using 100% KOH, and 33% lye solution with hot process to get a firm(ish) soap that is quite slick. It does need a lot of water to get there, but it holds up well.
You use potassium hydroxide? I really thought since I am making a bar that I should use the sodium hydroxide. How do you get it to be solid? I tend to lean towards KOH for my liquid soaps because it makes such soft paste and such soft bars when I use it for bar soap. I like the sound of a lather that holds up well. Tough bristles run in the family in the way of what the fellas call whiskers. A good stiff lather is important as well as a good slip.

Irish Lass, he has said what he uses, but I don't remember. He has been asking me to make it for him for a while. It is a shame that his mother is a soaper and can't give her son what he wants... I can make a soap that is suitable for when he spends time in the woods and for when he is out on the lake, I can make deodorant and toothpaste, body wash, you name it. I make beard oil for his brother. I should be able to do this one simple thing for him. My next goal will be baby soap for the little one he and his wife are expecting. I'm not crazy about any of the castille recipes that exist, but I have made baby safe soaps in the past. Time to brush off the "old" recipes and make something special for this little one.
"I'm not crazy about any of the castille soaps that exist" The recipes that I have found online that is. I have a few that i developed. The problem is that to truly be castille they would have to be all olive and olive as the only oil does not clean that well. I do appreciate the vitamin e from olive oil and its other qualities, I just don't like for it to be my main oil. I'm off subject now, though.

I make my husband's shaving soap in the crock pot with stearic acid, I don't have the recipe at hand now, but it is so slick, I call it "snotty". It can be worked up into a creamy lather by hand or better yet, with a shaving brush. I find adding clays or shea butter do not contribute to the qualities required in a good shaving soap, but I realize that is personal experience. I originally got the recipe from the guys at Badger and Blade. Have you looked at their thread for DIY shaving soap?
Not yet, but I made a note to look them up based on another post. Thanks for the tip.
 
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Dumfrey

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100% KOH for me. Some folks like 70/30 KOH/NaOH. KOH soaps are more water soluble than NaOH, and this makes a much slicker lather. I use a water discount, and cook for a bit to help it get more solid. Its not "solid" like a bar of soap, but I do have to push a bit to make a dent/impression. These types of shaving soap are often called croaps. Not a cream, not a soap.
 

SideDoorSoaps

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My shave soap is done in the crockpot as well as being a dual lye recipe. The stearic acid thickens the batter so fast when I tried to cold process it that it just makes sense to just melt everything and HP. I use a smidge of bentonite clay and citric acid in the recipe and my husband loves it. I am pretty sure I posted my recipe in one of the threads.

And honestly the dulling of the razor is negligible to him because he use to spend $20 on those Mach 3 razors once a month for a pack of 10 and now he spends $8 for 100 blades for his safety razor that last about 6 months (However he also has a serious collection of vintage razors that seemed a bit excessive I was happy to spend the money on the Mach 3s - he prefers his 1980 Gillette Super Speed though)
 

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Dumfrey

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I would agree that dulling the blade is only a meaningful argument for straight razor users.
I have some older artisan shave soap with clay in, and I think it may be better than their current offering. (Label appeal and show boating is out of hand in the shave market.)
I do not use any clay in my current recipie, really because I do not have any :)
 

Deb Walker

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I have been searching through the forums for a good shaving soap. I am not really sure what qualities I am looking for, so I am hesitant to try and develop a recipe on my own. I do know that it needs to be slick and it needs to be creamy, and it needs to form a nice hard bar.
I have tried a few different approaches to shaving soap in the past with moderate success.
Recently I made two batches with different recipes, one batch with mixed lye for a pot and another hard bar just with NAOH. I think they both worked out really well.
This is the recipe of the hard bar but I didn't use the butters. You could use the butters as the SF as I do my SF separately with Calendula Oil (Olive/Coconut 50/50). The stearic acid caused the batter to seize so I will increase the water next time. I hot processed it and it worked out well.

NaOH 72gm
Water 190gm (note mine seized so I will increase this next time)
Stearic Acid 25gm 5%
Castor Oil 125gm 25%
Coconut oil 75gm 15%
Beef Tallow 275gm 55%
Add SF 25gm for 5% SF

Soapcalc. characteristics
Hardness 49, Cleansing 14, Conditioning 28, Bubbly 37, Creamy 57.

I did add a little clay and turmeric for a coloured seam through it, even knowing about the dulling of blades but the people I plan to give it to as gifts use disposables and wont be concerned about that.
Anyway, this one achieved what I wanted.
 

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