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dixiedragon

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Gonna try this recipe from snappyllama:

Stearic Acid: 48%
CO: 19%
PKO: 18%
Lanolin: 2%
Lard: 13%

Superfat for that at 1% using 30% lye concentration. Lye divided into: NaOH @ 55% KOH @ 45% (I wanted a firm puck soap).

Additives:
3% SL & Tussah Silk

Post Cook Superfat:
3% Shea
2% Jojoba
15% Glycerin

So you're just adding an additional 1% SF oil from mine, and doing a soft soap instead of a hard puck. Long story short (too late), I think you'll be fine with the lather.


Questions: Why stearic and not, say, lard or tallow?

Is a brush required? Obviously a brush is preferred, but this is for making 30+ gift bags for co-workers and I don't really want to buy 30+ shaving brushes. I was considering getting some of those soap-saver mesh bags (looking for a good price, btw) and including instructions. that way ladies could use it as well.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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For guys, a brush is very much needed with a soap - can't get anywhere near to a good lather just rubbing it on.

As for the stearic, it just gives that stability to the larger and tallow doesn't have enough stearic in there to do the job well enough by itself
 

snappyllama

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I hope you like it. Dixie, I can send you a puck so you can try it out to see what you think. PM me your address again. :D

DH is a wet shaver and uses it with a badger brush and a Gillette razor he got refurbished from his grandfather - from the 1940s or 1950s. I just use it with a poof/washcloth in the shower for my legs and such. I have a 1960s Lady Gillette razor I got refurbished from his grandmother with groovy atomic blue starbursts on it. I've also used it with a Venus razor while traveling, and it did fine.

The recipe is in his words: "water hungry for the first few shaves". A wet shaver here could translate that... From watching him, he adds a layer of hot water to his mug (with the soap puck at the bottom) and lets it sit while his brush is hanging out in hot water for a couple of minutes, then he drains the water from the mug and swirls the brush to pack it with lather. I guess for the first couple of shaves he lets it sit a little longer or something.

The stearic is to create the super dense, long lasting foam that doesn't break or wilt.
 

vyadha

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The poof works but it uses up much more soap. One 4 oz puck can last well over 150 shaves with a decent brush and technique.
 

Obsidian

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I use a different recipe but there is no way I would get a decent lather without using a brush. You can find multi packs of cheap boar bristle brushes on ebay.
 

IrishLass

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Post Cook Superfat:
3% Shea
2% Jojoba
15% Glycerin
I don't know if there is a special reason why you are adding the glycerin post-cook, but I just wanted to mention that you can actually add up front if you desire, since it's not a fat. I always add mine up front to my oils. The only reason why I include additional glycerin in my own formula is not so much to support the soap's conditioning qualities as much as to lend extra 'staying' ability to my lather.


Questions: Why stearic and not, say, lard or tallow?
As the good Gent said, greater lather stability. As a testimony, I used to make my shave formula with a high amount of tallow and butters in place of using any stearic acid, but my soap is much improved since I reformulated it to switch out a certain % of my tallow amount to include stearic (and also to include KOH).

Is a brush required?
If you're giving it to a guy, I agree with the good Gent- yes, most definitely. This kind of soap lathers best with a brush, no doubt about it.


IrishLass :)
 

MrsSpaceship

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I don't know if there is a special reason why you are adding the glycerin post-cook, but I just wanted to mention that you can actually add up front if you desire, since it's not a fat. I always add mine up front to my oils. The only reason why I include additional glycerin in my own formula is not so much to support the soap's conditioning qualities as much as to lend extra 'staying' ability to my lather.
IrishLass :)
I add it post cook because it helps me get a little more fluidity to the batch so it goes into the mold (a lined pringles can) better. It's not enough to make it actually "pour", but I'm better able to bang the bubbles out and get a more dense soap.
 

LBussy

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I *really* think you folks should try 100% KOH, or have your partners try it. There's a large difference in the slip. You can make pucks with it when you use low water. They are hard enough to handle and soft enough (think cold modeling clay) to squish into whatever you want.

For a brush, this is the most value priced available (that I know of and have tried) that is still a decent brush. As mentioned you can get packs for less on eBay but I have not tried them.:

Omega 10049 Professional Boar Shaving Brush, Red Handle - $9.00


I give these as presents with my soaps.

Some folks prefer synthetics, but I've not found a budget priced one I would shave with twice. There's also a Turkish Horsehair available for about $2.65 that's really not too bad but the shipping takes a while. It can also benefit from a LONG soak in syndet/shampoo to get rid of the smell. Horsehair is a product which is not the result of any animal cruelty (unless you think grooming is cruel).
 
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IrishLass

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I *really* think you folks should try 100% KOH, or have your partners try it. There's a large difference in the slip. You can make pucks with it when you use low water. They are hard enough to handle and soft enough (think cold modeling clay) to squish into whatever you want.

I've yet to try 100% KOH in my shave soap (it's scheduled to go into my next batch now that I have my Montego Bay FO from Oregon trails soap in hand. Yay!), but I just wanted to say how surprised I was at how firm, yet pliable my 64% KOH/36% NaOH shave croaps turned out the first time I made them (and still do make them).

I pour my batter into my silicone cylinder mold from BB to make a round log, which is quite firm enough to cut into pucks that retain their shape beautifully and hold up fine to being wrapped in paper packaging, if I so desire to package them that way. Yet with enough pressure, the pucks are still soft enough to be squished/form-fitted into whatever holding vessel I desire.

But you know what? I really should not have been surprised at that at all. The 100% KOH paste that I regularly make for my liquid soap is firm enough to hold it's shape, yet as pliable as modeling clay, too......which is why I'm very much looking forward to trying 100% KOH in my next batch.

Oh, and thank you for the brush recommendations, Lee. Hubby and son will be getting boar brushes for Christmas now (along with Montego Bay scented shave croaps and aftershave). :)


IrishLass :)
 

shunt2011

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I use 100% KOH and have no problem molding them in the BB silicone tube mold and then cutting them on my soap cutter. They hold shape perfectly though they are pliable. I need to make some more. Hopefully soon after my last show for the year. I want to try some new things.
 

songwind

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I agree with the chorus saying a brush is better.

However, depending on the soap, the razor and the individual, you can get away with hand-lathering. I have a friend who swears by our soaps and makes her lather by hand for her legs and bikini area. She uses a cartridge system.

OTOH, I wouldn't shave with a double- or single-edge safety razor or straight that way, I think. At least not while attempting a really smooth shave. :)
 

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