Re-batching Shaving Soap

What is your opinion on fine shaving creams and hard soaps? Do you like Trumpers, Coates, Taylors, Truefitt & Hill? Post your reviews and opinions here!
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drmoss_ca
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Re-batching Shaving Soap

Post by drmoss_ca » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:15 am

One of the problems of making your own is that you can end up with a lot of it, and you always give away samples from the last batch as that is the freshest and perhaps the best given you learn as you go along.
I have a few pounds of soap that has sat in the basement for several years. It's hard and caramel coloured, whereas it used to be cream and soft when new. I wondered what would happen if I melted it in a double boiler and added water until it looked the way soap normally does when cooking it. I thought it was unscented and planned to add scent at the same time. So I tossed around 2lb of old dry soaps into a double boiler (a jam pan half full of water and my largest kitchen pan inside it, got it to the boil and put the lid on the inner pan. It took about 3-4 hours for the soap to melt and I added a couple of kettles of boiling water to the jam pan to keep the level up. I didn't take photos at the time, but it wasn't awfully pretty - in-homogeneous dark and light brown goo. Out came the stick blender and it became homogeneous. Half a cup of water and some more blending and it looked about right, if not a bit runnier than a soap usually is when it's finished cooking. I realised as I did this that the soap was not unscented, but had some of the fake gardenia I have used in it. Not very strong, so I added another cap-full of gardenia and three cap-fulls of fake amaretto. Straight from the bottle that stuff will make you gag. Smells like the industrial scent we used to spray from standpipes at the sewage works I worked at in my youth. Anyway, I'm not skilled at scenting. Mixed it some more, poured it into a mold and left it overnight. This morning I extracted it, peeled off the waxed paper (note, stick to parchment paper in future as it doesn't stick to the soap), sliced it and wrapped it in clingwrap. It is soft and malleable, and would press into a shaving bowl very easily. The scent is a bit less intrusive now it is cold, but is in no way a shy and retiring kind of smell.
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I foresee a marketing gimmick - "antique soap" whereby one can get rid of old soap by refreshing it with some more water when molten. One can pretend it has been aged in a cellar for years to allow full reaction of the lye, and no possibility of skin irritation. Then the soap is lovingly brought back to life with fresh spring water. The rusty colour? Your guarantee it has been fully aged in our cellars.

The world should probably be glad I never was tempted to use my talents in marketing!
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

CMur12
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Re: Re-batching Shaving Soap

Post by CMur12 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:02 am

Chris, what was the purpose behind refreshing the soap? Will it perform better now than it would have in its previous hardened state?

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

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TRBeck
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Re: Re-batching Shaving Soap

Post by TRBeck » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:58 pm

Rebatching is a pain but it sounds like you did well.

The thing about a soap that's aged awhlile - a bar soap at least - is that it's quite mild on the skin, and it seems the pH does fall slightly over time. My shave soaps that are six years old are all very nice to use, maybe better on the skin than when new, but who can remember 2013 that well?

Gardenia and almond, eh? Floral and almond can blend well. Take some sharpness out of the benzaldehyde (almond) while reducing the white floral's potential for fecal undertones.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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drmoss_ca
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Re: Re-batching Shaving Soap

Post by drmoss_ca » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:47 pm

CMur12 wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:02 am
Chris, what was the purpose behind refreshing the soap? Will it perform better now than it would have in its previous hardened state?

- Murray
That was my hope - a rock hard soap turned back into a soft and pliable form.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

brothers
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Re: Re-batching Shaving Soap

Post by brothers » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:38 am

Have you had an opportunity to lather and shave with the new old soap?
Gary

SOTD 99%: 9 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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drmoss_ca
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Re: Re-batching Shaving Soap

Post by drmoss_ca » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:15 am

I still have a bowl full of the newest batch by the sink to get through first!
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

brothers
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Re: Re-batching Shaving Soap

Post by brothers » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:40 pm

Oh yes, I understand! 8)
Gary

SOTD 99%: 9 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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