How to Get the Most Out of Your Shaving Soap Samples

Samples are great to discover, trial, and test shaving soaps on a budget.

But here’s the thing:

Shaving soap samples are rather small, typically stored in a 0.4oz container; you are limited in how much you can use but also getting a good lather out of it can be a bit of a challenge.

Here are a few tips we wanted to share that might make trialing a new shaving soap a bit easier.

What are shaving soap samples?

pack of shaving soap samples by chiseled face

As the name suggests, companies make small trial-size containers of their best-selling shaving soaps for you to try. For example, the shaving soap brand Chiseled Face Groomatorium offers a 10-pack of their most popular shaving soaps for $16.99 (or an individual sample for $1.99). For comparison, a full-size four ounce container from the same brand will cost you $14.99.

So, as you can see, samples are a price-effective way to test a bunch of different shaving soaps for the cost of only one full-size container.

What you’ll need on hand

When trialing a new soap, you’ll want to have the following on hand:

  • Shaving brush
  • Shaving bowl (a textured bowl with ridges works best as it allows the soap to latch onto the grooves)
  • Shaving soap
  • Spoon or tiny spatula (optional)

Note: if your sample size is about 0.5oz, this should serve you about two shaves

Testing out the shaving soap

Here’s how you can test out the shaving soap:

  • Step 1: Make sure the bottom of your bowl is bone-dry.
  • Step 2: Scoop out half of the sample with your finger, spoon, or spatula and smear it into the bottom of your shaving bowl.
  • Step 3: Here, you want to focus on not having the shaving soap clumped up in one spot and spread it out evenly. The more surface area covered on the bowl, the better, as it will help the lather form.
  • Step 4: Soak and squeeze out your shaving brush, then add a few drops of water to the shaving soap and begin working it into a lather. Here’s a detailed guide on lathering shaving soap if you need more help.
  • Step 5: Apply shaving soap to your face and shave as you normally would. If you have multiple samples you are testing, We strongly recommend taking notes of how each shaving soap performed. If you find a few winners, you can order a full-size container of the ones you like the most.

Helpful videos

As is often the case, some passionate fans in the wet shaving community have even put together some terrific videos explaining the process:

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t use the samples right away?

Unused samples should be stored in a cool dark place (ideally outside of the bathroom) to preserve the natural ingredients as long as possible.

What if I have sensitive skin?

If you have sensitive skin while testing shaving soaps, it is best to do a patch test prior to full application on your face. We recommend just applying a small amount of the shaving soap to your cheek and shave as you normally would, wait a few hours and see how your skin both looks and feels.


If you are on the fence about a new brand and not yet willing to commit to an entire container, samples are a great way to see how the soap performs, smells, and feels on your skin.

We hope that this guide helped in your wet shaving journey!

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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