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How Long to Rub Shaving Brush in Shaving Soap

If you are starting to discover the lost art of wet shaving, you may be wondering how long to keep stirring your shaving brush in the shaving soap until it forms a nice rich lather.

For most, it will take anywhere between 30 seconds to 90 seconds of vigorous stirring before enough soap has been loaded onto the brush to form a thick and creamy lather. 

However, rather than looking for a precise time, it’s essential to look for the right consistency.

Here are a few tips you should know about loading your shaving brush with soap:

Water Hardness Impacts Time to Lather

When generating a lather, the hardness of your water will impact how quickly you can load your brush.

If you have hard water, it will generally take longer to load your brush as the minerals in the water can bind with the soap and make it more challenging to generate a lather.

On the other hand, if you have soft water, it will generally take less time to load your brush as the soap will not be as hindered by the water’s minerals.

Shaving Soap Quality

Shaving soaps are available in a wide range of styles and formulations.

Some are easier to lather than others.

Base ingredients including tallow, lanolin, glycerin, and Shea butter can all impact a soap’s ability to generate a rich and creamy lather. Additionally, the firmness due to the number of times the soap was milled can also play a role.

So while you may be able to generate a quick lather with one shaving, soap may not necessarily be the case with another.

Shaving Brush Quality and Type

The type of shaving brush you are using and its quality, will also impact the time it takes to load the brush with soap.

A lower-quality brush with synthetic bristles will not have the same ability to hold water and soap as a higher-quality badger hair brush.

The stiffness of the backbone on the bristles and the density of the bristles will also play a role in how quickly you can generate a lather.

Look for Lather Consistency

Rather than setting your watch or counting in seconds for the perfect lather, look for the desired consistency. You want to load your brush with enough soap so that it can hold water and create a thick and creamy lather.

The tips of your badger brush should be liberally loaded with soap. Once loaded, gradually add in the water while stirring until you reach the desired consistency. The amount of water required will vary from one shaving soap to another.

If your lather is too thin, it won’t be easy to apply evenly and dry out quickly. If your lather is too thick, it can be difficult to work with and remove.

The perfect lather should be thick and creamy with a consistent texture throughout.

For additional help, we recommend reading our detailed guide on how to generate a lather with shaving soap for further guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few common questions when it comes to lathering shaving soap:

My brush isn’t generating any lather; what am I doing wrong?

If your brush cannot generate a lather, it is likely due to one of three things. The first is that the brush wasn’t properly soaked before using it. The second is that not enough soap was loaded onto the brush. The third is that the soap you are using has a low-quality formulation and isn’t able to generate a lather well.

I loaded my brush, but the lather quickly evaporated; what happened?

If your lather evaporates after being applied to your face, it likely didn’t have enough water or soap loaded onto the brush. Try loading the brush again, this time being sure to use more water as well.

Is it better to use hot or cold water when lathering?

Warm water works best as it will soften wiry whiskers and help make your skin supple. When you add in the slick lubrication of shaving soap, you get a measurably more comfortable shave.

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.

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