My husband and I gave my dad a shaving set for Christmas last year. When I started making soaps, I really wanted to learn how to make shaving soaps for him to use with his brush and razor. These are great holiday gifts for the men (and women!) in your life - using the shaving soap with a brush not only gives a really creamy, stable lather, which is useful for shaving, but the brush makes the hairs stand up (on face, or even on legs) to get a closer shave. I've made the soap in mugs I found at Goodwill and attached a shaving brush I found at Walgreens for a cute holiday gift for friends and family.
I make my soap in the crockpot, with a mix of sodium and potassium hydroxide. Here's the recipe I use, found here:
165g Beef Tallow
165g Stearic Acid
100g Coconut Oil
70g Castor Oil
180g Distilled Water
65.6g Potassium Hydroxide
25.2g Sodium Hydroxide
1 Tbsp bentonite clay
1 fl oz FO - My last batch was BB Earl Grey Lemon FO, both men and women like the scent (and even one of my dogs :) )
When the oils are combined and the lye water solution is added, the soap batter gets thick quickly. I usually use a spatula to mix, rather than my trusty stick blender. I add the bentonite clay after the batter is thoroughly mixed, because the bentonite clay LOVES water and will thicken the batter up considerably. Then I dump in a crock pot on low and wait for 1-3 hours until it's fully cooked. Even though these are hot-process, I like to let them cure for at least a week before using.
I have made the soap in BB's column mold, but it's extremely hard to unmold, because the soap is more of a very soft soap, almost a cream soap. It's firm enough to keep its shape, but the users of the soap may find it easier to use if it's poured directly into a mug or saucer to make using the brush easier.
Since the bentonite clay loves water, you'll have to work a little bit and keep wetting the brush, but the lather is amazing. Check it out :) It will stay for a really long time on your face / legs, too!
Even my dad loves the soap:
I've been keeping myself busy the past couple days with the new Soapmaker 3 software I got for an early birthday present. The CPA in me is really enjoying getting my inventory and recipes documented and figuring out exactly how much each of my soaps is costing me (and my wasted batches, like the lye-heavy batch from the last post).