What's in my shaving soap

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P.S. If anyone is wondering about H's strange silence since I posted last, we have been busily PMing since. We will no doubt have to continue to 'agree to disagree' about the necessity of adding synthetic ingredients to soap, but all is well and we are the best of friends.
 
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henkverhaar
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soapalchemist said:
P.S. If anyone is wondering about H's strange silence since I posted last, we have been busily PMing since. We will no doubt have to continue to 'agree to disagree' about the necessity of adding synthetic ingredients to soap, but all is well and we are the best of friends.

Not much of a disagreement here I think. It is possible to make a decent shaving soap without synthetics (and I'm not referring to natural vs. synthetic fragrances here), if you have a good recipe. You can make a good soap even better lathering with a little surfactant, or choose to use the lathering properties of that surfactant to steer your other ingredients in a slightly different way, to build in other properties as well, that wouldn't be possible without some synthetic surfactant.

So not so much a necessity as well a selection of choices.

Henk
 
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Hi Henk,

Do you know what role heat plays in the lather (if any)? I know I can get a good lather mixed cold but I also know my face prefers hot lather and somehow it seems to reduce friction. Perhaps this is affecting the skin more than the lather, but wondered if heating the lather is good, bad or makes no difference.

I know from experience that too much heat seems to destroy lather but does a low heat have any ill effects on lather?
 
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henkverhaar
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Audiolab said:
Hi Henk,

Do you know what role heat plays in the lather (if any)? I know I can get a good lather mixed cold but I also know my face prefers hot lather and somehow it seems to reduce friction. Perhaps this is affecting the skin more than the lather, but wondered if heating the lather is good, bad or makes no difference.

I know from experience that too much heat seems to destroy lather but does a low heat have any ill effects on lather?

I'm not sure, but I think that

a] warm lather is more comfortable
b] cold water dissolves less fatty acid salts and it is therefore more difficult to make a good lather with cold water -- solubility is what makes potassium salts superior latherers over sodium salts
c] too much heat will blow the lather apart. What's more, a hot lather (i.e. essentially a lather with hot air inside its bubbles) will collapse on cooling

So, my reasoning here is that there is an optimum lathering temperature based in part on soap solubility and comfort, and that no matter what temperature your lather is when you make it, you want to keep it roughly at that temperature for ultimate stability

Henk
 
henkverhaar said:
b] cold water dissolves less fatty acid salts and it is therefore more difficult to make a good lather with cold water -- solubility is what makes potassium salts superior latherers over sodium salts

Does the solubility of the anion vary with the cation by that much? Especially with a large organic anion like a "tallowate"? And should we seek out Rubidium or Caesium salts for even better experience? ;) (I'll let others suggest Francium salts - although I read glowing reports of their efficacy :lol: )
 
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henkverhaar
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hunnymonster said:
henkverhaar said:
b] cold water dissolves less fatty acid salts and it is therefore more difficult to make a good lather with cold water -- solubility is what makes potassium salts superior latherers over sodium salts

Does the solubility of the anion vary with the cation by that much?

Yes, apparently it does. Haven't looked up the actual solubilities/ion products, but surfactants are funny things, physicochemically speaking. It may have something to do with the local ion strength at the aequeous side of the air/water interface in the lather (the bubbles' edges...), where the larger size of the potassium ion stabilizes the surfactant layer? Again, just theorizing here.

And should we seek out Rubidium or Caesium salts for even better experience? ;) (I'll let others suggest Francium salts - although I read glowing reports of their efficacy :lol: )

Well, the Francium soaps would be interesting, especially if you make an autoradiogram after shaving ;-) But other than that, no, all other alkali and alkaline earth salts of fatty acids are insoluble in water (remember soap scum?).

If soaps would behave normally (i.e. not as a surfactant, I guess), the potassium salt would be less soluble than the sodium salt.

Henk
 
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hunnymonster said:
henkverhaar said:
b] cold water dissolves less fatty acid salts and it is therefore more difficult to make a good lather with cold water -- solubility is what makes potassium salts superior latherers over sodium salts

Does the solubility of the anion vary with the cation by that much? Especially with a large organic anion like a "tallowate"? And should we seek out Rubidium or Caesium salts for even better experience? ;) (I'll let others suggest Francium salts - although I read glowing reports of their efficacy :lol: )

It's starting to sound like fekin Soap Trek; The next Generation[attachment=0]

That's HM, Henke & Soapalchemist with Merkur HD's sat to stun :ugeek:

As long as you have no Klingons, no probs!

Regards
 
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