This is not intended to be a blog on soap making. We simply want our customers to tune into the method we use when creating our shave soaps. One of the "key" elements of soap making is to understand that any soap-maker must include a hydroxide in the recipe if they are going to produce a true soap. That's right. All soap must begin by mixing some combination of oils & butters with a hydroxide. The chemical reaction of this process is called "saponification" and basically means that the molecular compositions of all the oils and/or butters will mix in such a way that the end result will be soap. That's it.
Do you recall in elementary science class when someone would mix baking soda with vinegar to create a volcano? Well, if you didn't add the vinegar to the baking soda all you would have would be baking soda with no chemical reaction, thus no volcano. The same is true with soap making. If you do not add the hydroxide what you end up with is oils and/or butters and no soap.
As a producer of soaps, here is where it gets interesting. The High Desert Soap Co. includes two methods when making our soaps. One is called the "hot" process method and the other is called the "cold" process method. Hot process means to cook the soap for a certain period of time to speed up the saponification process. We use both hot and cold process in our body soaps.
We use the "cold" process when making our shave soaps. The "cold" process method consists of mixing two hydroxides (sodium & potassium) with oils and or butters and then allowing the soap to cure for a period of 3-4 weeks. The end result is a hard shaving soap. The lather generated from the "cold" process can be thick or thin depending on the amount of water used in the shave brush. The wetter the brush the thinner the lather. Thinner lather is often preferred by those who desire an easy glide for their razor and those skilled in the use of straight razors. The razor glides through the smooth lather creating the close shave.
Rest assured that when choosing a shave soap from the High Desert Soap Co. you will be getting a top quality product that provides the opportunity for a top hat shave.