Shaving soaps have been around for centuries way before the shaving creams and gels were around. Men who prefer a close shave like to use shaving soaps as they make a very fine layer when applied to the face. Not to mention using a brush to lather the shaving soap on your face is an experience in itself that you just don’t get when using a gel or cream. But probably the most distinct feature of shaving soaps that makes them stand out is that they don’t go bad even if you store them for years granted that you store the shaving soap correctly.
Shaving soaps are meant to be kept in the containers they come in and unlike regular soap, they dry up if left exposed for a long period of time. So in order to safely store away your shaving soap, you need to follow the instructions below:
- Clean any excess leather or external particles from the shaving soap before storing it.
- Make sure there is no moisture in the shaving soap container before you store it away.
- Get a specially designed shaving soap container to keep the shaving store fresh during lengthy storage periods.
- Store the shaving soap puck in a dry and cool place such as your bathroom drawer or a cabinet.
Keep in mind that shaving soaps don’t really go bad unless they contain a very volatile oil as their ingredient but if stored improperly they can dry out and lose their scent which reduces the effectiveness of the shaving soap. At some point, everyone likes to take a break from shaving and grow a little beard to experiment with their look. Therefore properly storing away the shaving soap you own can be really helpful in keeping it nice and fresh in case you might need to use it again in the future. Or you might have bought one too many shaving soaps and realized that storing some for later use is the only option until you need them. Either way, you can follow some simple steps to make sure that your shaving soap is stored away properly and will be as good as new once you need it.
Step 1: Clean any excess lather or external particles from the soap puck
Before you store the soap puck you have to get rid of any unwanted particles or lather that might get stuck on the shaving soap during usage. Give the soap a good wipe as rinsing the soap with water cannot only waste soap by washing it away but it can also reduce the scent of the shaving soap. Besides the whole point of storing the soap is keeping it free from mold and bacteria so it is best to wipe off the soap puck using clean cloth.
Step 2: Drying the shaving soap puck before storage
First you have to prepare the soap for storage by making sure that both the container you are planning to store the soap in and the soap itself is free from any moisture. If you have a habit of putting the dry brush in the soap and then loading and lathering it in a separate mug or container then chances are your shaving soap is already dry and ready to be stored. But if you have been putting a wet shaving brush onto the shaving soap then you will need to dry out all the excess water from the shaving soap before it can be stored away. And here is how you can do it:
- Unlike shaving creams shaving soaps don’t come with too much pre-added water content and therefore they need to be mixed with water in order to make a lather. But if you have been putting wet brush directly onto your shaving soap the good news is that you can simply air-dry the moisture out of the soap before storing it by leaving the lid of its container open for up to 24 hours. Closing the lid while the shaving soap is still moist can prevent the water from evaporating and it can turn the hard soap puck into a gooey texture.
Note: Don’t leave the soap to dry in an area with a lot of dust because it can contaminate the soap with dust particles and can cause the soap to go bad during storage. It is also a good idea not to leave the shaving soap for drying in the bathroom especially if multiple people use the bathroom as there is a high chance of the shaving soap getting in contact with bacteria.
- A great way to keep the soap dry for storage is by using a small dry plastic scraper to scoop up the shaving soap from the container and load it in a separate container every time you shave. Because it can be difficult to air dry any moisture that is stuck under the soap inside the container so using a dry scraper will make sure that you don’t have any moisture accumulation under the soap when you are going to store it.
- If you are worried about over-drying your shaving soap then you would be relieved to know that even a completely dried out shaving soap can be easily restored by adding some water after you take it out of storage. But most shaving soaps retain the necessary moisture even if you leave them for a few days so if you leave the shaving soap to dry for a bit longer it shouldn’t cause any damage to its performance or fragrance.
Step 3: Use a special shaving soap container for long term storage
There are a lot of different types of shaving soap containers that you can buy for long term storage if you want to maintain the great lathering ability and scent of your puck. Some shaving soaps come in their special containers which can be used as storage containers but if you have a hard soap that comes without a container it is best to get a container to keep the soap smelling great during a long storage period. Below are some different types of shaving containers and their usage:
- Shaving mugs: Most people like to keep their shaving soaps in a shaving mug but since these mugs don’t have a lid they don’t offer protection from dryness and if you keep the shaving puck in them for long periods it can get cracked and lose its lathering ability. So if you are planning on storing your shaving soap for a period of months or years its best to avoid storing it in a shaving mug as they are designed to keep a shaving soap for regular usage.
- Sealed metal containers: These type of containers are made out of either steel or aluminum and come with a lid and are great at retaining the scent and moisture of the soap but since there is always some moisture in a shaving soap it can cause rust to set in even in stainless steel containers so it is not recommended to use steel containers to store your shaving puck for a period of months or years.
- Ceramic containers: These containers are rust free and they are also accompanied by a lid so they make a great long term storage container for your shaving puck, but the downside is that these ceramic containers are not large enough to store bigger varieties of soap e.g. 4.4-ounce shaving pucks. In addition to limited storage ceramic containers aren’t very durable either and they can break easily so you will have to be extremely careful about where you store your ceramic shaving soap container.
- Plastic containers: These are the cheapest way to store shaving pucks as you can use an empty plastic container of something like a vitamin container and if the container is big enough you can store multiple pucks in a single container. But since most plastic containers are completely airtight it can make a high moisture shaving soap to lose its consistency and deteriorate because plastic containers with airtight lids are not good at dissipating additional moisture.
- Wooden containers: A wooden container is a great option for storing a shaving soap with high water content because even though they have a lid they can still dissipate moisture since wood is porous. Therefore they can prevent a high moisture soap puck from getting moldy. But one thing you have to be careful about is that since the wooden containers can soak up moisture they can deteriorate over time so make sure you get a good quality wooden container that can hold shaving pucks for months and even years.
So for storing a shaving puck over a period of months or years a wooden container made out of high-quality wood is your safest bet because a dried out shaving soap can be revived by adding some water to it but if your shaving soap has lost its consistency by being exposed to too much moisture for long periods of time it can have a negative impact on the ability of the shaving soap to produce lather and leave a pleasant scent. Just make sure that the container is clean and doesn’t contain anything that can contaminate the shaving soap during its stay in the container.
Step 4: Store the shaving soap in a cool and dry place
Hard shaving soaps retain their shape pretty well unless you keep them in extremely hot conditions. So if you live in an area where it gets too hot in summers, make sure you are storing the shaving soap in a cooler area of your house. Another thing you need to be careful about is moisture because even if the soap puck is stored inside a container, moisture from the climate can still find its way into the container through the lid and cause the soap to become soft and mushy. Similarly, you would want to avoid an airy place with a lot of breeze because while the goal is to keep the shaving soap dry, an overly ventilated area can dry out the shaving soap a bit too much causing it to get cracked and lose the scent.
How long can I keep a shaving soap stored?
Depending upon what type of shaving soap you own you can store it for quite some time until you need it again. There are two types of shaving soaps and their storage life is different because of the way they are manufactured and the ingredients they contain.
- Triple Milled or Hard shaving soap: As the name suggests the Triple Milled shaving soap Is one that is made into a solid puck of soap and it holds its shape even when it is wet. When these soaps are manufactured the majority of moisture has already been removed from them during the manufacturing process making them less volatile and therefore they can be used for long periods of time. Some hard shaving soaps have even been used by men for up to 40 years without losing the ability to produce smooth lather but the fragrance of the hard shaving soap does fade away after such a long time. If used carefully hard shaving soaps can be used for an indefinite time period before you use it up completely without losing performance. But the downside of hard shaving soaps is that although they can virtually be used forever, they need a lot more water to activate them and you need some practice to make good lather using a hard shaving soap.
- Semi-Hard Shaving soap: When semi-hard shaving soaps are manufactured, a lot more moisture is left in them as compared to hard shaving soaps. The moisture content is the factor that makes a semi-hard shaving soap last a lot less compared to hard shaving soaps that have been known to last for decades. Some semi-hard shaving soaps that contain volatile oils instead of animal fat will not last more than 3 years before losing their ability to produce lather, especially the vegan-friendly semi-hard soaps that contain vegetable oils such as olive oil. But the plus side of semi-hard shaving soaps is that they require a lot less time to produce lots of lather as they contain more water in them. Moreover, semi-hard shaving soaps need less water to activate as compared to triple-milled shaving soaps.
How to make hard shaving soap fit into a container for storage?
If you have a storage container that is different in shape and size to your shaving soap bar you can still fit it into the container you have available. Here a few ways you can fit your shaving soap in a container of your choice:
- Microwaving method:
- Put the soap puck in a glass or ceramic bowl and place it in the microwave and set the microwave to low power setting to avoid burning your shaving soap.
- Put the bowl containing the shaving soap in the microwave and set the timer to 10 seconds and keep an eye on the soap bar to make sure if it has melted in which case you can stop the timer earlier than 10 seconds. Or if you have a really hard shaving soap on your hand you may have to microwave it for 10-second intervals a few times before it melts. Once the soap has melted you can pour it into the container of your choice once it has cooled down.
Note: Using a glass container will allow you to see if the soap puck has melted or not, therefore, it is recommended to use a transparent glass container to melt the shaving soap in a microwave.
- Grating method: If you have a vegetable oil-based shaving soap it is a good idea to use the grating method because if you microwave or heat a vegetable oil-based shaving soap then chances are it might lose its scent and effectiveness. The grating method involves the following steps:
- Take a grater and grate the hard soap bar into fine pieces making sure not to make them too small. Keep grating until you have the whole puck turned into small pieces and now you are ready to transfer your shaving soap into its new home for long term storage.
- Once you are done grating the whole soap puck, scoop some pieces of the grated soap bar and put them into the container and press them down together using your fingers. Once you have properly compressed the pieces of shaving soap into the container repeat the process until the soap completely fits the container you have available and make sure to do it layer by layer compressing each layer properly so that the whole soap fits into the new container perfectly.
Note: Once you are done transferring and compressing the shaving soap into the new container make sure that the surface of the soap is flat and it should fall out of the container once you flip it upside down.