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Shaving soap

For years now Pete has been using a saving stick and brush rather than shaving foam.  I remember when he used to buy the cans of foam, it was like the can only lasted two or three shaves before he needed another one.

The shaving stick lasts for MONTHS and the brush will last for years.  I recently bought Pete some handmade shaving soap from a market.  I knew I could make shaving soap, but I really like how this one came in a little tin and I thought Pete would like it too.  Now I've sourced some tins and I'm going to sell my version of tallow shaving soap on in my Etsy shop, but while the tin is handy to keep the soap tidy, and if you're making if for yourself, or gifts, you can skip the tin and just make some bars of soap.  This is how I make bars of shaving soap.

eight acres: shaving soap

eight acres: shaving soap

eight acres: shaving soap

For a decent lather, you really have to add coconut oil to the tallow.  A 100% tallow soap does not lather enough for a nice shave.  I used my recipe with 25% coconut oil, 25% olive oil and 50% tallow, as described back here, with a 6% superfat.  I made this soap while my parents were visiting, and as my dad also uses a shaving stick and brush I asked his opinion on the essential oil for this recipe.  He suggested peppermint because it feels nice a cool, and Pete agreed that it would be a good scent to use.

eight acres: shaving soap

For the first time I tried a PVC pipe as the mould because I thought that a round soap would be more ergonomic.  *Spoiler alert* the soap got stuck and Pete had to cut the mould open with an angle grinder.  I did suggest that he could have kept it in in the PVC pipe and use it as a giant shaving stick.  I have certainly not perfected using PVC pipe as a mould, but you could just make bars or use any mould you have already.

When Pete had managed to extract the soap, we sliced it into suitable chunks and Pete has been using it.  He reports that it works and he likes the smell (Dad gave a similar review).  Its going to take him a while to use the rest, so we are giving away samples to any clean shaven men we know!  AND I just bought Pete a safety razor, so if he likes that too, its becoming a rather sustainable shave.

I made the same recipe again and poured it into these tins.  I'll be selling them through my Etsy shop with my other tallow soaps, as soon as they are cured.

eight acres: shaving soap
I just poured these, so they will be available in my Etsy shop in a few weeks

What do you think?  Do you use or make shaving soap?  What the secret to PVC pipe as soap moulds!?

You can get all my tallow soap recipes in my eBook Make Your Own Natural Soap, more information here.

 Would you like to try making your own soap from natural ingredients, but don’t know where to start? 
This eBook will take you through everything you need to know to make simple soaps from natural ingredients, including herbs, clays, charcoal, oatmeal and coffee grounds.

It also explains how to use tallow in soap. Tallow is cheap and locally available, and it makes long-lasting moisturising soaps, it is an under-utilised ingredient in home soapmaking in my opinion. This eBook includes 10 recipes specifically designed for tallow soap.

Basic Tallow Soap
Pink Clay Soap
Green Herb Soap
True Grit Soap
Black Magic Soap
Salt Spa Soap
Honey and Oatmeal Soap
Neem Oil Soap
Sustainable Shaving soap
Cleaning Soap
Formulate your own


  1. I like it. I also used to use a brush and soap when I shaved. I have a beard now and it's much easier! Otherwise I was always rough shaven and looking rough!

    1. well that's probably the most sustainable option of all!

  2. I wonder if my husband would like this? Sounds like a good Christmas stocking idea!

    1. thanks Cindy :) you can get him a nice brush to go with it too...

  3. I was going to put an order in for your tallow soap today, but I'm now going to hang out, until I can add the shaving soap too. I'll buy this for my husband, for Christmas. He recently purchased a safety razor, and he's just starting to get the hang of it. There is a skill to use these, as the head doesn't move like modern razors. You have to move the head so it follows the contours of your face, without cutting a chunk out of yourself. I don't know why they're called safety razors, lol.

    Though, he's willing to keep practising and is walking away with less nips. He still uses modern razors, for when he's running short on time for work. You don't want to be using a safety razor when you're in a hurry!

    I imagine some kind of lubricant might work for the PVC pipe, but wonder if it also has to do with curing? Should it be popped out on the first day, or do you have to wait a week? I have no experience with this method, just wondering if the curing process, lends itself better to breaking out of the PVC pip mould, at a certain point.

    1. Hi Chris, yes we thought along the same lines. I did lubricate the mould with plenty of olive oil and we tried to remove it each day for a week, thinking maybe it would shrink as it dried. I think Vickie has the answer below though, I need to line the mould with wax paper... Pete is getting used to the safety razor, I think its safe relative to the "cut throat" razor option! It does look a bit dangerous though :)

  4. what a great idea! i like the idea of the peppermint oil too, perhaps look into other oils for those that aren't too keen on that smell?
    will check out your shop in a few weeks, think my son might like that soap too, maybe.
    thanx for sharing

    1. Thanks Selina, I was thinking sandlewood essential oil would be nice and manly, but its very expensive.... any other suggestions would be welcome.... my dad was very keen on the peppermint!

  5. Hi, Liz! I have used the PVC pipe successfully for a while now! I just line the inside with waxed paper! Just cut the waxed paper as long as you thing the mold will fill up to, roll the waxed paper LENGTHwise and put it in the mold. Now, tape the top and bottom of one side and unroll the paper inside the mold and once tight against the inside, tape top and bottom of that side to the mold. If you can get your hand inside the mold, you can tape the long seam going up the inside, but I have found that usually isn't necessary! Parchment paper works somewhat, but not as good as waxed paper. I am rendering another batch of tallow this afternoon to make soap with my sister. She has never made soap and is very curious!

    1. Ah! Thanks Vickie! We use the wax paper on our long bar moulds, but I never would have thought of this for the pvc.... I'll have to find another bit of pipe now that we cut that one! Thanks :) I love showing soap-making to newbies, enjoy!

  6. Ha ha - hilarious visual of Pete using a giant shaving stick. This will keep me chuckling today.

    1. lol I couldn't believe he didn't like my idea!

  7. Hi Liz, I love your shaving soap. I live in the USA and I bribe those at work to save me Pringle potato chip cans. The chips are nasty but I use the can to mold my soaps in. I still haven't figured out how to slide the soap out so I peel like a biscuit can. It makes a perfect cylindrical soap. I did forget to slap the container on the counter and ended up with holey soap. Oh, I linked over from Rhonda Hetzel's wonderful life changing blog. I love your little farm and will be coming back often. Thank you for having an awesome lifestyle to covet!! Elaine in Texas, USA


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