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Thread: hard water shaving cream? Soft water system recommendations?

  1. #1
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    Default hard water shaving cream? Soft water system recommendations?

    I recently had to make a trip (don't travel much) and the hotel had soft water. Wow, what a pleasure it was to shave! I even shaved two days in a row which is unheard of for me. The soft water made a huge difference so I'm going to look into getting that in my house. In the meantime, can anyone recommend a cream which works particularly well with hard water?

    Also, I don't know anything about soft water systems, are they all about the same or what's the deal with those?

  2. #2
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    "Hard water" is water with minerals in it (calcium is one) in a somewhat large quantity (sorry I cannot define "large" here). If your home has hard water, you're stuck with it. Most filtration systems use sodium to filter the water so they will be of no use, other will use filters which won't remove any minerals. Your only hope would be a reverse osmosis system which would be a total waste of money. If you want to use "soft" water for shaving buy distilled water and use that instead of your tap water.
    Last edited by BarbeForte; 02-14-2009 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Added something…

  3. #3
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    I've heard you can buy water softening systems for your home if you have hard water.. such as Kinetico.

  4. #4

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    I also live in an area with very hard water and have found the usual suspects work well. Trumper's, Taylor's, T&H, Harris, Proraso, and Musgo have all performed well for me.

    Clint

  5. #5
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    I live in Southern California, and of all the places I've lived this is by far the hardest water I've had to deal with. I never made the plunge to invest in a softening system, but I have several friends locally that have and swear by them.

    Water softeners don't remove calcium and magnesium as BarbeForte said. But, they DO replace those ions with sodium ions so the water that reaches the user has no calcium or magnesium.

    If I had an extra couple thousand laying around I'd consider it.

    For the creams/soaps question...I've been able to make most anything work, but I think I'm probably using a bit more product that I might if I had softer water. I've only tried a few soaps, but find the HBS soaps do very well. I couldn't find ANY lather using Tabak, but as I understand it Tabak offers some unique challenges when it comes to ratios. Of the creams, I've tried Proraso, Musgo Real, and Dr. Harris and they all work very well.
    Last edited by cynical1; 02-14-2009 at 08:27 PM.

  6. #6

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    I bought my first house 5 years ago and was suckered into an overpriced, rebranded softener system. Don't get me wrong, it's a decent system but I could have gotten the same thing from the original manufacturers for about 1/10th the price. Yup, that's how much I got taken! Get a Fleck 5600 system, it'll run you about $500 installed or just install it yourself and save the $100. It will take a little research and about 1 day but you will love the results. My system is the "top of the line" Rainsoft system. It came with an air purifier and under sink filter system as well but all it is is a Fleck with the Rainsoft logo. They take some maintenance too, not just dumping in the salt but every 2-3 years you need to really clean it out, but the manual will show you how to get it done in about an hour. I had to get the manual online from Fleck since Rainsoft would rather charge you $150 to send someone out to do "maintenance" and tell you the system is not repairable and sell you another upgrade. OK, I'll get off the soapbox now. But a softener system is definitely worth the investment!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dax702 View Post
    I recently had to make a trip (don't travel much) and the hotel had soft water. Wow, what a pleasure it was to shave! I even shaved two days in a row which is unheard of for me. The soft water made a huge difference so I'm going to look into getting that in my house. In the meantime, can anyone recommend a cream which works particularly well with hard water?

    Also, I don't know anything about soft water systems, are they all about the same or what's the deal with those?
    Did you experience an improvement beyond the ease of lathering? If not (and that is my experience) then I would try using more product when you are lathering. I live in London and have what I think is hard water, and, like others have said above, loading up on the cream generally deals with it. I do find that a third pass might necessitate extra cream though...

  8. #8
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    I moved a while back from a house with a water conditioner to a place with very hard water what a difference, I have been able to get any product to work however I found sometimes either or both product and or water is required, more mixing time is always required from getting a mug/bowl of lather whipped up in under a minute to somtimes about 4-5 minutes mixing and the lather although good is not exactly as good as made with soft water.

    a cheap solution is to buy bottled water and only use it for mixing the lather.
    Jim

  9. #9
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    Or you could collect rainwater and just filter it

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarbeForte View Post
    Or you could collect rainwater and just filter it
    Ahhh There's nothing like a ice cold shave out of the rain barrel early in the morn to wake you up!

  11. #11
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    Just like in the old days!

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    Water softening systems don't need to cost thousands of dollars. We got our Kenmore filter for $800 delivered and installed from Sears. The salt costs about $10 every two months for replacement pellets (and we use the fairly high-end Morton System Saver pellets). Since putting this in, I've been making a MUCH slicker lather and haven't needed to clean heavy calcium deposits off of my razor every week. You'll probably recoup the expense of the softener in a few years as you will need to use less shaving soap/cream, body soap, shampoo, etc with soft water than with hard.

  13. #13
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    I have had a couple of softener systems. Stay away from Sears. Fleck is one of the leaders in the industry, do your homework. Fleck uses pistons and moving parts not venuri actuated garbage. Get about a 80,000 grain unit.


    Later,
    Richard
    I know I am a pain but I love CBN!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarbeForte View Post
    "Hard water" is water with minerals in it (calcium is one) in a somewhat large quantity (sorry I cannot define "large" here). If your home has hard water, you're stuck with it. Most filtration systems use sodium to filter the water so they will be of no use, other will use filters which won't remove any minerals. Your only hope would be a reverse osmosis system which would be a total waste of money. If you want to use "soft" water for shaving buy distilled water and use that instead of your tap water.
    Water softeners have been used to address "hard" water for years.
    Mark

  15. #15
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    When we moved back to NJ some three years ago, we moved into a very hard water area (before in MI we had very soft water). It took us about two month before we finally took the plunge and had a water softener installed. We decided on a WaterBoy, on which I decided after some research; and the local HD carries them and I had spoken with some plumbers regarding these system.
    It is one that uses salt for regeneration, but this is the cheapest way to get soft water. Reverse Osmosis systems are great, but just too costly for a whole house. The unit cost some $400, and I had to spend about another $400 to have it installed. Guess this was money well spend, especially after my wife was complaining daily about the hard water stains all over sinks and that the dishes came not nicely out of the dishwasher
    Rudy, Central New Jersey
    'If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.'
    www.ultimatependesigns.com

  16. #16

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    I have slightly hard water in my house, I end up using more product- in some cases a disgustingly large amount.

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