How to Get Lather from Geo F. Trumper Hard Shaving Soap


One question we’ve been getting frequently from customers involves one very specific, popular soap: Geo F. Trumper Hard Shaving Soap. It’s a gorgeous, beautifully scented soap from one of England’s oldest barbers and perfumers. However, the puck is known for being stubborn and generally hard to maneuver if you haven’t had experience with it before.

Thankfully, we’re here to help! With the right method, tools, and patience, you can most certainly achieve a thick, luscious lather with this soap – many men already have! We’ve spent time testing and getting feedback from customers who have successfully lathered with Geo F. Trumper, and the resulting method is below.

We’ve also included a primer on why the type of water you’re using makes a BIG difference, and tips for modifying the technique to suit your needs.

We hope you find this helpful, and we welcome any further suggestions not mentioned here!

Here is a well-tested method we’ve gotten from customers:

Soak the puck in water (preferably hot) for at least 10 minutes prior to shaving. Then, dump the excess water from the puck and begin loading in your shaving bowl. From there, it may take anywhere from 40 – 60 seconds to a couple of minutes to create enough lather. Keep in mind that how successful you are at creating lather also depends on the type of shaving brush you’re using and whether you’re working with hard water or soft water (more on that below).

During this lathering process, add small amounts of water as needed. How much water you need to add will vary on a case-by-case basis. We suggest adding small drops of water until you reach a satisfying amount of lather.

Things to remember

  • The Geo F. Trumper Soap is a hard soap that can be stubborn, so be persistent and patient when loading. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re lathering for quite a while – this soap can take the beating.
  • If the methods mentioned above are still not working for you, dip the brush in hot water and run it in a circulation motion over the soap.
  • Apply pressure to the soap when building lather, but not too much pressure. Doing so can pack the soap into your brush too densely, preventing it from getting on your face.
  • Try the above method with a wet brush and then a dry brush to see which works better for you.

A quick lesson on hard water vs. soft water

Hard water is water with high mineral content. When you’re trying to lather a shaving soap using hard water, you’ll notice it’s hard to produce lather. That’s due to the minerals in the water reacting with the soap. You’ll really only see these detrimental hard water effects when you’re working with a soap, however, since shaving creams already contain water and thus lather much more easily.

The ideal water for lathering is distilled water, which is soft water not keeping minerals in solution. You need far less soft water to achieve substantial lather.

To learn more about the type of water you’re using and how it’s affecting your shave, check out our post on Hard Water and Insufficient Lather.


Common Shaving Problems: Hard Water and Insufficient Lather

A sharp straight razor, brush and soap

As a wet shaver, you consciously anticipate several variables – the type of razor, the sharpness of the blade, the type of shaving cream or soap, etc. All of these pieces add up to a wet shave that suits your tastes. But have you ever considered the hardness of your water? When it comes to traditional shaving, the quality of your water has everything to do with the shaving experience and outcome.

Read on to see how hard water affects your shave, how to test for hard water, and how to remedy the situation.

What is hard water, and why does it affect shaving?

Hard water is water with high mineral content, formed when water percolates through deposits of chalk-containing minerals such as calcium and magnesium. It’s what causes soap scum and buildup on your faucets and shower heads.

If you combine hard water with shaving soap, you’ll notice a distinct lack of lather because of the minerals in the water reacting with the soap. Insufficient lather, of course, causes the blade to pull and tug at your beard rather than giving you a crisp cut.

Hard water’s affect on shaving is not as obvious if you use a shaving cream, since shaving creams already contain some water.

The ideal water for wet shaving is distilled water, which contains lots of free water (i.e. water not keeping other things in solution). Only a small amount is required for a complete shave.

How do I know if I have hard water?

To test if your water is hard, simply purchase some distilled water and try shaving with it; if you get a much better lather, you probably have hard water at home. Also, you’ll know if you have hard water if you notice slimy soap scum that clings to your sink after you shave.

In addition to producing lackluster lather, hard water can actually ruin your shaving brush and razor because the minerals will cling and erode.

Tip: Make sure that you’re lathering correctly – press your brush firmly into the soap and stroke for 20-30 seconds until all the bubbles are gone and you end up with a thick lather.

What can I do if my house/apartment has hard water?

That depends on how much time and money you’re willing to invest. For a quick and cost-effective solution, you can purchase a gallon of distilled water for about $2. It only takes about ½ cup total to soak the brush, wet the bar, wash your beard, and rinse, so that gallon can last quite a few shaves.

If you want a long term solution, you can install a water softener.

Alternatively, if neither of the above solutions sounds that great, you can always use shaving cream, which is much easier to lather than hard soaps. Our customers have given high praises for Taylor of Old Bond Street Luxury Shaving Cream Bowl.


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