Handmade natural tallow soap recipe: shaving bar and tins

by Liz Beavis
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 and the blue foam stained everything it touched.  Safe to say that I prefer the shaving soap and so does Pete!

The shaving stick lasts for MONTHS and the brush will last for years, so I wanted to make my own shaving soap using tallow.  I make the soap in bars and in tins, 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.

eight acres: shaving soap
I just poured these


Since Pete started using my shaving soap and a brush, the main expense has been the single-use razors.  Sometimes we will stand in front of the razor section of the supermarket for 10 minutes trying to pick the best value razor, but the reality is these single-use razors are expensive and wasteful.  I didn't know there was an alternative until I saw Phil's post.  I showed it to Pete and he was keen to give it a try so I ordered a razor and a pack of blades.  He's been using it for a few months now and is very happy with it.

You can buy safety razors from a number of online sites, including Biome's range of Safety Razors (affiliate link), I really don't know why the price varies so widely from $30 to over $100 for a fancy handle!  I got Pete a mid-priced safety razor and some blades.  The blades work out to be able $1 each and last for a week or so (5-7 shaves).  I think this is actually more expensive than the cheapest of the "disposable" razors, but around the same price as the nicer ones that we used to buy, and I feel better knowing there is less waste, just a metal blade which could probably be recycled if we were organised.  Next step towards sustainability is the cut throat razor which just needs to be sharpened.... 

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.


  • Nicole Dooley

    Thanks for the great tallow recipe for shaving soap. I have just started on my soap making journey. And I would love to make this for my husband.

    My husband has been using a safety razor for the past year, as I too was upset at the wastefulness of the modern razors. They can’t be recycled due to all the plastic.

    But you shouldn’t be paying a $1 a safety blade. I get my husband the Astra brand which is a pack of 100 for around $13USD so $0.13 a blade. But you can get some brands for less. I get mine on Amazon. Even though I am in the USA, I just checked the Aussie amazon site and the Astra brand is only $19.95 AUD with free shipping. So less than $0.20 a blade. I have a used tincan under the bathroom sink to collect the used blades, then recycle once full. Which looks like it will be a while!

  • Susette A Marrisett

    I line my pipe with a silicone cutting mat . leave it a bit taller than the pipe so you can grab it. sometimes a brief stint in the freezer created condensation which helps

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

eBook - Make Your Own Natural Soap
from $15.00
eBook - Our Experience with House Cows
from $15.00
eBook - A Beginner's Guide to Backyard Chickens and Chicken Tractors
from $12.00
eBook - Advanced Natural Soapmaking Techniques
from $15.00
eBook - Grow Your Own Vegetables
from $15.00