How to Succeed with Mitchell’s Wool Fat Soap

Posted: July 22, 2018 in Shaving Articles

Mitchell’s Wool Fat is one of the absolute classic soaps in wet shaving. With its tallow and high lanolin formula (that’s the wool fat part), it delivers great slickness and excellent conditioning after the shave.


But it can be a bit of a bear to get a really good lather. I struggled with it for a long time, and always gave it a demerit because of having iffy, thin lather. There’s a bit of a learning curve. More than a bit. For those of us who are spoiled by the fall-off-a-log simple modern soaps, it can be a bit of a downer.

Have faith, though. Regardless of your water, regardless of your gear, I believe I’ve come up with a methodology that will work for you, and give you excellent lather with “The Fat”.

Step One: Get the product in the puck format. No bowl/ceramic dish/ect. necessary. I have come to believe that this soap works best when out of a container, and you’ll need a loose puck to utilize the process I’m putting forward. Anyway, the plain puck is cheaper and doesn’t have much in the way of throw-away waste. Just a little cardboard box and some waxed paper. So there’s that.

Step Two: Do your prep, wet your face and brush as you’d normally do. Now, grasp the puck, dip it quickly in the water, and apply it to your wet beard stubble, as you’d do with a shaving stick. Don’t be stingy. Soap is cheap, and hard-milled soap doesn’t ablate quickly, anyhow.

Step Three: Hold the puck in your off hand and lather with the brush. Yes. We’re going to lather into the brush, too. That’s kinda the secret. You don’t have to get an unmanageable amount of lather, just work some into the bristles.

Step Four: Rinse off the puck and let it stand somewhere to dry. Now, begin to face lather as you normally would, and you’ll find that the combination of soap on your face and in your brush will come together as a nice, dense lather. Add water as needed, but I’ve found that MWF works really well when it is left in a fairly concentrated state.

From here, you’re off to the races, and should have a superb shave and a happy face. I’ve never had a lather be anything but amazing when doing this double loading technique. Something about the innate slickness of the MWF soap, when it’s applied right to the face, seems to create a wonderful boundary layer.

You can also use this to pump up another soap that just lacks slickness or conditioning. Just do the shaving stick part of the process, almost like a preshave. Mitchell’s doesn’t have a strong smell, so it shouldn’t mess with the scent of the other soap.

Give this technique a try and let me know if it worked for you. For me, it’s totally changed how I feel about Wool Fat, and I will always have that soap in my den from here on out.

Cheers, and happy shaving,




  1. Steve says:


    Good tip on lathering hard soaps. Nothing better than a wet face full of stubble to ‘scratch off” some soap. And ready both face and soap for the brush. I’ve found this efficiently puts down a rich lather. Takes all the voo-doo out of getting a soaps ‘best.’ Thanks!


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