Updated: Jan 23
Preparing Shaving Foam
Shaving foam is available in squirty cans in supermarkets, pharmacies and online in bulk from places like amazon.
I often get asked about my giant pie video, where Kacie stepped naked into a pretty deep pool which was absolutely full of 400 cans of shaving foam.
It took me a year to gradually collect all the foam cans, then 8 hours the day before to fill it, (12 hours including breaks for lunch etc!) and I had to use these clamps to hold the nozzles of the shaving foam down as it was making all my muscles and tendons cramp after only ten cans or so.
If you plan on doing similar then be sure to ventilate the room well, there were a lot of fumes from all the cans.
I used a 450 litre pool, and we happily fit three people in it for our session that day but you could still get an excellent result with a much smaller pool and fewer cans of foam.
You get about a litre in volume from each can if you use a good brand and hold it correctly. That's allowing for a little deflation over time as the air escapes (it takes quite a while though)
Top tip: Hold the can absolutely level and horizontal as though it were resting on a table, resisting the primal urge to tilt it down. You’ll get far more out of it.
Top tip 2: Empty all your cans into buckets or bowls in advance - this helps the fumes evaporate and makes it less likely to sting.
Top tip 3: Make sure you don't buy shaving gel, and if you are ordering it along with your grocery delivery, don't allow substitutions or you'll often end up with gel.
Top tip 4: Use poster paint to colour it rather than food colouring for better colour results and less staining, and fold it in with a large spoon rather than stirring. The colour can cling along with the residue to any dry areas of skin, but a good scrub with a loofah or bath puff will remove it.
Top tip 5: if you are using shaving foam to make pies, check out my ultimate guide to pies too for even more advice
The full scene that pic is from is available here and I'll link to the free version at the end of the article
Cleaning Up Shaving Foam & Getting Rid Of The Residue
Body, Skin & Hair
Removing it from skin is easy, but don’t be fooled by the soapy appearance as it can leave a weird residue, so you’ll still need to scrub. I always recommend those plastic loofahs or bath puffs, made of scrunched up plastic mesh for removing any mess from skin, or a soft bristled body brush. Add lots of warm water and shower gel or soap. Don't panic if any colouring stuck to you, it will come off at this stage.
I also recommend having a mirror within your line of sight in the bathroom so you can visually check for any missed areas. Common areas I used to miss were backs of arms, flanks, backs of legs and ankles. Always check every single crevice of your ears too!
Shaving foam leaves a weird residue in hair, so you do need to use lots of shampoo, massage it in really well and wash your hair at least twice. Then use a conditioner, leaving it on for as long as possible and comb through with a tight/fine toothed comb. Rinse well, and rinse again.
To get the weird residue out of longer hair too, first of all, stand under the water and let the water rinse the worst off. Use your hands to run over your head and down the length of your hair to feel where the worst is and encourage it along by gently squeezing it out. Once the worst is gone, shampoo twice, massaging it in really well both times and rinsing carefully.
Now use conditioner liberally too, preferably a deep conditioner with Argan oil. Put on a shower cap and leave it on for as long as you can and then comb it through, using a wide toothed comb at first and then a smaller/tighter one. Rinse thoroughly a couple of times and you should then have no trace of the sticky weirdness shaving foam leaves behind.
Cleaning Off Items & Objects
Buckets & Tools
To clean the residue off buckets you need to scrub with a scrub daddy or brush and washing up liquid/dish soap, plus a hose or tap with good water pressure to blast the clinging areas off. Don’t try to do it with your hand or a flannel, you’ll be there all day! Microfibre cloths are good to get any last bits and help dry them off, but not for the initial washing. Don’t forget the outside of the buckets, bottoms of buckets and under the rims.
For a carpeted floor use a microfibre cloth and a little spray of water or clear antibacterial spray. Make sure you don’t use anything with bleach unless you know the carpet is certified for safe bleach use.
For laminate flooring, tile or stone, microfibre cloths are your friend. Same for any splashes that have got onto a wall or door, or door handles etc. If any splashes have dried, soak a microfibre cloth or a few sheets of kitchen roll with your cleaning spray and leave it on top of the dried foam for about 5 minutes. When you return it will just wipe away.
Baths & Showers
Shaving foam is removed very easily from baths and showers, and I generally never recommend using the bath or shower to splosh due to the slick surfaces and slip risk. Also that you have to clean the bath before you can clean yourself, but in this case especially if you only used a few cans it's probably fine.
The shaving foam shouldn't leave much residue on a bath, but if it does just use a scrub daddy and some cleaning spray to remove it
It can stick to shower trays a little more - again a scrub daddy will be the best thing for a thorough clean up.
Inflatable massage mats and pools are an awesome alternative to keep your bathroom clear
Cleaning Inflatable Pools
If you want to clean and save the pool
My general pool cleaning advice applies. Scoop leftovers up into buckets, watering it down and mixing it around to thin and knock the air out of the foam if need be. Then tip it down the drain or flush it down the loo.
Then tip a bucket of warm soapy water into your pool, and give it a good scrub around with a brush. This will be necessary to get that residue off.
Now scoop all that out and tip it away too or flush the water. Keep the pool inflated the whole time, and clean the sides of the pool with a few microfibre cloths, a soft brush and a cleaning spray. Then with it still inflated, stand it up against a wall and use the cleaning spray and cloths all over it.
Dry the pool thoroughly with towels and kitchen roll and then allow to thoroughly air dry, still inflated, before trying to pack it away. If any moisture remains when you deflate and fold it to store it, it will go mouldy.
I recently wrote an even more in depth guide to pool cleaning with step by step instructions from prep to finish, and my thoughts on wet/dry vacuums and lining the pool with plastic. To read that, go here
Recommended tools include a squeegee and dustpan, a scrub daddy or scrubbing brush, microfibre cloths and kitchen paper. You can find a few of those here
If you want to throw away the pool
If you used a small pool and a bucket or less of mess in total, you may be able to pop it and put it into a bin bag. If you do this, secure the first bin bag and then add another to be sure of no leaking.
If you used a large inflatable pool and a large amount of mess, you'll need to scoop out and rinse most of it away before trying to bag it, or it will be too heavy. Shaving foam is light and airy but after a while it deflates down to a soapy liquid. Even if you are strong enough to lift it easily, you risk the bin bag tearing if the contents are too heavy.
It's unlikely to happen unless you go crazy and do the 400 cans of foam giant pie like I did, but as I fully encourage everyone to try that at least once it would be remiss of me not to include what I had to do to empty that pool!
Flushing The Leftovers
You don't really need to flush shaving foam, it should rinse down the plug/drain pretty easily
If for any reason you would prefer to flush it, put it in a bucket or bowl first and stir it to get the air out first. If you are connected to a normal waste water system You can flush pretty much everything except oil. If you have a septic tank, please see the separate advice. I have never happened upon a loo that can’t handle mess being flushed down it.
Flush after each bucket, and make sure you give time for the loo tank to refill before expecting it to flush again. Repeat this as necessary.
If you have a septic tank, you won’t be able to flush leftovers down the loo and your possibly can't rinse them down the drain either.
Instead you will need a series of bags, and absorbent puppy pads, or wood pellet cat litter, as much as it takes to absorb all your leftovers. Triple bag it all with very strong bin bags, securing each layer, and take it all to your local tip, to the general waste area.
Clothes & Laundry
Shaving foam washes out of clothes a bit easier than your hair and body. Ideally take them into the shower with you to rinse them off a little and squeeze them out.
Be careful with water temperature if any items are dark in colour in case the colour runs.
Then wrap them up in a large clean towel or two, or drop them into a clean bucket so they don’t drip on the way to your washing machine.
Be mindful of the weight, wet or sploshed clothes are often heavy, so don't overload your machine.
Give the clothing one washing cycle with no laundry liquid, and then another washing cycle or two with the usual amount of laundry liquid and fabric conditioner.
Underwear, Lingerie, Tights & Stockings
Put tights and lingerie items in zip up mesh laundry bags, separate from each other. It's especially important to keep them separate from bras or anything with clasps or fastenings, as they will get snagged and rip and be difficult to untangle.
You could also keep them separate to hand wash on their own. Bras, teddies, babydoll nighties, basques etc all need their own zip up mesh laundry bags, or like with tights and stockings, keep them separate for thorough hand washing individually.
You can wash most shoes in the sink with warm soapy water as though you were washing dishes. Some shoes like trainers and flat ballet pumps can instead be put into a zip up mesh laundry bag and washed in the washing machine.
To dry shoes, stuff them with newspaper or kitchen paper and leave them somewhere warm, but away from direct heat.
For wigs, hand washing is always best. Be very gentle and use shampoo twice, rinsing each time. Then liberally soak it with hair conditioner and leave it for at least 30 minutes before combing out, starting with a wide toothed comb
Then brush it out gently with a wet brush - (wet brush is the name of the brand) It's very gentle and good for head hair too.
Rinse thoroughly and wrap it in a towel, then apply pressure to dry it a little, do not rub it.
Then keep away from direct heat to dry it, preferably hanging on something rounded to help it keep its shape, like a mannequin head, or leave it to dry laid flat on a towel.
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