How To Use A Shaving Scuttle

How To Use A Shaving Scuttle

How To Use A Shaving Scuttle

How To Use A Shaving Scuttle

What are those strange little tea pot/potpourri  type vessels you see in the antique store? Maybe you remember one on or around the sink at your granddads? Fact is, we have all seen these wet shaving relics from the past, but are baffled at how to use one, or maybe too embarrassed to ask. Have no fear my budding gents, we here at HTGAM are once again swooping in to the rescue!


 A brief history of the shaving scuttle:
The name Scuttle comes from the Middle English scutel and the Latin scutella, which means drinking bowl or tray. However, I don’t recommend using the shaving scuttle for either. The shaving scuttle as we know it came into use sometime in the 19th century. Back in those days hot water was not common place in many a dwelling, so one way to get around this, and a visit to the barber for a hot shave was, you guessed it, the shaving scuttle.
 As we mentioned earlier, the vessel somewhat resembles a tea pot with a wide mouthed spout and at the top is the soap dish that may or may not have drainage holes in it. The drainage holes also function as steam vents that aid in creating a very nice hot lather, which is our goal. Hot lather equals a close, safe, therapeutic shave…win.


So how does this thing work?


How to use a Scuttle:
How To Use A Shaving Scuttle

Boil Water

1)  Boil some water. While waiting the water to boil run your scuttle under hot water to prepare it. You may even want to stop the sink and submerge it in the hot water until ready.

2)  Add the boiling water to the spout of the scuttle. Then stick your safety razor and shaving brush in it.  This will do two things; it will warm the razor and the brush, and it will soften the bristles of the brush. Next, place the shaving puck in the soap tray and allow it to warm. During this time you may want to take a shower or bath. If bathing is not on the game plan then let it sit for 10 minutes before you begin. [note: lower quality shaving brushes may be held together with a cheap glue that might melt if left in boiling water. Make sure the glue is gum or polymer based first or that just the bristles are immersed in the water and not the handle.]

How To Use A Shaving Scuttle

Submerge Scuttle In Hot Water To Heat

3)  Okay, times up! Remove the brush and start to swirl it around the top of the soap creating a lather. Depending upon which school of lather you subscribe to it can be created in the dish or on the face. What’s important is that it’s hot.


How To Use A Shaving Scuttle

After Adding Boiling Water, Put Razor & Brush In Reservoir To Heat. Wait 10 Minutes…

4)  Once lather is applied to your face place the brush back in the reservoir to keep it hot.


5)  After your first pass, re-lather your warm suds and go for pass two! Repeat one more time if a super close shave is what you are after.



Congrats, you are using a traditional shaving scuttle in much the same way, with some slight alterations, grand-pappy did! If you enjoy using a scuttle you may want to check out some of the modern styles currently being produced by potters. The scuttle of today has really evolved. Check back for reviews on a few of the new designs that we will be posting soon. Now, don’t you have some wet shaving to be doing? 


Article by Douglas Smythe
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