askmake Ask MAKE: Foaming Shave GelAsk MAKE is a monthly column where we answer your questions. Send your vexing conundrums on any aspect of making to askmake@makezine.com. If we don’t have the answer, we’ll scare up somebody who does.

Robert asks:

I use Edge shaving gel and I noticed that some cans will not dispense the gel as a foam while others will. Would it make an interesting project to find out how the spray head is suppose to work and find a way to fix it if it is not foaming the gel?

Dear Robert,
According To Edge’s website, the gel is supposed to remain a gel when it exits the can. Therefore, if it came out foaming on occasion for you, I can only guess that it’s due to an abnormality or defect in the can itself.

For curiosity’s sake, I went ahead and bought a few cans of Edge gel and put them through their paces in the hope that I could replicate the foaming action you speak of.

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All three of my seven ounce cans came out as a gel straightaway. But I had the suspicion that perhaps it would start to foam towards the end of the can, so decided to empty one out completely.

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Though it produced a lot of gel, after exactly 41 seconds the can simply stopped producing anything. Next I decided to get crafty and try a different spray tip.

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I opened the outer casing of the can with a screwdriver and found the tube was not the proper size for a standard aspirator tip (like one you’d use on a spray paint can). So, I gently melted the tube with a lighter and forced the tip in once the tube was malleable enough.

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To my surprise, the aspirator tip still produced gel, not foam. My next recourse was to melt and deform the Edge gel nozzle itself.
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Unfortunately, the deformation of the nozzle did little to nothing to change the output from a gel to a foam.
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In the end, the results are inconclusive as to your question, but I tried my darndest to obtain the results you’re looking for. My suggestion to you is to spray some gel into your hand, then agitate it with the fingers on your other hand until it foams up. I hope this helps.

Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens’ educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.


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