Why all the shaving cream?
October 13, 2008 4:07 AM   Subscribe

I was standing behind a young mother at the supermarket. Among her items I noticed about eight cans of Barbasol shaving cream. Any idea why someone would need that much shaving cream? Is there another use I don't know about?
posted by archaic to Shopping (48 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My totally speculative guess? At this time of year, perhaps it's for some kind of costume. Alternatively, there might have been a sale.
posted by cgc373 at 4:12 AM on October 13, 2008

Years ago, a barber told me to use shaving cream as hair mousse. Old school brands like Barbasol work great. That doesn't exactly explain why she might need so much, though.
posted by unclejeffy at 4:14 AM on October 13, 2008

Shaving cream is a great creative toy for kids.

Also in the U.S. it's Halloween/homecoming season --- shaving cream is a creative toy for teenagers too.
posted by headnsouth at 4:23 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Filling the bathtub with shaving cream can be an awful lot of fun. Barbasol is cheap and good for that kind of excessive activity. When we were kids, my dad filled a wading pool with shaving cream for us to play in - an event I don't recall but one that is commemorated with hilarious photos.

Just a wild, weird guess, but it would explain why she had eight cans of the stuff.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:24 AM on October 13, 2008

Isn't shaving-cream sometimes used in comedy 'custard' pies? Maybe she's preparing for a pie-fight.
posted by misteraitch at 4:53 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Maybe they where making a Herb Alpert tribute art car.
posted by ghost of a past number at 4:56 AM on October 13, 2008

Maybe she's using the aerosol to huff.
posted by watercarrier at 5:01 AM on October 13, 2008

The last time I was in a supermarket, my basket had 10 tubes of toothpaste, 10 toothbrushes and loads of soap. I wasn't having a soapy toothpaste scrubbing party, they were all buy one get one free.
posted by jack_mo at 5:02 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

In 5th grade we used to clean the tables with shaving cream. Maybe she's a teacher?
posted by Tu13es at 5:04 AM on October 13, 2008

Well, no one really needs twelve rolls of toilet paper, do they? The reason why we buy twelve or twenty-four rolls at a time is because it's very frustrating to run out. The same is true for most toiletries.

Alternatively, she could be using them to smuggle samples of dinosaur dna.
posted by Citizen Premier at 5:05 AM on October 13, 2008 [22 favorites]

The simplest answer is that it was on sale.
Maybe she has a husband and 7 sons.
Maybe she wants to relive her juvenile delinquent escapades on Halloween, but is now mature enough to plan ahead.

We could make stuff up all day.
posted by no1hatchling at 5:12 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Well I can only speak for Northeastern US, but that kind of shaving cream bought in bulk during October is for one thing and one thing only. Halloween. Most places won't sell it to kids anymore in October, so perhaps she's buying for some teens somewhere.

See we used to pop the top off of the shaving can, stick a needle in the spout, and put the spout in a lighter flame. The spout would melt around the needle, making a pin sized hole. Now pop that top back onto the can, and you have a can of shaving cream that will shoot 10-15ft streams. Perfect for shaving cream fights in the streets. Fun times.
posted by wile e at 5:16 AM on October 13, 2008 [7 favorites]

I bought 6 cans last week because it was on sale for $1 a can, which was a really good deal. It'll probably last 6 months or more. Maybe she was doing the same thing.
posted by MsElaineous at 5:19 AM on October 13, 2008

You can use shaving cream to create marbleized paper, which would be a fun kids craft project.
posted by not.so.hip at 5:27 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I am going back to the store to check on the "sale" theory. Its a high end grocery that almost never puts anything on sale. I WILL get to the bottom of this
posted by archaic at 5:31 AM on October 13, 2008

Who knew you could loosen your nuts with it?
posted by watercarrier at 5:37 AM on October 13, 2008

I once went into my best (male!) friends bathroom to wash my hands after having helped him with his car but couldn't find soap. he instructed me to look below the sink. I opened the two doors and there were literally fifty bars of dove soap. I always thought he was rather neat but this was beyond that. the answer? they were on sale at costco.

so yeah, seconding that theory.
posted by krautland at 5:47 AM on October 13, 2008

Perhaps she just likes to stock up on toiletries and you saw her on the week she ran out of her last stash of shaving cream.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:50 AM on October 13, 2008

Buying in bulk is not uncommon, esp. when it comes to toiletries, since they tend to go fast, and you run out right when you least expect it. Would you buy one roll of toilet paper? It's the same principle.
posted by softsantear at 6:18 AM on October 13, 2008

Shaving cream is a common thing to spray on a car as a prank. I've seen it on newlyweds cars to spell out "just married." Or as a Halloween (or "devil's night") prank. Even young moms prank their friends. Or buy it for their mischievous little brothers.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:20 AM on October 13, 2008

I'm going with sale, too. One of my dad's fondest (?) memories from when he and my mom were newly married (and had no money) was when she came back from the store with 50 glade plug-in refills because they were on sale. Apparently, he stacked them up around the house like dominoes.

She's also been known to do this with toilet paper, barbeque sauce, and box brownie mix.

If you know it's something you're going to use forever, why not stock up?
posted by phunniemee at 6:28 AM on October 13, 2008

Homecoming weekend? Wedding? Halloween? Devil's night? No. I thing she's using it as a dessert topping. No- A floor wax!
posted by Gungho at 6:28 AM on October 13, 2008

Maybe she was making Shaving Cream Cards for the holidays see here
posted by nougat at 6:30 AM on October 13, 2008

I once bought 11 pairs of a specific brand of sneaker when I heard a rumour they were going out of business. Alas, I still have 3 pairs and they are still in business. Maybe whe was worried about a short squeeze?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:31 AM on October 13, 2008

I'm going to suggest decorating a car after a wedding. I often see shaving cream on the car that the bride and groom take off in.
posted by kimdog at 6:32 AM on October 13, 2008

When I used to babysit young kids, shaving foam was a PERFECT rainy day diversion. Cover the top of a table (or a kitchen floor) with it, let the kids go wild ("fingerpainting" with it, covering themselves in it) - afterwards, damp towel on floor / table, quick rinse of the kids - nothing else comes CLOSE for easy toddler toys to clean-up.

Not saying she's using it for this. But if not, she should be. ^_^
posted by InfinateJane at 6:37 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

My daughter's school recently made care packages for a homeless shelter. We bought ten of all kinds of toiletries.
posted by pearlybob at 6:38 AM on October 13, 2008

She's putting together a Marshmallow Man costume for her son.
posted by arimathea at 6:41 AM on October 13, 2008

Shaving cream is a good carpet cleaner. Maybe her kids have made a mess of her carpets.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:48 AM on October 13, 2008

She's likely buying so much because Barbasol specifically is very hard to find these days. I went to the trouble of looking into it and they were having distribution issues. The brand is dying, which sucks because I love that brand.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:56 AM on October 13, 2008

When my daughter was first learning to shave her legs, she went through a can every couple of days. We frequently had 8 or more cans in our cart. Also, a lot of people collect toiletries for vets and for homeless shelters.
posted by clarkstonian at 7:00 AM on October 13, 2008

We just bought 6 cans of shaving cream. Just stocking up.
posted by defreckled at 7:35 AM on October 13, 2008

I used to have a friend who shot fetish videos for a living. Some of them required large quantities of odd product. Ala, this.
posted by GilloD at 7:49 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I totally hope she's planning a shaving cream fight. That would really be fun.
posted by theora55 at 8:06 AM on October 13, 2008

ATTENTION TEENAGERS..for the hallowe'en thing, better than monkeying around with flames and aerosol cans is this:

-pop off the top and replace it with one from a can of furniture polish or some such spray product. You have to find a brand fits the same (slightly larger) stem size as the shaving cream. It shoots really far in a tiny, narrow stream. It's hilarious.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:08 AM on October 13, 2008 [3 favorites]

Yes, kids love to play with shaving cream, the foamy kind not the gel. Since it is essentially detergent clean up is just requires rinsing.

She's likely buying so much because Barbasol specifically is very hard to find these days. I went to the trouble of looking into it and they were having distribution issues. The brand is dying, which sucks because I love that brand.

Agreed. However, I think Neutrogena Men Razor Defense, Shave Gel for Sensitive Skin is even better. You might give it a try, although such things are rather subjective.
posted by caddis at 8:26 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I had parent-supervised shaving cream fights at Halloween as a kid - that was my first guess.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:16 AM on October 13, 2008

In looking up shaving cream, I fond this description, which is NOT Markov-generated:

"Truefitt & prominence knows that reassure is a inevitability , not a opulence . The definitive Traveler Truefitt shaving cream position is a just right method on the road to indulgence physically otherwise furnish the present of splinter on the road to a companion . This Truefitt shaving cream position is packed by means of soaking splinter essentials and is nicely package into a Truefitt & prominence autograph present sachet . The tour sized untainted pester mane splinter difference of opinion into Truefitt shaving cream position is only existing into price collection ." via

I think she's probably getting the Barbasol for a kids' shaving cream fight, but I just wanted to share that paragraph because it is the reason I now have a headache.
posted by misha at 10:41 AM on October 13, 2008

1. Sale/special.
2. School project/theater supplies.
3. Bigfoot, having been spotted, going incognito.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 10:51 AM on October 13, 2008

She could be sending it to somebody who doesn't have access to it. Like somebody in another country, soldiers, et al.
posted by alpha_betty at 12:46 PM on October 13, 2008

*"it" being Barbasol specifically.
posted by alpha_betty at 12:47 PM on October 13, 2008

Shaving cream is a standard supply in youth ministry. People in youth ministry leadership tend to get married young and have kids right away. Those two facts, taken together, lead me to believe you may have been standing behind a Young Life leader.

Or maybe shaving cream was on sale. Or she's gonna go apeshit on Halloween.
posted by sportbucket at 1:39 PM on October 13, 2008

I teach preschoolers with autism and many of them have sensory impairments/aversions. Playing with shaving cream is a good way to expand their tactile repertoire, overcome aversion to wet/sticky stuff, and practice pre-handwriting. She may have been buying a bunch of the cheap stuff for several classes to play with.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 2:09 PM on October 13, 2008

She could be freezing them, then cutting the cans off of the solidified cylinders of shaving cream, dropping them into someone's car (or room) and letting the space fill to the brim with shaving cream.
posted by craven_morhead at 5:11 PM on October 13, 2008

When I taught second grade, I used to let the kids practice their spelling words in shaving cream.
posted by tamitang at 5:38 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is barely relavant. However, horses get fungus infections. As it turns out, some of these can be treated with over-the-counter products normally sold for "Lady problems." So you may have seen me, one rainy spring day, at Walgreens with a whole basket of those "Lady products" and thought I was a skank to rival Paris Hilton. (Which may be true, but would not be the reason for buying those products in bulk.)

My vote? She has a father or uncle in an old folks home and she's stocking up for him and his cronies who like the old school stuff.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:49 PM on October 13, 2008

Pull the nozzle off the can and replace it with an ordinary aerosol nozzle - voila, instant shaving cream guns for the kids. Much cheaper than that stupid Spider-man spray string stuff.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:27 AM on October 14, 2008

We used to play with shaving cream (Barbasol actually) on tables in daycare.
posted by Sufi at 1:55 PM on October 15, 2008

« Older ink query   |   How do Computer Games Companies work? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.