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Can I Use Shaving Cream For Washing?

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When you run out of cleaning supplies, it’s time to look around you for products you can repurpose. Many of the health and wellness products you often buy double as cleaning products as well. And shaving cream is one of those multipurpose products that fill in for detergents, stain removers, and soap in a pinch. 

You can use shaving cream to wash your face when you run out of soap. Just like laundry detergents, shaving cream contains surfactants and emulsifiers. And you can also use it to get stains off mattresses, carpets, and sofas. It’s also a good option to remove gunk from jewelry and render your bathtub spotless clean.

Keeping in mind that shaving cream is not that cheap, it’s still a good option to get stains removed and get the place in order until you stock up on cleaning supplies. Read more to find out why shaving cream moonlights as a stain remover and how to use it.

Why Is Shaving Cream Good For Cleaning?

Chemically speaking, shaving cream is not very much different from any detergent you buy. It contains surfactants and emulsifiers which break down stains. But since your stubble is not exactly a stain, the shaving cream contains these compounds in mild concentrations. So why would the shaving cream contain these chemicals in the first place?

On the face, a combination of hair oil and the water surface tension tends to insulate the hair, which makes the razor slide over the stubble instead of cutting it. The emulsifiers and surfactants reduce the surface tension of the water, allowing it to remove the oil on the hair and give the razor more traction.

The same principle applies to other stains on clothes and other surfaces. The emulsifiers allow the water to penetrate the stain while the surfactants break it down.

So, in theory, you can use shaving cream anywhere you’d need a laundry detergent or a stain remover. In practice, though, shaving cream is more expensive than most laundry detergents, stain removers, and soaps. It would be impractical to use it regularly.

How to Use Shaving Cream for Cleaning

Although you can’t slather laundry detergent on your face to shave, you can use shaving cream to remove stains that are usually too difficult to wash in the washer. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Cleaning Your Face With Shaving Cream

When you run out of soap and your jaws look clean, but the rest of your face feels oily, you can go ahead and slather shaving cream all over your face sparingly. It will cleanse the skin and open the skin pores.

However, you should avoid putting shaving cream on your eyes. As a matter of fact, avoid the whole eye area, including the eyelids. The harsh chemicals can cause eye irritation.

For the best results when washing your face with shaving cream, use warm water with a small dab of the cream. Wash your face thoroughly right away with warm water. 

How to Clean a Mattress With Shaving Cream

The mattress is arguably one of the toughest items to clean. A mattress stain would usually require a lot of work. With the many layers inside of the mattress, liquid stain removers and detergents are out of the question.

But you can use shaving cream since it’s not a liquid, will not seep into the deep layers of the mattress, and it evaporates quickly. It’s the ideal stain remover for mattresses.

Apply a thick gob of shaving cream over the stain on the mattress and work it through the fabric with your fingers. Let it sit there for at least 15 minutes. Use a sponge or a washcloth to scrub the stain and excess shaving cream off the mattress. Repeat as needed.

How to Clean Mattress Stains (Method that Actually Works)
Here is a video of me playing around with adding stains to my old mattress and trying to clean them. It’s a fun watch if you have a few minutes.

Cleaning Sofas With Shaving Cream

The sofa is another piece of furniture that is not easy to clean. In fact, what applies to stains on the mattress applies to a stained sofa as well. You can’t just remove the cover of the sofa and get it cleaned up.

So you have to treat the stain without getting the inside of the sofa damp, which could lead to mold and mildew build-up. So instead of risking damaging the sofa with regular stain removers, use shaving cream instead.

Apply the shaving cream directly to the stain and rub it in to help it penetrate the fabric and break the stain residue under the cover. After about 15 minutes, the shaving cream would break down the stain making it easier for you to scrub it off.

How to Clean Carpet Stains With Shaving Cream

The pile on the carpet makes it difficult to treat many stains. Not only does the pile absorb the stain, but it also repels water. But shaving cream doesn’t contain water, and it works directly on the stain without the need for moisture. Apply the shaving cream generously to the stain and work it into the pile using your fingers or a brush. Allow it between 15 to 30 minutes depending on the stain. Then wipe it off with a clean sponge.

Cleaning the Bathtub With Shaving Cream

The more you use the bathtub, the more gunk that covers the walls. This is especially true of spots that don’t get much contact, such as the other end of the tub. Scrubbing the bathtub can be hard work, and the results are not always satisfactory. If you have stains or gunk on a part of the tub that resists the toughest stain removers, shaving cream can help.

Pour hot water on the stain or gunk to soften it, then apply a thick layer of shaving cream over it. Leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes, then use a coarse scrub or brush to remove the stain. If you still have traces of the stain, repeat the shaving cream treatment.

I also wrote a guide on cleaning the bathtub with oven cleaner that may interest you to read next.

Soaking Jewelry in Shaving Cream

When silver rusts or shiny stones are covered with dirt, you can use shaving cream to restore their luster. Apply the shaving cream to the jewelry and set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes. When you wipe off the shaving cream with a sponge, it will come off along with the rust and gunk.


Shaving cream can double as a stain remover to treat stains on mattresses, sofas, carpets, and pieces of jewelry.

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