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What is a Hot Lather Machine?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Jan 23, 2024
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Enjoyed daily by many men as part of the morning grooming process, a hot lather machine offers a stimulating means of warming shaving cream or gel. The heated medium supplied by the hot lather machine helps to make the tedious task of shaving a little more inviting, as well as helping to ensure a closer shave. Hot lather machines have been around since the middle of the 20th century, and continue to be a popular item today.

The concept behind the hot lather dispenser is very simple. In many models, the metal can of shaving cream is placed into the body of the device. Warming elements gently but efficiently raise the contents of the can to a comfortable temperature, and help to maintain it long enough for the user to extract enough lather for the shaving task. Once the shaving is complete for the day, the machine is turned off.

Some models of the hot lather machine are constructed to allow use of both standard cans of shaving cream or larger versions. With just about all models, the construction includes safety features that prevent the can from overheating. Often, it takes no more than a couple of minutes to properly heat the contents of the can. Many models include a small indicator light that allows the user to know when the contents are at the proper temperature.

As shaving gel has become more popular, machines that are configured to work with both lather and gel have appeared on the market. There are also hot gel machines that will work with gel only. The hot gel machine is rarely more expensive than most of the hot lather dispensers available today, although there are a few high end models that are designed to work with specific types of shaving gels.

Most examples of the hot lather machine will work with the standard cylindrical eleven and fourteen ounce cans. Some include multiple heating bases that allow the machine to be set up for different size cans. Just about all the models today will also include a simple thermostat that will prevent the can from heating above a certain temperature, and that will also shut down the hot lather machine in the event it is left unattended for a period of time.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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