[Q&A] Is Shaving Cream Flammable? Exploring the Flammability of Shaving Cream

Is Shaving Cream Flammable

Shaving cream, a staple in many men’s grooming routines, is not only enriched with various organic compounds but also contains about 7% of materials that are highly combustible. However, one might wonder, is shaving cream flammable? This intriguing question arises because of its composition, which includes both soap and oil components known for their potential to catch fire under certain conditions. This article delves into the flammability of shaving cream, exploring whether the small percentage of combustible substances can render the entire product a fire hazard. Join us as we uncover more about is shaving cream flammable and share tips on safely utilizing shaving creams in your daily grooming practice.

Is Shaving cream Flammable?

Shaving creams are flammable due to the use of highly inflammable aerosol propellants such as isobutane, propane, and butane. Isobutane is a popular choice as it is compressible and maintains pressure in the can. However, when heated, the isobutane builds up pressure and can cause the container to explode. In 2013, a man was injured when he heated his shaving cream can on a stove.

This incident serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the potential dangers of mishandling flammable materials. It is important to use shaving creams and other aerosol products with care and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure safety.

Is Shaving Cream Flammable
Is Shaving Cream Flammable

What Other Components Are There in Shaving Creams?

Is Shaving Cream Flammable
Is Shaving Cream Flammable

Now, you know the answer to Is shaving cream flammable. Shaving creams are loaded with chemicals. The good news is that the majority of those substances are organic, with the composition varying depending on the brand.

However, a search through Google Patents reveals that a conventional shaving cream should contain some or all of the following chemicals:

  • Triethanolamine.

Triethanolamine, also known as TEA, has a history that dates back to its use in the development of weaponized mustard gas. However, in modern times, TEA is used as a thickening and wetting agent in a variety of consumer products, including shaving creams.

When included in shaving creams, TEA helps to improve the flow of water by reducing the surface tension that holds droplets together. This, in turn, allows for better structural integrity of the water molecules within the shaving cream. By improving the surface area and lowering the surface tension, TEA helps to ensure that the shaving cream applies smoothly and evenly, providing a comfortable and effective shave.

As you know, this is the tea ingredient that appears in shaving cream.

Is Shaving Cream Flammable
Is Shaving Cream Flammable
  • Palmitic acid.

Palmitic acid is a type of fatty acid found in palm oils and animal fats. It is commonly used to produce soap. Palmitic acid, like soap, helps shaving creams foam easily.

Aside from that, it enfolds hair follicles and retains them in place for easier shaving.

  • Stearic acid.

This is a common cosmetic ingredient. When used alone, it is waxy and softens the skin. Stearic acid becomes a potent thickening that provides a pleasant lather when combined with TEA.

  • Isopentane

Shaving requires your hair to be upright so that shaving is easy. Iso-pentane, which breaks down the oil your skin produces, is one agent in shaving creams that does this.

Normally, iso-pentane emits gasoline-like odors. However, the scent in the shaving cream conceals that odor.

  • Sunflower oil monoglycerides.

The function of plant oil in solid creams is relatively simple – it forms fatty acid bonds with other components in the cream. This allows the cream to remain in a gel-like state until it is rubbed onto the skin. As soon as air enters the molecular space, the cream begins to foam.

In addition to plant oil, shaving creams commonly contain a variety of other ingredients designed to improve their performance. For example, PEG 90M is often included as a lubricant to make the shaving process smoother and more comfortable.

Another important ingredient in many shaving creams is aloe vera. Aloe vera is known for its soothing and healing properties, and it can help to soften the skin while also reducing the risk of nicks and cuts during shaving.

As you may not know, there is also a compound called sorbitol, which is a cheaper alternative to glycerine.

Do Shaving Creams Explode on a Plane?

Shaving cream cans contain a significant amount of pressure due to the aerosol content they contain. If these cans are placed in an unpressurized cargo hold, they may explode due to the pressure difference inside and outside the can. This uneven expansion can cause a dangerous explosion that can pose a risk to both people and property.

However, it is important to note that this risk is not unique to shaving cream cans. Most pressurized fluids are susceptible to this type of explosion when exposed to pressure lower than their packaging pressure. To mitigate this risk, modern airplanes are equipped with pressurized cargo holds that help to maintain a safe environment for all passengers and their belongings.

Is Shaving Cream Flammable
Is Shaving Cream Flammable

Despite this, it is important to follow the guidelines set forth by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) when traveling with shaving cream or any other personal care products. The TSA prohibits carrying more than 3.4 oz/100 ml of shaving cream on a plane, but smaller amounts may be permitted.

You should note a number of related cases so as not to be detained before boarding.

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