ARKO Shave Sticks

What is your opinion on fine shaving creams and hard soaps? Do you like Trumpers, Coates, Taylors, Truefitt & Hill? Post your reviews and opinions here!
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Ouchmychin
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ARKO Shave Sticks

Post by Ouchmychin » Sun Dec 13, 2015 12:28 pm

A while back there was a thread about ARKO shave sticks, so I bought three. Two days ago I tried my first shave stick. I was surprised at how hard it was when rubbed on my face. Almost no soap came off until I rubbed very hard repeatedly. The lather was thin and faded fast. I don't know if mine have dried out or if this is normal. Yeserday I used some WARS cream in an old soap jar and squeezed the residue out of my brush into the jar and inverted the shave stick in the lather to try to soften the end enough to use. Is this normal? I wonder if I microwaved it, would it soften up? I skipped shaving today so I can't report on my wetting effort.
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Re: ARKO Shave Sticks

Post by brothers » Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:05 pm

Pete, this isn't normal for Arko, in my experience. If it were mine, I'd suggest soaking it in a bit of water before rubbing it on my face as you said, and also I'd try to spend about twice as much time rubbing the wet soap around on the wet whiskers to make sure I got enough soap to make a great lather. Good luck!
Gary

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Re: ARKO Shave Sticks

Post by notthesharpest » Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:04 pm

I've been away from the discussions for quite some time, but several years ago there was a sort of collective episode where it seemed many on here were trying Arko at the same time. I don't remember any reports of the kind of problem you've described. Maybe Arko has changed its formula, but I sort of doubt it.

My main thought is that maybe you have a stick that has been in stock for some time and has a hard dried layer on the surface, and that perhaps once you get through that it will "behave" for you.

Otherwise, I'd make essentially the same suggestion as Gary has - to find some way to get more water onto it or into it. Heat (beyond the temperature of hot tap water) can damage some soaps*, and if what you've got is too dry then heating it could drive out even more water.

With a stick you'll want to avoid ruining the shape of the whole thing; if desperate measures are required, maybe put "one finger" or so of hot water into a small container, enough to cover just the end part of the stick, and leave it to soak in there overnight?

* I can't remember how to tell, but with microwave heating, only some soaps melt nicely - others appear oddly heat-proof at first, and then suddenly begin to burn. Using very hot water will reliably melt the soap without burning it, if some melting is really required.

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Re: ARKO Shave Sticks

Post by brothers » Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:20 pm

Definitely agree on not soaking the whole thing! Don't want to destroy it. Just soak the very top part that you'd be rubbing on your face. Sorry I didn't make that clear. :) Thanks Dave.
Gary

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Re: ARKO Shave Sticks

Post by Squire » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:18 pm

Gosh Pete I cannot say. I have Arko sticks 10 years old that are still soft. If I came across one that was dry I would grate it up in a ziplock type plastic bowl then add enough water to make it all stick together, let it set for a couple of days then lather on it as if it was a hard soap.
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Re: ARKO Shave Sticks

Post by Ouchmychin » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:10 am

If mine don't respond to a simple moisture soak I think I'll just toss the 3 I bought. Life's too short.
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Re: ARKO Shave Sticks

Post by ShadowsDad » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:36 am

Squire wrote:Gosh Pete I cannot say. I have Arko sticks 10 years old that are still soft. If I came across one that was dry I would grate it up in a ziplock type plastic bowl then add enough water to make it all stick together, let it set for a couple of days then lather on it as if it was a hard soap.
I was going to suggest basically the same thing, except I'd press the moist shreds into a tub.
Brian

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Re: ARKO Shave Sticks

Post by Squire » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:39 am

Yeah, press them, overlooked that.
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Re: ARKO Shave Sticks

Post by Ouchmychin » Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:41 am

Yesterday, I poured about 1/2" of water into the jar and let the end of the stick soak while I took my shower. When I shaved I got a rich, thick lather that lasted through 3 passes and a polish. When I finished, I stuck the end of the stick back into the jar and left it for this morning. Will use it again. The shave was super easy, but I was using my Hydro-5 which is usually super easy. Today I'll try a DE razor.
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Re: ARKO Shave Sticks

Post by BPman » Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:07 am

I always set the tip of a shave stick in hot water in a bowl while I shower as it makes it much easier to use when I shave after the shower. As well, if a stick is 'hard' on your face then it means you need more prep.

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