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Longevity of ARKO Shave Stick

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:40 pm
by Ouchmychin
I have been seeing all these great threads about the longevity of wonderful higher end shave soaps. I just thought I'd add a product that costs about 5 bucks and, for me lasts an amazingly long time. I don't have the patience to weigh it like Gary does, but I know I can't seem to use it up. Months and months while rotating with a Valobra puck and about once a week brushless cream and other creams I was trying to use up. Let's say 3 shaves a week.

Re: Longevity of ARKO Shave Stick

Posted: Mon May 15, 2017 8:24 pm
by brothers
Pete it's been a while since I had some Arko sticks, but my experience was similar to yours.

Re: Longevity of ARKO Shave Stick

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 9:38 am
by Squire
Pete I think Arko may be the best bang for the buck out there. Can't imagine paying $5.00 for it though, last case I bought worked out to about $1.15 a stick.

Re: Longevity of ARKO Shave Stick

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:28 pm
by Ouchmychin
I was going from memory. It had been so long I must have forgot. Where did you get yours Squire? I got mine on ebay.

Re: Longevity of ARKO Shave Stick

Posted: Sat May 27, 2017 10:33 am
by Squire
Pete it has been some years since I last bought Arko (still have 10-12 sticks left) but the last time I looked it was widely available. Check with Phil at bullgooseshaving.com. If he doesn't have it he may be able to help you locate it.

Re: Longevity of ARKO Shave Stick

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:37 pm
by JarmoP
I am coming back to brush lathering after using quite many years shaving foams and gels.
This question/contribution is not about how many shaves one can get from the stick, but about soap aging.

I bought my Arko sticks about 10 years ago and remember definitely it being a white soap in color. Also what I can see in Google picture search. So to my surprise when I opened today such an old stick wrapping, it was in color almost same brownish as say Tabac or MWF.

Because I don't really like the scent I sliced a disk of it into an empty Tabac bowl that has a lid. Also the cut surface was same color, no more white.
But I think it as a shaving soap is still as good as a new white soap? Coloring just does not last forever and could be quite artificial?

I started lathering the about 3 mm thick soap disk in bowl with Omega 48 boar brush and got a really good lather. I'm not sure if I should smash the whole stick into the bowl, but even this small amount worked well with a boar brush.

I maybe think that adding only a small disk into a bowl when needed, it gets best tallow soap refill. And whole stick smashed maybe looses its tallow content same as what happens with a tallow content bathing soaps when they get smaller? I have never anyways understood the concept of soaking a tallow content shave soap, for longevity I mean.

Re: Longevity of ARKO Shave Stick

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:53 pm
by brothers
Jarmo, I think it doesn't matter whether one uses the small disks or the whole stick when loading the brush. I agree with you that soaking shaving soap for a certain length of time may shorten the life of the soap. Regarding the loss of tallow, I haven't experienced that, and actually would never know if or when a soap has lost it's tallow. Not sure what that means, actually. Good post!

Re: Longevity of ARKO Shave Stick

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:59 pm
by drmoss_ca
There's definitely something that can happen to soaps that might match that description. I have a drawer full of old Woods of Windsor shaving soap, which I like for its tallowy goodness. But I also like the scent and have used some as bath soaps. Either way, it makes less and less lather as time goes on and eventually I'm left with a waxy white core of non-lathering unsoap. It's as if the superfat in the soap remains as a hard and waxy lump. Very strange.