Alum Storage

Discussion in 'Preshave and Aftershave' started by redmed, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. redmed

    redmed New Member

    I just received my Alum block. I understand that you dampen it for use but it should be dry when not in use otherwise it will dissolve. So after use pat dry and what type of container should I keep the 2x2 3/4" block in?
    RyX and cliffb599 like this.
  2. Screwtape

    Screwtape Well-Known Member

    I don't dampen mine for use. Instead, after rinsing off the lather, I run the dry alum block over my still-wet face. That provides more than enough dampness for the alum to work. When I am done, the rubbing surface of the alum block is a bit wet but the rest of the block is dry. I don't bother patting it dry but just keep the block sitting in a small open plastic soapdish between uses. It quickly dries off by itself sitting there.

    The block lasts a long time with this type of use without showing any problems - I am on my second block now in just over three years.

    One trick I learned here that is worth knowing - wrap the rim of the block with an elastic band. The elastic provides a sure grip on the block even when your hands are slippery and the block has dwindled down to a sliver. That way, you don't drop the block and break it into fragments until it has almost disappeared anyway.
    wristwatchb and RyX like this.
  3. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    I am a little different (spare me the comments "peanut gallery" ;)) I do wet the Alum block, which allows for easier application. I also dry it off after finishing; replacing it in the plastic container in which it came. I am still on my first block after almost 5 years, so obviously I don't reach for it very often at all.
    I did drop it a little while back and it shattered pretty good. I saved the two largest chunks and they sit dormant in said case. It is my experience, the better your technique becomes, the less you will need or even want to use Alum.
    Screwtape, Keithmax, brit and 3 others like this.
  4. Weasel640

    Weasel640 Well-Known Member

    + 1 one the rubber band. The thick type that comes around Celery or Broccoli works great. Some Alum blocks come with the bands, and a storage container.

    For use I just use the water still on my face after rinsing the lather off. Technique has no bearing on when/why I use Alum, I use it as an antiseptic and skin toner.

    As far as drying it or not it's personal preference. I live in Arizona and thing dry real fast here so I probably don't need to but I rinse and pat it dry after use.
    Screwtape, Keithmax and wristwatchb like this.
  5. markjnewcomb

    markjnewcomb Well-Known Member

    I don't keep my alum dry. Instead, I dissolve a block into about 4-5 cups of distilled water. I put some into a little 4 oz. plastic spray bottle. Then I spray it on my face. If I need to touch only a spot i may spray a little on my finger.

    It is very convenient for me to use it like that. The only drawbacks are that you need to use distilled water or else you can get weird globules that float around in the water, and that the spray bottle clogs on a regular basis (about monthly). The second issue is cured by making it a point to spray some tap water through a few times.

    I've done this for about 3-4 years now and it works great for me.
  6. MntnMan62

    MntnMan62 Well-Known Member

    My first alum block came from Gentleman Jon which came with a plastic container. Once that piece of alum is gone I have an Osma block waiting in the wings and will continue to use the Gentleman Jon container to keep it in. Any call plastic container that is just a little bigger than the alum block would work. I just rinse off after my final pass, leave my face wet, apply the alum and towel dry the block before putting away every time.
    Screwtape and Keithmax like this.
  7. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    i have a block i use from time to time ,but have an actual omega alum stick (probably pit stick) that has its own case/cover.a little easier to hold for me, ..
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  8. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire

    That’s not exactly how it works. Of course, some alum molecules will dissolve into water that comes into contact with your alum block/stick. But, when it dries, the water is evaporating off it, but the alum molecules do not. They stay behind,. So, unless it is immersed in a container of water, your alum isn’t going to disappear into a solution.
    Screwtape, Keithmax and richgem like this.
  9. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    Just to add my two cents... you are far more likely to shatter your alum block by dropping it than to use it up prematurely due to "improper" storage. Use it however you like and just let it air dry when you are done with it. Keep it out of the shower spray (for example) and it will last nearly forever... until you fumble it and it hits the floor.
    Primotenore, brit, Screwtape and 2 others like this.
  10. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    All my alum blocks died because they were dropped, I have never made it the end of one ‘naturally’.
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  11. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    yup. still have my original one, but now its in 2 pieces due to dropping it..
    Primotenore likes this.
  12. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

  13. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    It's a conspiracy...or planned obsolescence.
    Keithmax and brit like this.
  14. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    possibly both...;)
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  15. markjnewcomb

    markjnewcomb Well-Known Member

    shattered pieces of alum dissolve just as well as large ones.
    Keithmax and Frijolero like this.
  16. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    It’s a conspiracy!
    urrlord likes this.
  17. Nicked

    Nicked Well-Known Member

    My first block was the 444 and figured I'd never travel with it, opting for clubman styptic nothing annoys me more than a mess in my dopp bag, then today I saw travel size Crystal deodorant sticks, worked well enough and less bite than the 444 block to boot. Decal peeled right off and with the plastic container, no risk of a crushed powdery mess in my dopp… winning.
  18. preidy

    preidy Just call me Dino

    I pat dry the alum block with a towel and thne put it in a plastic soap dish with the top not closed.
    MntnMan62 likes this.
  19. MntnMan62

    MntnMan62 Well-Known Member

    +1. I'm going on three years for my alum block. I think it could last another year or so..........unless I drop it. As it gets smaller it is getting harder to hold. I may try a thin rubber band wrapped twice to give more grip. But they last a very very long time. Of course, I already bought a block of Osma to replace this one which is a Gentleman Jon. I didn't want to buy "Made in China" again. Osma is from France.
    preidy likes this.
  20. mousecop

    mousecop Active Member

    I do the same as others have said. pat it dry with a towel and store it in its plastic container with the lid open. However, I have very very hard water where I live so my alum blocks are usually gone in a year or so.

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