ARKO or Williams(RIP)??? Poll.

Discussion in 'Shave Soaps' started by DaltonGang, May 23, 2021.


ARKO VS. Williams. Which is best??

  1. ARKO

    46 vote(s)
  2. Williams

    23 vote(s)
  1. chevyguy

    chevyguy Well-Known Member

    When Williams changed formulas I was around 15 and I actually started using the Dove hand soap that my mom put in the bathroom. It lathered really well. Arko reminds me of Vintage Williams with just a stronger Ivory Soap type smell to it. I miss Vintage Colgate too. It was just as good as Vintage Williams, and I still have a Puck that I enjoy using from time to time.


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  2. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    I just realized that I've never voted in this poll. I cast my vote for Williams, based on vintage Williams Lather Shave Cream, which is about the finest shave cream I've ever had the pleasure of using.

    The soap on the other hand, works great on my linen strops. Haven't found any other use for it.

    Arko works great, if you can get past the smell. I can't. And I can't even pretend to smell it anymore since my wife banished lemon pledge from the house, as SHE hates that smell.
    Lancre, Enrico, DaltonGang and 3 others like this.
  3. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Ok, but how easy is Vintage Williams soap to obtain? How much will it cost when you find it?
    Frijolero and macaronus like this.
  4. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Weĺllllllllll, if the $40 per puck of the new Williams I saw on Amazon is any indication....
  5. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot

  6. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    That's just insane. You can still get ARKO for $20 for a case of 12.
  7. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Frijolero and brit like this.
  8. Tallships

    Tallships Well-Known Member

    I'm still voting for Arko (bowl pressed), I did like Williams back in the '50's and '60s but then I discovered a puck of Old Spice and the use of 2 soaps began, I do miss the Old Spice scent in a soap. Now days Its Cella/Vito's Kilo, Arko and Dove Mens Care 3 in 1 shave soap. Each giving me Fantastic lathers.
    Terry, Frijolero, Ksblazer and 2 others like this.
  9. Terry

    Terry Tool Admirer

    I have both of the two soaps.
    I've used each for a few weeks at a time in the past.

    Not sure of how to explain my experience but here goes.

    Both have a ruff scent, more of a home made soap smell with no added perfume.

    I've used Ivory soap for shaving and Williams soap reminded me of that type of lather.
    More foam than lather, it also didn't hold up well.
    The shave was OK, there was good glide but no lasting lather to carry away the scrap wiskers.
    Now for Arko, the scent isn't much better.
    I noticed that Williams is a harder, dryer soap compared to Arko wich has a softer more pliable soap.
    I contribute that to the differences in the chemical makeup of Arko compared to Williams.
    Now for the lather, Arko made good lather and held up well for an entire shave.
    It was slick and comfortable and the lather did its job.
    But the Lubrication didn't stay as well as the more pricier soaps.
    The lather was a little substandard compared to other soaps but still adequate.
    If I had to choose one over the other I'd choose Arko.

  10. Ksblazer

    Ksblazer Well-Known Member

    It’s too bad we can’t really carry on this debate, since Williams has been discontinued.

    While I voted for Arko. I’m a bit nostalgic and always liked seeing Williams pucks in the shaving section of stores. The old style of packaging and the thought of all how long it has been around. Would kind of make me smile when I’d see it.
    Frijolero likes this.
  11. chevyguy

    chevyguy Well-Known Member

    Arko lathers alot like vintage Williams. I remember when you could buy the Williams for 50 cents a Puck back in the 70's. We never had the option of having Arko here in the states. All I had to choose from was Colgate, Old Spice, or Williams. The Mentholated Williams was my favorite. The newer Williams does work, it's lather is just thinner and not as protective. Had I known these vintage soaps were going to disappear like they did I would have bought a few more of them instead of just one at a time.

    Sent from my SM-A526U using Tapatalk
    DaltonGang, Frijolero and Terry like this.
  12. Terry

    Terry Tool Admirer

    FYI in case you didn't know...

    This is the cheapest I've found it.
    I use it with the old spice AS and deodorant/antiperspirant on certain occasions.
    So far I've went through 5 tubes in the last couple years.
    Seems to work OK for me.

    DaltonGang and Frijolero like this.
  13. chevyguy

    chevyguy Well-Known Member

    It does work, however like alot of our soaps it's recipe has changed and it's different.

    Sent from my SM-A526U using Tapatalk
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  14. Tallships

    Tallships Well-Known Member

    Great, thanks I'll get some I'll get out my ribbed bowl for it. But I really liked it best when it was in a hard soap puck. I do miss the old days when I could get a puck of Williams for 10 cents lol
    DaltonGang, Ksblazer and Terry like this.
  15. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    I have several Pucks of original Shulton Old Spice shaving soap, and I will say, it is much better than the newer Old Spice Cream, in a tube. Proctor & Gamble really screwed up Old Spice, when they took over Shulton.
    Shaver X, Frijolero and Terry like this.
  16. Terry

    Terry Tool Admirer

    Companies are trying to eliminate the very ingredients that made their products great, just to appease a few that scream the loudest, against.
    While the people who use the product switch brands, never to return.
    It's the coke soda company syndrome in shaving soap.

    I do find that you need much more of that product to create a good lather.
    That's why I don't use it very often, to expensive.

    I think that shaving is a lost form of hygiene.
    I admit that most men don't shave because they aren't schooled in the art.
    The supplies that are available to the general public are at best, substandard.
    Even what used to be "the good stuff" is going down hill due to its reformulated products.

    I look at pictures of soup lines of the 1930 depression.
    Although there are some men who have a few days growth, generally they are clean shaved.
    If you wanted a job, a beard was not a plus.
    Back then a bar of soap and a straight razor was inexpensive and did the job well.
    The razor was also passed down from generation to generation.
    Even Gillette and GEM razors were handed from father to son.
    The blades were readily available at the local hardware store or five and dime.

    Nowadays most managers know from experience that shaving with what's available in the local store, can be an expensive and painful endeavor.
    So the beard is ignored if it's "well kept".

    Hence, Williams shaving soap that wasn't to bad, I have an old, old puck, reformulated to where using a soap for bathing was better.
    Eventually, just was to awful to use, went away.....

    So I'm not surprised that the giant makers of shaving soap and cream really don't care.
    The top officials of the company probably don't use what they produce and sell anyway.
    Keithmax, Paul Turner, brit and 3 others like this.
  17. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    Easier to find than the shaving cream, I can tell you that much. As for the vintage Williams soap, I don't care. I have a 12 pack of the Arko, and figure the smell will be long gone by the time I get to it.
    Shaver X and Frijolero like this.
  18. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    I'm afraid I'm going to have to play devil's advocate here, and say that modern shaving gels and canned creams are quite good.

    It's the cartridges that are the problem. The companies have spent decades promoting the 'more blades are better' mantra for so long that they've painted themselves into a corner. Two blades were good. Three were okay. We know, and they know, that any more than that is complete overkill for men; and multiple blades have always been unsuitable for those among us with darker complexions.
    brit, Terry and Frijolero like this.
  19. Terry

    Terry Tool Admirer

    Yes, some canned stuff is quite good compared to there old concoctions.
    Some older soaps and creams have come a long way.
    But I still say and believe most of the great soaps that I have used in the past that change their formula, kill their brand.
    Although I've tried some of the new ones, I've been left wanting, especially if I try to use my tap water that is very hard.
    If I were one to have never have used the old formula, I probably wouldn't know any better.
    Some have great slickness, but no lather.
    Then on the other end have great lather but no slickness.
    Then others are just not really good for either.
    I have dozens of soaps and creams that I have tried, I'm sure you do too.
    Some that changed their recipes and did it right.
    But if they bomb it, seems those who do, just end up in the dust bin of history.

    The Old Spice shaving cream is an example IMO.
    It's an OK kinda cream, it does alright if you use soft water and more than you'd think you need to make a good lather.
    I will do alright with it, but use it for the scent, not because it's a great shaving cream.
    So if it disappears, it won't bother me and I buy very little of it, because it's not what I call nice to the face compared to cost.

    Shaver X and brit like this.
  20. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    Arko, for the following reasons:
    1. Arko is available both as a soap cake and a shaving stick, the latter particularly useful when travelling.
    2. Williams is no longer made or available. Forty dollars for a cake of just ok soap does not count as available. Sheesh, even Art of Shaving soap is not that expensive, and it is light years better than Williams.
    3. Arko is readily available, and at a very reasonable price.
    4. In my experience, Arko gives much better shaves than Williams.
    5. I like the scents of both soaps equally well, so that is not a deciding factor.
    But really, number 2 alone decides it. I do think it is a shame that a product that was around for 180 years was discontinued. Perhaps this soap could be reverted back to its original formulation? Even with a price increase, it would likely sell well. It certainly beats discontinuing the product.
    Keithmax likes this.

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