Proper use of alum block?

Discussion in 'Preshave and Aftershave' started by Slowhand, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Slowhand

    Slowhand Member

    I have been using it kind of like a styptic pencil (not so much for nicks, because my technique is greatly improving), but just kind of rubbing it all over. It tingles a little, then my face feels a little dry...not exactly what I want after a shave. I like a splash of Proraso or Nivea and the cool feeling that results.

    So, what is the main purpose and best use?

  2. Slick Rick

    Slick Rick New Member

    I use my Alum block daily just before I use my balm. I helps close any small nicks. I thought I would not like it but I do.
  3. jgkeegan

    jgkeegan Member

    I shave in the shower. When my shave is completed, I stroke the alum bar across my face much like I would a shaving stick. A minute or so later, I rinse it off.

  4. newb

    newb Resident Newb

    I also rinse after using the alum block. I'm not sure if it's the proper way, but it's what works for me.:)
  5. RazoRock

    RazoRock New Member

  6. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    She's wrong about the pimple thing. It will manage the acne, but it doesn't just make pimples magically disappear overnight.

    Some alum blocks will leave a bit of residue on the skin, I've found. I never rinse it off though. I just apply witch hazel once the alum has dried.

    The most magical thing I have found with the alum block is taking care of bug bites. As soon as I realize I got bit, I grab my alum block, wet it, and rub it liberally over the bite. Bug bites will magically disappear overnight this way, as long as you haven't scratched/broken the skin.
  7. Hmm... I'll definitely have to try that! Mosquitoes and deer flies are terrible down here in the summertime. Thanks for the tip!
  8. AnarchoPhil

    AnarchoPhil Member

    I quite using an alum block after about a months use. It really irritated my face. It left me red skinned for a while after use even if I washed after letting it sit. If I nick myself, I just use a styptic pencil.
  9. crackstar

    crackstar Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    The one and only time I used alum, I suffered badly. It burned my skin like hell.
  10. bordeaaj

    bordeaaj New Member

    It seems the most commonly recommended method is as follows: First, rinse any lather away thoroughly before using the alum as lather and alum combine to make a nice, thick gel that barbers often intentionally use as hair gel...not good for the the face. Once rinsed and still wet, rub the alum around the freshly shaved area and let it sit for about a minute while you clean up your brush, sink, etc. Be sure to rinse and dry the alum block after use to keep it somewhat clean. After a minute or so just rinse your face well with warm water, dry off, apply your aftershave, witch hazel, and moisturizer...and you're done!

    Alum works okay for smaller nicks or cuts and isn't really meant for such use...roll-on liquid styptic like Seal My Nik or Pacific Shaving Company's Nick Stick are far more effective for that...and far better and more sanitary than the usual grocery store styptic pencils.


    You find a lot of posts on shaving forums regarding alum sensitivity and irritation with people who don't rinse, esp after repeated uses over extended periods of time without rinsing. Some people can get away it, many cannot. A few, like crackstar, are sensitive to even a single use. Hope that helps a little! :D
  11. mezz524

    mezz524 New Member

    Use it only when i cut
    my face. Or just the witch hazle splash
    if no cuts are present.
  12. E-mursed

    E-mursed New Member

    For Alum Block is the great eraser of mistakes. I have been using one for the last 6 months and when I make a few minor mistakes it makes them vanish. I even had a rare cut from resting a Shark blade on my neck this morning. Hit it with the alum and let it do its thing and no one was the wiser.
  13. Slowhand

    Slowhand Member

    Thanks for all the responses guys.
  14. DEfan

    DEfan Member

    I have found that a syptic pencil leaves a white residue after use, and I have to rinse. I take it that Alum's residue is not the same?
  15. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    Only a few cheap, really impure alum block leave any residue. Then it is far less than typical cheap styptic. However, you can find clear styptic pencils that don't leave a white residue. I've seen several online, but don't bother keeping one around any more.
  16. paydepst

    paydepst Member

    I use an alum bock rather than a styptic pencil as I've never seen a styptic pencil that didn't leave an annoying white residue. My alum block doesn't leave a residue and it saved the day after yesterday's shave when I lost my grip on my wet Slim handle and the head slid sideways across my chin!!
  17. paydepst

    paydepst Member

    Wait Jeff aren't you the guy that uses menthol muscle liniment as an aftershave? You mean there is something that actually burns your skin? :D
  18. flat_tire

    flat_tire New Member

    What exactly is an Alum block? (i.e. what is it made of?)

    Is this a necessary part of a wet-shaver's tool kit?

  19. swarden43

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

    Check this out for your alum block info.

    Necessary? Nope. Some folks like 'em. I found used for more than two or three days in a row it irritates my neck.

    I use mine to help my fingers grip and stretch the skin during my straight razor shave. A trick I picked up from chimensch here at TSD.
  20. DaveNJ74

    DaveNJ74 Member

    I use it just for a nick/cut. When I first rubbed it over my face it burned like crazy and made my skin red.

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