Alum block vs. Alum deodorant...

Discussion in 'Aftershaves' started by elsmooth, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Ok...I've been here long enough to learn that they are two different types of alum. My question is for those who've used both as a post-shave antiseptic...any difference noted? I ask, because I dropped my block, it shattered, and I was not happy. I'm figuring that a stick of the "Crystal" deodorant will be easier to handle when the hands aren't completely dry.

    Insight's always appreciated!
  2. I may be wrong, but I think the crystal's are ammonium alum, and the shaving blocks are potassium alum. The potassium alum is much gentler on the skin after shaving.
  3. Pretty much sums it up. Some blocks sold for shaving are ammonium alum - price usually gives these away (only costing a couple bucks). I recommend spending a tad more on a hefty block from QED or WCS. They last forever...
  4. If there's an East Indian immigrant community in your area check out the Indian grocery stores. Here in Sydney most of the stores carry them for $A2 to $3 for a 75 gm block. At that price, feel free to drop them anytime.
  5. Right now I've only used the crystal stick. It burns a bit, less than Clubman Bay Rum to me at least. The first time I used it my face went beet red for a bit. I have a razorock on it's way. It has a nice holder so maybe look into that one. I also have a cheapy unrefined block coming. I just want to see what the differences are and this way I probably have a lifetime supply.
  6. luvmysuper

    luvmysuper Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    The Crystal Deodorant sticks work just dandy, they are inexpensive, they are in a nice closeable cover, and they are available in most health food shops.

    Plus = Win

  7. I've used the ammonium version mostly (tho I have used potassium in the past and have a potassium block on it's way). IMHO... the potassium *might* be a tad more effective as a deod and a tad less irritating. But, I see no difference as far as post-shave usage is concerned. The ammonium ones are cheap enough and come in a nice twist up container so, if they work for you, they are worth it and easily available.
  8. I use a regular alum block and I love it. I recently started using the Razorock alum block which is kind of the best of both worlds as it is a normal alum block that has been shaped and put in a spiffy case with a cap. Pretty sure a bunch of online shaving retailers carry them now.
  9. Yeah, I've actually seen practically identical packaging at my local Earth Fare on the deodorant, but RazoRock (vendor/member here) reports that he uses Potassium Alum, and the grocer carries ammonium alum.
  10. I am happy for I can still buy these ones for about €1,50 in stores around the corner here in Portugal:


    444 Alumn block. Cheap and good! Pure potassium alumn!
  11. I can go to the gas station and see two almost identical pumps and both say fuel but one's diesel and ones gasoline and I'm not putting the diesel in my car. The two alums are chemically different for different purposes. Ones is to change the chemistry on your skin so bacteria doesn't grow thereby eliminating odor and the other is a mild toner for the skin after shaving. One is a natural product the other is a chemical concoction.

    Wanna put diesel in your car?
  12. I want! My car has a nice Diesel engine!:lol:
    However, I don't want an ammonium alum block.
  13. It isn't that I doubt you - I'd be quite pleased if this were true - but do you have any sources to back this up for our reference?
  14. There are two (common, at least) types of alum -- potassium and ammonium, but they are not each specifically for one use or the other. Both types are sold as deodorant and can often be seen side-by-side on store shelves.

    Most (but perhaps not all) places that sell alum blocks for the purpose of shaving sell the potassium variation, at least in my limited experience. I suspect little difference in practice but have heard that the ammonium version stings a bit more. Some may see this as a disadvantage and others may see it as evidence that it is more effective than the potassium alum.

    The alum block I use for shaving is potassium alum, called "Thai Crystal", and is sold as a deodorant. Its packaging (as mentioned earlier by luvmysuper) makes it ideal. It closes up tightly and when in use you can hold on to the plastic case instead of the block itself.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  15. I use Crystal for everything, never had a problem
  16. RazoRock

    RazoRock Vendor

    Ammonium alum is designed to perform the same way as natural potassium alum. The difference is ammonium alum is synthetic and made in a lab with chemicals, not mined... it's also harsher than potassium alum for post-shaving purposes. Potassium alum costs more to buy thus retails for more. For me, ammonium alum makes my face turn red, has more sting and isn't as effect at closing nicks, cut and weepers. For my company, RazoRock, I've made the decision to only sell pure potassium alum. I would love to be able to sell Ammonium alum because I could drop the retail price and make more profit, but I refuse to sell a product I don't (and won't) use myself.
  17. Marco

    Marco Steward Contributor

    Simply the very best explanation possible.
    Thank you, Joe.
  18. Don't throw those shattered pieces away. Take the bigger ones, or several if they're really small, wet them and put them in your shoes overnight. They'll take away any foot odor, and take out the moisture. :thumbup1: This really works. :001_smile
  19. RazoRock

    RazoRock Vendor

    You are right!

    My brother-in-law also pulverizes them and mixes them in a bottle of distilled water. He tells me it's an amazing facial toner splash.
  20. I found this spray that is the same thing, but with Aloe Vera added: Lafe's Natural Body Care Deodorant Spray.

    And here is a very cheap potassium alum rock: Lafe's Natural Body Care Deodorant Stick 63 g.
    They have a larger one too that is double the size of Razorock and still cheaper: Lafe's Natural Body Care Deodorant Stick 120 g.
    I figure the smaller one is better for the face though.

    I got some from there because they carry the Aubrey Organics After Shave Balm that I wanted to try, and I got some other stuff to get free shipping. Let's just say there will be no shortage of aftershave for a while.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013

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