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Arko Shaving Stick – Is It Worth It?

By April 26, 2018August 19th, 2021No Comments
Arko Shave Stick

Arko Shaving Soap Stick

No matter how long you have been wet shaving, Arko Shaving Stick seems to always pop up.  Every vendor carries it, the packaging looks nice, and it has been out for what seems like forever.

At some point, almost every double edge razor user has added this to his cart wondering if he should get this soap.

Arko Shaving Stick

What is Arko Shaving Stick?

Arko is a shaving soap in stick form.  It comes from Turkey, and it has been in production since the mid 1950’s.  It’s claim to fame is the cost.  It may be the cheapest shaving soap in the world.

It is a tallow based soap and comes in stick form.  The packaging is a classic 50’s style look with a red wrapper on the outside of a foil wrapper.   It has the image of a clean cut gentleman on the front with lather on his face.  Obviously, he looks very happy.  Must be something in those Turkish soaps.

The shaving soap stick weighs 75g.  It is about 3 1/4 long with a diameter of about 1 1/4.

The scent has been described in a lot of different ways:  Clean, lemon, soapy, citronella, and there are multiple reviews with comments of “urinal puck” scent.  The overwhelming majority of people, including the staff at Beardedblade, think the scent is just a nice clean soapy smell.  Not a great scent, but certainly not off putting.  The people that do not like the scent seem to come around after a week or two of letting the soap sit out unwrapped.

Arko Shaving Stick Ingredients:

 Ingredients: Potassium Tallowate, Stearic Acid, PotassiumCocoate, Aqua, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Glycerin, Parfum, Paraffinum Liquidium, Cl 77891, Tetrasodium EDTA, Etidronic Acid, Disodium Distrylbiphenyl Disulfonate, Amyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool

How to Use Arko

Stick To Face Method

The intended way to use it is the shaving stick to face method.  Simply peel back some of the wrapper, wet your face with very warm water, and rub the end of the stick all over your stubble.

Once your face in covered in Arko, simply take your damp shaving brush from your shaving soap bowl, and face lather.  When we tested Arko, this is the method that we used.

Bowl Lathering Method

A lot of wet shavers use a shaving mug to bowl lather, and Arko can be used that way as well.  You simply need to find a way to get some of the soap off the stick into your bowl.  Some people recommend using a grater, and I have seen people use a knife like they were shaving a pencil.  Once you have the shavings in your bowl, simply mash them down into the bowl.  Now, you can bowl lather like normal.

Brush To Stick Method

This may seem a bit awkward, but it works.  Simply take a shaving brush that has been soaked in warm water and rub the stick in your brush until you get enough soap in it.  Then, face lather.

Arko Shaving Stick Performance

You may have been turned off by the urinal cake scent comment, and rightfully so, but Arko has a very loyal following.  In our experience, and in the overwhelming majority of the reviews that we read or watched, Arko produces great lather.

It has plenty of slickness and cushion, and it provides a very close and clean shave.  It was not the most moisturizing soap that we have used, and others have shared that experience, but nothing so notable that would turn us off to using the soap again.

Would we use this on a regular basis?  No.  This has nothing to do with performance of the soap.  It has to do with 2 things.  One, the scent is just ok, and with so many choices out there, an ok scent just does not cut it.  Second, we prefer soaps in tubs or creams in tubes.

Do We Recommend Arko?

Yes, we do.  If you read a lot of our content, you will learn that we like the traditions, history, and nostalgia that wet shaving offers.  Arko falls right in line here.  The cost is around one or two dollars, and it is a great addition to your next wet shaving purchase.

You can buy one soap stick, and it also comes in packs of 2, 3, and 12.

Arko Shaving Soap In Bowl

Arko does have their shaving soap in a bowl if you are just dead set on not getting the stick.  It does cost a little more, but it is 90 grams vs. 75 grams for the stick.  It comes in a red plastic tub with a screw top lid.

The scent is the exact same, and some reviewers say that the bowl has a slightly stronger scent.

The ingredients are the same, except that they are not in the same order.  This means that they use a higher ratio of coconut oil in the bowl which may explain the firmer texture.

Ingredients: Potassium Tallowate, Stearic Acid, Potassium Cocoate, Aqua, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Glycerin, Parfum, Parafinium, Liquidum, Tetrasodium EDTA, Etidronic Acid, Disodium Distrylbiphenly, Disuffonate Amyl Cinnamel, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool

Other Arko Options

Arko can be purchased in a cream form and comes in multiple scents

You can purchase a variety pack as well.

Arko Shaving Cream Variety Pack, Extra Sensitive/Extra Performance/Cool, 3 Count 

 We cannot attest to the performance of their creams as we have never tried them.


Arko should be a product that everyone tries at some point.  It has a history and it is a very low cost item to add to an order.  If you want to see the opposite end of the spectrum at one of the most expensive shave soaps, take a look at MDC shave soap.

James Woods

James Woods

Hi, I am James Woods, the founder of Beardedblade. I have extensive experience working in the men's grooming industry. I have worked in the beard care and shaving industries, so I have first hand experience working with products in those areas. I also enjoy all things outdoors and topics related to men's lifestyle. I am an avid camper, hiker, biker, and all around outdoor enthusiast.

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