There are only two reasons why you’d need to replace your styptic pencil.
You lose it.
You break it.
That’s really it. Even for the guy that cuts his face every single time shaving, one pencil should last him a lifetime. Some men that we’ve talked to have had their styptic pencils for 30+ years. All it takes is knowing how to use it and what to do with it when you’re finished.
How to Make your Styptic Pencil Last Forever
When you’re getting ready to use your styptic, make sure that your hands are completely dry. Moisture activates the aluminum sulfate in the styptic, so the only part of the pencil that should get wet is the tip that will be sealing your cut. All other parts should be kept as dry as possible to avoid erosion. When a traditional styptic pencil starts to deteriorate, it becomes jagged, brittle, and more difficult to use. You don’t want any of that!
Applying the styptic to your cut is pretty straight forward. How long you’ll actually need to hold the pencil to your cut will depend, but the aluminum sulfate will do most of the work for you with just a bit of pressure. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds on your cut for it to seal.
Now here’s the key to making your styptic pencil last forever.
When you’re done using it, rinse the tip to get rid of any blood or dirt that it touched, and then stand the pencil up on its base (without the tube) to let it dry. If your styptic pencil has a cap instead of a tube, leave it uncapped while it airs out.
Avoid setting it right on your bathroom sink so you can clean up your shaving area without getting it wet again, and so you don’t accidently knock it to the ground. It should only take 2-3 minutes to dry. When it’s done drying, tube/cap it and put it away for next time. That’s it.
Your styptic pencil can last forever if taken care of, but failure to rinse and properly dry it will cause it to erode and become much more likely to break. Your styptic pencil is basically a rock so you don’t need to worry about it “going old” or not working anymore. If you let it dry before capping it or replacing it in its tube, your styptic pencil will probably outlast you.