This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
The chloride of aluminium, also known as Chloralum, is prepared by passing chlorine, at high temperatures, over a mixture of aluminium and charcoal. By placing the anhydrou chlorides of aluminium in water, it is converted into hydrated chloride. It is said to be quite as potent as chloride of zinc or carbolic acid, and devoid of poisonous properties and unpleasant odor, and is unirritating, rendering it a useful antiseptic and disinfectant. As it does not cauterize, it is especially convenient for applications to the mouth. The taste is sharply saline, like that of alum, and its action closely approximates that of chloride of zinc.