#1

Merchant
Nashville, TN
I haven't seen proper brush care come up as a topic lately, so I thought I would bring it up.

My first introduction to this topic came from the article at the link below. The short version is that someone had a top of the line Simpsons Chubby 3 Best and ruined it by applying too much pressure during use.

This quote covers the important part, "The biggest mistake that many men make is using excessive pressure when creating lather." I was involved in a discussion on this topic on DFS and one of the brush makers posted a comment that brushes should never be compressed more that 25%.

There are other actions needed to care for brushes, though this seems to be the biggie.

If I really loved splaying the brush, I would do so with the knowledge that it will substantially shorten the life of the brush. To me, it seems that brushes perform better with less pressure.

I can definitely become impatient when lathering a brush. I find myself moving away from hard soaps and toward croaps and creams because of this.

If you find this topic interesting the article below goes into detail about how over pressure causes damage.

Do you have brush care tips you think are important? If so, please share with us.



http://www.shaving101.com/education/shav...tment.html
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#2
I just lather some conditioner every few months, or when I feel the need. I don't splay my brushes nearly as much as I used to, due to how I load. When loading heavy and by knowing the right amount of water each soap takes, it's not all that necessary to splay much. I splay initially for a few seconds and then use paintbrush strokes to dial it in.

I have plenty of brushes to use so damage by splaying never really worried me much. It doesn't appear to damage synthetics, nor have my Silvertips or 2-bands shown any signs of damage either. However, I owned a Simpsons Colonel a few years ago that seemed to have a permanent splay to it, possibly due to the loft height and consistently splaying it in use. My Whipped Dog Silverip has not shown that problem, and I used to splay it constantly when lathering. The same goes for the Thater Silvertip I used to own. Thater does not recommend splaying in their manual, but I'd say that's more for warranty purposes.
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#3

Member
Knoxville, TN
Excessive pressure is a knot killer for sure - there was a post on another forum by a fellow with 3 expensive hollowed out brushes, he loved the exfoliation feel from using tremendous pressure and had hollowed one out in about 4 months. He wanted to know how to prevent it while still using that pressure. The advice was to use cheap 'disposable' brushes, or re-knot them and suck it up. I later saw all three on the BST.

Aside from excessive pressure, I try to keep the brushes clean and dry. I rinse and shake the brush out well and dry the tips gently on a towel after each use. I also for the most part always use soaps and creams that rinse clean and don't leave scum/residue on the sink, razor, my face, and the brush. There's a thread on TSN about the 'dirtiest' soaps/creams. Once a year in the summer, I'll rinse the heaviest use brushes with white vinegar and let them dry in the sun and breeze for a few hours. When I get a 'new' used brush, I'll wash it in brush-cleaning soap, a vinegar rinse, and let it dry thoroughly, not knowing what it's been used with.

Cheers, Steve
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#4

Merchant
Nashville, TN
Those are great tips from Steve56. Vinegar is a great thing. I like horse hair brushes and they can have a very 'gamey' smell when new. White vinegar, somewhat diluted with water, will get the stank out in short order.

Regarding cleaning brushes, I recall someone mentioning to wash the brush with shampoo every do often. He said that shampoo has detergents in it, which can be helpful. He was somewhat of a chemist, so I suspect he knew about such things.
#5

Super Moderator
Las Vegas, NV, USA
I use Neutrogena Anti-residue Formula shampoo to lather up and clean my brushes every now and then. The six fluid ounce bottle should be around five dollars, if you can find it, and it lasts for quite a while.

The shampoo smells a little odd to me, but as long as it’s doing its job… (And let me assure you, it smells worlds better than the funk from a brand-new horse hair brush.)
Whenever I go to shave, I assume there’s someone else on the planet shaving, so I say “I’m gonna go shave, too.”
– Mitch Hedberg
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#6
Instead of soaps for cleaning and conditioning brushes I dissolve a handful of borax powder in some warm water. I find that works better. Detergents tend to remove the natural oils from the bristles and conditioners tend to "repair" split end which is exactly what you don't want to happen with a shaving brush. One box of 20 mule team borax should last you a lifetime or three.

The big thing I have found is to really clean and dry the brush after use.
To be vintage it must be older than me!
The last razor I bought was the next to last razor I will ever buy!
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#7
I comb my brushes (very gently) after each shave immediately after rinsing with warm water and stropping against my softest towel. I also let my brushes dry out completely between uses.To remove the soap buildup and to generally clean my brushes after a dozen or so lathers I use the Brush Rejuvenator soap by Declaration Grooming, followed by some hair conditioner and gentle combing. So far in the past five years I did not have any problems with any of my brushes, most of which are two band silvertip or Manchurian badger.
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#8

Vintage Shaver
Seattle, WA
(01-10-2018, 04:43 AM)Matsilainen Wrote: I use Neutrogena Anti-residue Formula shampoo to lather up and clean my brushes every now and then. The six fluid ounce bottle should be around five dollars, if you can find it, and it lasts for quite a while.

The shampoo smells a little odd to me, but as long as it’s doing its job… (And let me assure you, it smells worlds better than the funk from a brand-new horse hair brush.)

I also use this shampoo or MAC Brush Cleanser, one or the other about every 6 months. I don't know if this has any effect at all on the longevity of my brushes, but it helps to keep them clean.
John
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#9

Member
Canada
I have a lot of high end brushes and I make sure to take care of them. I don't keep my brushes in my bathroom due to humidity, I keep them in my bedroom which is dryer and I sleep with fans on so there is constant air flow. I make sure not to soak with very hot water, warm at best as to not ruin the glue in the knot. If I want to warm up my brush I'll dip the tips in warmer water before I load or while lathering.

I tend to prefer larger knots so they will have a bit more backbone and depending on the brush splay easily so I'm not applying pressure. I see too many guys with the top of the handle rubbing their face. Ok if it's a cheap synthetic or boar but not high end badgers. Or they are way too aggressive especially some guys on YouTube, it's not a race enjoy the brush, lather and shave. My worst thing I do but everyone does it circular motions when lathering which many brush makers say to never do but only painting sucks.

When I'm done shaving I'll pull the lather out, rinse with cold water then soak the knot in cold water to get any lather I missed, shake out, towel strop to dry and splay the brush out then stand to dry on my dresser. Most of my brushes show no ill effects of my use on them, only a handful I've had since new but even the used ones I got are in great shape except for 1 maybe 2 but that's not bad in a collection of 20 or so high end brushes.

The one thing I need to do more and will do soon. I have hard water so I get build up on my brushes which is visible at times on the brushes. But I just ordered a tub of the Brush Rejuvenator from Declaration Grooming. So when that arrives I will give all of my brushes a through cleaning and actually pick one brush to use before cleaning and after cleaning the next day to see if I notice anything.
Brushes. I can't stop buying brushes.

BTW have any brushes???
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#10

Super Moderator
Las Vegas, NV, USA
(01-11-2018, 03:48 AM)MattM97 Wrote: I see too many guys with the top of the handle rubbing their face. Ok if it's a cheap synthetic or boar but not high end badgers. Or they are way too aggressive especially some guys on YouTube, it's not a race enjoy the brush, lather and shave. My worst thing I do but everyone does it circular motions when lathering which many brush makers say to never do but only painting sucks.
So true. I appreciate it if some of those YouTube shavers are aiming for brevity in their videos. (That concept seems to be lost on most.) Often, though, they are agitating their brush as if some imaginary Shaving Brush Police is on its way to confiscate it.

I’ve only seen the warning about circular motions once, when I got a horse hair brush. (They can be prone to tangling, I’ve read.) I never had issues with the brush, even though I went against the directions. Smile

Let us know how you find the Brush Rejuvenator to work.
Whenever I go to shave, I assume there’s someone else on the planet shaving, so I say “I’m gonna go shave, too.”
– Mitch Hedberg
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