How do you clean and dry your brush after shaving?

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by jmorris, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Recently I have noticed that quite a few hairs on my badger brush come loose and fall out of the brush while I am building my lather. This would happen from time to time when the brush was newer but after a year of use, I would say at least 5 hairs come loose on the thing now. Is this just a matter of brush quality or am I possibly ruining the brush with my routine?

    The following is my prep and cleaning routine with my brush:

    1 - I fill a bowl with hot water and sit the brush in it while I take a shower. I also have a little bit of hot water sitting on top of my shaving soap to soften the soap.
    2 - After shower, I take the brush out of the hot water bowl and squeeze the hairs to rinse it of water and then shake it a couple of times. When I squeeze the hairs, I try not to pull.
    3 - I then begin building the lather in my soap mug and at this point, I'll lose at least 5 hairs from the brush, maybe more.
    4 - After shaving, I run warm water through the brush and squeeze out any of the soap that is sitting in it. I do pull a little bit to kind of push out any of the soap that is sitting deep in the brush but I try not to be too excessive with this. I'll run more water on top of the brush, squeeze the brush without pulling, shake as much water off as possible, then hang it upside down to dry.
  2. noahpictures

    noahpictures Contributor

    I recommend soaking only the bristles of the brush in warm water. Never pull the bristles. Don't apply don't much pressure when loading or lathering the brush. If you use the same brush every day, then let the brush dry near an open window. In my experience this works better than hanging it upside down.

    I have to mention that some members (with more experience than me) don't recommend soaking a badger brush at all.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  3. I don't shower before shaving so I only soak my brush for a couple minutes in warm water while I wash my face. When finished I rinse it like shown here, swiping the tips on a paper towel. Most of my brushes dry sitting on their base, not hanging upside down.
  4. I don't soak my brushes anymore, not even my boars, but they are all very well broken in and suck up water quickly. I run them under a lukewarm tap for 15-20 seconds and let excess water dribble out before I load up. Once finished I hold the brush bristle side up under a warm tap, letting the stream of water penetrate the center of the knot while I very gently squeeze the knot with my thumb and index finger shaped like an "Ok" gesture until no more soap gushes out. I finish by holding the brush bristles down, and using the same "Ok" gesture and gently squeeze excess water out and then I lightly brush it on a terry cloth towel and hang it in a stand with bristles down.
  5. What is your brush and how long have you had it? When I first started wet shaving a few years ago I bought the only brush I knew to start with, a Burma Shave. That guy lost hairs for several months at 3-5 at a time. But then after a few years it stopped and is now as soft as a quality badger. I soak my brush in a sink of hot water along with my bowl/mug for my soap/cream. That heats up the bowl while the brush is soaking and I do this probably 2-3 minutes or just long enough to wet my face and soften my whiskers. I don't touch my bristles on any brush after soaking. I just give it a firm shake straight down to get the excess water out of the knot. Afterwards my routine is soaking the brush in water and using it just as if I was using it to build up a later. I find this is gentle and gives equal rinse to the entire brush. I shake the brush in a downward motion several time until no more water comes out and call my shaving routine done. I don't hang my brushes upside down either.

    I do have a brush rotation. I treat my brushes like I do my pipes. One use per week and let it rest. Like any hobby, I don't ask or anticipate anyone to go out about buy 5-7 quality brushes. I started with one for a few years, bought a VDH boar, saved up and got a M&F Blonde Badger from Lee, etc. Brushes and razors are like fleas, once you get one on you, the multiply faster than you can understand.
  6. The manufacturer of the brush that I am using is Parker.

    I really appreciate all of the responses given. I'm going to refrain from letting the brush sit in hot water while I shower, as well as shake it dry and only let it sit on its base (not hanging upside down). Hanging it upside down is the one thing that I thought I was doing right, especially since it came with something to let it dry that way.
  7. If it's badger, it shouldn't require more than 10 -20 seconds or so to become fully hydrated.
    I fill my bowl with warm water (I don't bowl lather any more - at least no more than 1 in 100 shaves) sit brush in it while I turn around, grab my razor and soap for the day.

    yo-yo the brush a couple of times
    Build lather. (Face lather - either loading from the puck or applying stick/puck as a shave stick)

    When I'm done, I fill the bowl with warm water and rapidly pump the brush up and down in the water, flick brush, refill bowl, pump, flick, dump repeat... This gets repeated 3 to 5-ish times until pumping the brush rapidly up and down in the water yields clear water (don't be fooled by some micro airbubbles in the water that might make it look cloudy)

    When I'm done, I flick the brush 3 or 4 times in the shower.

    Now, to be honest I bowl lathered up until about a year ago, but the rest of the method is exactly the same - I always rinsed the brush in that manner. Pumping the brush rapidly up and down in the water opens the bristles out in a way that running water cannot do and gets all the soap out of the brush.

    Except for 2 or 3 hairs that my badger lost when it was new 17 years ago, it hasn't lost a single hair.

    (Oh, also, most of the brush's life it was stored sitting on it's base, not hanging bristle-down to dry.)

    I've never squeezed the bristles to get out water or soap, although if you aren't doing it hard, I can't really imagine it causing a problem, then again, it might twist them enough to do damage at the base, I don't know.

    Other than rinsing, I've never "cleaned" the brush, but I've got soft water, so there is no build-up of any kind of soap scum.
  8. Out of about 5 brushes I use regularly only, one of them loses hair during use. It has since the day I acquired it three years ago and still does. At first it would lose 4 or 5, now it only loses 1 or 2, but I rarely use it anymore. Since it's a Rooney 3, 1 I don't worry about it too much because it is so densely packed and scrubby.

    I quit soaking my brush a long time ago. Now I just hold it under running water for about 30 seconds. When I'm finished shaving, I rinse it out with warm water to remove all the soap and then give it a final cold water rinse. Finally, I shake all of the water out of it I can and set it on the counter to dry. I haven't had any problems using this method.
  9. Clean the brush? Rinse, shake, and put it away.
  10. Quality badger won't lose hair (or as another poster said, maybe 3 hairs over 20 years); quality badger will absorb all the water it can within 20-30 seconds as well.

    If your results differ, your brush is either defective, or lower quality. Nothing wrong with a brush other than silvertip, but don't expect a $10 tweezerman or a $40 badger brush to behave the same as a $100 silvertip badger brush. There's a difference in price for a reason; a lower quality brush may feel like a silvertip after a few years of use, but a silvertip will feel like a silvertip after a week or 2 of use. The difference in price reflects this.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  11. Rinse with warm water and give it a good few flicks to get all the excess water out, give it a quick scrub on a towel and then leave it to air dry
  12. I don't see what purpose scrubbing on a towel serves if you gave it a few good flicks, other than to bend and abrade the hairs of the brush. After a few good flicks, (If they were GOOD flicks) there shouldn't be enough water left in the brush to bother with a towel.
  13. It is quite obvious that few hairs of brush come loose and fall out of the brush while building my lather. ..But usually it would happen at the time when brush was newer but after a year of use, I would say at least 5 hairs come loose on the thing now...But after using this from a long time it stop loosing its hair...
  14. It does seem to aid in spreading out the hairs (this is with a boar brush, by the way)
  15. I think the flick gets water out of the core of the knot, and a quick fwapfwapfwapfwap on a towel gets droplets off the surface of the hairs.
  16. i do the same as you, but i also beat it on the end of the counter. seems to get it even drier yet.
  17. +1.
  18. StuMcB

    StuMcB Contributor

  19. This is all I do. I have a 4 brush rotation, and I don't shave every day, so whatever brush I use is sure to be dry by the time I use it again. :001_tongu :wink2: :w00t:
  20. +3.

    i have 3 brushes in rotation...use for 1 shave, then it gets put to the end of the line, next brush is up, use, repeat. so each brush is used once every 3 days.

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