I Smell Dead Badger

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by Azarius, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. I had seen the deal for the VDH Badger brush at Target, so I figured for $10, why not.

    I took the brush out while at the store, it felt soft, put in back in box, grabbed a bottle of Gillette Cool Wave splash, and checked out.

    After getting home, I took out the brush, and I noticed that it smelled awful. So I started the cleaning, conditioning routine. Applied some Dawn dish soap to hair, ran hot tap water over it, washed, rinse in cold water. Brought a kettle of water to a boil, added that to some hot tap water mixed with Dawn in the sink, washed out and allowed to soak.

    About 30 minutes passes, I go back to sink and see that the water has a brownish tint...WTF. So I rinse well, do 20 swirls in VDH soap, the add almond size squeeze of Bigelow, a little water, build up a nice lather, and set the brush in my mug to sit overnight.

    The next morning I grab mug and brush to rinse out and see a brown fluid at bottom of the mug, just nasty. After rinsing out the brush, it still had that dead badger smell.

    Used it, and it worked just fine, but I could smell that dead badger smell in my lather!!!

    After the shave I repeated the whole cleaning/conditioning process. Now three days later, the thing still smells. I feel like my face reeks of a bad taxidermy shop that no amount of after shave can cover.

    How long until this dead badger smell goes away?

    Up until ths time I have been using vintage badger hair brushes, and a VDH boar bristle, I have never experienced this smell...it is NASTY.
  2. beginish

    beginish Moderator

    A few more lathers with a strong smelling cream will take care of it. Bigelow is my cream of choice for this.
  3. I've never experienced that! I have Dad's Vintage badger brush, some Vintage ever ready brushes and a new AoS. Silver tip badger. My AoS brush has no smell, and was perfect out of the box...I would just condition it longer...allow the lather to totally dry, rinse and then let dry.
  4. And to think I gave up on Arko after just one shave....you are persistent. I've had a lot of brushes over the last 40-odd years and never had one that had more than a mild funk that quickly dissipated with much less effort than what you've applied. If I had one bleeding brown liquid when wet I would have donned rubber gloves and quickly removed it to an outside can. You could list it on BST for $20 as a very rare specimen.
  5. You should have soaked it in white vinegar before the dishwasher liquid dip.
  6. It varies from brush to brush. Just keep up with the shampooing and regular use and it should fade rather quickly.
  7. This happens with even expensive brushes. It will fade in time

    BTW: I would never ever use that hot of water on a brush. It's a sure way to ruin both the hair and knot in no time at all
  8. I bought several knots from TGN. One of the knots I am keeping after building the brush was found to have a funk while wet. It took quite a while to get it out. This is not abnormal, and depends on the animal the hair came from. Wash with dish soap and dip in vinegar, soak in some dilute borax and water then dip in vinegar. This goes a long way to reducing the odor, some are just more funky.

    Boar have the same problem, some are just funky.
  9. I just took a look at the mug, and the thing is still leeching put brown liquid. I am going to put some scrubbing bubbles on this thing to see what is drawn out if it (this worked on an old dirty vintage brush that smelled of stale cigarettes and dust).

    If this don't work, I may just toss it. It one of the worse smells, just gross.
  10. Don't throw it out, just keep using it. Shouldn't take more than a week at the outside.
    If you really don't like the brush, PIF is to someone here .....
  11. I'm sorry, but you're being over-dramatic here. This happens with all brushes. My Simpson Milk Churn made the water brown the first time I soaked it. So did my Semogue 2009 LE.

    Just put up with it. The smell will fade eventually. There are worse things in life than smelly animal hair brushes.
  12. The brown liquid could be the knot inside the brush handle that melted due to the extreme hot water used on it. Possibly have already ruined it.
  13. Wait, you soaked it in boiling water?


    +1 on probably ruining it. Good thing you didn't drop $90 on a Simpson and it arrived smelly.

    Brushes, when new, smell. That's just how it is. Your vintage ones smelled too when their previous owners bought them.
  14. I had a similar experience with the same brush though I saw no brown color whatsoever. Of course YMMV. In my case, with a bit of persistence over a good number of days/weeks the brush has absolutely no smell. It is completely neutral a day or so after its most recent use. It does smell of the last soap for a day or so following a shave. I like the little brush enough that I actually purchased a second one. The second one smelled nothing like the first one did. I really thought I was going to have to pitch the first brush but it turned out well. It is now a scritchy little performer that does not shed. The second brush shed a bit at first but has also calmed down.

    My post is #9 in this thread.

  15. Too bad! Must have been one nasty badger! Good luck.
  16. or some other member of the weasel family...like a sunda stink badger.
  17. I think a few people might have some reading comprehension problems, so let me clarify a few things.

    No, it was not soaked in boiling water.

    A tea kettle of water was brought to a boil, that was added to a sink filled with hot tap water and dish soap. I have done that to every brush that I own.

    I took much more dramatic steps with one of my vintage brushes, as it felt sticky. That one I sprayed OxyBubbles on it, and then literally poured water direct from kettle over the knot...guess what? It did not "melt" the knot, nor wreck the brush, in fact that brush has become my daily user, but you should have seen the nasty stuff that came out of it, years of cigarette smoke I am guessing.

    I would clean a smelly brush no matter how much I spent on it.

    I do not want something that smells this bad next to my face. Maybe some of you guys are used to having stinky hair next to your face, but I am not.

    I just loaded it again to Bigelow and am going to let it sit for a few days before rinsing it out. Hopefully the smell goes away, or to PIFville it will go (with a warning of dead badger smell).
  18. Ok Daniel.
  19. Don't know about this...I bought two of them...one for myself and one for my dad and after a week of use ... they were fine. They had badger smell when new, but disappeared. Take it back to Target.
  20. Dan: I had a similar problem when I bought a Vie-Long Horsehair brush (13061). I got a brown funk out of it when I lathered it. I didn't think horses could smell like that! I started a thread on B&B and guys were helpful. They gave me this advice about the odor: "...soak it for 20 minutes in very cold water mixed with 1 tsp. vinegar per ounce of water, rinse and lather with a strong-smelling lather like Tabac..." One would leave the Tabac (or other) lather in the brush and allow to dry. After some time (I waited overnight), rinsing out the lather should drastically reduce if not cover the animal stink. It will go away completely as the brush is used.

    Odd that you're having trouble like this with a badger brush. I haven't had that. A little odor, but that disappeared after 2 shampooings with Pert and a 20 minute stand with Tabac in it. Come to think of it, I never even had that trouble with my cheap Tweezerman Pure Badger brush (my 1st). Vinegar & Tabac.


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