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Badger Brush - Dry Before Next Shave?

Should silvertip be completely dry before re-use?

  • Dry completely before re-use.

  • OK to use wet.


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Here's a question that's just come up for me that I wanted to solicit fellow members opinions on. I'm fortunate to have quite a few brushes in many different hair types. My current regular rotation includes a Silvertip that I have been using more or less every day for the past couple of weeks to exhaust some old shaving cream stock.

Does anyone feel that a silvertip (or any other type of badger brush) should be dried out completely before its next use and if so why? I follow this protocol with my boar because its widely believed to "soften" the brush by allowing the tips to split, but don't with any of my badgers or horsehairs.
 
I can't say I have any scientific evidence to go on, but I don't like the thought of a brush being in a constantly damp state. It seems to me it might provide quite a good environment for some life forms I would prefer not to encounter.
 
I have quite a few brushes, but I use each one several days straight before rotating. I let them dry in open hair and they seem quite dry in the morning. Never had an issue.
 
I have quite a few brushes, but I use each one several days straight before rotating. I let them dry in open hair and they seem quite dry in the morning. Never had an issue.
This is what I do and the brush is pretty dry by the next morning. I don't notice any damp, however, some forum members (perhaps in more humid climates) believe that you need 48+ hours to completely dry a brush and that it should only be used every third day. Is this common sense or nonsense?
 
I can't say I have any scientific evidence to go on, but I don't like the thought of a brush being in a constantly damp state. It seems to me it might provide quite a good environment for some life forms I would prefer not to encounter.
This ^
A full two days, even in the cold temperatures, should be sufficient time to fully dry the brush. This is always a good excuse to have 2-3 brushes in rotation, if not more. :biggrin1:
 

malocchio

Contributor
Even in the hottest weather,deep inside the knot will retain moisture,this causes mold over time.The remedy for preventing mold would be a monthly 3 minute soak in properly diluted Mar-V-Cide,which is safe for brushes.If you have several brushes you can skip the disinfecting process altogether,or for safety sake ,disinfect them every 90 days,as I do.It takes quite awhile for the deepest center of the knot to really dry out...After about 40 plus years of just shaking out the excess water and sitting the brush upright,I started hanging mine upside down to dry,based on wisdom passed on by brush masters like Bernd from Shavemac,Rudy Vey ,and many more.
 
I will use the same badger brush several days in a row. Usually, the brush is completely dry by the next morning, but sometimes not. I have not noticed any shedding or brush under performance. As with anything, YMMV.
 

ackvil

Moderator
In AZ I have no problem with my brush drying out overnight. Nevertheless, I rotate a new brush every day.
 
Our fathers and grandfathers didn't have 5 different brushes to rotate from. They had one brush and they used it daily for years. I have one brush I used solely for years. It was fine. It's still fine and is still an amazing brush. Now days I have many brushes and I rotate, but you don't need to.
 
Our fathers and grandfathers didn't have 5 different brushes to rotate from. They had one brush and they used it daily for years. I have one brush I used solely for years. It was fine. It's still fine and is still an amazing brush. Now days I have many brushes and I rotate, but you don't need to.
This is a good point. My father had one brush from the time I was in short pants up until college. I gave him another as a birthday present one year and he asked me why any person would need two. He's passed now but I wouldn't want him to know how many I have.
 
My Simpson brush developed a problem with little bits of hair breaking off and getting on my soap pucks. I contacted the vendor that I bought it from, and they determined that the problem was insufficient drying. I have been putting my brush in front of my desk fan all day, and that has helped a lot, but when the weather gets cold, it looks like I am going to have to buy another brush and start a rotation. Apparently it is important to fully dry a brush between shaves.
 

bberg100

Moderator Emeritus
I would think it takes many days to dry the knot. Lots of dense material with zero airflow. Kind of like rolling up a wet tent. You are using it with soap, which is one of the best cleaners there is, any "funk" is probably wiped out with each use.
 
I can't say I have any scientific evidence to go on, but I don't like the thought of a brush being in a constantly damp state. It seems to me it might provide quite a good environment for some life forms I would prefer not to encounter.
This again. I find it can take three days for my larger natural hair brushes to dry out.
 
I'm still trying to understand the logic of drying vs. not drying for badger. With boar it's easier to comprehend. New boar brushes benefit from being dried completely as it eventually causes the ends to split giving a softer, better lathering brush. For older boar brushes, other than microbial considerations, I'm not sure there is any benefit to a complete drying before reuse (?). Unless I'm mistaken, badger hair does not "split" like boar hair. Worn badger brushes thin out at the hair ends and/or develop hooks, giving a softer, denser sensation on the face. It's my understanding that this happens naturally with badger hair regardless of whether the brush is completely dried between uses or not. So if you use the same silvertip badger brush daily, rinsing it clean of all soap or cream residue, shake it dry, paint a few gentle strokes on a dry towel, and hang it upside down in a brush stand until the next morning - what's the worst thing that can happen? For brushes I've done this with, I've never had a knot rot out or noticed any unusual odors or shedding. If drying badger completely bestows some special properties on a brush for those of you that do it - please share the details.
 

captp

Contributor
Contributor
Many folk here (not I) believe that the knot will develop mold and mildew if not completely dried between uses. Our fathers and grandfathers would beg to differ
 
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