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Boar Brush Prep - Why Refrigerate?

I just ordered my first boar - a Semogue 830.

I read numerous postings about preparing the brush, including cleaning, soaking, and agitating. I get all of that and why.

What I don't understand is why, when soaking, that the mug and brush should be refrigerated. Soaking the brush, even at room temp, should have the same effect for softening the boar.

Can someone explain why the brush should be refrigerated when soaking? What benefit does it offer.

Thank you.
 
I just ordered my first boar - a Semogue 830.

I read numerous postings about preparing the brush, including cleaning, soaking, and agitating. I get all of that and why.

What I don't understand is why, when soaking, that the mug and brush should be refrigerated. Soaking the brush, even at room temp, should have the same effect for softening the boar.

Can someone explain why the brush should be refrigerated when soaking? What benefit does it offer.

Thank you.
That's a good question. I'm curious about that myself.
 
I don't know. I did it on my last boar purchase and I can't tell if it made any difference at all. Some people had good things to report - which is why I tried it. Took the brush out each night and spent some time drying on a towel, as recommended.

Honestly, I won't do it again.
 

BigJ

Ambassador
The general idea is to get the hairs to split.

In theory, more temperature variation with refrigeration should help this process.

In practice, just using the brush (or practice lathers), then allowing it to dry thoroughly will achieve the same results (simpler but it might take awhile longer). KISS works for me!! :a14: :a14:
 
I just leave in in tap water for 24 hours. I've never tried the fridge method but just leaving boars in water does the trick for me.
 
I too got my first boar brush - Semogue Owners Club. I was fully prepared to wash a smelly brush and dunk it in refrigerated water for 3 days. However, my brush didn’t smell bad and I thought the brush was certainly soft enough to use. I decided to just use it. I am content to see how long it takes to break in. It’s my little science experiment 😜. Here it is after 2 uses.
75EFFEA3-1D28-4EC0-9D46-E2C4EEEE01D6.jpeg
 

never-stop-learning

Contributor
Ambassador
My OMEGA 011842 Premium Pure Bristle brush got the water in the refrigerator treatment. Seemed to speed up the break-in.

My Omega Pro 48 has a number of shaves, rinses and drying. Since I'm using it primarily to paint lather on my face, I don't feel the need to do the water in the refrigerator process.
 
I used my 830 normally, with no accelerated break-in shortcut. It took about 15 uses before it was good to go for normal use.

In the beginning time, I just went back to the park for more so before each pass .

FYI

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I am heartened to know that some of you used the boar straight up without going thru the initial prep. Your responses tell me that I can just start using the brush.

I am looking forward to using the Semogue 830, and I will report back on it once I receive it.

I am still curious why everyone suggests leaving the brush soak in the fridge. Soaking is soaking. Is there something special about cold water compared to room temp? That's what I'm trying to understand. (Note: the answer probably won't change what I do, I'm just curious as this was never explained.)
 
Here's my two cents on boar-breaking.

1. Semogues barely ever stink. Every Omega I've ever owned, however, stunk from bad to worse but went away after 5 uses with 24 hours dry time next to an open window with sunlight. The only Semogue's I've encountered with very mild funk have been the banded boars, like your 830. A 10 minute soak in warm water with a squirt of Dawn will likely be enough to de-funk your new brush.

2. The 830 comes with Semogues premium grade of bristle. You can do the fridge soak if you want, but I've never really found it to be that useful personally. A few stubborn boars I own have spent days in the fridge and still don't get used because they're either too dense or the bristles haven't split yet.

3. After you do a test lather or two to get a feel for how the brush makes lather, just start using it. Hang it upside down to dry and park it next to an open window if you can, especially if you shave every day. Or if you have another brush you still use, alternate between it and the new 830. The best way to break in a brush is to just use it!

Enjoy your new brush, Semogue's are great, especially the mid-sized ones like your 830.
 
...Can someone explain why the brush should be refrigerated when soaking? What benefit does it offer.
The best boots I ever made a living in were Wesco's and they needed to be broke in. Took about 2 weeks for the hot spot or two to go away and a month for the shank to take the right set and the edges to roll up where they needed to be. Then years before a rebuild. Folks that soaked their brand new White's in water or greased 'em up real good to hasten the break in were rewarded with loose fitting very expensive boots and used super thick socks to compensate. (anyone remember Lee 88's?)

The best shoes I ever owned were Birkestock Londons or Arizona's. If you ever had a pair of Birks you know about break in. Can you hurry up this process? So some folks like soft sole Birk's and others like to break them in.

A shaving brush... your call, but why? So yeah... I'm a boomer.
 
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I do not recommend putting the brush in the fridge.
Condensation can get between the handle and the knot and that can't be good for the brush.
This is what happened the first time I tried this method with a Semogue 610, and now I have a mark in the paint inside the brush handle. Truth be told the brush seems OK, but I don't know if has "shortened the lifespan" of the brush.
For this reason, for future, I would only soak it cold tap water
 
I believe you put it in the fridge to limit the possibility of the growth or mold and bacteria. Leaving a brush soaking in water for a week or so is just begging for mold and bacteria to grow but refrigeration helps to reduce that.
Personally, Im more a fan of just using a brush and letting the hairs split naturally. Yes, Semogues can be annoying because they can sometimes take forever to break in, especially on the knots that arent bleached and dyed but thats part of the experience.
 
I would think the reason you put it in the refrig as @BigJ said is to help split the hairs with the changing of the temperature.
I just do one test lather with my boar's to get any smell out and then just use them. That's the best way to do it. Anytime you force any type of break in period you risk causing damage to it.
 
I don't see any reason to refrigerate it. If I'm just trying to get the initial funk out and get the break in started, I soak the brush for a few minutes, try to make a lather with a cheap soap or one I don't really enjoy shaving with that much, rinse it out, dry it on a towel, let it dry for a couple days, maybe do all that again a couple times if needed. I think a few wet/dry cycles will do more to split the hairs than just soaking in a fridge.
 
I didn't refrigerate the brush.

I did wash it with a little Dawn and then soaked it for a few hours. I then flicked out the water and brushed against my hand until the brush felt dry, dipped the brush in water again and brushed it against my hand. I then let it soak for a 2 more hours and repeated the brushing against my hand. After that, I let the brush soak overnight and used it the next morning.

While I don't see any split hairs right now, the brush is feeling mostly soft on the ends. It is making a decent lather, as I need to work on my bowl lathering technique a little more with this brush.

Overall, I am happy with my purchase. I will use this brush for a few days in a row before I start alternating with my badger brush.

Thanks everyone.
 
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