What's new

Brush Care - My Way

Hi, I just thought I would share with you the things I do to keep my brush in tip top condition even though it is a £3.50 Wilkinson Sword "Natural Fiber" brush, I believe that good brush care is a must if you don't want it building up with bacteria and other "funk" while it's not in use.

Before using, I always allow my brush to soak in very hot water, I guess it could be done in cold water but I like the feel of warm foam on my skin.

Once I have finished my shave, I will normally get a shower and I will take my brush in with me so I can clean it.

1st thing I do is give it a quick rinse while massaging it into the palm of my hand (the same way you would make a hand lather).

I will then add some shampoo and build up a nice lather in my hand, making sure that the shampoo has fully penetrated deep into the brush before rinsing it all out.

Next, I add some conditioner and massage it in again, making sure the brush is deeply and evenly coated before putting it on the side while I get on with washing myself.

I leave the brush to stand until I have finished showering but, before I get out I rinse off all the conditioner.

Once I'm out of the shower, I will use a hair drier and a normal hair brush similar to this one:

to fully dry the brush and remove any loose / broken bristles and to also make sure the brush drys neatly.

The result is a much softer shaving brush than when I first bought it and with a bit of luck, this method should keep it in good condition for years to come.
Why would it kill a badger or boar brush? hair is hair. Heck, I've even shampooed my dog before now lol

Also, although I don't know exactly what material the brush is made from, the box says "Natural Fiber"
I have emailed WS and asked them what material they use but I'm still waiting on a reply.
Last edited:
It's not that, I just think that over time the build up of soap scum, tiny bits of shaven hairs, skin cells, dust and god knows what else is the ideal breeding ground for bactera or even mites etc. Since you are going to be rubbing it on your face, it should be cleaned just as you wouldn't use a dirty towel to dry yourself.
Also, the conditioner does wonders to bristles making them "feel softer, silkier and easier to style" (quoted from the bottle) lol
Last edited:
Why would it kill a badger or boar brush? hair is hair. Heck, I've even shampooed my dog before now lol

Also, although I don't know exactly what material the brush is made from, the box says "Natural Fiber"
I have emailed WS and asked them what material they use but I'm still waiting on a reply.

Remember, the hair on living things continues to grow. Hair on brushes are static (non growing) and will deteriorate due to natural decay. If you want to accelerate that decay use hot water.

Badger hair will not take the stress of high heat for too long without frizzing and developing damage to the tips. Horse will go limp under too much heat and lose its natural backbone. Boar will fray at the tips which is good but continued heat will make that fraying go all the way up the shaft of the hair, severely reducing its backbone.

Synthetics like the H.I.S., Muhle and Franks Shaving / TGN can withstand higher heat because they are not natural fibers.

More than likely, your Wilkinson is made of boar hair. I had one of those brushes. Key word was had.

Now if you want to properly clean a brush, use a professional product and cold water to remove mineral stains and disinfect.

The M·A·C Cosmetics Brush Cleanser is also a disinfectant which is good for cleaning older brushes.



Use this product and you will extend the life of the brushes you purchase.

Good fortune to you.
Last edited:
Seems excessive to me. Ive had the same badger brush for over 10 years. After a shave I gently shake it out, then "towel dry" it and then hang it up. Its been working great for all this time. After all what you are shaving with is... SOAP... so the brush gets cleaned every single use.

I think the biggest thing is to let your brushes dry well and thats about it. A dry brush will not breed bacteria.

But hey, its your brush, your time and your ritual. No one is likely to talk you in to or out of your "thing"... so have fun!
Here's what I do, my usual pre-shave routine is to let the bristles stand in hot water while I shower. When I'm finished shaving I rinse and "hand lather" under warm water until the water runs clear. Then 20 shakes or so until the knot begins to bloom (usually an indication that most of the water is out of the brush) then it hangs bristles down until the next morning. Seems to work well.

I feel like a slacker. I just rinse the brush and give it a squeeze to make sure there is no soap left. I live in AZ so I don't worry too much about the brush being wet for long. I saw on a recent post that it is bad to shake a brush. Is this true?
I've seen brushes in antique stores that were obviously left sitting in a pool of lather and water every single day for decades, and they still look usable.


The Men Who Sniff at Goats
Maybe a vinegar/water soak every other couple of months to keep soap residue from building up and affecting your lathers.
Hahahahahahah....you treat your brush better then I treat my family members! Hey, maybe I should shampoo my tooth brush after every use!

Just kidding around, if it works for you there is nothing wrong with it..... but it's funny-- at first I though it was a gag thread.

Here is what I do: I rinse it in cold water and put it up. If it gunks up in ten years, I'll get another one. Since you are using it for SOAP, I figure that it is already clean.

Kind of reminds me of the idea of trying to strop DE blades. Doesn't seem necessary.
Why would it kill a badger or boar brush? hair is hair. Heck, I've even shampooed my dog before now lol

I actually like the fact that you take such extensive care of your brush. Its just a bit more than is really required. I'd suggest reading this excellent article regarding a drying routine:


For cleaning, once every 2-3 weeks, you can soak the brush in a 2/10 part vinegar/water solution for some time, people suggest a few minutes, I soak my brushes for about 90 minutes because of the extra hard-water caused crud. Renders them new.
Na, just once a week when I can feel the soap is making the bristles feel a bit different.

I normally just run it under the tap and rinse it in my shaving dish until the water runs clear.

Can I clear something up... how hot does the water have to be to damage a brush? I only do it hot enough to feel hot, not so hot it would burn.

When I 1st stated shaving, I used to use boiling water right from the kettle to let my brush and razor soak before use... I don't do that any more! lol
I think this type of regular cleaning is fine as long as you are gentle with the brush. Hot water and hot air from a blow dryer are pretty harsh for a shaving brush, especially a badger or boar. I would recommend you eliminate those two things from your brush cleaning routine.
Wow....you really love that brush! No offense to the OP, but personally my time is more valuable than the attention given to that brush.
Top Bottom