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Brush lifespan

My dad shaves daily and pays zero attention to taking care of his brush or even drying it after shave. An Omega boar lasts him around 5 years. I recently gave him an old Simpsons Berkeley that was shedding and last time I saw it, it was in really poor shape. Based on this single data point, I assume the average man out there needs to use boar brushes and change them every 5 years or so. A nice Badger brush is a terribly poor investment for someone like my dad
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
I agree with other's who've said that controlling humidity factors, will greatly increase the life of your brushes. You should always shake out your brush after to get the excess water out of them. And then you should use a brush stand, so it holds the brushes upside down in the air.

I recently got this brush stand, because its recommended to hang a brush up like this, to help extend its life, and to hopefully prevent mildoo or mold. This is a pure badger brush being hung up on the stand. Works great so far!

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I'm waiting on my new brush to come in the mail, I ordered a Maseto Avatar 30 silver tipped badger brush, and I am hoping this stand will work for it as well.
A stand doesn't actually help your brush dry, unless you're putting it in there dripping wet. And if you are - stop it!

But it's still a darn pretty stand and there is no reason not to enjoy it for that reason alone.
 
A stand doesn't actually help your brush dry, unless you're putting it in there dripping wet. And if you are - stop it!

But it's still a darn pretty stand and there is no reason not to enjoy it for that reason alone.

No, I never put my brush away wet, I'm not an animal. When I am finished rinsing out the brush, getting the soap out of it, I shake it vigorously numerous times until I don't see drops hitting water from the brush no more. Then I would set it aside.

Now that I have a brush stand however, I am able to put it up how you are supposed to. Everybody says you don't want water getting into the glue that holds the knott in the handle. My first time with my chrome brush, I didn't know this, and I was letting the whole thing soak in water.

Since I was told, I no longer submerge the whole brush for the soaking process. When I get my new brush, I am going to be extra diligent, as one should be for a 60 dollar brush! Just one of the reasons why I wanted to get a stand. I absolutely do not want to store my brush right side up.

And I thank you, I also enjoy the look of this stand, and it was cheap too! I know you can buy some brush stands that cost over 100 dollars, but I am not that crazy. lol Anyways, if you need a stand, Perfecto seems good so far.
 
Opinions vary with brush care and use as they do with everything else. I don't soak my badger brushes at all before use as I have found it makes no difference. I briefly submerge the entire brush, including the handle and entire knot, in cold water, squeeze out any excess water so the brush is just damp, then load from the puck and start face lathering. I have never used a stand in my life as I do not believe they are necessary or beneficial, that said, if you like a stand then use one. For me, the most important part of brush care is thoroughly rinsing to remove all soap after use.
 
It’s nice when guys with actual real world experience give recommendations like they have in this thread. I’ve restored in excess of 40 vintage brushes using various boar, badger and synthetic knots from TGN and Whipped Dog. Don’t own a stand and never will, just shake them out and stand them on their base to dry.
 
Dying time for a brush standing upright or downward pointed does not really effect the drying time overall, as long as a few flicks are done to drive most of water out of knot and even towel dry the brush a little will reduce the amount of time to dry and the brush will stay healthier for many years of life.
I did a test on 2 Badgers, boar and synthetic last summer(2021) during a heat wave where I live and what effects the drying time has on inside temperatures and knot size. Cooler means longer drying time of course.
I got the idea from another thread on B&B that this fellow took time to layout the differences. I just stood my brushes on handle base and took weight before & after and time for the weight to equal the same at the test start by just using a kitchen electronic gram scale, but most folks don't have a indoor temperature set at 80 F' unless nature sets it.
Synthetic brushes dried the fastest as most of you all ready knew but some Newbies might not know this.
I still hang most of my brushes downward but it really does not matter it seems if bulk of water is flicked out(Gravity, old school thinking).
(Click photo to enlarge.)
$normal_Brush_exp_copy (2).jpg
Experimenting with brush drying times. (2).jpg

Have some great shaves!
 
Capillary action is stronger than gravity. Hanging the brush just draws water into where the knot is tighter, and there is less drying air flow.

Shake as much water out as you can, then stand the brush on it to handle to dry is best, IME.
 
I use in rotation 2 Omega Boar brushes. I plan on keeping them for awhile. They make lather really well. As for caring for them all I do is rinse them out thoroughly after each shave and shake them out well. Then I put them in my sink counter bristles up. Very simple!
 
Most brushes will sadly out live most of their aging owners, if simply rinsed out, shook a few times before being stood up on the base. Buy a quality synthetic brush and eliminate all the BS. If you want to look at pretty things than by all means buy a alpine badger crotch haired elephant ivory handled brush that doesn’t last as long.
 
No, I never put my brush away wet, I'm not an animal. When I am finished rinsing out the brush, getting the soap out of it, I shake it vigorously numerous times until I don't see drops hitting water from the brush no more. Then I would set it aside.

Now that I have a brush stand however, I am able to put it up how you are supposed to. Everybody says you don't want water getting into the glue that holds the knott in the handle. My first time with my chrome brush, I didn't know this, and I was letting the whole thing soak in water.

Since I was told, I no longer submerge the whole brush for the soaking process. When I get my new brush, I am going to be extra diligent, as one should be for a 60 dollar brush! Just one of the reasons why I wanted to get a stand. I absolutely do not want to store my brush right side up.

And I thank you, I also enjoy the look of this stand, and it was cheap too! I know you can buy some brush stands that cost over 100 dollars, but I am not that crazy. lol Anyways, if you need a stand, Perfecto seems good so far.

Although a few say don’t submerge the whole brush or get the base of the knot wet, this is not everyone’s opinion, and I personally think it’s bad advice.

I also followed this advice at the beginning of my wet shaving adventure and ended up destroying a few high end, high density brushes. The greater danger, IMO, is not getting the knot clean. Soap can easily build up in the base of a brush, causing massive shedding. I thoroughly clean my brushes now—submersing them in warm water and allowing water to flow throughout the knot.
 
I use in rotation 2 Omega Boar brushes.
I read somewhere else on here that it takes several days for a boar brush to dry properly and that is not good to have the brush wet / damp all the time. I'm on a bit of a boar kick at the moment, so does this mean that if shaving with a boar you should have 2 or 3 boar brushes and rotate them so that each brush dries properly?
 
Never mess with another man's broom, because if you do, he will have to buy a new broom head, because you contaminated his. :lol:

I guess I am that way about my razors. Knowing how much I spent for them, I wouldn't let anyone use my razors. They can buy their own. lol And yes, I do love the British classic Only Fools And Horses.

Known for that crazy 3-wheel car that scrapes the bumper in a hard turn. And that brother of his, who buys 1000 boxes of laundry detergent.
 
I read somewhere else on here that it takes several days for a boar brush to dry properly and that is not good to have the brush wet / damp all the time. I'm on a bit of a boar kick at the moment, so does this mean that if shaving with a boar you should have 2 or 3 boar brushes and rotate them so that each brush dries properly?
It does seem to be the generally accepted wisdom that a brush should dry fully between uses; the precise reasons for this are not completely clear to me, but I rotate around a dozen brushes anyway. The time taken to dry will depend on the size and density of the knot and also the humidity of the local climate. Of course this could simply be justification for buying more brushes. 😁
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
Now that I have a brush stand however, I am able to put it up how you are supposed to. Everybody says you don't want water getting into the glue that holds the knott in the handle. My first time with my chrome brush, I didn't know this, and I was letting the whole thing soak in water.

I absolutely do not want to store my brush right side up.
Well, "how you are supposed to" is not backed up by an science I've read. I have a $200 badger that has never been on a stand and it's 10 years old and looks like a week old brush. I currently have 16 brushes on the brush shelves and all are sitting on the flat of the handle. No issues. I've seen pictures of 30-40 brush collections and none are on stands.

When soaking the boars (the badgers and synthetics don't require a soak, but it won't hurt them) I only soak the hair, not the knot. But when cleaning any brush I absolutely get the knot wet, in fact I hold the brush upside down and let the water pour into the knot. Leaving soap residue in the knot is worse than getting it wet for the duration of the cleaning.

But do what you like (except for leaving soap in the brush), it doesn't really matter one way or the other. Shelf or stand - either way the brush will dry. Just don't lock it up in the medicine cabinet where the air doesn't circulate freely.
 
I don't think I've ever read any Mfg's instructions for use that required a brush to be put in a stand upside down to dry and so far to date there is no scientific evidence that it actually helps a brush dry out quicker!! I switched to synthetic knots exclusively almost 5yrs ago because I didn't want to own a cabinet full of brushes so that I could use a different brush per shave for 2wks while the others dry out. My synthetics dry out completely in less than 24hrs and if I wanted to I could cut my cabinet down to just 1 brush and still be able to use it everyday if I wanted to...

As pointed out above, the most important factor to brush life is making sure your brush is clean and soap free when you put it away to dry!! After every shave I splay my brush in the palm of my hand and rotate the brush in a circular motion under running water, much the same as I lather my face, to make sure I get all the soap out of it. I then flick the brush until I don't see anymore water coming out of it before it goes back on the shelf. I expect my brushes will outlast me and well into the next persons life that is lucky enough to receive them when I'm gone!!
 
This reminds me of the kid's game Telephone where the original story is completely unrecognizable after being told through a dozen different ears.
:biggrin:

I think the advice @Star_Wahl_Clipper_Treker originally got was that if he was going to soak his brush, try not to soak the glue knot and do let the brush dry out thoroughly when finished. Seems pretty reasonable. I believe @Rudy Vey says it is fine to dry the brush standing on its end, but hanging it is OK, too. Just clean the brush thoroughly and try to get most of the water out first. And don't put the brush in an enclosed space where it can't get much air circulation. I think Rudy should know.
 
The best way to tell if a knot is free from soap is to wait until dry then flick the knot through your hand, if you get a dust cloud then it's not clean and that gent's is the biggest knot killer.

Dust is the soap scum that you cannot rinse out you have to use a shampoo or the likes, what happens to your sink you get a ring of fatty soap scum and you have to wash that with a cleaner to remove it.

The same you do with your brush you have to remove the scum out of the knot, yes it is acidic and that's what rots the hair in the knot as the saying goes look after your brush and it will serve you well for many years. A damp brush also rots the hair I never hang a brush, I stand mine on the base of the handle its whatever suits you hang or stand its your choice I stand as I have a big collection and it would look funny all on hangers.
 
It is my firm believe that cleaning a brush out after use to remove any residue of cream or soap is mandatory to the life span of the brush as well as displaying any white residue - on any of my brushes, hanging or standing, up I do not see white rings (15 hanging, some 20+ standing).
I have seen my share of brushes that started shedding after a while, although the owner swears he does the best to remove soap/cream after use; I do find a lot of such residues inside the knot when I cut the hair off. Here is my way of removing soap/cream:
give the brush a good overall rinse with warm water, squeeze it gently so everything comes out of the knot (I do this under running water). The next step is to let the water run into the knot from the top, and also gently squeeze the knot. I think the whole process is about a minute and there is absolutely no soap residue left (once I did cut off the hairs on one of my older brushes that I wanted to re-knot with a different hair -nothing inside). Cleaning out a brush thoroughly after use it for me the most important step of keeping a brush live a long life....
I have seen brushes that were 25-30 years old and looked like new, and I have some that were only a couple of years old but looked horrible. It is you that decides how long the brush will last!!
 
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