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Dry brush, soap dust?

My water is so hard that it could be measured in chunks of hardness, not merely grains of hardness. My simple and effective solution is to use either Distilled or RO water to build a lather & to rinse my brushes. No more cloudy water from incessant hard water rinses & the whole crowd of badger, boar, horse and synthetic brushes are clear, clean and happy.
 
Looks like I have hard water!

View attachment 1471975

Or maybe I'm just bad at discerning color. The square the farthest from my hand is the hardness indicator.

I guess I gotta figure that out now, too. Brushes diagnose other issues!


Your water is not all that hard. I am not certain of the exact number, either, but it is somewhere around 100. In contrast, my water would be somewhere between 350-500 ppm depending upon the season, the rainfall, and which wells are in use by my water supplier. There was a time when my water softener was not working properly and I had great difficulty lathering soaps. After getting a new one, my hardness is very low and lathering is easy. I doubt you will have great difficulty building a lather, but you might need to deep clean your brushes periodically.
 
You may need to do a thorough cleaning with vinegar or Borax:


In case anyone is interested in the chemistry,. vinegar and borax are two very different chemicals, but both work for cleaning brushes.

Soap scum is produced due to a reaction between soap (sodium and potassium esters of fatty acids) and bivalent ions in the tap water. This is primarily calcium and magenesium, but may also include other ions like barium and iron.

Vinegar is an acidic solution of acetic acid with a pH of around 2-3. Anything below 7.0 is acidic with the lower the number the more acidic the solution. Acids react with the soap scum to convert the esters back to fatty acids.

A borax when dissolved in water has a pH around 9-10. Anything over 7 is alkaline. The alkaline solution dissolves the soap scum my converting the insoluble calcium and magnesium esters back to soluble esters (soaps). Any alkaline product such as Simple Green (which has a pH around 9) will also accomplish the same thing. Some common household cleaners are highly alkaline and might damage your brush. These include things like chlorine bleach, toilet bowl cleaners, shower cleaners, and oven cleaners.
 
I shampoo'd the brush after my regular cleaning routine last shave. The dust has greatly diminished

I'll try a deep clean, but there's no way I'll be deep cleaning my brush every 9 shaves. That's unreasonable.
 
I've had some thoughts on cleaning brushes. I don't really bowl lather, but I do use it to mush my soft soap in the bottom to load the brush. After that I'm a face lather. I'll rest my brush in the bowl between passes and that's the extent of my bowl use. When I clean up, I rinse the soap from the bowl and then fill it with water and plunge the brush in the water until I think the brush is clean. What I'm left with on the outside of the bowl is a cloudy film all around the exterior which is some type of soap residue in the water spilling over the sides of the bowl. So even though I've rinsed the bowl really well, the residue just doesn't rinse off, it needs to be wiped off. This same residue has to be attaching itself to the shaft of each hair in the brush. So to me, just rinsing the brush with plenty of water isn't enough. I've also noticed that some soaps are worse than others at leaving the film.
 
I've had some thoughts on cleaning brushes. I don't really bowl lather, but I do use it to mush my soft soap in the bottom to load the brush. After that I'm a face lather. I'll rest my brush in the bowl between passes and that's the extent of my bowl use. When I clean up, I rinse the soap from the bowl and then fill it with water and plunge the brush in the water until I think the brush is clean. What I'm left with on the outside of the bowl is a cloudy film all around the exterior which is some type of soap residue in the water spilling over the sides of the bowl. So even though I've rinsed the bowl really well, the residue just doesn't rinse off, it needs to be wiped off. This same residue has to be attaching itself to the shaft of each hair in the brush. So to me, just rinsing the brush with plenty of water isn't enough. I've also noticed that some soaps are worse than others at leaving the film.
Unless I misunderstand then from your description you are rinsing your brush in a bowl of water and not in running water. I suggest that running water would be much more effective.
 
Unless I misunderstand then from your description you are rinsing your brush in a bowl of water and not in running water. I suggest that running water would be much more effective.
Sorry about my explanation not being clear enough. I do leave the water running while plunging the brush so I have constant fresh water to clean with. And the film build up on the exterior of the lather bowl comes from the water spilling over the edge.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
So even though I've rinsed the bowl really well, the residue just doesn't rinse off, it needs to be wiped off. This same residue has to be attaching itself to the shaft of each hair in the brush.

I completely agree with this.

I get scum on the razor and blade, no matter how I rinse it, and yes, the bristles of my brushes do sometimes give off a dry cloud, depending what I have used them with. The only way to shift that scum off the hardware is a light scrub. Some folks feel inclined to give everything a thorough clean after each shave. I am not a fastidious shaver though, and I clean it all off when the blade isn't performing well, and not before.

As I have said several times previously, I have many disorders, but obsessive compulsion is not amongst them.
 
I'm still having dust puff issues. My bowl has that film too. It might be an MdC thing because I never saw it with the Stirling soaps I used before. I still prefer Mdc ;)

I get soap residue on my razors too, but that's not a new development.

I'm just going to shampoo my brushes every once in awhile.
 
I've not noticed this using my MdC Rose nor Agrumes, is this specific to Original?
I will say that this seems to be most noticeable for me after having used Proraso...
 
Mine's Fougére.

It could be a combo of that and hard water. All I know is that I'm using a lot of water to clean it, and it isn't getting clean. Using shampoo is all that helps so far!
 
I've been wet shaving for 8+ years and know full well what the O.P.er is taking about. I've seen the soap dust myself when running my fingers over the tips of the bushe's hair after it's fully dried.

Truth be told, it never really concerned me. I mean it's obvious to me the brush needs a more thorough cleaning, but...

I know for a fact that the water in my home is very hard. I also do use a good bit of water washing my brushes out with after each use. I mean I honestly use more water than I really feel comfortable with due to drought and high water bills in the area where I live.

Without thinking of this specific issue, I have read the instructional thread on how to clean brushes. I did this fairly recently by the way. The go-to is stong dish soap like Dawn and either/or vinegar and borax. This got me thinking...

A little back story. A few years ago and going back a while, I used to chemically relax my hair. My hair is dense (a lot of trees) and thick (each stand is not thin). On top of that, with medium length, it starts to get a strong wave or starts to curl. Long story short, I personally don't like my natural hair. So as long as my hair is on the shorter side or I "relax" it, it stays straight. Like I like it. Don't ask my lady about this though. She likes my natural hair and long at that. Go figure.

Well when you chemically relax hair you basically use a strong acid to weaken the bonds on each stand of hair. This is what removes any wave or curl and makes the hair lay straight afterward. When the relaxer has been applied long enough you need to wash it out, But you also need to "neutralize" the relaxer (the acid). You do this with a "neutralizing" shampoo. So after reading the thread on cleaning brushes that says to use dish soap, vinegar and borax, it got me thinking. Why not just use a neutralizing shampoo instead?

I planned on testing out my theory as I still have some neutralizing shampoo but in all honesty, just hadn't gotten around to it. This leads me to my big question....

What harm does not "thoroughly" cleaning a brush do? By " thoroughly I mean to the point of not seeing soap dust when running your fingers over the tips of the brushs hair when it's dry. I mean, what does it Really matter? What if any risk is there to the hair itself? I honestly don't know. I'm very curious and love to learn so here we are.

Does the type of hair the brush is made of matter? Badger versus boar versus horse versus synthetic? If anyone truly knows, by all means, chime in. Maybe someone like @Rudy Vey can school us all.

One thing I can say that might help those of you that do have to deal with the issue of seeing that light soapscum on your apothecary cups, lathering bowls and razors after shaving. Is that I've personally found that using a small amount of what's known as "Castile" soap on my shaving tools to be very effective at removing that soapscum. It removes the soapscum 100%, right away.

The one I used and the one that's most popular, most likely found, is Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap. It comes in a variety of sizes and scents. Like lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, almond, unscented and my favorite, citrus. And in 8, 16 and 32oz sizes. I always went the cost effective route with the large 32oz bottle.

Anyway, so I know this post has been long but I'd really like to hear factual information on what it matters to leave shaving soap "dust" on a brush. Have you had a brush fall apart on you that you blamed on this issue? Any other known issues as a result? Please reply and let me know.

Thank you.
 
I forgot to mention that neutralizing shampoos main goal is to bring hair back to it's normal pH (neutral) so that the relaxer doesn't completely destroy the hair. It also has a side function. It removes all build-up, of any kind! Like say hair products. Things like styling products or even cheap shampoos and conditions that don't always wash clean. This is the reason why I think it would be a very good, simple method for cleaning shaving brushes.
 
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AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I forgot to mention that neutralizing shampoos main goal is to bring hair back to is normal pH (neutral) so that the relaxer doesn't completely destroy your hair. It also has a side function. It removes all build-up, of any kind! Like say hair products. Things like styling products or even cheap shampoos and conditions that don't wash clean. This is why I think it would be a very good, simple solution to cleaning shaving brushes.

Vosene is my preferred clarifying shampoo. In fact, as I am mostly no-poo these days (just water rinses, usually), it's the only shampoo I use. I think it's the silicone in most commercial shampoos that gave me trouble with build up in the past, and the Vosene strips away everything.
 
Vosene is my preferred clarifying shampoo. In fact, as I am mostly no-poo these days (just water rinses, usually), it's the only shampoo I use. I think it's the silicone in most commercial shampoos that gave me trouble with build up in the past, and the Vosene strips away everything.
Right! This!

I use it myself about once a month to just give my hair a good baseline. I rarely use "product" anymore but figure once a month, why not.
 
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