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I'm pretty sure I didn't just destroy my brushes. Please confirm.

I got a mother lode of packages today, which included 3 very high-end used brushes. I'm certain that the members who had them previously were clean and tidy, but I thought it'd be a good idea to sanitize them nonetheless. After all, we're consistently rubbing them vigorously on open wounds. :ohmy:

So I'm on sabbatical, which I am taking very, very seriously. I can't purchase any Barbacide or Marvicide, and I read anyway that those products are intended for hard surfaces and could possibly damage brushes. So I came up with this:

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I got it yesterday for my wife, who needed it to cure (harden) some fingernail polish or something that I don't care about. :lol: The important thing is, it's high intensity 7.5W LED powered UV light, with all sorts of internal reflectors to ensure the UV light comes from all directions. UV light is known to kill bacteria and most known pathogens very effectively.

Now, I realize that I'm not going to kill everything. Realistically, the only way to do that is with an autoclave, which would undoubtedly destroy the brush. Methinks this is probably a super-great way to sanitize the brush, and that UV light was only $30 retail.

Does anyone know if it's possible for UV light alone (no heat) to damage a brush? My instinct says no, but I'd like a little reassurance from the peanut gallery. :001_smile Maybe I'll write the company and tell them to change the box to "Shaving Brush Sanitizer" and double the price. :wink2:
 
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This may or may not be accurate:

"Most manicure gels cure well in wavelengths of 340 to 380 nanometers."
 
Not sure of the exact wavelength of that thing, but it's safe to say it's UV-A. Does that mean it does nothing against microorganisms?
 
I read that, and I'm planning to do what's on there. But my wife, who works in a hospital, was very skeptical about soap, water, borax or vinegar.
 
Also, I gather that guide is geared towards cleaning your own brush when it gets yucky. I'm more concerned with making sure it's sanitary, considering I have no idea where it came from, nor whose blood it has been dragged through.

TBH, it's probably not a huge thing. Most icky things will be gone after it dries out for a few hours. Add to that a good soap and water wash. Vinegar and/or borax for even a little bit extra. The UV light was probably pointless, but I don't think it could have had negative effects. I considered maybe rubbing or denatured alcohol, but that might damage the brush, and is probably not going to kill anything that the other methods didn't.
 
If that device did anything at all, it still wouldn't sanitize the interior of the knot, where I would imagine that any biohazards would reside.

As far as any damage it might have done, I guess you will find out.
 
This is reason #1, I ask so many question when buying a used brush and will continue to do so...Crazy Cleaning Methods.

It may loose a few opportunities for me as some will just say "I'll take it", but I wan't to know what brushes have been boiled, ultra violet rayed, Boraxed, Sanded, alcohol rubbed and whatever else people do in an effort to clean them. Or things like combing them out when wet or sanding the tips to get them softer or bleaching them to get them to curl.

And yes, I've seen brushes listed for sale that have been in previous "I just boiled my brush" threads. This type of info is not mandatory to list in sales threads, but when people post about it or have done questionable things to their brushes, it should be fully disclosed in the listing, but often isn't.

Hopefully no damage is done, but who knows if it will show up short term or if you have done something that will show up down the road.
 
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IMightBeWrong

Loves a smelly brush
Try lathering with them. If they work, you're good. If you try to load some soap and your brush catches on fire and then explodes and magical confetti flies everywhere then you know you messed up.
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
This is reason #1, I ask so many question when buying a used brush and will continue to do so...Crazy Cleaning Methods.

It may loose a few opportunities for me as some will just say "I'll take it", but I wan't to know what brushes have been boiled, ultra violet rayed, Boraxed, Sanded, alcohol rubbed and whatever else people do in an effort to clean them. Or things like combing them out when wet or sanding the tips to get them softer or bleaching them to get them to curl.

And yes, I've seen brushes listed for sale that have been in previous "I just boiled my brush" threads. This type of info is not mandatory to list in sales threads, but when people post about it or have done questionable things to their brushes, it should be fully disclosed in the listing, but often isn't.

Hopefully no damage is done, but who knows if it will show up short term or if you have done something that will show up down the road.

I'm with Bruce, my worst brushes are ones I purchased previously owned (without full disclosure I'm afraid).
 
I just test lathered both of them, and I'm 99.99% sure no damage was done by 30 seconds of UV light. I'm sure real badgers are exposed to at least that much just by sitting in the sun. There was no heat from the light at all (I stuck my hand in there for a minute) so it's only the light. I doubt it killed many bacteria, but maybe just that one that would have given me an infection. ;-)
 
This isn't directed to the OP, but for a general audience.

Just for the record, UV sterilization would undoubtably not kill anything on the interior of the brush, which is where most moisture resides and pathogens can hide. Most pathogens cannot survive outside the body for greater than 3 days, so that alone inactivates most organisms. Furthermore, soap and water, or borax, will kill or remove just about anything.

Barbicide is used because it can kill microorganisms in 30 minutes, as opposed to waiting for days and then washing.

Autoclaving, besides being complete overkill and totally ruining the brush, is necessary for surgical instruments and research supplies. In the former to prevent infection, and in the latter to prevent contamination. Even a tiny amount of non-pathogenic bacteria can ruin research samples, so it is imperative that nothing survives which could grow in culture media.

The reality is that people go overboard when it comes to cleaning used shaving supplies. People eat out at restaurants and use utensils that have been in other people's mouths without thinking about it. Granted, they get run through a dishwasher, but the point is still the same. If the idea of using a used brush grosses you out, and the "tried and true" techniques sound dubious to you, I would suggest just buying new going forward.
 
I just test lathered both of them, and I'm 99.99% sure no damage was done by 30 seconds of UV light. I'm sure real badgers are exposed to at least that much just by sitting in the sun. There was no heat from the light at all (I stuck my hand in there for a minute) so it's only the light. I doubt it killed many bacteria, but maybe just that one that would have given me an infection. ;-)

Having worked in various research laboratories, they have high intensity UV lights on timers to sterilize work spaces and they run for 30 minutes. I would be willing to bet 30 seconds of UV exposure didn't hurt the brush, but it likely didn't kill much of anything either
 
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