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Washing da Brush

After perusing a thread the other day where Jerry (DoubleE) spoke about the importance of periodically washing your brush, I was reminded that I had not done so in quite some time. Let me tell you, the result was very noticeable indeed. I hadn't cleansed any of my brushes for many months now, and I guess that performance had degraded at such a slow rate that I never really noticed it happening. After the wash, however, the lather created was so disgustingly beautiful that I became a bit disappointed in myself for failing to do this sooner. So if you haven't done so in a few months, give those brushes a good once over. You may find that the condition of your brush is the only thing that has been holding you back from achieving the Alpha shave.

As a side note, my cleaning process included the following:
  1. 15 minute soak in hot water with 3 drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid, followed by thorough rinse
  2. A vigorous lathering/scrubbing with shampoo, followed by a thorough rinse
  3. A vigorous scrubbing with conditioner, followed by a thorough rinse
  4. Drying on towel
 
In the past, I've also substituted the Dawn for Borax and the hair conditioner for diluted glycerine. Though any combo of these works well, I prefer the Dawn and hair conditioner.
 
I tried all of those on my SMF1 brush, but it still remained hydrophobic compared to my Vulfix super. The one thing that made that brush suddenly love water was Dawn, followed by a soak in a 9:1 water/vinegar solution. The vinegar soak made all the difference.


Wayne
 
I've read about the vinegar solution before but never tried it. Is there a specific kind of vinegar that you use?
 
I am not the one you asked, but I would think you would just use plain, "white" vinegar, the kind that is perfectly clear (diluted with water, around a 10 to 1 ratio). This gives the brush hair an acid bath. Very cleansing!

Tim
 
I am a vinegar idiot. :biggrin: I know that there are a few different types but that is the extent of my knowledge.
 
I have to wash mine. I used to much of the C&M Pre shave oil and wow I cant get anything to lather anymore. Will wash brush in the AM.
Thanks for the tip.
 
As a side note, today is day 3 after the big cleansing, and I've had 3 pretty amazing shaves with no other variables involved.
 
Kyle,
I just washed my brush this morning.(Dawn x2,white vinegar 15 min soak, then a shampoo with C&M shampoo)
Then showered myself and shaved with Floris Elite. The lather is back!
Thanks again for the tip.:thumbup:
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Just don't use the 25 year aged Balsamic.:biggrin:

----Michael

Well, it goes very well with the Taylor acocado, but is a disaster with the Trumperes Coconut! :blink:

But my question is ... how many shaves can a brush make it through before needing a cleaning? (Give or take, obviously)
 
Timely post. Dawn I have at home. Borax would mean a Target run and being Sunday I'm feeling lazy. :wink: My B&B brush needs a cleaning to get the Badger funk out. :blink:
 
Well, it goes very well with the Taylor acocado, but is a disaster with the Trumperes Coconut! :blink:

But my question is ... how many shaves can a brush make it through before needing a cleaning? (Give or take, obviously)

I'm sure that water quality and product selection are big factors here. I have a brush that I use about 2/3 of the time (20 shaves a month) and try to clean it monthly. This time I lapsed and it had been about 2 months since the last cleaning. Previously, cleanings have not made a big difference, but as stated earlier, it has been very noticable this time around.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
I'm sure that water quality and product selection are big factors here. I have a brush that I use about 2/3 of the time (20 shaves a month) and try to clean it monthly. This time I lapsed and it had been about 2 months since the last cleaning. Previously, cleanings have not made a big difference, but as stated earlier, it has been very noticable this time around.

thanks ... a lot of variables, so obviously MMMV. I'm just trying to get a rough idea, then I can work from there. So I'll go with the 'once a month' and see how that works out.
 
I gotta admit I don't have a lot of experience in this area but my Best Badger brush from C&E came with instructions to "Rinse out the brush in mild borax solution periodically. This will help prevent mildew attacking the hairs and give long life to the brush" To me these instructions have little to do with brush performance and more to do with long term care - i.e. preventing mildew.

That said, as far as I know hair is hair whether human or badger. Dawn dish washing liquid, vinegar and the like on my hair? I think not. I do know that when my wife wants to "strip" her hair from buildup of products like hairspray, conditioner etc. she uses Prell. Well, after having a fairly substantial buildup of Proraso on my brush I simply washed it with Prell and it came out feeling like new again.

As far as a conditioner this seems to me to also be counter productive. Most conditioners seal the hair to lock in (or out) moisture. I know when I use conditioner on my hair it repels water like duck so I'm opting not to use conditioner on my brush.

This raises the question, does a badger brush really need hair conditioner?
 
That said, as far as I know hair is hair whether human or badger. Dawn dish washing liquid, vinegar and the like on my hair? I think not.

The cleaning method I described with the Dawn soak followed by a vinegar/water/glycerine soak was given to me by Emily at Em's place. She said it is the recommended method by one of her brush suppliers.

While I probably wouldn't do it to my hair, it sure works wonders on my brushes. I would think any way that works that you're satisfied with is adequate.
 
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