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Things to know about brushes

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Things to know about brushes

Postby brothers » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:37 pm

I received this from Lee at WSP (Wet Shaving Products). It seems like good advice for those who are interested in brush care.

http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=7cc ... 9a59b74c11
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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby fallingwickets » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:12 am

The simple truth is that while that acrylic handle may well last hundreds of years, the knot will not. It is made from hair and unless it is kept under the most rigorous preservation standards, it just won’t last. And neither will the glue.


the way most here on smf go through brush buying sprees / use, will they even notice / suffer from this :D :D :D

btw, wasn't there a time when a borax and vinegar/water concoction was all the rage to keep a brush clean?

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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby brothers » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:10 pm

fallingwickets wrote:
The simple truth is that while that acrylic handle may well last hundreds of years, the knot will not. It is made from hair and unless it is kept under the most rigorous preservation standards, it just won’t last. And neither will the glue.


the way most here on smf go through brush buying sprees / use, will they even notice / suffer from this :D :D :D

btw, wasn't there a time when a borax and vinegar/water concoction was all the rage to keep a brush clean?

clive


Yes, he did address that very thing in his #3. Sounds good to me.
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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby EL Alamein » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:47 pm

Interesting stuff.

I wonder if the soaking part came from times passed. I, certainly, didn't see anything left behind when the brush was soaked in the video. But then again looks can be deceiving.

I never really bought on to the borax thing for cleaning brushes even though at some points I was intrigued. Perhaps I ought to give it a go in order to compare.

Being primarily a soap user, my experience was that if I used a cream every now and then the bristles of my mainstay brush would be sufficiently cleaned and softened to restore it to it's new working condition. I think this may be due to the creams that I have are very old, still contain parabens (but which don't have any effect at softening from what I've read but may, in some instances indicate age of the cream) and contain agents that soften water. I suspect that the water softening agents in creams are more abundant than even the best of hard soaps ever produced.

Soaps produce scum, especially in hard water, which I have. I suspect that this scum can stiffen bristles of a brush and affect their performance.

Can creams negate this with periodic usage like a borax cleaning?

In short, a comparison of both methods my be enlightening. If one uses both creams and hard soaps (or even soft soaps) then comparing the performance rates of using both methods of borax and creams it may yield an insight as to which method is more preferable and economical.

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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby CMur12 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:48 pm

I have a water softener, but I don't know how this compares with naturally soft water.

I have always rinsed my brushes very thoroughly after each shave and I have never had a problem with accumulated soap scum, nor have I ever needed to clean my brushes with borax, vinegar, or anything else.

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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby fallingwickets » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:48 am

water softener here too and Ive used the same brush for the last 6.5 years and have no 'scum' issues either. :shock: On the few occasions that i do use a cream, I use a different brush....I got it into my head that cream would mess up my 'soap' brush ( i have absolutely no idea where this fear came from), but after reading what Chris wrote about creams softening up the bristles etc, maybe I should rethink this?? :D

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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby brothers » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:25 am

I've used the vinegar-water method a couple of times. I have observed what appears to be soap scum after using certain soaps that I can't remember right now. New brushes and newly acquired used brushes will always get a thorough shampoo (whatever shampoo I have at the time) before I use the brush the first time. Otherwise, 99% of the time I get by with a thorough rinsing immediately after the shave.
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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby Squire » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:02 pm

I just rinse them off and that's works for me.
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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby EL Alamein » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:04 pm

Clive, if you have a water softener then you probably won't see any difference in your brush whether you use creams or soaps. Also, cleaning the brush is probably moot since scum does not usually build up with soft water, unless you've been neglectful in keeping the water soft.

Here in hard-water land I can definitely feel a difference in my brush bristles after I use a cream. I use soap most of the time so there's plenty of opportunity for scum buildup even though I rinse thoroughly. The difference is noticeable but not moving enough to have me use creams more often for the sheer benefit of softened bristles.

And even though I have found a new lease on creams I've fallen back to using my soap most of the time just because I love it so much and it just makes the perfect lather for me. I guess one can really get used to things.

I would love to hear if you experience any difference in the feel of your soap brush after having used a cream with it. One of my sneaking suspicions is that in conjunction with the water softening agents in creams the glycerin also does a lot of work to soften the bristles.

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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby fallingwickets » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:18 am

Chris, like you, my love of soap sort of prevents a valid experiment :D but one thing I seem to notice is that when I use a cream, the bristles take longer to dry and 'look' more stiff. It might have been this observation that originally got me thinking about not using my favourite brush with creams

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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby brothers » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:40 am

I agree that some brushes seem to react differently as they are used for soaps or creams.
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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby blantyre » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:52 pm

Very interesting article. The upright drying makes a lot of sense. I seem to remember that the purpose of borax soaking was to sterilize a brush perhaps if bought used. I imagine that the acidity of vinegar would be good for removing limescale etc. I have also used hair conditioner on a brush to smooth out the feel. I did actually wear out a brush once but my current rotation of a dozen or so means it's unlikely that I'll wear them out.
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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby EL Alamein » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:03 pm

Clive, I can't wait to be in a soft water environment again for period of time. Your observation intrigues me.

I'll be testing the living daylights out of creams and soaps when I get there, if I ever get there.

And, if I do, I'll be reporting my observations.

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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby ShadowsDad » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:01 am

Naturally soft water here, no water softener required. No soap scum either. In the past I would wash my brushes but I never saw any difference so I stopped doing it and haven't done it in years.

As with all generalities there are exceptions. Not all fibers are hair and I have yet to see nylon rot. The glue in at least some of my synthetic fiber brushes with acrylic handles is NOT degradable. I know that because I made them myself and I used marine grade epoxy. I hope (and it's only a hope) that the manufacturers of the rest of my synthetic brushes also had the common sense to use non-degrading adhesives.
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Re: Things to know about brushes

Postby jww » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:11 am

ShadowsDad wrote:Naturally soft water here, no water softener required. No soap scum either. In the past I would wash my brushes but I never saw any difference so I stopped doing it and haven't done it in years.

+1 - we were surprised how soft the water is in Ottawa when we first moved here 31 years ago. I haven't washed my brushes in at least 5 years for the same reasoning.
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