02-05-2013, 12:18 PM
#1
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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Several weeks ago there was a discussion about whether to soak a badger brush. The discussion also included boar brushes too.

I decided to experiment with own brushes and how I soak them. From the discussion I felt that I was over soaking my brushes, by using too much water, too hot of water.

I changed the cup size I soaked my brushes in while I showered, to a smaller cup. I stopped microwaving the water, to using warm tap water. I also used just enough water to wet the brush just above the tips.

I fill my shave bowl with water and microwave it to warm the bowl. After my shower the water has cooled down by now. I dip the brush in for a couple seconds. Dump the water out. I stopped soaking my badgers all together. Just dip them like the boars.

This change-up has resulted in a far superior lathering then before with the over soaked brushes. The brushes have the right amount of water soaked in making soap gathering and lathering much better. The badgers perform at a different level not soaked anymore.

The great thing about discussions they help me refine and improve my technique. That is part of the fun of wet shaving it is always constantly evolving to the next level.

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 02-05-2013, 12:36 PM
#2
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Interesting to hear about your results.

Frankly I never thought it would have made much of a difference. But from what I remember reading of the thread, your results confirm what other folks wrote.

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 02-05-2013, 12:59 PM
#3
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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Since that thread I have also experimented with less soaking and shallower soaking. All told I've been pleased.

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 02-05-2013, 01:10 PM
#4
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The more I think about soaking, the more I wonder why it's done. Using myself as an example, I usually soak the brush in warm water while I'm in the shower. When I'm ready to shave I pretty much squeeze a lot of the water out if the brush before I load it with soap or apply cream. Seems that a quick dip or rinse in warm water followed by a squeeze would yield the same results.

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 02-05-2013, 01:29 PM
#5
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Tom, I don't want to hijack the thread, but I just read your avatar... ROTFLMAO! Too funny! I like folks who don't take themselves too seriously. Thumbsup

Anyway, back to the thread.

Yes, IMO it makes sense to give a boar a minute or so to soak and soften. Anyone who has felt a dry boar will understand. It just makes sesne that softening the bristles will help to keep them from breaking off. Soaking a badger makes less sense to me, and a synthetic not at all. Just what water is required to work up a soap paste with the badger and synthetic.

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 02-05-2013, 01:53 PM
#6
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(02-05-2013, 01:29 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Tom, I don't want to hijack the thread, but I just read your avatar... ROTFLMAO! Too funny! I like folks who don't take themselves too seriously. Thumbsup

Anyway, back to the thread.

Yes, IMO it makes sense to give a boar a minute or so to soak and soften. Anyone who has felt a dry boar will understand. It just makes sesne that softening the bristles will help to keep them from breaking off. Soaking a badger makes less sense to me, and a synthetic not at all. Just what water is required to work up a soap paste with the badger and synthetic.

I try not to take myself too seriously...life's too short.

I hear you on the boars. I haven't had this problem with my Omega boars, but with my Semogue 1250, if I soak it for more than a minute or 2, it becomes very floppy. On the other hand, I can soak my Omega boars for 10-15 minutes and they still maintain their backbone.

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 02-05-2013, 02:10 PM
#7
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I soak all my boars for about 10-15 minutes in warm tap water, about half way up the bristle. Boar absorbs water and if it is not soaked long enough it tends to soak up some of the soap/lather.

Badgers, I soak for however long it takes to wash my face. Badger hair does not soak up water.

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 02-05-2013, 03:04 PM
#8
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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(02-05-2013, 02:10 PM)Johnny Wrote: I soak all my boars for about 10-15 minutes in warm tap water, about half way up the bristle. Boar absorbs water and if it is not soaked long enough it tends to soak up some of the soap/lather.

Badgers, I soak for however long it takes to wash my face. Badger hair does not soak up water.
Johnny, agree with you on the boars. My shower takes about 10-15 minutes,giving my boars time to soak.

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 02-05-2013, 03:13 PM
#9
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(02-05-2013, 02:10 PM)Johnny Wrote: I soak all my boars for about 10-15 minutes in warm tap water, about half way up the bristle. Boar absorbs water and if it is not soaked long enough it tends to soak up some of the soap/lather.

Badgers, I soak for however long it takes to wash my face. Badger hair does not soak up water.

Johnny,
What do you think about the Lather Eating Phenomenon and how some people are finding that it's worse with a longer soak (>5 minutes) and better with a shorter soak? I used to soak mine for quite some time and had my lather disappear quite a bit.

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 02-05-2013, 03:22 PM
#10
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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The only benefit and reason that I soak my brushes is for temperature stability. I enjoy warm lather and as one who primarily face lathers the only way to get the warmth is from the brush and water temp. I use a brush scuttle to keep the brush warm between passes, but without the initial heat sink the lather would be tepid at best.

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 02-05-2013, 03:43 PM
#11
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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I also realized I was over soaking my boars from the same conversation. I've been happy with the extra backbone since.

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 02-05-2013, 04:04 PM
#12
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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I found that soaking boars made with finer bristle like Semogue uses (and I also have a vintage German boar brush that looks like Semogue could have made it) for longer than a few minutes creates a lather eating phenomenon. Omega boars tend to not eat lather under most circumstances. I started a thread about it here. My experience still shows that these finer bristle boars tend to eat lather easily, especially when over-soaked (whatever time that is for each brush). If soaked just enough to soften the bristle then they perform just fine. I have a Semogue 1470 that is fully broken in, but I could not use it for the longest time until I figured this out. Again, Omega boars seem to be exempt from lather eating problems and I prefer them to Semogues for that reason.

Badger brushes are way less finicky because they do not absorb water. You can soak them or not soak them, they perform the same. I soak mine, but don't worry how long. If I take a shower then for as long as it takes to take a shower, otherwise I soak them while I brush teeth, etc. I do like the badger to be good and wet when I use it, so I just throw it in a glass of water and do my prep, teeth, blade loading, soap selection, etc. Badgers in general are a bit easier to use, but I do love my boars!

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 02-05-2013, 04:34 PM
#13
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This morning I barely soaked my Omega boar (about 30 seconds) and it completely destroyed my MWF puck. Lots of voluminous, creamy lather. I was pretty happy (the reason for the short soak was because I originally forgot to soak!) and so I might experimenting with less soaking time.

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 02-05-2013, 04:42 PM
#14
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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(02-05-2013, 03:13 PM)SharpSpine Wrote:
(02-05-2013, 02:10 PM)Johnny Wrote: I soak all my boars for about 10-15 minutes in warm tap water, about half way up the bristle. Boar absorbs water and if it is not soaked long enough it tends to soak up some of the soap/lather.

Badgers, I soak for however long it takes to wash my face. Badger hair does not soak up water.

Johnny,
What do you think about the Lather Eating Phenomenon and how some people are finding that it's worse with a longer soak (>5 minutes) and better with a shorter soak? I used to soak mine for quite some time and had my lather disappear quite a bit.

Well Brian, I have personally never experienced this. I will experiment with some shorter soaks to see if I can tell a difference in my lather.

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 02-05-2013, 08:26 PM
#15
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All right, what's up with the pink and white piggies?! Smile

i still think just rinsing any brush under tap water for a minute or so works well enough, even with boar. However, i have not tried it with any Omega boar, just Semogue and have never had any issues.

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 02-05-2013, 09:57 PM
#16
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my next ten shaves will be with a quick dip in water. all badger brushes

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