06-23-2012, 10:35 AM
#1
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This is a sort of a twofer deal. It's also only designed for periodic maintenance of your brushes in use by you, not for a brush sent by someone else. As is the case with most "discoveries" I found this quite by accident. Sorry if it's already been posted by someone else, but I've never seen it in "print" before.

Background:
I have a habit of experimenting; trying unorthodox things in my shaving. I recently discovered that an inexpensive glycerine bar soap made a lather that was quite good for shaving and tried it on my face today. But the spinoff of this experiment was that I noticed how clean the brush was after the shave. The light bulb went on.

I was going to shred one of the bars into a bowl and form it into a puck and once in awhile just shave with every brush for standard cleaning maintenance. One act, 2 results. With no more effort than a daily shave one brush per day gets cleaned. It couldn't be easier.

Then the other light bulb lit up (Seems I only have the 2 bulbs, and at times they aren't very bright). VDH deluxe is a glycerine based soap, what if... So I took a brush that needed cleaning and test lathered VDH in my hand, making sure that the lather made it all the way to the handle. I also worked it around the handle area, with my fingers, very gently. Rinsing it off showed the soap residue gone. It's mostly dry now and sure enough, it's clean. The bar soap may have worked better, but this is still an idea that's being hatched and is quite preliminary.

By and by I'll play with this to fine tune it and make observations. But you have the gist of it.

BTW, the glycerine bar soap I used was "Clearly Natural" it's the least expensive glycerine bar soap that we can find in the supermarket, It does come in lightly scented versions. I used the unscented.

I also have very soft water, that might make a difference, I have no way to test it with hard water.

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 06-23-2012, 11:06 AM
#2
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I have been using regular shampoo once in a while to do the same thing. Seems to work well.

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 06-23-2012, 08:18 PM
#3
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What sort of shampoo works great for shave lather so that you can do both at the same time?

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 06-24-2012, 12:52 AM
#4
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I have hard water and most products leave a scum in your brush after a few uses no matter how well you rinse.

My personal routine is before I change my brush rotation, I give them a soak in a baby shampoo/water solution and rinse, then let them dry.

For me this is the best way to make sure that the hair is free from scum. Due to how clean the hair is, I never suffer from and hair breakage and the brushes still perform like new.

It's worth having a look at how cloudy the shampoo solution looks after this. Very surprising!

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 06-24-2012, 09:20 AM
#5
  • Notary
  • Member
  • Montreal, Quebec
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Great advice and I agree with you whole-heartedly. I have been using glycerin based soaps, for longer than I care to remember. As I have said in a previous post, I have been wet shaving (with soap and a brush)since my first time; my father introduced me to that method and never looked back. Back in the day glycerin soaps used to cost a fortune at pharmacies, but as of late I pick them up from the dollar store at 2 for a dollar, and they work great; you know the type that come in an assortment of flavors: citrus, apple, peach, watermelon and they smell one better than the other. But your article did give me an idea, to shave and melt them down in a bowl. I have not tried that method and am eager to do so shortly. I will keep you posted on the results. Thanks again and Happy Shaving. Sam.

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 06-24-2012, 12:17 PM
#6
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Thanks for the tip on Dollar Store glycerine soaps. I'll need to check them out.

FWIW, I'm using VDH for one shave per brush until I get done cleaning all the brushes. Today was the turn of the Rooney 3/1 and it came out spotless and all it took was using the soap for the shave, with the Rooney as the brush of course.

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 06-24-2012, 02:33 PM
#7
  • PAW
  • Wet Shaver Addict
  • Illinois
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This is what I do.

Video (Not Mine)

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 06-24-2012, 08:44 PM
#8
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My daughter is a cosmetologist and does hair and make-up at a high end salon.....this is what she told me to get....this or the MAC cleaners is all she recommends

Brush cleaner

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 06-24-2012, 09:11 PM
#9
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I just lather the brush up occasionally with Zote or Kirk's and rinse it really well.

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 06-25-2012, 03:48 AM
#10
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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I think that the idea of using a simple glycerin based soap is a good idea for brush cleaning. Better than shave soap or shampoo IMO for a few reasons.

The first being the lack of oils and other additives in a simple glycerin bar. As long as you check to see a minimal list of ingredients without any added oils or fragrances, you're left with a simple, purer cleanser.
Shave soap usually contains added moisturizers,oils and skin friendly ingredients like lanolin, shea butter, etc. which can leave residue.

Shampoo can contain more detergents, surfactants and sometimes silicones, all which tend be harsher and can leave a residue also.
All you really want to do is to clean the brush gently and carefully.

The above mentioned MAC make up brush cleaners would probably work well too. I have no idea about the ingredients in them but I know from my daughter that most of her make up brushes are synthetic or horse hair, (there is even a pony hair brush!)so I don't know how these solutions would work for badger or boar hair.
Interestingly, they have a "daily" solution and a stronger solution to be used less frequently. I have no clue what the deal is with that.

Of late, I just use a simple borax and distilled water solution once a month along with a very thorough wash out at the end of every shave with a final cold rinse. It seems to be working well.

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 06-25-2012, 06:55 AM
#11
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I was reading on another forum that you should avoid glycerin containing soaps to clean natural fiber brushes. It is a humectant that can adhere to the fibers and attracts water. I confirmed this with a family friend who is an artist. They use a lot of sable and squirrel hair brushes. I wonder if there is any truth to it ? There logic makes sense.

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 06-25-2012, 07:28 AM
#12
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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Very interesting! I wonder if it all gets washed away if that can still be an issue.


(06-25-2012, 06:55 AM)SteelTown Wrote: I was reading on another forum that you should avoid glycerin containing soaps to clean natural fiber brushes. It is a humectant that can adhere to the fibers and attracts water. I confirmed this with a family friend who is an artist. They use a lot of sable and squirrel hair brushes. I wonder if there is any truth to it ? There logic makes sense.

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 06-25-2012, 01:23 PM
#13
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Smile

VDH shave soap is a glycerine based shave soap. It's been used for years. I've heard of no problems with it as it relates to the brush. Lots of folks have been adding glycerine to their lathers for years with no problems. Johnsons No More Tears has been used on babies heads for years as well and that's glycerine based. Surely a baby is worth more than a brush? But the point is that glycerine soaps aren't new. There are no problems, only perceived problems.

FWIW, Glycerin soap freely rinses out of the brush. IMO it rinses out far more easily than other soaps and at that point the pH of the water becomes the primary contributor to brush degradation (Who's worried about their acid water? If you have chlorinated water it's acidic.). It might be a problem if someone didn't rinse the brush though. But then any other soap would be a problem if it wasn't rinsed; detergent based shampoos especially, since surfactants are deliberately designed to break things down and make water wetter and the longer they sit there working the more it becomes a problem. They are designed to "get into" and "under" surfaces. That brush is glued together and surfactants are designed to break that bond. Soaps are far more kind. That's precisely why detergents have largely displaced soaps for most cleaning.

But the point of the thread was the 2fer. Shave with "this" and get a shave and a clean brush with no additional effort or time.

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 06-25-2012, 01:43 PM
#14
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I use Neutrogena Anti-Residue Formula Shampoo on my brushes, and it cleans them up very nicely.

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 06-26-2012, 12:45 PM
#15
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I know this is going to sound nuts, but when I had received 8 vintage brushes as part of purchase I had made they where so nasty that I sprayed the entire brush head down with the Oxy Clean version of Scrubbing Bubbles. The amount of old smoke, gunk and grime that came out of the brush was disgusting. Literally the foam looked like "Easy Off" after spraying it on an oven that had not been cleaned for years. The foam has changed from purple to white to yellow-brown.

After I had rinsed out in hot water three times, then worked up a lather and allowed the brushes to sit overnight.

Now would I do this again, and especially to a new brush? Probably not. But I can say that none of the brushes suffered from cleaning them in this way.

When it comes time to clean my brushes now all I do is mix some Dawn with hot water, give them a good cleaning, rinse and allow to dry.

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 08-07-2014, 03:43 AM
#16
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I've been using Leonhardy brush cleaning soap from Superior Shave with good results. Use it like any shaving puck; load brush then palm or bowl lather, covering entire knot. Rinse thoroughly under running water and then soak in water to complete the the rinse, changing water and agitating until water is clear. It's fast and easy; I really like it!

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