01-22-2016, 08:16 PM
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Brush Soap.

I recently ordered a new Simpsons Keyhole 3. Really wanted one with a "Made in England - Sterilized" sticker. I had my eye on it for a while and decided to just do it while I'm still breathing...

While I was browsing, I saw the brush soap. I read the description and looked at my older brushes. I've babied them all. They had seen better days though. So for $13 I figured I'd give it a try. Zartgefühl here I come!

So, yesterday it delivered to the chilly side of Ohio. After changing the baby, feeding her, and rocking her to sleep I crept down to the shave den in my downstairs bathroom while the Mrs. caught up on American Idol.

I had to try this brush soap. My PJ1 is from 2009. Grey box era in Best badger. I've used it about 80% of the time since 2010. Sure the sticker is worn. The shield and letters are scratched. I can still read them. I've always been good to it. Carefully rinsing it. Making sure it is well dried and safely placed somewhere it will not be knocked over. But... I have such hard water. And... I love tallow soaps. I've shampooed my PJ1 several times. Taken a soft toothbrush to the top of the handle where the knot emerges gingerly trying to battle the dreaded white film. In the back of my mind always fearing this white menace is building up inside the knot to one day bring my beloved brush to an early grave.

I tried the Zartgefühl. Soaked my brush first in my water mug. Like I normally do so many mornings over the past several years. I flicked the water from it without a conscious thought. My wrist and forearm have a muscle memory for just the right amount. Not too little. Not too much.

I had my lather bow ready.

To the Zartgefühl it went. It looks like a softer soap puck in a generous plastic tub. For all appearances just another shave soap. It smells, well, not like shave soap. It smells clean and faintly sweet.

Several swirls and my Persian Jar was loaded. Into the lather bowl along with a little hot water it went. A bit too much water if I was making lather. Seemed to be right though for the purpose at hand. Back and forth. To and fro. Whip and swirl. Looked like runny lather. With my free hand I caressed and massaged the hairs. Rolled the knot and gently lathered the palm of my hand. Then the thought occurred to me. I read a discussion here about combing a brush. I had done it once or twice with new brushes or my TGN Grade A 20mm in an ebony handle that sheds a little. So- why not. I pulled out the little black pocket comb I keep in the drawer.

I carefully combed the soapy brush. From the handle upwards. Slowly made my way 360 degrees around. Then from the top out through the center. Gently through and through in all directions. Not a tangle at all. Very smooth and slick full of soapy foam.

I rinsed my hands and the comb. Rinsed the lather bowl and filled it with warm water and left it in the sink. I swirled the brush in the water. All the while leaving the tap running. Warm water flushing the Zartgefühl foam form my ever faithful PJ1. All the while watching the water turn clear. I grasped the plump knot and gave it a little squeeze. I was expecting to see white soap in the center. It was only clear water though. A few more times. Yes. Yes it is clean and thoroughly rinsed. Shook it dry with a few flicks of my wrist. Over to the towel for a couple of strokes like usual.

My Persian Jar looked different. The letters on the handle were dark grayish brown again. Not 100% like new- but certainly not 100% clouded over any longer.. The white haze that filled in the engraving long ago was giving way! I hadn't even considered working on cleaning that during the process. The knot was... It was different. A slight yellow hue. I pulled out my Berkely 46 in Best. I've owned it for just as long. Only lathered it twice. It was still safely nestled in its Grey box where it sits safe and sound. I unraveled the tissue paper and held it up to my Persian Jar. The base of the knots looked more similar than they had in years. My PJ1 is well broken in. It even has a few split ends as if it were giving homage to a well worn boar brush. The Zartgefühl had done something. It had done what shampoos and rinsing and years of careful pampering had failed to accomplish. It eliminated the white scale and hazy soap film that had been slowly strangling my beloved brush.

I left it to air dry. 

The next morning, today, I was in a hurry. Up dark and early. Smile with the baby. Get her bundled up in her car seat and kiss her and the Mrs. goodbye. They are out a little earlier than me. As I entered the den to commence my morning routine I checked my brush. It looked familiar, but not. I picked it up. Smelled it. Felt the hair and checked the knot. It was changed. For the better. The hairs were softer. Still in bloom from the night before. Not quite dry yet. Into the shower. Off to work.

This evening I had to check. "Yes dear. I will feed the baby. Change her diaper? Yes." As we shared our meal and discussed the week that was, I thought of my other brushes. I know it's not as it sounds. In the back of my mind. Not really my preoccupied thought. In the back of mind non-the-less. So with the house settled. The dogs lazily stretched on the floor and the baby happily down for a nap off to the downstairs bathroom I went.

By now my brush was completely dry. I had my Rudy Vey handle that I set a new knot in the other day. It would only be right to wash it as well right? So I did. And my other two brushes in my rotation. Only two others were spared. And only because I promised I'd only be 30 minutes. They are all drying now.

The Persian Jar looks great. I'm going to shave with it tomorrow and see how it performs.

During the process I lost four hairs. Not me, the brush. The first four hairs this brush has lost since I don't even remember when. Was the built up white menace the only thing holding these in place? With much relief not a single hair has given way since. I haven't given it the real test yet. A full on lather and shave. Time will tell. The hairs that did come out did so during the washing in my lather bowl prior to my little combing action. I saw them in the bowl. When I was finished rinsing and after running the damp brush over a clean towel I checked again. No loose hairs. No popped up stragglers. Whew!!

The Zartgefühl did to my new Rudy Vey brush what usually takes 3 or 4 test lathers with regular shave soap. Again I set the knot a day prior. A TGN finest fan. What would have taken me days happened in minutes. The initial funky off color gunk raced out of the knot. The musky aroma was lessened enormously. The brush bloomed like a champion. I intend to give it a day of rest to thoroughly dry as well. Then it will get one more turn through the Zartgefühl brush soap before it's maiden shave.

Here are some quick pictures of my now washed Persian Jar and the TGN knot before and after.

Have any of you used this product? Anything similar perhaps? I'm interested in what results you saw and whether any of you use anything like this. If so, how often?

[Image: h4sE0nu.jpg][Image: YJtorkM.jpg][Image: XD3hQik.jpg]

11 1,597
 01-23-2016, 04:58 AM
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
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I have the cleansing soap but did not get to use it yet.

43 2,020
 01-23-2016, 05:10 AM
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Thanks for a thorough review of the soap.   I've seen this soap at The Superior Shave and wondered if it cleaned any better than a shampoo or soaking in a vinegar solution.

52 7,694
 01-23-2016, 05:30 AM
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Fascinating read! Thank you for this. I'm hoping more people comment on their experiences with this product. I've only done the vinegar and the dish soap soaks.

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9 324
 01-23-2016, 08:43 AM
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I use this product on all my brushes and it works extremely well. All of them are cleaned with it at least once a month and it keeps them looking and performing as new.

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120 1,040
 01-23-2016, 08:59 AM
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I'm very pleased with this product. I rinse my brushes well, but occasionally will see a little soap buildup, and this does an excellent job of removing it.

38 5,543
 01-23-2016, 09:26 AM
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I have used this, with excellent results, on several brushes.  A very fine product.


2 155
 01-23-2016, 09:33 AM
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I'm interested. It would be nice if Phil started carrying this at Bull Goose.

2 343
 01-24-2016, 05:23 AM
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Great stuff, every brush in my den gets cleaned using this after 10 lathers. Nothing eliminates soap residue buildup better IMO

3 268
 01-24-2016, 07:52 AM
  • e-dub
  • Senior Member
  • right brain: bna. left brain: dtw.
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i've had my eye on it for a while you've convinced me to give it a go.

44 683
 01-24-2016, 08:40 AM
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Where do you buy this? I have hard water and could probably benefit Smile.

42 584
 01-24-2016, 08:41 AM
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(01-24-2016, 08:40 AM)OnaBlueCloud Wrote: Where do you buy this? I have hard water and could probably benefit Smile.

The superior shave.

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120 1,040
 01-24-2016, 11:08 AM
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Thanks for the review, pushed me to place an order. I can't wait to try it out.

80 947
 01-24-2016, 11:09 AM
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(01-24-2016, 11:08 AM)lestorfreemon Wrote: Thanks for the review, pushed me to place an order. I can't wait to try it out.
Haha. You're in good company. I ordered one as well.

42 584
 01-25-2016, 09:23 AM
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I enjoyed your post, however, as careful you were in the process, I would still recommend against combing a wet brush.

I may give the soap a go at some point, thanks again for the review.

63 1,721
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