10-10-2012, 06:23 PM
#1
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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I have fairly hard water and as such, my brushes build up soap residue over time. About once every other month or so, I give my brushes a thorough cleaning to make them look new again. Keep in mind that I have a brush rotation. If I only had one brush, I would have to clean them much more frequently.

I prepare a solution of water and vinegar (maybe a 4 to 1 ratio) with a small dash of dish soap added. I then place the brush in my ultrasonic cleaner, run it for a short cycle (3 minutes) and then let the brush soak in the solution for an additional 15 minutes or so. I then shampoo the brush to get rid of the vinegar scent, stand it on its end to dry and move on to my next brush. Works like a charm.

How do you clean your brushes?

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 10-10-2012, 06:58 PM
#2
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At least once a month, I do a similar vinegar solution in a mug. I set my brush in, spin the brush with the handle between the palms of my hand for a minute, then let the bristles soak for 15-20 minutes. After that, I rinse under hot water, lather a soap, and rinse again. Similar to yours, Phil, except my cleaner is a bit more manual. Biggrin

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 10-10-2012, 07:07 PM
#3
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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Fortunately I have a water softener so this cleaning routine isn't required in my den.

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 10-10-2012, 07:23 PM
#4
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(10-10-2012, 06:58 PM)sethleupagus Wrote: At least once a month, I do a similar vinegar solution in a mug. I set my brush in, spin the brush with the handle between the palms of my hand for a minute, then let the bristles soak for 15-20 minutes. After that, I rinse under hot water, lather a soap, and rinse again. Similar to yours, Phil, except my cleaner is a bit more manual. Biggrin

I used to do mine completely manually but was impressed at how the ultrasonic worked with my razors. I was a little hesitant at first to use the ultrasonic with my brushes but have not had a problem yet.

The key is you do not want to use an ultrasonic with a heating element, you do not want to use a long cycle and you do not want to totally submerge the brush (just the bristles)

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 10-10-2012, 07:53 PM
#5
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I have extremely soft water, but I still get soap residue that makes the bristles not want to soak up water as easily as I'd like. I can't imagine what you gents with hard water go through.

When I decide to clean them I just lather up with Clearly Natural glycerine soap. I have 2 ugly bowls of it; one in menthol and another in Kramperts Finest Bay Rum scent. After the shave the brush is as clean as the day it was new. No special procedure required... just lather and shave.

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 10-10-2012, 08:00 PM
#6
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(10-10-2012, 06:58 PM)sethleupagus Wrote: At least once a month, I do a similar vinegar solution in a mug. I set my brush in, spin the brush with the handle between the palms of my hand for a minute, then let the bristles soak for 15-20 minutes. After that, I rinse under hot water, lather a soap, and rinse again. Similar to yours, Phil, except my cleaner is a bit more manual. Biggrin

Yeah, I too don't have an ultrasonic cleaner.

I use RO water to shave with though. After I rinse out the brush, I dunk it back in the mug of RO water to rinse it out.

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 10-10-2012, 08:05 PM
#7
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Boy, we must be lucky, here, in Vancouver, as i have never had to clean my brushes, yet. Maybe since i get getting new ones, or just have way too many. Hee hee. i think our water must be the softest around as i rarely get any soap residue or build-up on my brushes.

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 10-11-2012, 03:31 AM
#8
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I have moderately hard water so every few months will do a similar brush cleaning. I use a recipe from an old B&B post (apologies for not citing the forgotten original poster) Perhaps this is overkill, but....

  1. 2-tablespoons of borax to 8 oz. warm water - Work the solution into the brush, let it soak for 5 minutes and rinse.
  2. 50/50 solution of vinegar and warm water - let it soak for 5 minutes and rinse.
  3. A couple of drops of dish soap - I hand lather and work it into the brush for 5 minutes and rinse.

Each process accomplishes different things. Step one seemed to loosen the stuck-on soap. Step two seemed to release the stuck on soap. Step three made the brush very soft.

The past few months, I've taken to soaking my brush for a few minutes after I've rinsed the brush at the end of my shave. At the end of my shave, I rinse the brush well, but put it back in the cup that I soak the bristles only, but fill it with fresh water almost right up to the bottom of the brush handle.

As I'm doing my post shave ritual (cold water rinse, After-shave splash, Unrefined Shea Butter) I'm allowing fresh water to loosen any remaining lather. I then swish the brush around in the water and give it one more final rinse.

I've found that I need to clean my brushes less often this way.

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 10-11-2012, 04:57 AM
#9
  • njpaddy
  • Member
  • Central New Jersey
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The past month I've only been using my Thater and T&H cream samples and I can really notice the buildup of cream residue with my well water. When I rotate brushes and use mostly soaps I don't notice it as much and sometimes go months between cleaning. To clean my brushes I put some Dawn in my palm, lather up the brush and let it soak 5-10 minutes in warm water occasionally swirling it. Then I rinse it out and put it in some water with a splash of vinegar for a minute or two. Rinse it off again and let it dry. The vinegar smell doesn't last. I've been using vinegar as a rinse for laundry for years.

I tried Borax once and did not like the feel of the brush afterwards. It seemed too soft. I find it interesting that Thater's instructions specifically say NOT to use Borax for cleaning their brushes.

EDIT: Tried something different this morning. Decided to use Tabac soap and wanted the cream residue out of the brush so I first lathered the brush on my (glycerin) Neutrogena facial bar soap, rubbed it in, then rinsed. I think the brush came out cleaner than the other way and it was much quicker.

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 10-11-2012, 08:01 AM
#10
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We have not hard water here in Copenhagen, ohhhh no, we literally have STONE ROCK THICK DENSE SOLID WATER here on the limit of not being able to pour it out of the tap Biggrin

I currently own 26 brushes, and by the end of this month will own 30 brushes, so I have never really thought about cleaning them yet - only before my first debut shave with them of course Wink

But I guess I will use a solution of some vinegar, shampoo and warm water - and soak the brush hairs in that for an hour, then rinse with running warm tap water - that's it.

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 10-11-2012, 08:24 AM
#11
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I'm hesitant, for some reason, to use borax on my vintage brushes. I use Neutrogena anti-residue formula shampoo to clean them every 3-6 months. After reading about it (perhaps something by Ben), I recently got some MAC brush cleaner to try, but haven't used it yet.

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 10-11-2012, 06:09 PM
#12
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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(10-11-2012, 08:24 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: ... I recently got some MAC brush cleaner to try, but haven't used it yet.

Please let us know how the MAC cleaner works out for you.

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 10-12-2012, 03:00 AM
#13
  • UFO
  • Artisan
  • Seville, Spain
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The use of ultrasonic cleaner is interesting, Phil. Never would have thought.

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 10-12-2012, 03:11 PM
#14
  • Dripp
  • Junior Member
  • Cincinnati, OH
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I rarely clean my brushes due to my soft water, but I have a large box of borax and I'm pretty sure I bought it specifically due to the instructions that came with my first brush that said to use that. It was a vulfix brush, and it was 8 years ago so I could be wrong, but its probably time to clean the herd.

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 10-12-2012, 03:46 PM
#15
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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I think that using vinegar solution works where you have some real build up, I use any orange cleaner and it works fine.

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 10-12-2012, 04:42 PM
#16
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I have fairly hard water, I simply use hot water, some Johnson's Baby shampoo and a scuttle when I find the brush isn't holding water like I expect it to. Soak the brush, use the baby shampoo like a cream, lather away in the scuttle and hot water rinse. As mentioned above, Neutrogena face soap works great as well.

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 11-04-2012, 12:15 PM
#17
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(10-11-2012, 06:09 PM)MaxP Wrote:
(10-11-2012, 08:24 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: ... I recently got some MAC brush cleaner to try, but haven't used it yet.

Please let us know how the MAC cleaner works out for you.

The MAC seems to work quite well. I soaked my Manchurians for 5 minutes each in warm water, applied just a few drops of MAC, worked it in (which created a sort of bubbling lather), rubbed it through the hairs with my fingers and then combed it through, and finally rinsed in warm water. The rinse water each time had small bits of visible scum that came from the brushes. The brushes didn't lose any hairs. I'm not sure whether or not the MAC works better than the Neutrogena Anti-Residue Formula shampoo that I've used previously.

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 11-04-2012, 12:21 PM
#18
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Why does glycerin soap leave no residue or does it?

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 11-04-2012, 02:09 PM
#19
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
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I have no experience to substantiate my paranoia, but I would not use an ultrasonic for fear of detaching the knot accidentally. If it will shake the numbers off a fatboy, it could possibly release the glue holding a knot in. For me I just use a mild detergent soap or free & clear type stuff. A gentle toothbrushing with the grain of the hair at the base, and I'm good to go.

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 11-04-2012, 03:30 PM
#20
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When I get a new (used) brush it always goes for a vinegar bath - straight vinegar for a half hour or so. I make sure the knot isn't wet that just the brush itself is in the vinegar. Then the rinse and lathering begins to rid it of the vinegar smell.

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