11-16-2012, 12:33 PM
#1
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Anyone use clarifying shampoo on their brushes? Does it work as well as a borax/vinegar soak?

I just got some in today to try it out, but don't seem to have any dirty brushes lying around. I cleaned them all last week or as I got them.... :|

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 11-16-2012, 05:34 PM
#2
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(11-16-2012, 12:33 PM)asharperrazor Wrote: Anyone use clarifying shampoo on their brushes? Does it work as well as a borax/vinegar soak?

I just got some in today to try it out, but don't seem to have any dirty brushes lying around. I cleaned them all last week or as I got them.... :|

I use clarifying shampoo when I start to break in a new brush to get any funk out faster, or if a brush needs a minor cleaning.

If they need a more extensive cleaning, Ben (Ben74) pointed out MAC Brush Cleaner which works well in cleaning brushes that have a greater amount of dirt. It is not cheap, but it is effective.

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 11-16-2012, 06:12 PM
#3
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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Hmmm. Dawn dish washing soap seems to do well for me. And the price is quite agreeable.

Is there extra "something" to be realized by using a costlier product?

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 11-16-2012, 06:46 PM
#4
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(11-16-2012, 06:12 PM)MaxP Wrote: Hmmm. Dawn dish washing soap seems to do well for me. And the price is quite agreeable.

Is there extra "something" to be realized by using a costlier product?

I asked that myself and did some research based on the recommendation from Ben. He has untold thousands of dollars of badger brushes from various high end companies. So I consider him an expert on cleaning.

The MAC Cleaner was designed for high dollar makeup brushes (sable and mink, which is more expensive than badger) and allows for caked on makeup removal so it does the job better and safer than other methods when the brush is really caked up over time or if you have real hard water that causes issues.

In addition it disinfects the brushes. I found out how important that this is while researching synthetic fibers from the makeup industry. Brushes that are used by professionals have to be cleaned just like barber equipment so this product was designed for that market.

When I use it, I use it sparingly. If I get a used brush, I will thoroughly clean it with MAC Cleaner, usually a two clean cycle. New brushes get the regular clarifying shampoo until the water or soap over a long period of time causes an issue, the the MAC Cleaner is used. Yes, sometimes more expensive products are better, it is just that you have to find the more expensive products that is better, not just hype.

Ben was right on when he recommended MAC Brush Cleaner.

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 11-16-2012, 07:15 PM
#5
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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Thank you.

...and darn it! Yet another product to locate and buy. sigh.

Dare I ask the price of the MAC cleaner so I don't gasp at the counter when buying it?

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 11-16-2012, 07:35 PM
#6
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(11-16-2012, 07:15 PM)MaxP Wrote: Thank you.

...and darn it! Yet another product to locate and buy. sigh.

Dare I ask the price of the MAC cleaner so I don't gasp at the counter when buying it?

Buy it direct from MAC and you can get the best price. $14 for a 7.9 oz container 235 ml.

http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/135/...%20cleaner

I get two at one time to save on shipping costs, but sometimes they run a shipping promotion, but my timing is never right.

Good fortune.

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 11-16-2012, 07:58 PM
#7
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(11-16-2012, 07:35 PM)GDCarrington Wrote:
(11-16-2012, 07:15 PM)MaxP Wrote: Thank you.

...and darn it! Yet another product to locate and buy. sigh.

Dare I ask the price of the MAC cleaner so I don't gasp at the counter when buying it?

Buy it direct from MAC and you can get the best price. $14 for a 7.9 oz container 235 ml.


http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/135/...%20cleaner

I get two at one time to save on shipping costs, but sometimes they run a shipping promotion, but my timing is never right.

Good fortune.


That price isn't bad at all considering it should last a good while.

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 11-17-2012, 04:27 AM
#8
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
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(11-16-2012, 06:12 PM)MaxP Wrote: [font=Verdana]Hmmm. Dawn dish washing soap seems to do well for me. And the price is quite agreeable.
/font]

I agree.. though I haven't explored too many other options. the water/vinegar soak followed by Dawn brings my brushes back to life...

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 11-17-2012, 05:36 AM
#9
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I have read of people using baby shampoo, Head & Shoulders and now clarifying shampoo to clean their brushes. I wouldn't use any of them because they are all very strong shampoos - and yes, that's true for baby shampoo too.

They all strip away the natural oils in human hair and can damage the outer cuticle layer. Badger hair may be quite different because I have been told that Badger hair does not absorb water. Nonetheless, if I were to use a shampoo, I would chose a mild shampoo that is sulfate-free (almost all shampoos contain sulfates).

If you must use shampoo, stay away from the three I listed above.

I am not sure that a brush cleaner that appears to be made for hair brushes that have thick bristles is the right product to use on badger hair.

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 11-17-2012, 07:32 AM
#10
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I agree with all of that being said. The milder the better.
I would not clean my hair with vinegar either... so I stay away from all kind of aggressive cleansing lotions etc.

(11-17-2012, 05:36 AM)vocalistbob Wrote: I have read of people using baby shampoo, Head & Shoulders and now clarifying shampoo to clean their brushes. I wouldn't use any of them because they are all very strong shampoos - and yes, that's true for baby shampoo too.

They all strip away the natural oils in human hair and can damage the outer cuticle layer. Badger hair may be quite different because I have been told that Badger hair does not absorb water. Nonetheless, if I were to use a shampoo, I would chose a mild shampoo that is sulfate-free (almost all shampoos contain sulfates).

If you must use shampoo, stay away from the three I listed above.

I am not sure that a brush cleaner that appears to be made for hair brushes that have thick bristles is the right product to use on badger hair.

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 11-17-2012, 10:21 AM
#11
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Good points Bob & German.

How do you get rid of the soap scum though? It does build up. At least for us with hard water.

And I can even see the soap residue left over. Just by running my finger through the brush, I can see the residue being aerosolized and floating around in the air. Kind of disturbing to me.

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 11-17-2012, 10:51 AM
#12
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Wow, Lee, i empathize with you gents with hard water. It must be a bit of a challenge to clean your brushes!
Man, how spoiled we are, here, with the softest water in the world. Hee hee.

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 11-17-2012, 11:07 AM
#13
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I have hard water and brushes can scum up very quick.

Borax/vinagar soaks to very little, if anything.

I use a weak baby shampoo solution. It works wonders on cleaning the knot quickly and effectively.

If I don't clean regularly, I've noticed that hairs break if the scum isn't softened by a good soak. For this reason, I would rather soak regular in a weak baby shampoo solution than to just leave them be.

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 11-17-2012, 05:14 PM
#14
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I do use a hair shampoo but no other cleaning agents...

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 11-17-2012, 05:22 PM
#15
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(11-17-2012, 10:51 AM)celestino Wrote: Wow, Lee, i empathize with you gents with hard water. It must be a bit of a challenge to clean your brushes!
Man, how spoiled we are, here, with the softest water in the world. Hee hee.

I've visited Vancouver and believe it!

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 11-20-2012, 06:32 AM
#16
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Head & shoulders is maybe not the best choice, it contains silicone and the most aggressive detergent out there: SLS. And many other chemicals, so btw.

But I don't see a problem, using a mild shampoo - maybe from the natural cosmetics sector -in a glass of water to soak your brushes in.

Many shaving creams contain SLS, e.g. Proraso, and I have never heard of, that using Proraso shaving cream regularly, has ruined someones brush.....

Davinci, a german brush maker company, recommends to clean their badger brushes once a week with curd soap. I do that every now and then - as I have my brushes in rotation.

For a thorough cleaning, e.g. to get rid of soap scum and chalk, I shampoo my brushes first (removes soap scum), rinse, and then give them a bath in warm water with a skosh of citric acid (for the chalk). Finally Speick conditioner (contains argan oil and other oils). This works pretty good.

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 11-20-2012, 08:06 AM
#17
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A lot of people assume that baby shampoo must be very mild because it doesn't make the eyes sting, but that's not the case. Baby shampoos (unless it says so in so many words), like almost all shampoos, use sodium laurel sulfate (and its similar cousins) to clean the hair. Sodium Laurel Sulfate is a salt and it does to the hair what salt does to a steak or burger; it dries it out (and no, it will not make your brush taste better). Fortunately, there are now "sulfate-free" shampoos available at drug stores.

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 12-02-2012, 07:22 PM
#18
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Rinsing the brush thoroughly after each use prolongs the time between cleans and obviously prevention is always better than cure.

However, over time soap scum does build up. Removing it from the base of the knot (or top of the handle) can be as simple as applying a wet Q-tip and a reasonable amount of pressure to wipe it away.

For a more in depth clean the mild shampoo and/or diluted vinegar methods are certainly popular and proven.

The advantage of the vinegar is the disinfecting properties, but at the cost of smell. Avoid the temptation of using an apple cider vinegar for a better smell as the high levels of sugar will not serve you well in this endeavour. The majority of shampoos are detergent based and therefor (in my opinion) harsh and drying on natural fibres. From my extremely limited knowledge on the subject there are additives to shampoos that coat the hair to give a more moisturised feel. It's these additives that I personally would prefer to avoid as I don't desire a badger brush to feel like my wife's soft silky hair. Further, I'm yet to discover a shaving brush made from human hair, so I'm guessing that shampoos aren't necessarily the best product.

The MAC brush cleanser, is my preferred product. It was purpose designed for cleaning high end make-up brushes constructed from natural fibre. Make-up stains and can be difficult to remove. The cleanser is powerful enough to cut through soap scum, but gentle at the same time to ensure the natural hairs aren't damaged. Make-up brushes are not always used on a single individual, so there is the requirement to disinfect as well as clean. So there is an added advantage (in my eyes) using this product when acquiring pre loved brushes.

At the end of the day, it's always a case of YMMV, but in the interests of sharing what works best for me, my recommendation is if you invest in your brushes use a purpose built cleanser to keep them in the best possible condition...

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 12-02-2012, 07:40 PM
#19
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I've used both Neutrogena Anti-Residue Formula Shampoo and MAC Cleaner on my brushes, and they seem to work equally well at removing soap scum. Somewhat illogically, I guess, I use the shampoo on the majority and reserve the MAC for the rarer, higher-value brushes.

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 12-02-2012, 07:51 PM
#20
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(12-02-2012, 07:40 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: I've used both Neutrogena Anti-Residue Formula Shampoo and MAC Cleaner on my brushes, and they seem to work equally well at removing soap scum. Somewhat illogically, I guess, I use the shampoo on the majority and reserve the MAC for the rarer, higher-value brushes.

Makes perfect sense to me. MAC costs more IIRC.

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