01-17-2013, 08:44 PM
#1
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I read something on here about soaking a new brush in Dawn or vinegar, or some other product. There was a 2-3 step process, but it was all new to me.

Is there something I should do to a brand new brush before I start using it? Is there a way to soften up new bristles?

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 01-17-2013, 08:50 PM
#2
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do not soak, do not vinegar, no need to follow any steps.

test lather it a few times if you like, to get any badger/boar funk out and see how it feels making lather...then just use it.

badgers will not need any break in (some say a few 2 bands do) and boars will take 10-30 cycles (wet/dry). not familiar with synthetics or horse.

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 01-17-2013, 09:07 PM
#3
  • MickToley
  • Hi, I'm Mike and I'm a shave soap addict
  • Brooklyn, NY
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(01-17-2013, 08:44 PM)strohman Wrote: I read something on here about soaking a new brush in Dawn or vinegar, or some other product. There was a 2-3 step process, but it was all new to me.

Is there something I should do to a brand new brush before I start using it? Is there a way to soften up new bristles?

I only use the vinegar and soap method when I want to clean a brush that I bought used.


http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread....ng+a+brush

http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread....ving-Brush

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 01-17-2013, 09:11 PM
#4
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Just wash a synthetic. One or two test lathers in the hand or bowl will do it. Make sure you get the soap/lather into the base.

For a boar, +1 what was written above, but wet/dry lather cycles doesn't absolutely mean shaves. As long as the brush has time to dry between lathers you can have 3-4 wet/dry cycles per day. Use any soap (I use hand soap), no need for shave soap, and lather for as long as you normally would, or longer. There's one theory with evidence to back it up that it's actually the lathering process that does the majority of the break in of a boar brush.

I think what you referred to with the vinegar soak is a new to you, but used, brush. Even there, if the brush has been unused and dry for a few days, nothing that will hurt you will live to get you. I just wash a used brush thoroughly as above. I may use an industrial detergent, but that's all.

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 01-17-2013, 09:14 PM
#5
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(01-17-2013, 09:11 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: As long as the brush has time to dry between lathers you can have 3-4 wet/dry cycles per day.

i've never been able to do this with a Boar brush.

they seem to take at least overnight to dry and from what i understand, it's the complete cycle that cause the tips to split. it needs a full dry for this to happen, so for me i wait a full 24hrs between test lathers (or wetting brush in your example, no product)

when breaking in boars, i do a test lather in the evening and then wait until the following evening to do the next one.

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 01-17-2013, 09:40 PM
#6
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There's a gent who spent 30 minutes lathering each of 3 boars and after each 30 minute period he had 3 broken in boars. He's on this forum from time to time, so I'll let him elaborate.

Yeah, drying a brush depends a lot on humidity.

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 01-17-2013, 10:34 PM
#7
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(01-17-2013, 08:50 PM)Bruce Wrote: do not soak, do not vinegar, no need to follow any steps.
test lather it a few times if you like, to get any badger/boar funk out and see how it feels making lather...then just use it.
badgers will not need any break in (some say a few 2 bands do) and boars will take 10-30 cycles (wet/dry). not familiar with synthetics or horse.

+1 Good advice, here. Usually, the best way is to use it, regardless if it is boar, horse, or badger. That way you can experience the different characteristics of your brush and how it ameliorates with each use. Good luck.

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 01-17-2013, 11:40 PM
#8
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(01-17-2013, 08:44 PM)strohman Wrote: I read something on here about soaking a new brush in Dawn or vinegar, or some other product. There was a 2-3 step process, but it was all new to me.

Is there something I should do to a brand new brush before I start using it? Is there a way to soften up new bristles?

That's the procedure for defunking a badger brush. I don't think it's any more effective than lathering and making sure to clean out the bottom of the knot.

As for drying time, you significantly cut it down by using a fan to circulate the air.

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 01-18-2013, 03:08 AM
#9
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My routine:

- 1 test lather
- let it dry
- use it.

Job done.

Sometimes I don't know why there is so much messing around with regards to breaking in brushes. Just use them and really feel how they change!

Talking of change, badgers rarely do change much. Boars however do change a lot. Experiencing this is great and shouldn't be wasted on over complicated break in routine.

Edit: my English was terrible!

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 01-18-2013, 06:58 AM
#10
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(01-17-2013, 09:40 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: There's a gent who spent 30 minutes lathering each of 3 boars and after each 30 minute period he had 3 broken in boars.

is it the same guy who can lather MdC just by looking at it Biggrin

i'm not disputing someone tried it and it showed some improvement, but don't think it will break it in as well as full dry/wet cycles.

it's like cooking a roast. sure, you can cook a roast in 30min and eat it, but if you cook it "low and slow" for hours, it's much better and you will notice a difference and enjoy it much more.

some things can't be rushed and breaking in a boar brush is one of them.

just out of curiosity, have you tried the 3-4 break in's a day with a boar and did it work?

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 01-18-2013, 07:19 AM
#11
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(01-18-2013, 03:08 AM)Dipesh Wrote: My routine:

- 1 test lather
- let it dry
- use it.

Job done.

Sometimes I don't know why there is so much messing around with regards to breaking in brushes. Just use them and really feel how they change!

Talking of change, badgers rarely do change much. Boars however do change a lot. The experiencing this is great and shouldn't be wasted on over complicated break in routines.

+1

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 01-18-2013, 07:56 AM
#12
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Great advise guys, i will do it too on my boar.

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 01-18-2013, 09:16 AM
#13
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(01-18-2013, 06:58 AM)Bruce Wrote:
(01-17-2013, 09:40 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: There's a gent who spent 30 minutes lathering each of 3 boars and after each 30 minute period he had 3 broken in boars.

is it the same guy who can lather MdC just by looking at it Biggrin

i'm not disputing someone tried it and it showed some improvement, but don't think it will break it in as well as full dry/wet cycles.

it's like cooking a roast. sure, you can cook a roast in 30min and eat it, but if you cook it "low and slow" for hours, it's much better and you will notice a difference and enjoy it much more.

some things can't be rushed and breaking in a boar brush is one of them.

just out of curiosity, have you tried the 3-4 break in's a day with a boar and did it work?

Sometimes folks do things or accept "wisdom" simply because they don't know, so they just work out of someone elses brain. The "magic" of breaking in a boar appears to be one of those items.

I too found it hard to believe that sitting in front of the talking heads and lathering a brush on a rubber sheet for 30 minutes would work, but he did it. I'm just telling folks what he did and his claim. I really don't have anything invested if you choose to believe or not. FWIW, I never tried his method, but his broken in boars are pretty hard to deny. I stick to what I know works. I have the time and patience to do so. He wanted his boars broken in "right now". One thing I don't have the mindset for is using the same brush for a month.

The 3 hand lathers per day? I wasn't postulating that, I mentioned it because I know that it works. When I do float an idea that I'm not sure about it generally ends in a question mark or I clearly indicate that it's something I heard or some such (see above for an example). I do the 3-4 hand lathers per day technique with every new boar I break in. I can generally break in a new boar in a week or less. The 11047 I received about a week ago is almost fully broken in today, if not totally broken in. Last night, before the last hand lather of the day for the brush, I was looking at it and decided the break in needed to over soon. As I wrote, it all depends on the humidity. Right now our inside air is bone dry. If you're in an area that has high humidity, you probably can't do it. Right now a natural fiber brush dries in about 6 hours from the base of the knot to the tips. The base takes the longest, but the base isn't the part that needs to fully dry- we're not trying to split the base, just the tips. It helps that when I go into the bath room I fluff the brush. FWIW, Last nights hand lather at 2330? The brush was dry and ready for another break in hand lathering this morning during my shave. It's just product of the utter magic of an ultra dry atmosphere that comes with arctic air. If I choose to hand lather it again, it should be ready sometime later this afternoon. If I want just the tips to dry It's probably ready now, but I have things to do so it'll wait.

Now I have some questions for you. If you haven't tried it why would you disbelieve it out of hand? If you can't do it why would you even think someone else can't? There are lots of things others can do that I can't and there are lots of things I can do that you can't. That's just the way things are.

There's an acronym we use in shaving... YMMV. That's the above parargraph boiled down to it's essence.

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 01-18-2013, 09:38 AM
#14
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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(01-18-2013, 03:08 AM)Dipesh Wrote: Sometimes I don't know why there is so much messing around with regards to breaking in brushes. Just use them and really feel how they change!

I think partly it's because when your lather technique is still new, a new boar brush can really kill it. So some people want to get that awkwardness out of the way ASAP.

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 01-18-2013, 09:43 AM
#15
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Compared to my badger brushes, boar is harder for me to lather with. Definite learning curve there.

Probably easier if I just caved and used cream as I think that's what your "supposed" to use. Blush

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 01-18-2013, 02:36 PM
#16
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i don't get it: i instinctively feel that a period of repeated test latherings with the aim for breaking in a boar brush will benefit from no soap at all - or anything else but plain water. if the goal is to dry and split the tips why would i envelope each hair with long lasting moisturising oils/fats?

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 01-18-2013, 02:39 PM
#17
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(01-18-2013, 09:16 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Now I have some questions for you. If you haven't tried it why would you disbelieve it out of hand? If you can't do it why would you even think someone else can't? There are lots of things others can do that I can't and there are lots of things I can do that you can't. That's just the way things are.

There's an acronym we use in shaving... YMMV. That's the above parargraph boiled down to it's essence.

I'm sorry, I was under the impression this was a Discussion Forum and we discussed things.

Glad you have a method that works for you, but I choose to have full dry times between cycles and it's what I will continue to recommend. You are free to advise people to lather it 3-4x a day, and I am free to challenge those claims, am I not?

And as you said, YMMV.

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 01-19-2013, 01:37 AM
#18
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Break in is very subjective.

I'll explain based in facts. My own recounts.

My Crabtree & Evelyn didn't really change from the first lather. I performed the same each time.

My Chubby 3 Manchurian had two. Major transformations.

Firstly, it was very stiff at first, after about 4 shaves it suddenly 'broke in' and felt a bit more flexible. It felt more comfortable to actually use. I almost exclusively lather hard plethora-times milled soaps.

Secondly and more pleasantly was flow through. The first , approximately 12 or so , lathers were what I call cajole phase. It was a series cajoling and begging the knot to open up and allow some lather to surface.
I even started a thread about it. I was urged to use more product, use distilled water and pray to Goddess of lather. I'm not complaining. Those suggestions actually partially worked and partially allowed me to develop better shacing practices. But what resolve the issue was a proper break in.
Now the lather, with the same distilled water, same measured amount of soap and scraped knees from prayers, surfaces and actually simulates a torrential cascade of meringue lather.

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 01-19-2013, 02:31 AM
#19
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(01-19-2013, 01:37 AM)hedonist222 Wrote: But what resolve the issue was a proper break in.
and how is your method for that my friend?

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 01-19-2013, 04:17 AM
#20
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(01-19-2013, 01:37 AM)hedonist222 Wrote: Break in is very subjective.

I'll explain based in facts. My own recounts.

My Crabtree & Evelyn didn't really change from the first lather. I performed the same each time.

My Chubby 3 Manchurian had two. Major transformations.

Firstly, it was very stiff at first, after about 4 shaves it suddenly 'broke in' and felt a bit more flexible. It felt more comfortable to actually use. I almost exclusively lather hard plethora-times milled soaps.

Secondly and more pleasantly was flow through. The first , approximately 12 or so , lathers were what I call cajole phase. It was a series cajoling and begging the knot to open up and allow some lather to surface.
I even started a thread about it. I was urged to use more product, use distilled water and pray to Goddess of lather. I'm not complaining. Those suggestions actually partially worked and partially allowed me to develop better shacing practices. But what resolve the issue was a proper break in.
Now the lather, with the same distilled water, same measured amount of soap and scraped knees from prayers, surfaces and actually simulates a torrential cascade of meringue lather.

(01-19-2013, 02:31 AM)tonsorius Wrote:
(01-19-2013, 01:37 AM)hedonist222 Wrote: But what resolve the issue was a proper break in.
and how is your method for that my friend?

I thought it was implied.

Simply by using it.

On the fifth day, I really wanted to use my already broken in Manchurian chubby 3. But I also wanted to accelerate my M&F 2xl finest's break in so I hand lathered the M&F and then shaved with the chubby 3 as normal.

This way I shaved happily with the chubby 3 and continued the m2xl's break in process.

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