One of the things I get asked about is how I clean my brushes and how come my Omega 10049 Professional boar brush has only lost approximately 6 hairs over the past 2 years and why has it lasted as long as it has. Well I'm about to show you what I do to not only keep my brushes clean, but it also keeps them from losing excessive amounts of hair which annoys me to no end. The brush cleaner below can be found at Phoenix Artisan Accoutrement's online website and you mix it with just plain old tap water. I usually just add 1 cap full to roughly 6 ounces of water which is done later on in this post :
Step #1 : Take ANY ordinary hair shampoo that you want and add it to the brush. I tend to favor Prell shampoo mainly because it works for all hair types but since I didn't have any, I used VO5 shampoo instead which will work just as well:
Step #2: using the brush like you would to build the lather, shampoo the brush until you get some suds and let it sit for 1 minute give or take a little. The scent of the shampoo will remove the stink that new animal hair brushes tend to have and it also helps break in the brush better as well:
Step #3 (secret #1) : Before you rinse the brush, take a fine tooth comb and comb the shampoo into the brush. Basically this removes any loose hairs and untangles any knots that the brush may have. It's a little rough so don't force the comb through the brush. I also rinse the brush the same way as you can see below:
Step #4: Soak the brush in the brush cleaning solution I mentioned in the beginning of this post for 20 to 30 minutes but don't go more than that if you can help it. If you have timer of some kind, I strongly suggest that you use it to keep from forgetting about it:
Step #5: Using a fine tooth comb, rinse the brush thoroughly. At this point the comb should have no trouble gliding through the hairs and if there's any loose hairs, they will come out of the knot itself so please don't be alarmed about this. It's normal and it's also what keeps the brush from losing hair later on as you continue to use it:
Step #6: Now repeat the shampoo method you used earlier with the conditioner. I tend to favor the strengthening formulas which is also another secret to help keep the brush from wearing out prematurely and last much longer:
Step #7: Using a fine tooth comb, rinse the brush thoroughly:
Step #8 (secret #3): Take approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite fabric softener and add it to roughly around 6 ounces of luke warm water and let it soak for roughly about 30 minutes :
I tend to favor Downy's April fresh fabric softener myself, but any will work. This removes what's left of the remaining animal stink that's left behind and it softens the brush up and breaks it in pretty fast. I try not to let it go past 30 minutes but I did soak my Omega 10049 Professional Boar brush over night by mistake because I had forgotten about it:
Step #9: Using a fine tooth comb, rinse the brush again thoroughly:
After you rinse the brush for the last time, rapidly whip the brush across a dry towel using a paint brush type of motion to remove any remaining water and allow the brush to AIR DRY over night. Please do NOT use a hair dryer because it will ruin the brush and make the hairs extremely brittle. After approximately 2 or 3 shaves, the brush should be extremely close to being broken in and there should be zero animal stink left behind. I tend to clean my brushes every 6 months but I ONLY use the brush cleaner and rinse once and I'm done. The techniques listed above are usually for brand new brushes and brushes that keep losing hair.
Post # 600:
First let me say thank you to all of those who took the time to read my blog on a regular basis. It means a lot and is greatly appreciated. To post 600 blog articles without getting burned out is really tough to do. Some people have had their blogs much longer than I have, but don't have many posts due to this very reason along with other factors and various other reasons that can't be controlled. I will continue to post as often as I can and hopefully my blog articles can help someone in the wet shaving world with any questions they might. So have fun and God bless.