Once you have experimented and finally chosen your perfect shaving brush, you will want to make sure you are maintaining your investment, especially if you spent more than $10 on your brush.
Maintenance of your shaving brush is not rocket-science, but there are a few specific and subtle nuances you can implement to ensure your brush, and particularly your shave knot, lasts as long as possible. While wet shaving can be a more economical shave, the consumables you use in the process (blades, brush knots and soap/cream) should be the areas you pay particular attention to as they are the recurring costs that you will eventually spend the most money on over time. Hence, preserving your brush knot, even if it adds a few more months of longevity on each shaving brush, will save you money over the course of your shaving life.
In saying this, I realize I am talking you out of spending more money on our online shaving store, but I give advise to our clientele as if I were giving advice to my own brother. So, in that spirit, here are some ways to preserve that wet shaving brush for the long haul.
Loading Your Brush & Applying Your Lather
In the process of both loading your brush with soap or cream and applying your lather be careful not to push down too forcefully into your cream bowl or shave puck. A big part of the longevity of your shave brush bristles is dependent on their ability to hold up firmly in both loading and applying a good lather.
Sure, you will want to take some time pushing the brush into your face, exfoliating the skin, lifting the hairs and otherwise giving yourself a face massage. That’s likely while your using your brush and a quality shaving cream or soap in the first place. You could have opted out of a brush altogether and simply gone for a cheap can of shaving foam. The fact that you have opted for a higher quality shave with a brush and a high quality soap or cream means you should try to extract the added value they can bring to your shave.
However, when you are using your shave brush, there is a balance between preserving the longevity of that brush and maximizing the pleasurable experience you receive. If you’re not worried about the fairly inexpensive cost of replacing your brush knot, then press hard and press away. Just remember, the more aggressive you are in your loading of the brush bristles and application of the cream to your face, the more you are causing strain on the bristles which can cause them to lose their turgidity.
Cleaning Your Soap Brush
When rinsing your shave brush, use warm water to clean out the excess shave cream, foam or soap. When doing so, do not wring or twist the bristles. Doing so can more quickly damage the brush follicles. Simply run water through the bristles of the brush to ensure all soap or cream is thoroughly washed out. Then, use a flicking motion to remove as much excess water as possible without touching, squeezing, wringing or twisting the bristles themselves.
Always remember that in both the loading and washing process, do not let your shave brush get exposed to water that is too hot. Hot water can undo the glue that holds the brush together. This is probably the most frequent mistake that ruins a brush quicker than is needed.
Storing Your Shave Brush
When you are finished rinsing your brush, be sure to store it upside down with the bristles pointing downward. If you fail to do this several detrimental things will occur, mostly related to the remaining water held in the bristles:
- Water will seep down into the bristles which will more quickly unhinge the bristles in the knot by damaging the glue holding the brush together.
- Excess water will cause more bacteria to be present in the brush. This is not ideal for two reasons: 1) you don’t want to be rubbing said microbes to your face and 2) said microbes can cause the brush to hold a not-so-pleasant smell. That is not something you want to be rubbing against your face and especially not under your nose.
- If your handle is made of wood–which many quality brushes still have good wood handles–then water seepage down into the handle and not away from the handle can more quickly erode and rot the wood in the handle of the brush.
The short solution: store your brush with the handle up and the bristles pointing downward. The best way of doing so is by buying a razor stand. Just be sure that your shave brush handle fits into notch of the stand. Not all brushes are compatible with all stands.
Hopefully these few tips will help preserve both your brush knot and your brush handle. But, when it comes time to replace them, take a look at some of the options we provide.