How to Break in a Shaving Brush


This page is intended to provide instructions on how to break in your shaving brush that you just bought (new). It will also deodorize your brush as some new shaving brush have a strong unpleasant smell. This page was created from this thread on Badger & Blade:

Credits to Ambrose for the information


Please note that not all shaving brushes like this type of break-in[1]. A wooden, ivory, bone, etc handle could be damaged if exposed for a long period to lather and/or water. Follow these directions only if the brush smells offensive, and you are confident that the handle is modern plastic or acrylic resin.

Method to Break in the Shaving Brush

A new shaving brush can often have a very repulsive scent. The bristles are un-used and will not always perform at their full potential. The only way to change the scent of the bristles and improve the performance is to use the brush. Building a few bowls of lather will help the bristles to be softer, the scent better and the performance will get better. However, you will need the brush to be ready quickly and almost as soon as you take it out of the box after buying it. This guide will help the shaving brush to be ready quicker.

What you need

The Steps

100px[/image]1. Wash it with dish soap.
100px[/image]2. Let the brush soak in dish soap and warm water for 10-15 minutes, or even for a few hours. Be cautious about this step if the handle might be fragile: horn, bone, wood, vintage plastic, bakelite, catalin, etc.
100px[/image]3. Build a lather and leave it to sit and dry over night. This is where most of the magic happens. Again, be cautious about this step if the handle might be fragile: horn, bone, wood, vintage plastic, bakelite, catalin, etc. (Research this step before attempting. Some vendors and brush makers feel strongly that this will actually damage the hair and handle)

The next day, rinse the shaving brush and soak in water just before use. The scent should be much milder or completely gone and the brush should perform well. In this example, Sir Irish Moos soap and a custom Rooney 3/1 from Penworks was used.


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