Getting a brand new brush is always an exciting experience but the joy is somewhat tempered by the initial 'breaking in' period. This is the time when the brush is still new and might not be performing at its absolute best. However, after a period of regular use, (and wet/dry cycles) the bristles will soften, become conditioned and better for working up that rich tight lather.
The best way to break in a new brush is through daily usage, however there are few handy steps to speed up the process:
Step 1: Fill a mug or bowl with warm water and add in some household dish cleaning liquid soap (eg. Sunlight). Swirl your new brush around in the soapy water and let it soak for 20-30 minutes. then rinse off the brush thoroughly.
(If you have a synthetic fiber brush, you can skip step 2 and go right on to step 3)
Step 2: This step requires a small investment - a bottle of pet shampoo. It won't go to waste as pet shampoo is excellent for cleaning your brushes every 3-4 months. Shake off the excess water from the brush and then put a small amount of the pet shampoo in the palm of your hand. Lather it up vigorously, ensuring the shampoo soaks deep into the brush bristles. Rinse the brush thoroughly and then let it soak in warm water for a further 2-3 minutes.
Step 3: Shake off excess water from the brush and using the shave soap / cream of your choice, work up a lather (in a bowl or in the palm of your hand). Make sure the lather gets deep into brush. Once the brush is covered in lather, wipe of excess lather from brush handle, and let it stand on counter top for 4-5 hours (some people leave the brush to stand overnight). This process transfers some of the conditioning properties of the lather to the brush. Thereafter, rinse all the lather from the brush and leave to dry.
An important thing to note during this process is that your new brush will always shed a few stray bristles. This is not a cause for concern and is quite normal. The brush will stop shedding excess bristles after about a week or so.
Your new brush should now be conditioned and ready to give you many years of good service.
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