The most important part of maintaining proper care of your brush is to dry it after shaving. Taking a few minutes to dry your shaving brush will not only maximize your investment in a quality badger brush by dramatically increasing its lifespan, but will maintain the shape and quality of your brush so that you can have an enjoyable shave day after day.
After completing my morning shave, I rinse my shaving brush with warm water until the water runs clear. It is very important to remove any soap or cream from the bristles. I hold the brush at the base of the bristles as the water from the tap runs into it, and I gently squeeze in a pumping motion until the water runs clear.
Next, I gently shake out excess water. I'm careful not to shake too vigorously. If you shake it too hard, you could actually put pressure on the knot and snap it from the handle. This is particularly important with large knot brushes as the volume of hair and water in the knot is heavier and could potentially separate the epoxy from the handle.
Then, I gently buff the brush back and forth on a dry towel.
Finding a dry spot on the towel, I fan the bristles out, rotating the brush as I go to evenly bloom out all the bristles so that air can get into the brush and allow them to dry thoroughly.
Finally, I hang it on a rack to dry throughout the day.
Sit or Stand?
Many wet shavers have found little or no difference between hanging a brush on a stand or sitting the brush on its base. My personal preference is to use a stand because several manufacturers recommend it, and it obviously doesn't harm the brush. I usually allow the brush from my morning shave to hang on the stand throughout the day. This can be about 12 hours or until the brush is thoroughly dry.
In the late evening when I'm getting ready for bed, I take the shaving brush off of the stand and gently squeeze the bristles to make sure the shape of the brush is reformed. I take a comb and gently comb the outer edges of the bristles that may have twisted or curled when shaving. This helps keep the brush in its original shape, keeps it from looking raggedy, and keeps all my brushes looking nice and neat on display.
My routine sounds like a lot of steps, but it only takes a couple of minutes. Although many of my brushes have been used hundreds of times, they all look close to new because of the care I give them. I've shared my drying routine with other men and they have all responded that their brushes look much nicer. By taking a few minutes of attention, you can ensure that your brushes will look good on your display shelf and be a collection that you can be proud of.