Materials used - How to clean Toilet and Household Brushes - Care and Price - Treatment of Combs-Cost and Care of Sponges.


Many of these are made of bristles obtained from different breeds of pigs, and vary in length from 1/2 to 6 inches; the longest, costing 1/2d. each, are used by shoemakers. The next in quality are used for toilet-brushes, more inferior kinds are for painters' brushes, and the least valuable bristles for household purposes.

FIBRE comes from the large American forests. It is used chiefly for scrubbing-brushes, often in conjunction with bass : this latter is also an undergrowth of the forest.


Englishmen used to pay for it on the barter system with Bass's beer : hence the name. Bass is used principally for yard-brooms and for brushes to scrub stone.

HORSEHAIR is utilized for clothes-brushes, blacking, and blacklead brushes, etc.

So-called CAMEL-HAIR brushes are often made from the fur of the squirrel.

WHALEBONE is the main constituent of the sweep's long chimney brushes.


The most usual mode of manufacture is, after preparing a piece of wood the proper shape and size, to bore holes at equal distances, then to pull through from the back a loop of wire, place a bunch of bristles in the loop, pull it tight, and carry the wire along the back to the next hole and repeat the process. Another piece of wood is glued or riveted on the top to give neatness to the back.


To these particular attention must be paid to remove any particles of loose skin and the natural grease from the hair. They must be treated with more care than ordinary household brushes, or the bristles will become discoloured.


1. Dissolve two tablespoonsful of borax in a little boiling water.

2. Add this to 2 quarts of lukewarm water in a shallow vessel (the water being just deep enough to cover the bristles; a pie dish is convenient), and a little melted soap.

3. Remove all hairs and beat the water with the brush by dabbing it up and down, taking care that the back of the brush is not wetted.

4. Rinse very thoroughly in warm, then with cold salt water, as this keeps the bristles a good colour and prevents them from becoming soft.

4. Tie a bit of string to the handle, and dry after well shaking, in the open air if possible; if in the house, take care it is not too near the fire, or the tips of the bristles may singe and the wood warp. Always hang the brush, or let it stand with the handle upwards, to prevent the water trickling down and destroying the polish.

6. Polish the back.

If the water is too warm the bristles will be softened. For fear of this result let the brush be dried as quickly as possible.

If the brush is very greasy, add one dessertspoonful of Scrubb's Cloudy Ammonia to the borax water.

Never dry the bristles with a towel, as this makes them soft and misplaced.

If the backs of ivory-handled brushes are stained, they may be cleaned with a little whiting moistened with lemon juice.