The Best Horsehair Brushes for Indoor Cleaning

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Brushes can be made using all sorts of bristles, and horsehair remains to be one of the more popular choices for cleaning items such as jewelry. Their soft and gentle nature makes them perfect for sensitive and fragile belongings, as you can clean off any dirt or dust without damaging your items in the process.

Horsehair brushes can vary in size and shape, and depending on your needs, you may prefer a particular type of brush. Today, we’ll be taking a look at different horsetail brushes for you to choose from so that you’ll be able to find a brush that works best for you.

Our Favorite Horsehair Brush of 2022

Simple Shine Horsehair Brush  —  For Silverware

Our first brush set is made specifically for silverware. They come in a pair of two, with one brush having smaller and fewer bristles than the other. Thanks to the varying sizes, you can pick a brush more suited to the task at hand. For example, if you’re cleaning a fork, you may prefer to use the small brush, whereas the bigger brush will be useful for plates and the like.

The brushes are made out of genuine horsehair - you’re getting the real deal with these brushes. And because they’re genuine, you can reach deep into the crevices and corners of all sorts of jewelry and silverware that other brushes would struggle to achieve. The brushes themselves look pretty elegant, which is a good thing if you’re using them to clean expensive and classy jewelry and the like.

Pros

  • Set of two
  • Great for silverware

Cons

  • Not ideal for larger items

Cobbler's Choice Co. Horsehair Brush  —  For Shoes

Whether you’re cleaning your old leather shoes or some fancy new sneakers, horsehair shoe brushes are a classic choice. The softness of the bristles really does help keep the overall condition of the shoe material intact, making sure that your old shoes don’t get damaged while brushing them even if you’re a little rough.

The brush also has a concaved handle. This makes it quite easy to use, as it takes the form of your hand slightly and gives you a firmer grip. It’s also made in Germany, a country known for its high-quality products, so you can expect this brush to stay by your shoe drawer for years to come without any compromise in quality.

Pros

  • Made in Germany
  • Curved shape for better grip

Cons

  • Not always available on Amazon

TAKAVU Horsehair Brush  —  Best Large Brush

While accuracy is important when cleaning certain objects, you probably want a large brush over anything else when dealing with shoes. After all, it’s not like you’re painting a picture or anything - all you’re doing is removing any dust or dirt that got onto your shoes the day before. For this reason, larger brushes really have no downsides other than being a little difficult to hold.

If you’ve got the hands for it, this shoeshine brush by TAKAVU is perfect to use. It’s covered from top to bottom in horsehair, and with a concave design, you won’t feel much pressure on your hands as you hold it. While it’s advertised as a shoeshine brush, you can also use it to brush your bags, bedsheets, and even your clothing as long as the brush is clean enough.

Pros

  • Covers a large area as you brush
  • Usable on various objects

Cons

  • Can be difficult to handle

JOVITEC Horsehair Brush  —  Set of 3

What’s better than one brush? Three brushes, of course! This set of brushes gives you multiple brushes to work with, including one large shoe brush and two smaller brushes. The large brush is ideal for shoe-shining, whereas the smaller brushes are better suited for smaller objects and accessories such as jewelry, silverware, and the like.

What’s interesting to note is that the smaller brushes are actually identical in shape and size. This means that you can use the brush in different ways while also maintaining that same feel. You can also use just one brush and have the other as an extra in case the first one gets damaged or lost. Not the most ideal way to use them, but at least you’ve got insurance.

Pros

  • Set of three brushes
  • Various shapes to cater to different needs

Cons

  • Two brushes are identical, meaning you effectively have two brushes and one spare

Chemical Guys Horsehair Brush  —  For Leather

If you own leather-based items, such as a saddle, this brush is perfect for dusting off and polishing your items. The shape of the brush is ergonomic in design, keeping your hand rested and comfortable as you brush away. It’s also got a small hole that you can loop through to easily hang and store the brush when not in use.

The brush is particularly useful when cleaning things such as car seats. They’re tough enough to get rid of particles and remove them from the leather, but they don’t outright scratch or damage said leather. It’s incredibly convenient if you prefer cleaning your car seats regularly, and you may want to keep one in your car just in case you need emergency cleaning.

Pros

  • Made for leather surfaces
  • Great for cleaning cars

Cons

  • A bit thick to hold

Finding a High Quality Horsehair Brushes: A Buyer's Guide

A horsehair brush combines gentleness with sturdiness and versatility. This guide will cover all you need to know about horsehair brushes.

Why Is Horsehair Great For Brushes?

Horsehair, as the name implies, comes from the hair of a horse. But why would you want to make bristles out of horsehair? The answer is simple - horsehair is gentle and soft but also reliable and sturdy. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it’s a little complicated.

Horsehair is fairly soft to the touch, and if you’ve ever touched a live horse’s hair, you’d understand. In particular, the hair of a horse’s main is much softer than that of its tail. This quality makes it perfect for brushing certain types of items.

Take, for example, jewelry. Jewelry is expensive, and even the slightest of scratches can ruin the value or look of your accessory. As such, you want to be as careful as possible when cleaning or brushing your jewelry. But how do you remove those stubborn spots of dirt hiding behind the crevices?

Enter horsehair. Horsehair is fine and soft, so it can easily reach those tough spots without issue. At the same time, the bristles don’t damage the jewelry.

Horsehair Brushes VS Nylon Brushes

Horsehair brushes have been around for quite a while, and since their invention, there have been a few other bristle types that have entered the market, one of them being nylon brushes. Here’s a brief comparison between the two:

Horsehair brushes

Horsehair brushes are valued highly among people who prefer softer bristles. Horsehair, and hair in general, is both soft and durable. This is especially true if the hair is treated in some way. Horsehair brushes retain their soft nature while also being incredibly long-lasting and reliable.

While they are great in terms of bristle quality because they come from a live animal, they cost more than other brushes, particularly brushes made out of artificial bristles like nylon. Horsehair brushes these days aren’t cheap, but if you compare the prices head-to-head, they cost significantly more than your average nylon brush.

Nylon brushes

As a modern alternative to horsetail brushes, nylon brushes are popular because they’re easy to make and manufacture. This makes them very easy to afford, and you can even get a single nylon brush at your local dollar store. Nylon brushes are very easy to find, too, as they’re present in just about any grocery store.

Another reason why nylon brushes are preferred by a lot of people is that they’re quite durable. While not made of hair, nylon is fairly strong, and it’s able to withstand a lot of force and pressure without breaking. You’d have to intentionally try to break a nylon bristle if you wanted it to snap in two.

Unfortunately, while nylon brushes may be tough, they’re actually a bit tougher than what’s ideal for jewelry and other sensitive items. Nylon bristles are usually rough, and while some bristles are made to be smoother (such as brushes for painting), they have the capability to cause damage to jewelry, leather, and the like if not used carefully.

What’s better?

At the end of the day, both brush types have their pros and cons, so it’s very difficult to say which type of brush is better. In general, you’ll want to pick horsehair brushes for more sensitive objects such as shoes, leather, jewelry, and the like, while nylon and other plastic brushes are useful for rougher stuff like floors and walls.

How To Maintain A Horsehair Brush

Clean between the bristles regularly

The bristles of a horsehair brush, or any brush in general, are great for removing dust, but they’re also the perfect spot for the dust to get trapped in. This is especially true for brushes with bristles that are close enough to keep the dust in place but not too close that it doesn’t leave any room, and horsehair brushes are a great example of this.

That’s why if you want your horsehair brush to actually help with cleaning things, you’ll need to clean the brush every now and then, too. There are a couple of ways to do this depending on how well and thoroughly you want to clean them.

If you want to really give the brush a good cleaning, consider soaking the brush in warm water. You can even add a bit of soap to the water so that it really gets rid of all the debris in the bristles. Be sure to give the bristles a good shaking so that the soap really gets into the deeper portions of the brush.

Alternatively, you can just give your brush a good old tap every now and then. Bring the brush to an area that’s fine with getting a little dust on it (like your lawn) and just tap your hand along the back of the brush. The dust particles should fall off, especially those that came from your last brushing session.

Don’t be too rough with the bristles

The bristles of horsehair brushes are pretty strong, but they aren’t impervious to damage. If you’re extremely rough with the brush, you can end up bending bristles, causing some bristles to fall off, and so on. To ensure that the bristles stay in good condition, be sure to use the brush safely and without excessive force.

Are Horsehair Brushes Ethical?

Because horsehair brushes are made using horsehair, some people may be worried as to whether or not they require the killing of an actual horse. Fortunately, this is far from the truth - horsehair can be taken from a horse without actually killing the horse, so as long as the hair doesn’t come from horses, they can be ethical and cruelty-free.