What's the best way to clean brushes and grooming tools?



It's one thing to groom your horse, it's another to groom your grooming tools.  No use in trying to clean a dirty horse with dirty brushes, right?

Even if I'm not going to be scrubbing my horse's brushes clean, I like to keep them as clean as I can between uses.  I like to "bang" my curry comb against a hard surface to get all of the dirt out as I curry along.  Some days, I'm "banging" the curry comb a few times for each side of the horse.  


On a daily basis, I will also brush my brushes with each other to remove some of the dirt and dust.  Some folks like to hold a metal curry comb in one hand and use it as a scraper for the brushes as they go along the horse.  (FYI - love metal curry combs for keeping your brushes clean.  For use on a horse I prefer to use them cautiously and not over the hips, shoulders, or other bony areas.)  

Every now and again (I aim for weekly or so), I will do a deep wash with all of my brushes and curry combs.  I usually end up also washing the brush box, too, as that tends to be a collection of hair and dust and gunk.

A good soak and scrub in warm water with nolvasan solution, or even a mild horse shampoo will work.  I will use a bucket, swirl it all around and let it soak for a few minutes. I then rinse thoroughly with warmish water for a few minutes.    I like to dry my brushes with the bristles facing down or to the side - a wood handle will get a little too wet if the bristles drain into the wood.  I have a laundry rack that unfolds, which is perfect for drying brushes and blankets.

What are your ideas about cleaning brushes?  How often do you do it?  

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