Considerations For Choosing The Best Brush For The Task

By Rick Prevette

When choosing which brush to use for a task, many of us will consider the size and the type of brush head as well as the length and grip of the handle. But, we often forget to consider one of the most important factors and that is what kind of brush fibers should I use.

There are probably more types of brush fibers to choose from that you care to think about. Let’s take a look at just some of the more common ones that you are likely to come across in your choices for the care of your BMW.

  • Polypropylene – A very durable bristle that is most often used for scrubbing. Its durability extends to resisting acids, solvents and most chemicals.
  • Polystyrene – Another very durable material that resists water, oil and chemicals. Often used for aggressive cleaning and has excellent flexibility. The bristle ends can be flagged (finely split) for use in body brushes. Both the Polypropylene and Polystyrene brushes are good choices for cleaning engines, wheel wells, etc.
  • Tampico – Derived from a vegetable fiber that comes from the Agave plant grown in Mexico. This fiber has a soft to medium texture and is naturally resistant to liquids, solvents and heat. Holds liquids very well and works great for cleaning carpeting.
  • Nylon – There are many different grades available varying from stiff to the new softer Nylex bristles that are often used for washing. Well known for its long wearing ability and resistance to rot, mildew, alkalis, most solvents and heat. Brushes for scrubbing tires will often use nylon whereas brushes for wheels will use Nylex which is a much softer form of nylon that won’t scratch.
  • Horsehair – An excellent choice for removal of fine dust and particles from smooth or polished surfaces without scratching. Also is a great brush to clean upholstery and fabrics.
  • Boars Hair – A very durable and soft hair that is naturally thick and will hold a tremendous amount of water. Maintains its shape and will not become limp when wet. Most often used as a wash brush as its properties make it an excellent choice as well as the fact that it will not scratch delicate paint surfaces.
  • China – A soft texture that is naturally tapered to a fine end point. Often selected to be used for window cleaning or for dusting and fine detailing due to its gentle removal of fine particles and its ability to reach into small crevices.
  • Brass Wire – A soft metal bristle that is often used to remove residues from most metal and durable coated parts without running the risk of severely scratching the surface. An excellent choice for aggressive metal cleaning.
  • Stainless Steel Wire – Highly resistant to corrosion and rusting. Used where non-corrosive cleaning of parts with a cleaning compound is needed or for removing rust, metal burrs, paint, etc.
  • Steel Wire – A mild, low carbon steel that is often galvanized to resist corrosion. Usually has a bright diamond finish and a high tensile strength spring temper for lower fatigue. Used in similar situations as the stainless steel wire.

The next time that you are choosing a brush, consider the best fiber to use to help you get the best results. Thanks for reading and as always, enjoy your ride . . .

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