Brush drying - standing or hanging?
In his (German language) book Männersache Rasieren - Handbuch für den Rasur-Aficionado, Christian Rieck describes ‘scientific’ experiments he (and his students) performed with high precision scales, moisture measuring probes and climate controlled chambers on the drying times of shaving brushes. As this subject comes up again and again, here is my English translation of his conclusions regarding the “hanging vs standing” debate:
With regards to the orientation of the brush, I could only see a very minor influence on the drying time with my experimental setup. Hanging or standing didn't, in almost any case, cause a significant difference. With my students, the results were however more pronounced. The orientation had a measurable influence, in an unexpected way: the brush did dry a little faster when standing up. What was noticeable with my method as a tendency, but was rarely significant, showed up as a reoccurring pattern with the mostly more robust set-ups of the students. The drying time for a standing brush is shorter by several hours. The effect is bigger for badger hair than it is for bristle and bigger for those than for a vegan brush. One group had the clever idea to place the brush horizontally on a stand and lo and behold: this is the best position. Standing up gains a few hours of drying time, horizontal storage (as long as it happens aerated on a stand) improves this a tiny bit again. Lying on a surface, however, diminishes air circulation and prolongs drying time. The best way to store a brush, therefore, would be a brush stand made from wire in which the brush would be stored similar to a wine bottle.
For short, we can now - with scientific certification - store our brushes standing up, which is good news for all those who prefer the looks of a standing brush over that of a hanging one, because standing up it looks more like a cute animal. Those who prefer a brush-stand may doubt my findings, although it would be a pity due to the not inconsiderable efforts I have made, or they may use a stand where the brush can be stored horizontally.Christian Rieck — Männersache Rasieren. Translation with permission.
Other conclusions were that where you store your brush (not in an enclosed bathroom cabinet) and how well you shake it have the biggest influence on drying time.
There. That settles it. Read the book for details on Rieck's experiments and how they where conducted.