The horn comb arrived with a sticky feel to it – what is this and how do I clean it off?
The sticky stuff is lanolin and is not a problem. We always do a free treatment to enrich your horn comb and to help protect it from moisture and the elements, as well as to beautify and extend its life. Your comb simply got an extra-long oil treatment!
Most of the time we wipe the lanolin off before sending the combs out. However, if it was a very new, freshly carved comb, it hadn’t had time to sit before it was sent and the lanolin had not soaked in.
Here is how you can get the excess off yourself before using your horn comb:
Take a soft, damp towel and gently (without twisting) wipe the comb clean.
To do this easily and best, pinch the damp towel or facecloth over the tines, starting at the spine and pull outwards (away from tines) repeatedly. Use a clean area of the towel or facecloth every time. An old toothbrush, nail brush, or old natural bristle hairbrush will remove the remaining oil from between the tines.
Why should you use a damp towel when the comb needs to be kept dry? Because lint from a dry towel will stick to the excess oil, whereas a damp towel will keep its lint to itself. Lanolin this fresh provides a barrier that water doesn’t penetrate, though eventually the horn comb will become sensitive to moisture again.
It is the closest to water that these combs can and should get.
See our Horn Comb tutorial for more!