Proper care of pastry brushes?
I have these pastry brushes I got at Williams Sonoma made from boar hair. They seem to be really nice brushes, but I feel like I am ruining them almost as soon as I start using them. The bristles get stiff and course after only a few uses (I use them for egg wash, butter, olive oil/herb mixtures, etc...).
I just don't know how to clean them so they stay soft. I have been washing them thoroughly after use in hot water under the tap, getting as much gunk out of the bristles as possible, and then towel drying them with a kitchen towel.
So what's the deal? What's the correct way to care for and clean a high quality brush? How do professionals maintain soft bristles without buying a new brush with every use?