The pastry brush is used predominantly to cover pastries with a butter glaze that makes them look so irresistible. It can be used to brush glazes on hams or a sugar glaze on top of cakes. They come in many different shapes and sizes and are available in nylon or natural hair brushes. The choice between natural hair (either boar or horse hair) or synthetic nylons can be a difficult one to make. First decide what characteristics are most important to you and then follow the guide provided below. Natural hair bristles on brushes are typically made from either horse or boar hair and are much more pliable than their synthetic counterpart. One of the best features that natural hair bristles offer are the fact that they hold much more liquid and spread more evenly due to their increased pliability. Nylon bristles are a more economical and durable option. If a long lasting brush is high up the list of important qualities in a brush, it is best to buy synthetic nylon bristle brushes. The tradeoff is that they are not nearly as flexible and do not coat surfaces as evenly. They can also melt if they come in direct contact with high heat. Whichever bristle type you choose, it is extremely important that you always hand wash both brushes. Fan out the bristles in hot, soapy water until completely clean. Encase the brush in a towel and dry until no moisture remains in the bristles. You can also vigorously shake the brush to ensure all the moisture is gone.