Thanks Ron. I think I get this now, the cold water treatment is to expand the ends of the boar bristles. Fridge is downstairs, too far away for these lazy old legs. I will however fully rinse the brush the next three times I use it and then let it soak in cold water overnight with the towel treatment in between. It would be nice to get it a bit softer. I am not too stressed if I somehow mishandle the brush, the nylon handle is already slightly split, so all good.