How to Clean a Shaving Brush – Easy to Follow Step-By-Step Guide
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more
To have a great shaving experience every morning, you need to take care of your shaving tools. One of the tools that most men forget about is the classic shaving brush. Regular maintenance of the badger hair shaving brush is important to keep it in great condition and ensure it applies your shave cream or a top-quality shaving soap efficiently.
At this point, we should mention that using a shaving brush is easy. It’s giving it some tender love and care to rid it of the badger smell that proves challenging. To simplify things for you, we’ve outlined the steps you should go through to clean your shaving brush.
Why Proper Cleaning Is Important
Most men think that cleaning a shaving brush is only about rinsing the soap off the bristles after a shaving session. As such, they take their time to do this every morning. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to keep your shaving brush in the best condition. Over time, you’ll notice the bristles aren’t as lively as when you bought the brush. Also, you’ll notice soap scum building up at the base of the badger bristles.
With the build-up of soap scum comes many problems, including the brush not retaining a lot of water, not lathering as well as it did, and generally delivering a below-average shaving experience.
Proper shaving brush cleaning should maintain the strength and integrity of your brush bristles over time.
If your brush bristles have developed soap scum over time, here’s how you can get rid of them.
The Items You Need
There are high chances you have all these items in your house already. They include;
- White vinegar
- Dish detergent (do not use dishwasher detergent)
- A brush stand
- A cup that the brush fits in snugly
Below is a step-by-step process to follow.
The first step is filling the cup with 8 ounces of warm and distilled water. You can opt to use filtered water or boil your tap water and allow it to cool to a warm temperature before proceeding. We use distilled water to avoid leaving behind ugly residue on the brush bristles after drying.
To the warm water, add some dish detergent and dip the shaving brush into the soapy mixture. The brush should go in (bristles first) to ensure they are immersed.
Hold the brush’s handle and swirl it inside the mixture. As you do this, press down on it to expose every bristle’s base to the soapy mixture.
Do this for about two minutes. Do not be tempted to use a stronger detergent than dish detergent. The latter is mild and is great at removing soap scum without compromising the bristles’ strength.
Empty the cup and clean it. You should also run some warm water through the brush bristles to get rid of the soapy water.
Once this is done, prepare a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and warm water in the cup. Remember to use warm and distilled water in this step as well.
The total solution should be about 8 ounces.
The white vinegar does a great job of getting rid of soap scum.
Caution: When buying white vinegar, do not get white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar. It should plain be white vinegar.
Dip the badger brush into the solution like you did in the soapy water. Stir the brush in the solution, and press it down so that the base hairs get in contact with the solution.
After swirling the brush in the mixture for a couple of minutes, let it sit in the white vinegar solution for an extra 5-10 minutes.
After the 10 minutes have elapsed, you should rinse the badger brush with some warm water.
Since you soaked the bristles in white vinegar for a couple of minutes, it’s expected that it’ll have the ‘white vinegar smell.’ To get rid of this smell, you should rinse it with warm water. Be patient, as this step might take a while.
Once you are satisfied with the results, rinse out the excess water from the brush bristles and then hang the brush upside down on the brush stand. Doing this allows the brush bristles to dry. If you don’t have a brush stand, you should procure one ASAP.
Placing the brush on a table means the bristles on the top side will dry, and the ones closest to the table’s surface remain wet for longer. The alternative is turning the brush often. Unfortunately, no one has the time to do this; hence a brush stand is important.
Tips & Tricks
To get the best results when working out, you should do multiple reps of a simple exercise. The same logic applies to cleaning a shaving brush. For even better results, you can repeat the 3-step process several times.
If you’ve been using your shaving brush for a couple of years now and have never gone through this process, we recommend doing it twice or thrice every day for a week.
Some people find the smell of white vinegar on their shaving brush disgusting. They claim even with a thorough cleaning, the smell persists. If this is you, instead of creating a 1:1 white vinegar to warm water solution, create a 1:4 or 1:8 white vinegar to warm water solution.
The only things you need to care for your shaving brush and keep the bristles strong are white vinegar, a brush stand, a cup, and dish detergent.
Follow the steps to the ‘T,’ and you should be good. Besides cleaning your shaving brush, you should learn how to use it to get the best lather and improve your shaving experience. But if you have mastered the art of lathering but still you end up with a below-average shaving experience, the quality of your shaving brush, cream, or shaving soap could be the problem. Consider changing these for an improved experience.
Ruiru Kibet is passionate about beard care and male grooming. He believes it’s an art form and is happy to share his insight with men across the globe. He’s into wet shaving and evidence-based grooming, a passion that helps him analyze men’s grooming brands, products, and wet shaving practices presenting you with the best recommendations and advice. Kevin's profile on Linkedin.