Regular maintenance on your badger hair shaving brush is essential in order to keep it healthy and able to lather and apply your shaving cream efficiently and effectively (be sure to check out our guide of the top shaving creams). In this article I’m going to teach you the very easy steps on how to clean a shaving brush. I am sure that you clean your shaving brush as thoroughly as you can after each shave by removing as much soap out of the bristles as you can. When I first started wet shaving I thought that this was all that was necessary. Overtime I noticed that my bristles did not look as “lively” as they did when I first bought the brush. Although I thought I did an excellent job of cleaning the brush after my shaves, overtime, soap scum builds up at the base of the bristles where they insert into the handle. This causes all sorts of problems for the brush including not being able to lather as well and not retaining as much water, resulting in a sub par shave. Let me show you how I do a full clean on my shaving brush in order to get the soap scum removed and get it back in full pristine working condition.
What you will need
There is a good chance that you will have all of the needed products in order to do this cleaning.
- White vinegar
- Dish detergent (not to be confused with the dishwasher detergent)
- Recommended: Palmolive Ultra Oxy-plus Power Degreaser Dish Liquid
- A cup that will fit your brush snugg
- A brush stand
- Recommended: Perfecto Deluxe Chrome Razor and Brush Stand
The first step is to fill your cup up with 6 to 8 ounces of warm distilled water. You can either use filtered water such as from a brita or you can boil some water and let it cool down to a warm temperature. The reason I do this is so that once the water dries, it doesn’t leave too much residue. You should then add a couple squirts of dish detergent. Place your shaving brush into the mixture with your bristles facing down. You should swirl your brush around in the mixture and also press down with moderate force so that it exposes the base of the bristles to the soap mixture. Do this for approximately two minutes. The reason I use dish detergent is because it is a very mild cleaner and helps remove the soap scum at the base of your brush.
Empty out and clean the cup of soapy water. Also run warm water through your badger brush in order to get all of the soapy water out of it. The next step is to add a one to one solution of warm water to white vinegar. Again make sure you use warm distilled water. The total solution should be approximately 6 to 8 ounces. A white vinegar does a fantastic job at removing soap scum. When purchasing the white vinegar, make sure you do not purchase white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar for this step. It should simply say “white vinegar”. Put your badger brush into the whites vinegar solution with the bristles face down just as you did in step number one. You’re going to do the same thing as stirring your brush in the solution as well as pressing it down so that the solution can get to the base of the hairs. After you have mixed your badger brush around for a minute or two you are going to let it sit in the solution for another 5 to 10 min.
Step number three
After letting your badger brush set in the vinegar solution for 5 to 10 min. you will need to do a thorough washing with warm water. This process takes a couple minutes in order to get the white vinegar smell out of your brush. When you are satisfied make sure to squeeze the rest of the water out and then hang your badger brush upside down on a stand. It is essential to hang it upside down so that oxygen can easily get to the brush. It also lets the brush dry evenly. If you do not have a stand to hang it on, obtaining one is top priority!
You can repeat this process as many times as it takes to get your badger brush clean. If you have never cleaned your brush in the few years you have been using your brush, I recommend doing this process two to three times over the period of a week. Also some people complained of the white vinegar smell that is left in their brush. If you want, you can reduce the ratio of white vinegar to water in your solution. You can try a 1/4 or a 1/8 ratio instead.
All you really need to perform this cleaning is dish detergent, white vinegar, a cup and a brush stand. I hope this article helped you guys learn about the importance of regular shaving brush maintenance. As you can see the steps are incredibly easy to do in order to keep the hairs of your brush healthy and functional. Get out there and try this technique and let me know what you all think in the comments below. If you have any other methods of cleaning your shaving brush I would love to hear about them and if you have abused your brush beyond repair or just want to upgrade be sure to check out this article on the different kind of shaving brushes and the best ones out there on the market today. Check out my other useful how to articles including how to clean a safety razor or straight razor.
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