How to clean your shaving brush

Why should I clean my shaving brush?

Whether you are using a badger, boar or synthetic shaving brush, simple cleaning can prolong the life of your trusted shaving hardware.

If you wet shave regularly, you would think that all that shaving soap lather would keep your shaving brush nice and clean. However, over time it is common for residue to build up, along with dirt, oil and bacteria. Yep, you just pulled that face thinking about it didn't you?!!! 

How often should I clean my shaving brush?

  • To look after your new shaving brush, you should always give it a gentle rinse with warm soapy water prior to first use. Animal shaving brushes such as Badger or Boar may have a noticeable scent, so giving your brush a nice clean can help rid it of any unpleasant scents! Do not be alarmed if you loose a few hairs in the first few weeks of use, these may be shorter hairs that did not reach the glue base.
  • After every shave, thoroughly rinsing your shaving brush is perhaps the single most important task! 
  • Depending on how frequently you shave, your water hardness and what type of shaving soap or cream you are using, the frequency of a deep clean will vary for each shaver. A usual rule of thumb would be roughly every 6 months.

Regular shaving brush rinse

Rinsing a shaving brush | Agent Shave

To look after your shaving brush, after each wet shave:

  1. Rinse the shaving brush thoroughly in clean warm water. This will ensure all shaving cream or soap residue is removed from the knot.
  2. Drain excess water away by gently squeezing the brush - do not 'flick' as that may loosen the glue knot over time! 
  3. Lightly stroke the bristles over a soft towel. 
  4. Allow the shaving brush to air dry naturally.  A well ventilated area is best, near to an open window. Allowing the air to circulate will prevent mildew.
  5. Ideally, hang with the bristles pointing down on a shaving brush stand. This encourages moisture to be drawn to the tips of the bristles rather than into the knot as it dries.

Deep cleaning your shaving brush

Deep cleaning a shaving brush | Agent Shave

Maintenance is everything! In an ideal world having a second shaving brush allows for a 48 hour rotation between shaving, allowing each brush to fully dry after every shave. 

Over time, even with daily maintenance rinses, you may find a build up of residue and soap scum on your shaving brush. This is turn can lead to problems shaving, such as not lathering as well or retaining water. Time for a deep clean!

There are many tried and tested methods for a good old deep clean, however this is our favourite at Agent Shave:

You will need; clean water, washing up liquid, vinegar or borax solution, cup or mug.

  1. Firstly rinse your shaving brush under water, ensuring it is fully soaked through.
  2. Add a drop of washing up liquid to your hand and lather the brush.
  3. Leave the shaving brush to soak in a jar or cup of clean water for a few minutes.
  4. Rinse thoroughly in clean water.
  5. Mix a solution made up of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water (if this is too strong this can be diluted) and then leave your shaving brush to soak for a further few minutes. Borax can also be used as a substitute to vinegar.
  6. Rinse again, then if using vinegar repeat step's 2-4 to remove any vinegar residue or smell!
  7. Finally, one last rinse in clean water, then allow your shaving brush to thoroughly air dry.