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How to: Clean a Shaving Brush

Cleaning a Shaving Brush

'Why might one do this?' I hear you ask. 'My brush goes from soap to my clean face and is washed and put away' I hear you call defiantly.

Good sirs, pay heed! Be so kind as to get your brush and look where the hairs attach to the handle. See you now, a ring of soap scum hides. And indeed, the soap goes deeper still - your lather is suffering. Not even to mention that it cannot at all be good for the health of your knot.

To arms, sirs, to arms! Assemble ye some vinegar and detergent, as the the British did at the Dardanelles in days of old. Let us do away with this soap scum, as the scottish scum (my ancestors) were done away with at Flodden Field.


Let battle be joined. Give that brush a washing under the tap, and be not afraid to, once done, wash it some more. Now the brush may return to its natural state, and lather. Put a small dollop of detergent in your hand, and lather it up as if your very survival, which indeed it may, depended on it.


Now comes for us a small reprise - put your noble brush, my noble sir, in some water, and let it soak. Give it the occasional mix during its soak of duration approximately a minute.


Wash the brush again, clean all the detergent from it. We are nearly at an end.

The penultimate step - replace the brush into its bath (with new, fresh, clean water) and a solid dash of vinegar. Let it sit, with your occasional attention of mixing it, for about a minute once more.


All that remains now is a third and final rinse under the tap before your dry your brush and let it take the airs.

Return to this process, sir, when again you see the white scum ring return, for it will be not a moment too soon.

Your brush is ready my good sir, and it is clean. :euro:
Good HOWTO. Is this all you need to do if buying a "used" brush or are there other steps to take in this situation?
Great advice. I clean my brushes regularly and notice they not only feel softer, but lather better as well. Thanks for the reminder.
Thanks for the instructions!

It never occured to me to clean my brush either but I do have the soap scum ring. I will take care of this tonight! :cool:
I like to do this once a month with my brushes...weither they need it or not. White viniger is cheap. I only have 4 brushes that my wife and I share. I find it does help and also keeps the buildup down.
Just tried it and it's great. All my brushes are a lot softer now. As I have hard water, it think that the vinegar got rid of all the deposits!:thumbup1:
For those of you who want a softer brush than even this most excellent gentleman's instructions afford you, might I suggest a final shampooing with your (or your good lady's) hair conditioner and then a most thorough rinse before yon brush takes the airs? Your humble servant has done thus, and with a most striking benefit! Anon and hey nonny nonny...


I've seen a solution of borax mentioned instead of vinegar. Thoughts?
I've seen a solution of borax mentioned instead of vinegar. Thoughts?

I saw it too - but havent tried it.

Its probably fine, but I dont want to risk putting chemicals all over the brush I a) paid a lot for, and b) rub on my face and occasional nick
Borax is a water softnening agent. I think. I would use it with the cleansing soap and rinse away all in the vinegar. I have used similar techniques to this howto with grand results.

Regards, Todd
I've seen a solution of borax mentioned instead of vinegar. Thoughts?

It's worked for me in the past - I've used the cleaning packets found at ClassicShaving.com - , but the more I think about it, the more I want to use the least harsh method of cleaning my little beauties.
Ah what a delight!
This fair maiden was just looking for the very information contained within this humble posting!
I seem to have had a wee case of ye olde AD (as maidens are wont to do) and have acquired two delightful brushes of boar for a meer peasants fee. I shall now delight and partake in this ritual of cleaning and feel safe that the plague shall not overcome me!



Do you find that your brushes gum up quickly with lanolin creams (Musgo Real) and tallow soaps? Even if I rinse mine well, when it dries the hairs are stuck together and they are stiff. The razor head definitely gets that foggy film on it.

Now, how often should we clean our brushes? I guess when needed is one answer, except that I'm not sure when it's needed ...
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