How do you maintain and clean a shaving brush?

Hoe onderhoud en reinig je een scheerkwast?

Ifwet shaving is your routine, a good shaving brush is essential. With a traditional shaving soap and a high-quality safety razor you are at your best in the bathroom

However, good equipment should also be well maintained in order to benefit from it for as long as possible. That certainly applies to your shaving brush. This sensitive instrument also needs TLC to stay fresh and active.

Why is maintenance necessary?

If you do not give a traditionally produced shaving brush the necessary maintenance, you will notice that at some point. The bristles of a shaving brush absorb soap and oils to the root. But also minerals and lime from the tap water. That will accumulate over time and get a grip on the bristles and the base of the brush.

Due to the substances present and any fungi, the hairs break off easily. The glue layer in which the bristles are mounted can also become soft and lose its function.

Note: A shaving brush with synthetic hair is slightly less sensitive to the negative effects of all residual substances compared to shaving brushes with animal hair.

When is maintenance required?

To start with, make sure you rinse the shaving brush well after every shave and hang it upside down in a shaving brush holder . If you shave every day, we recommend that you thoroughly clean your shaving brush every 2 weeks.

Cleanse daily after shaving

If you pick up your shaving brush 3 times a week, you don't have to clean it every day. Make sure that if you have used the shaving brush you rinse it well with lukewarm water. Carefully under a rinsing tap so that the soap residue leaves the hair.

The bristles down let it dry in a brush holder. Preferably outside the bathroom. Do not rub dry with a hard towel. Rather shake the brush before you hang it in the holder.

Periodic cleaning

Just like your safety razor, it is also wise to give your shaving brush more attention every now and then by scheduling it periodically. Such as with a climate system where filters are also periodically cleaned or replaced.

Cleanse after shaving

Exactly as we indicated above, it is important to rinse the shaving brush thoroughly with lukewarm water from the tap after shaving. If you leave the soap residue in it, the brush will sooner mold and deteriorate faster in quality. And: you have a lot more work if you carry out major maintenance.

Rinse after use

Suppose you don't have (or don't take) time when you have to rush out the door. Then at least rinse your brush under the tap. Then you have at least rinsed most of the soap residue from the hair.

Dry after use

It is best to pat dry or shake a traditional shaving brush and then let it air dry. By rubbing with a (rough) towel you can damage the bristles of the brush.

Periodic maintenance

A shaving brush cannot escape periodic maintenance either. So take some time for that. With proper maintenance, your brush can last 10 to 15 years. Sometimes even longer.

What do you need?

Just a few attributes

  • Large cup
  • Dish soap or shampoo
  • Warm water (not hot!)
  • Vinegar (for thorough maintenance)

How does it work?

Make sure you fill a cup/mug with warm tap water. Add a few drops of Dreft (or another soap solution) to the water.

Bring the shaving brush into the cup with a rotating movement and also gently push the bristles against the wall and bottom of the cup. Then let the brush rest in the soapy water for about 2/3 minute. Remove the shaving brush from the water and rinse all the soap from the bristles.

Now repeat the above trick but with a few drops of natural vinegar. You fill the mug halfway with warm water. Grade 30 is more than enough. You stir the brush around in the cup so that the water and vinegar are well absorbed into the hairs.

Then leave the shaving brush in the water for 15 minutes to 20 minutes. After that time, remove the brush and rinse it completely clean under the tap. So that all the vinegar is also removed.

Tip: some top layers of a shaving brush are made of satin. This layer cannot withstand the influences of vinegar. So make sure you keep the ratio of water at 90% and vinegar at 10%. Do not immerse the shaving brush in the bowl or cup for longer than 10 minutes (!) – a shame if the outside starts to peel off.

Maintenance tips

Let your shaving brush dry naturally

It is important for the life of your shaving brush that you hang it floating in the holder with the bristles down. You can shake the shaving brush after rinsing. But leave it at that.

Avoid hot water

Hot water is disastrous for both the bristles of the brush and the holder. The glue joints in particular can become soft due to the heat, so that your shaving brush suffers from hair loss. The plastic container can also burst due to the heat.

Do not wring or twist the bristles by hand

Wringing or twisting the bristles is a no go. This will deform the hairs and they can easily break off.

Store your shaving brush in a shaving brush holder 

The best way to keep your shaving brush in optimal condition is with a shaving brush holder . Never place on the foot with the hair up. This way, all the shaving soap and oils drip unnoticed to the base where the hairs are glued.

In addition, it is also a breeding ground for mold. Floating the shaving cabinet upside down is therefore the solution and the way to give your shaving brush a long and fresh life.

Note: do not throw your shaving brush wet in a toiletry bag . At least if you don't want mold!

Latest tips

As you may know, shaving brushes come in a number of variants. Not only in terms of holder but also in hair. For example, there are shaving brushes made of badger hair, horse hair, pig hair and synthetic hair. Fortunately, the latter is becoming increasingly popular and is not inferior to the relatively expensive badger hair version.

The shaving brush with synthetic bristles is also easier to keep clean and, unlike the animal variants, it absorbs dirt less quickly. And if you are an animal lover, the choice is not difficult at all.

Preferably use traditional shaving soaps, gel or cream. The ingredients in this are the most friendly to your shaving brush.

Now you know exactly how to handle your shaving brush. Do you also enjoy it the longest. If you still have questions, feel free to ask!

Good luck!

Your friends, The Alpha Men.