How to Clean and Store Your Equipment
The classic shaving brush is an essential piece of kit to have if you wet shave. These simple tools have a head of bristles and allow you to create a lather of shaving cream before you work your magic with your razor.
We all know how to use them, but do we all know how to care for them? To get the best use out of your shaving brush, it’s important to know how to clean it, and how to store it. We delve into these two topics below and give some useful steps and methods for your benefit.
Cleaning Your Shaving Brush – After Each Use
Shaving is an art form and artists need to keep their equipment in working order to create masterpieces. Therefore, you should clean your shaving brush after every use.
This goes for any product that you use with water and liquids. If you don’t clean and dry them properly, mould can grow, and the quality of the bristles will quickly deteriorate. Luckily, it’s a relatively straight-forward process and can be done in just four steps.
Step 1 – Rinse
After your shave, the first thing to do is to thoroughly rinse your shaving brush. Firstly, this will remove any excess shaving cream so that the bristles are clear for next time. Secondly, it gets rid of any skin debris and hairs that may have transferred to the brush during use.
Rinse it under tepid water – never hot water. If you use hot water, you could risk softening the glue that holds the bristles in place.
Step 2 - Drain
Next, you want to get rid of that excess water. There is a temptation to give your brush a good shake or start vigorously rubbing it and massaging the bristles. Don’t do this.
Flicking it, using force, and massaging can compromise the quality of the brush and bristles. For example, if you massage the bristles roughly by hand, they will dry, but you could also risk pulling individual strands out.
Instead, simply squeeze the water from your brush and apply gentle pressure. Just hold the handle with one hand and squeeze the bristles with the other with the brush pointing downwards over your sink. Most of the excess water your drain off and you shouldn’t damage your equipment.
Step 3 - Towel
To dry it further, you can then use a towel. Again, a soft and gentle touch is needed so try and not be heavy-handed. You can press the bristles onto the towel or stroke it over the brush. Both methods work, but the key is to be soft as to avoid damage.
Step 4 - Air
Hopefully, by now, you should have removed most of the water. However, the last step is to let it dry naturally. The best way to do this is to place it in a brush stand.
A shaving brush stand usually has a drip tray and a holder. All you do is place the brush with the bristles pointing down into the holder. Any last dregs of water will then drip by gravity. You should ideally keep your brush stand in a dry place too without any moisture otherwise your brush may not dry properly.
Cleaning Your Shaving Brush – Deep Clean
It’s important to clean your shaving brush after each use. However, you could notice a decline in quality and usability over time. For example, it may be more difficult to create a lather and apply shaving cream. This is why we advise doing a deep clean once per month.
The first step is exactly the same as your daily clean. You must first rinse the shaving brush and clear away any debris and muck that has built up (hopefully it hasn’t if you have cleaned it after each use!).
Next, create a lather on the bristles using a cleaning agent. Something simple like washing-up liquid is perfect. You want the cleaning agent to cover the bristles completely so make sure the lather is a good one. Then, just let the brush soak for 10 minutes in tepid water. This allows the washing-up liquid to work in properly and remove any scum.
You can then rinse it off and dry it in exactly the same way that you would for your daily clean. Some people will soak the brush in a solution of vinegar and water too. Vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent and is typically stronger than washing-up liquid. However, we advise caution with this as it can leave a strong smell and could potentially contaminate your cream.
Storing Your Shaving Brush
The most important thing to remember about storing your shaving brush is that it must be completely dry. Any lingering water can soon cause mould and bacteria to build up. And let’s face it, who wants to rub a mixture of bacteria and shaving cream on their face?
Therefore, something like a shaving brush case is ideal. This is a simple storage case that helps keep moisture out and protect your brush. Ideally, you need to place this case in another room like your bedroom unless your bathroom is incredibly well ventilated and isn’t prone to damp.
Wherever you store it, make sure that it has dried thoroughly first using the steps we have listed above. It could also be an idea to have several shaving brushes so that you can alternate their use – while one is drying, you can use the other!
If you use a shaving brush, you must look after it properly. Applying shaving cream with a dirty, matted brush is a recipe for disaster and you can affect your hygiene and skin quality. We advise cleaning it after each use, and doing a deep clean once per month, or if you notice any deterioration in the usability of the brush.
Conclusion - Phew!
That is everything. All in one place. If you are interested in getting started wet shaving then check out the Cut Throat Club's product range.
We would love to get your input on any differences of opinion you have or other lessons you have learned that new beginners would value - Please leave a comment below.