How Do I Remove Soap Buildup From My Shaving Brush?

by Jay Kang | Updated on April 6th, 2023
Shaving brush with soap residue

Shaving is essential to a man’s daily routine, and having the right tools for the job is half the battle. If you’ve been using your shaving brush for a while, you may have noticed a buildup of soap scum.

Don’t worry – there are simple ways to remove it without damaging your brush. This blog post will show you how to get rid of that pesky soap buildup and keep your shaving brush looking new!

1. Shake Brush to Remove Excess Water

Before beginning the cleaning process, shake your brush to remove excess water from the bristles. Make sure to hold the brush firmly, so you don’t damage the hair knot. This is especially important if you have a silvertip badger hair shaving brush, as it is delicate and needs to be handled with care. By shaking out the water, you can ensure that all soap residue will be removed before cleaning.

2. Soak Brush in Vinegar Solution

After shaking the brush to remove excess water, the next step is to soak the brush in a vinegar solution. This will help to break down the soap residue and make it easier to remove. To make the solution, combine water and a splash of vinegar in a glass or shallow bowl, swish the brush around in the solution and let it soak for up to 15 minutes.

You can also use distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice (using a 10 percent solution). This will help remove soap scum and keep your brush fresh and clean.

3. Remove the Brush and Examine the Hair Knot

Once the brush has been soaked for about 5-10 minutes, remove it from the cup and inspect the knot carefully, paying attention to any residue that may have built up. Gently massage the base of the knot with your fingers to release any trapped soap or dirt.

4. Use a Toothbrush to Scrub the Residue Gently

After removing the brush and examining the base of the hair knot, use a toothbrush to scrub away any remaining residue gently. This will help to ensure that all soap or shaving cream remains are removed and will help to keep your shaving brush in top condition. Additionally, you can use a q-tip (or an old toothbrush) dampened in warm water and dish soap for extra gunk removal.

5. Prepare a Solution of Water, Vinegar, and Soap

To remove any remaining soap buildup from your brush, you can create a solution of distilled white vinegar, borax, and liquid dish soap.

Dissolve 1 teaspoon of borax, 1 teaspoon of Castile soap, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar into 2 cups of hot water. Soak the brush in this mixture for a few minutes to help break down the soap residue.

Make sure to get a castile soap that’s 100% natural. I love Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. It comes in many scents, so you can pick whatever scent you prefer.

6. Run Warm Water and Gently Massage Bristles

After running warm water through your badger brush, gently massage the bristles with your fingers to remove any soap or residue. This will ensure that all of the soap and residue is removed from the knot and will help prevent weakening the glue that holds the bristles in place. Be sure to rinse your brush thoroughly in clean running water until the water runs clear.

7. Rinse with Filtered or Boiled Water

Once the soap has been removed, it’s important to rinse the brush with either filtered or boiled water. This will help ensure that all the soap residues are gone and that you don’t have any hard water deposits left behind.

After rinsing, gently squeeze the brush to remove any excess water, and then hang it up to dry. Doing this after every use will help keep your shaving brush free from soap buildup and in perfect condition for years to come.


After every use, it is important to rinse the brush with warm water thoroughly. This will help remove any excess soap and vinegar residue and cut down on the amount of soap scum that accumulates.

Additionally, gently squeezing the hair knots can help remove any remaining residue. This will keep your shaving brush in good condition and help extend its lifespan.

Last update on 2024-07-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jay Kang

Just because i'm asian does not mean I don't need shaving. I always wanted to grow a beard when I was young, now I need to shave because hair growth for me is a problem. I'm going through what every man will and has gone through before.