How Long Should I Soak My Shaving Brush Before Shaving?

by Jay Kang | Updated on April 6th, 2023
razor, shaving brush and foam dish in the bathroom

Are you new to wet shaving? Have you been curious about how to prepare your shaving brush before use?

If so, you’re in the right place! In this blog post, we’ll discuss how long you should soak your shaving brush before shaving and provide tips for getting the most out of its use.

Why Should You Soak Your Shaving Brush?

Soaking your shaving brush is important for a number of reasons. Not only does it soften the bristles and make them more pliable, but it also helps to remove any soap, minerals, or other deposits that may have built up.

It also helps to keep the brush clean and free of bacteria.

Soaking your shaving brush before use helps to soften the bristles and ensure an even distribution of lather during your shave. It also helps to remove soap and mineral deposits that can build up from regular use, making the brush last longer.

Additionally, soaking your brush can help to extend its life by keeping it free of debris and helping to keep the bristles in good condition.

By taking the time to soak your shaving brush before each use properly, you can enjoy a better shave and extend the life of your brush.

How Long Do I Soak My Shaving Brush?

The length of time you’ll need to soak your shaving brush depends on the type of hair it has.

The time required for soaking will vary depending on the type of brush, but a good rule of thumb is to soak for 5-10 minutes in hot water for the best results. You can soak your brush in a 50/50 vinegar solution for 30 seconds to remove most of the deposits.

Soaking Time Varies by Hair Type

Badger brushes are generally softer and absorb water quickly, so you may only need to soak them for 5-10 minutes in warm-hot (max 100ºF) tap water.

On the other hand, boar or horse hair brushes may require a longer soak time, up to 20 minutes, in a 9:1 warm water to the vinegar solution.

Boar brushes need to soak for several minutes to soften, while the higher-grade badger shaving brushes require a much shorter soaking time as they are much better at absorbing water.

Synthetic brushes are ideal for those with sensitive skin, as they are generally hypoallergenic. These types should be soaked in warm water for at least 15 minutes before use.

Additionally, it’s important to rinse your brush before soaking and keep the handle upright and dry while the bristles are submerged in the solution. Once your brush is fully saturated with the soap and water solution, you can build a rich lather on your face.

After your shave, rinse it thoroughly and hang it up to dry. Finally, if soap and minerals have built up on your brush, try a quick 30-second soak in a 50/50 vinegar solution to remove them.

Tips for Properly Soaking Your Shaving Brush

Soaking your shaving brush properly is an important step in ensuring the longevity of your brush.

Rinsing the Brush Before Soaking

Before soaking your shaving brush, be sure to rinse it first. This will remove any residue from previous uses and debris that may have built up. It is important to do this step before submerging the bristles in water, as not doing so could cause the bristles to become damaged.

Be sure to rinse thoroughly—but avoid using too much force—so that all of the debris is removed before you begin soaking.

Preparing The Soap and Water Solution

Before beginning the soaking process, you’ll need to prepare your soap and water solution. Start by holding your soap bowl under the warm tap and letting a small puddle form on the surface. Before adding more, leave this water to soak into the soap for a few minutes.

For those with hard water, a vinegar solution can dissolve the calcium and soap scum built up on the brush. Soak the brush in a 50/50 vinegar solution for 30 seconds and swish it in the water. Then empty the toilet and flush clean water over the brush.

Repeat this process, ensuring that all of the deposits are removed. Once you’ve taken care of any existing mineral deposits, you can continue your regular cleaning routine.

Soaking the Bristles

After rinsing the brush, it’s time to soak the bristles. The amount of time needed to soak the bristles will vary depending on the brush’s hair type. Badger and boar hair can take longer to soak than synthetic hair.

Soaking times can range from 30 minutes to several hours. Start with a shorter soaking time and adjust if necessary for the best results. Mix a mild shampoo or soap with lukewarm water in a bowl or cup to prepare the water and soap solution. Then, submerge the bristles in the solution for the desired time.

What to Do if Your Brush is Too Soft or Too Hard

If your shaving brush is too soft or too hard, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem. If your brush is too soft, try soaking it for a few minutes in cold water or add a small amount of shampoo to help stiffen the bristles. If the brush is too hard, try soaking it in warm water for a few minutes to help soften it.

Additionally, when soaking your brush, you can add a few drops of conditioner to the water. No matter what you do, ensure you rinse all the residue from your brush after soaking so it won’t clog up your razor.


In conclusion, it is important to soak your shaving brush before use to ensure the best possible shave. It is recommended to soak your brush for at least 5-10 minutes, but this may vary depending on the type of hair your brush has.

Additionally, it is important to regularly clean and maintain your shaving brush by soaking it in a 50/50 vinegar solution.

Finally, it is also important to be aware that if your brush is too soft or too hard, there are alternatives to simply soaking it in water. Soaking your shaving brush before use will help ensure that you get the best possible shave every time.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / 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.