We are asked often about how to clean soap buildup and residue off of shaving brush bristles and handles. Our favored method uses vinegar as demonstrated in this video.
How often should you clean your brush?
That depends on what type of water you have, for example hard or soft, because hard water can make a residue faster. Also, whether you use shaving creams or soaps because creams typically build up faster than glycerin based soaps. How much lather you create and work down into the area where the bristles meet the handle and how thoroughly you rinse the brush and shake out excess water are additional factors. There is no rule about how often, except when you notice buildup around the area where the bristles meet the handle, the performance of the brush is not as good as when it was new or the brush is looking dull and dingy.
Taking care of your brush will add to its useful life because remember, bristles are simply hair and should be treated with the same respect as your own head. If it is not properly taken care of the hairs can break, shed and get mildew if not dried properly or left damp all the time which could also weaken the cement used to hold the hairs in place. Brush cleaning only takes about five minutes not including any soak time. The cost for cleaning supplies is minimal and can be found in most grocery or general purpose stores.
Cleaning a Shaving Brush with Vinegar - Liquid dish detergent, vinegar, an old toothbrush and container to hold the brush for soaking are the main supplies, and the other items talked about in the video are optional. 7:60 minutes