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New Shaving Brush? Here’s How To Knock Down The Smell

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Did you get a new shaving brush as a gift?  It might be…um…aromatic! This video  may be worth reviewing.  Although the video discusses general maintenance the advice for cleaning at 2:10 is good for new brush break-in as well.  Pet shampoo also works well.


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

16 thoughts on “New Shaving Brush? Here’s How To Knock Down The Smell”

  1. Lysol used to make a Lysol Shaving Cream, in a tube. It contained a small percentage of Lysol liquid – the same stuff that you can _still_ buy in the brown concentrate bottle. (Walmart tends to carry it, as well as a lot of small grocery stores). Considering that, I’d tend to put a couple of drops of lysol in a cup or two of hot water, then soak the brush like I was planning on using it. Let it dry, and a couple of days later, it should be good to go.

  2. I am going to try Febreeze on the one I ordered from China when it arrives in 3 weeks. I once caught a skunk in a live trap and once I got the skunk out I sprayed the live trap with Febreeze. Knocked the smell off the wire trap.

  3. Pingback: Omega Shaving Brush Review

    1. New brushes will often shed a few hairs for the first couple weeks or so of use. If it is still shedding after a month or so you either have a cheaply made brush or you should contact the vendor or manufacturer for a replacement.

  4. Pingback: Omega Shaving Brush Review | A Penny Shaved

  5. My solution to a REALLY bad smelling badger brush was:
    Tide Liquid and Clorox 2 Color-Safe Bleach. Mix the two together and let the brush sit in it for 45 minutes to an hour, agitating the brush thourougly. When just about done, dip and then squeeze brush repeatdly – it will foam from soap. Rinse, and let dry. 90%+ of the animal smell will be gone.
    I tried dish soap and vinegar and neither would get the smell out no matter how many times I washed it, but the Tide & Clorox worked the 1st time.

  6. I received my new badger brush and started using it right away. Needless to say, the smell was very strong, to the point that I could not smell the soap at all. After watching this video, I gave it 2 consecutive 5 min baths in a vinegar/hot water solution. Unfortunately, the bad smell was still present, even after lathering with the brush.

  7. I’m looking for a nice badger brush with a wooden handle very much like the last one in the lineup on your video, who makes it?

  8. Ted Pettinicchi (TAP119 on B & B)

    I used my regular “human” shampoo (Pert) on my brushes when they were new. No problems with odors.
    Now, I need advice on correcting brush “damage”: I was pressured this past weekend by my SWMBO to really sanitize my brush, so I soaked it in Barbicide. Now I have a GREEN-tipped best badger brush. I rinsed it, shampooed it and it’s still green. Any suggestions?
    I can live with it, I know. After all, St. Patrick’s Day is coming up…..

    1. I’m working on a post about sanitizing a shaving brush. Did you soak it in full-strength Barbicide or a dilution? Hopefully you did not damage your brush. Have you tried it yet?

    2. Unfortunately, I think you may have a candidate for a new knot. Barbicide is toxic, and any that the brush absorbed could be passed to your skin. I certainly wouldn’t risk it, whether you used a diluted solution or full strength. Brushes don’t require sterilization, and generally steam sanitizing is all a manufacturer will do. Sorry to hear about the brush, but better to lose the brush than accidentally poison yourself.

  9. Great video. I wish I would have seen this before I started using a badger hair brush. With mine, I started using it straight out of the box. Never knew of a way to deal with the strong odor other than toughing it out until the smell dissapated. Pet shampoo huh? Go figure.

  10. Because boar absorbs water, unlike badger or horse, I have heard it is a good idea to soak the brush thoroughly in plain water before soaking it in a cleaning solution (either vinegar or borax). This pre-saturation, in theory, will prevent the boar from absorbing and retaining any vinegar or borax that would be hard to get out in a rinse. As far as de-funking goes, the fragrances of my soaps generally knock down any mild animal smells in a lather or two. I particularly like Vetiver for a brush break-in lather.

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