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How to Clean Acrylic Nail Brush

How to Clean Acrylic Nail Brush

Best Acrylic Nail Brush

Are you confused about how to clean your acrylic nail brush?

Brush hygiene should be the top priority on your list as a nail technician.

At best, you should clean your acrylic brushes after every use.

Stick around a bit and you will learn the best way to clean your acrylic nail brushes.

What Can I Use To Clean Acrylic Nail Brushes?

Liquid Monomer

Acrylic brushes are made out of natural fibers and hairs.

Because of this, stronger liquids like synthetic nail cleanser, acetone, and etc. might damage your acrylic brush.

Acrylic liquid, called Monomer is the ideal liquid to use when cleaning your acrylic nail brushes.

How to clean your acrylic nail brushes after every use

How to clean your Acrylic nail brush

Source: Suzie's pro tip

The best thing you can do for your acrylic nail brush is to clean it while you use it.

1.  Before working on a customer’s nail, get a little bowl, and pour some monomer into it.

2. Get a lint-free cloth or any other soft material you can use to wipe the brush.

3. Place the tools besides your workspace, in a very accessible position.

dipping acrylic brush to liquid monomer


4. After each use, dip the brush into the monomer and give it a little swirl.

5. If there is acrylic left on the brush, wipe it off gently before dipping it into the monomer.

6. Gently wipe the bristles on the cloth to get rid of most of the liquid before moving on to the next customer.

Tip: you do not want to brush back and forth on the cloth or cotton pad to avoid damaging the bristles or bending them out of shape. Rather, wipe in one direction before turning the brush to wipe the other side.

The video above will show you how to clean your acrylic brush during application.

How to clean your acrylic brushes from a product build-up

1. Get a bottle of monomer, dappen dish(s), water, lint-free cloths or cotton pad, and a vertical brush holder.

Tip: you can use a small bowl or shot glass if a dappen dish is not available.
A shot glass helps you avoid wasting monomer while getting the best results.

2. Pour some monomer in the dappen dish.
You should only pour enough monomer to soak the bristles.

Avoid getting the ferrule wet as it might take a longer time to dry and get sticky.

liquid monomer in dappen dish


3. Dip your acrylic nail brush in the monomer filled dish and let it soak for up to an hour. You can do this while doing some routine or weekend cleaning of your nail salon.

Tip: if the nail brush is completely hard, you might want to let it soak in the monomer for the night. Remember to lay it down at an angle that will not misshapen the bristles

Soak brush in liquid monomer


4. Take the brushes out of the monomer and dip them inside a bowl of warm water, giving it a good swirl. You can also let it rinse under running water. Do not scrub the brush with your hands or forcefully against the bottom of the bowl.

5. [Optional] If the bristles are out of shape, add a drop of mild soap or shampoo and use your fingers to carefully rub it back into shape. Leave it for 48 hours before rinsing the soap out with warm water.

rinse brush in warm water

6. Set the brush on a paper towel or cloth to dry. You might be tempted to speed up the process and give the bristles a good rubbing. Hold up! This isn’t your hair and you will damage those bristles

7. Dip the brush again into a bowl of the fresh monomer for about 1 -2 hours. This last step helps to condition the brush and keep the bristles in good shape. You can set it down to dry again.

 Allow the brush to air dry completely


Can You Clean Acrylic Nail Brush With Acetone?

Okay, some of you might have heard never to use acetone while cleaning your acrylic nail brush because it is too harsh on the natural fibers used in making the bristles and could damage them.

While this is true to an extent, there are ways around this and situations where acetone may be the last resort for getting your acrylic nail brush clean and usable once more.

This is usually when the brush is caked to the hilt or ferrule in this case ;).  

pour acetone in dappen dish


1. Pour out some acetone in a small bowl.

2. Dip the hardened brush in the acetone and press gently to let it soak through.

3. Allow the acetone to soak but not longer than 10 minutes to prevent your brush from getting dehydrated. If the brush is in terrible condition, you can soak it as long as you feel is necessary.
The brush is already gone so you have nothing to lose! 

Soak brush in acetone


4. Use a paper towel to gently clean through the brush. If there are any acrylic bits left in the brush, gently scrape them down with a cuticle pusher or any other tool.

5. Dip the brush in monomer for at least 2 hours. This acts to restore the moisture lost due to acetone.

6. If the brush loses its shape after being treated with acetone, apply a drop of liquid soap to reshape it and let it sit for 48 hours.

7. Rinse it off with warm water and soak it in monomer for another 2 hours

8. Place it on a towel and allow it to dry before storing it in your brush holder.

This video above offers a step by step method to use acetone to clean acrylic nail brushes without damaging them.

Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol To Clean Acrylic Nail Brushes?

As I mentioned earlier, acrylic nail brushes are made of more natural fibers such as kolinsky and sable hair than synthetic fibers.

This makes rubbing alcohol unsuitable for cleaning acrylic nail brushes.

They however can be used to clean gel brushes by briefly dipped in rubbing alcohol and wiped on a paper towel while being used. 

Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol To Clean Acrylic Nail Brushes?


DIY Acrylic Brush Cleaner

This can simply be done with the use of monomer.

One easy way to do this is by separating the acrylic liquid, (monomer) into two different bottles. One for nail application and the other for brush cleaning. Using the methods outlined above, you will have the perfect outcome. 

Best acrylic nail brush cleanser

Liquid Monomer

The best acrylic nail brush cleanser is monomer. But if you are looking for a store-bought brush cleanser, simply read the label. You shouldn't buy one with acetone in it. Some of the best acrylic nail brush cleaners include the Artisan Nail Brush Cleaner, Professional Acrylic brush cleaner, etc

Pro Tips for getting the best results while cleaning your acrylic nail brushes

• Always store your brush with the bristles facing up. You can use a brush holder or improvise with a large cup. This will help your bristles stay in shape.

proper storage of acrylic nail brush


•  If your nail brush has tiny bits of acrylic stuck in it, you can use a clean mascara brush to go over the bristles gently and push out any of the acrylics

• The monomer that you use to clean your brushes should be in a separate bottle than the one you use when applying acrylic nails. This is to avoid the cleanser from getting contaminated with other chemicals so your brush is properly cleaned each time.

• Some brushes come with special care tips written on their packets so don’t just tear off the new pack of brushes in your excitement 


The condition your nail brush is in will determine how neat and pretty your client’s nails are. And this will in turn determine how much of your clients will come back to you. This is why you must take good care of each brush.

Lastly, you should invest in high-quality acrylic brushes made from kolinsky. If you get queasy while thinking about where those hairs come from, you might want to try out some high-quality acrylic synthetic brushes but these natural ones are the best.

nailed it

How do you clean your acrylic brushes? Let me know in the comment section and indicate if this article was helpful!