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How To Clean Acrylic Nail Brush

As a nail technician, brush hygiene should be at the top of your priority list. We know that choosing the best acrylic powder or gel polish is essential for our nail art form. But what about your nail brushes?

Keeping your brushes clean is super important. This means they need to be clean and without any damage. Dirty brushes not only make your salon look unclean, but they also look unprofessional to customers.

What Can I Use To Clean Acrylic Nail Brushes?

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Acrylic brushes are composed of natural fibers and hairs. Because of this, stronger liquids like synthetic nail cleanser, acetone, etc. might damage your acrylic brush.

So, what is the best way to clean acrylic nail brushes?

Acrylic liquid, commonly called monomer, is the ideal liquid to use when cleaning your acrylic nail brushes. Monomer works well with acrylic brushes and will effectively remove any residue or buildup without causing any harm.

So, make sure you have a bottle of fresh monomer on hand before we dive into the cleaning process.

How To Clean Acrylic Nail Brushes After Every Use

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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.

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.

Pro 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.

Cleaning your acrylic nail brushes after every use is the way to go. You can check out this video to learn more about how to keep your brushes clean during acrylic application.

How To Clean Acrylic Nail Brushes From Product Build Up

Do your acrylic brushes feel all sticky because there's too much product build-up on hardened polish? Don’t worry! Here are some easy ways to clean your brushes. So, hold on, don't throw them away to get new ones just yet!

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

Pro 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 small dish. You should only pour just enough monomer to soak the bristles. Avoid getting the ferrule wet as it might take a longer time to air dry and get sticky.

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.

Pro tip: "If the 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."

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 water.

6. Set the brush on a clean paper towel or cloth to air 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 one or two hours. This last step helps to condition the brush and keep the bristles in good shape. You can set it down to dry again.

So that’s how you can keep your acrylic brush in perfect working condition till well, you’re tired of seeing the same brush over and over again.

Who knew cleaning brushes could be so straightforward? Now you can keep using your favorite brushes without worrying about product build-up ruining your nail art game.

Can You Clean Acrylic Nail Brushes With Acetone?

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You may have heard that you shouldn't use acetone to clean your acrylic nail brush.

This is because it can be too strong and harm the natural nail brush bristles. You don’t want your brush bristles spread out too much that it won’t hold your acrylic beads, right?

While this is true at some point, there are cases where acetone may be the last resort for getting your acrylic brush clean and usable once more.

This is usually when the brush is caked to the hilt or ferrule in this case. So, here’s what to do in this scenario:

1. Pour out some acetone in a small bowl.

2. Dip the hardened brush bristles 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.

4. Use paper towels 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 liquid 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 gently 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 air dry before storing it in your brush holder.

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

Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol To Clean Acrylic Nail Brushes?

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

These natural hair brushes are delicate which makes rubbing alcohol unsuitable for cleaning these nail brushes.

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

How Do You Clean Gel Nail Brushes?

Cleaning gel brushes is easy with rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad. Here's how you do it:

  • The first step is to soak a cotton pad in rubbing alcohol. Then, clean your brush handle with this pad.
  • Next, rest the pad on a surface and rub your brush's bristles on it.
  • If your brush still has color, add clear nail gel to your brush. Rub your brush on the cotton pad until it's all clean and there's no color left.

Remember, some people might suggest soaking your brush in alcohol for a minute. But, be careful, this could make your bristles dry.

Also, never use nail polish remover to clean your brushes. It'll just ruin your gel nail brushes.

DIY Acrylic Brush Cleaner

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Want to make your own acrylic brush cleaner at home? It's easy! Here are two quick ways to do it:

1. Use acetone, pour it into a container, and dip your brush in it for 2-3 minutes. Then, carefully remove the sticky acrylic with your fingers and wipe your brush on a clean paper towel. Last, dip your brush in liquid monomer to freshen it up.

2. Or, use rubbing alcohol. First, rinse the brush gently in warm water. Then, swirl it in rubbing alcohol. Rinse your brush again, switch the old alcohol with the new one, and rinse one last time in the alcohol.

Best Acrylic Brush Cleanser

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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 brush cleaner, etc.

Final Tips for Cleaning Acrylic Nail Brushes

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  • 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.
  • If your 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 from 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 brushes are in will determine how neat and pretty your client’s acrylic 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. One of the best acrylic nail brushes that can help you achieve beautiful-looking nails is the 100% thick Kolinsky Acrylic Nail Brush.

If you get uneasy while thinking about where those natural hair brushes come from. You might want to try out some high-quality acrylic synthetic brushes but these natural ones are the best.

Final Thoughts

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In conclusion, taking care of and cleaning your acrylic nail brushes is a vital part of maintaining its performance and ensuring a flawless application. By following these simple steps, you'll keep your brushes in top-notch condition, allowing you to create stunning nail enhancements every time.

So, my fellow nail technicians, go forth and clean those brushes like a pro! Your clients will thank you, and your brushes will love you for it. Happy cleaning!

Got some cool brush-cleaning hacks or tips? Share them in the comments!