A Guide to cleaning and caring for your brushes


Today, we're delving into Brushes, how to clean, why to clean, and everything in between. Now, you might be thinking, "Brush cleaning? That doesn't sound like the most thrilling aspect of nail artistry." And you're not wrong. But here's the thing: while it may not be as flashy as experimenting with new colours or mastering intricate designs, keeping your gel polish brushes squeaky clean is essential for maintaining the integrity of your work and ensuring consistently flawless results.

In this guide, we peel back the layers of brush cleaning and uncover why it's so crucial for your nail art endeavours. We'll explore the multifaceted benefits of keeping your brushes pristine, from preserving their longevity to enhancing the quality of your gel polish applications. So first things first… why is it important to keep brushes clean? 


Preventing Cross-Contamination: Dirty brushes are like tiny carriers of potential hazards, capable of transferring bacteria, dust, or debris from one client's nails to another. This increases the risk of infections, making thorough cleaning an absolute must to safeguard your clients' well-being.

Maintaining Product Integrity: Think of your brushes as the unsung heroes behind every flawless gel polish application. Residue buildup can compromise their performance, resulting in uneven application, streaks, or lumps that detract from the final look. Regular cleaning ensures that your brushes remain in peak condition, ready to deliver consistent, professional results every time.

Ensuring Quality Application: Clean brushes are the secret to achieving that coveted salon-quality finish. They glide effortlessly over the nail surface, allowing for smooth and precise application of the product. 

Extending Brush Lifespan: Your brushes are an investment in your craft, and proper care is key to maximising their longevity. Regular cleaning not only keeps them looking pristine but also helps to preserve the integrity of the bristles.  


  •  Diluted alcohol (IPA or isopropyl alcohol)
  • A clear gel like a base coat or top coat 
  •  A lint-free wipe
  •  A solid lint-free surface like a nail art palette

Note: acetone is a big no, why might you ask? Acetone can damage your brushes, dehydrating bristles and in the worst case causing them to dissolve, but fear not! We've got a top tip: swap acetone for 100% alcohol. Just remember this crucial point: dilute it down to a 90% solution with water to keep your bristles hydrated and intact. 


Let's delve into the cleaning process, we're going to explore two effective methods: wiping and flushing. Wiping can be performed either dry or wet, using alcohol. Flushing, on the other hand, involves using alcohol or gel.


To efficiently clean your brushes, wiping is the preferred method. Here's how to handle different scenarios:

When transitioning between colours, a dry wipe with a lint-free cloth suffices to remove excess gel residue.

For heavily pigmented or glittery colours, a wet wipe is recommended. Moisten a lint-free wipe with alcohol and use it to gently squeeze out the gel residue from the brush.


For a thorough cleaning of your brush, you'll need to utilise clear gel or a combination of alcohol and clear gel. Allowing you to complete a deeper clean on your brushes.  

When flushing the brush to remove colour or gel residue, immerse it in clear gel until the unwanted product is released to your satisfaction.

If your brush has become stiff, soak it in a shallow amount of alcohol to loosen the residue. Then, dry wipe it, flush it in gel, dry wipe again, and repeat until the bristles regain their softness and can be separated easily.


Last step, After all that cleaning it's important that your brushes are stored effectively Storing your brushes properly is essential for maintaining their quality and extending their lifespan. Proper storage helps prevent damage to the bristles and maintains the shape and integrity of the brush. If brushes become bent when stored incorrectly and the dry wipe or flushing doesn't fix it, dip the brush in boiling hot water and they will usually return to normal.

When it comes to storing your brushes, a simple trick can make a big difference. Condition the brush with a bit of clear gel before storing. This little step helps prevent brushes from stiffening up too quickly and keeps them fresh for longer. 


In conclusion, while brush cleaning may not be the most glamorous aspect of nail artistry, its importance cannot be overstated. From preventing cross-contamination to maintaining product integrity and ensuring quality application, keeping your gel polish brushes clean is essential for achieving flawless results and safeguarding your clients' well-being.

To get started, remember to avoid using acetone and opt for 100% alcohol instead, diluted to a 90% solution with water to keep your bristles hydrated. When it comes to cleaning methods, wiping and flushing are the two effective techniques to explore.

For storage, conditioning your brushes with a bit of clear gel before storing can help maintain their quality and extend their lifespan, ensuring they're always ready for your next nail art masterpiece.

So, next time you're tempted to skip the brush cleaning step, remember the crucial role it plays in your nail art journey. With a little care and attention, you can keep your brushes in top condition and ensure flawless results every time.