Do Badger Shaving Brushes Smell?  2 Ways To Remove Stinks

Badger shaving brushes are the highest appreciated type of shaving brush because of the premium quality that only badger hair can offer. However, some resist buying it due to their fear of animal hair odor. Do badger shaving brushes smell for real?

The answer will be revealed right below. The post will also show you how to get rid of odor from shaving brushes. Whether your shaving brush stinks or not, these guides should help.

Whether badger shaving brushes smell is a big concern for many
Whether badger shaving brushes smell is a big concern for many

Do Badger Shaving Brushes Smell?

While badger hair brushes offer premium quality, they feature a terrible smell. It’s natural animal hair, so the odor has become a signature for this type of bristle material even when the hair is sterilized and cleaned. 

When making shaving brushes with this material, the manufacturer has to sterilize the hair before forming it into knots and mounting them to the handle. However, the manufacturer can’t always successfully remove the odor from the hair completely. 

Since badger bristles are made of real animal hair, they may still keep an animal smell. This odor will not go away immediately, even if you use odor improvement methods. Usually, the odor from the bristles will fade away gradually.

How To Stop Badger Shaving Brushes From Smelling?

There are a number of ways to get rid of the badger smell from your shaving brush. No matter which you choose, make the extra effort and implement it carefully to get the best result. 

Use Borax

Borax is also called sodium borate, and it’s a hydrated salt of boric acid. It’s most commonly used as a cleaner and is present in many household products like mouthwashes and toothpaste. 

Now, to remove the badger odor from your shaving brush, the bristles to be exact, you need other items. These include 2 cups, a teaspoon, an unused toothbrush, water, and the shaving brush you need to deal with.

  1. Take a few spoons of borax into an empty cup, then fill it with warm water. Stir to dissolve the borax.
  2. Dip your shaving brush in the solution, and leave it for at least 5 minutes. 
  3. Move the brush around in the solution, from side to side and up and down. It helps the solution get to the deepest point of the knots. 
  4. Alternately soak the brush for 5 minutes and agitate it. Repeat this process for about 30 minutes. 
  5. Take the brush out of the cup and rinse it under a running tap. This step must be carried out thoroughly to rinse the solution off completely.
  6. Squeeze and shake the brush to remove excess water. 
  7. Let it sit and air dry. 

Keep in mind that if you need to de-stink more than one brush, put them in separate cups with their own solution. Do not dip one after another because the solution will be full of unwanted stuff after you dip the first one. 

Soak the bristles in a borax-water solution
Soak the bristles in a borax-water solution

Use Shaving Soap

In this method, you can use soap to de-stink your badger shaving brush. 

  1. Soak the bristles in slightly warm water for about 1 minute. 
  2. Squeeze the bristles to remove excess water. 
  3. Lather up the brush with shaving soap in a small bowl. Make sure the lather gets all over the bristles leaving no spot behind. 
  4. Rinse the brush thoroughly. Don’t forget to squeeze the bristles to get the excess water out. 
  5. Repeat the process three times or until you no longer smell badger from your shaving brush.  

It’s worth noting that these methods also work for shaving brushes made of other types of animal hair, such as boar brushes. So, if you are wondering, “How do you get smell out of boar shaving brush?”, there’s your answer.

Shaving soap can remove the badger smell, too
Shaving soap can remove the badger smell, too

Use Shampoo And Conditioner

The process of de-stinking badger hair shaving brushes using shampoo is similar to using shaving soap. 

  1. Soak the bristles in lukewarm water. 
  2. Remove excess water by squeezing the bristles. 
  3. In a small bowl, put some shampoo and lather up the brush. Make sure the lather gets all over the bristles leaving no spot behind. 
  4. Rinse the brush thoroughly. Don’t forget to squeeze the bristles to get the excess water out. 
  5. Apply conditioner all over the bristles and let it sit for a while. Then, rinse off with water.
  6. Repeat the process three times or until you no longer smell badger from your shaving brush. 

Use Essential Oil

A few drops of essential oil on your shaving brush can help take over the badger odor and gradually remove the smell. You can choose an oil of your liking but it should have a strong scent to cancel out the animal smell.

Alternative To Badger Shaving Brushes

If you don’t want to face the risk of badger smell at all, you can opt for another option. Refer to the following options.

Keep in mind that all of these options cannot compete with badger hair in terms of lathering and skin feel. They are suitable when the smell is too much to bear or when you need an alternative while waiting for the brush to de-stink.

  • Synthetic Shaving Brushes

This is the best alternative to badger shaving brushes. Synthetic shaving brushes are made with nylon bristles, which doesn’t involve any animal hair. This way, you don’t need to worry that your shaving brush will smell at all. 

  • Your Hands

Your hands are probably the safest alternatives in terms of smell. You can easily make sure your hands don’t stink, or it’s very easy to get rid of any unpleasant smell. 

Plus, lathering is quick and simple when you use your hands. However, it’s not always convenient, especially if you are lathering and you need your hands to do another thing, like answering a call.

  • Washcloth

A washcloth is far less efficient than a shaving brush in lathering. It takes longer to form a lather and the lather will be thinner. That said, there are zero risks of stink smells when you use a washcloth in place of a badger shaving brush. 


Hopefully, you can now answer this question, “Do badger shaving brushes smell?” Badger shaving brushes can be stinky if their manufacturers fail to deal with the odor. This smell comes from a natural, real badger. 

If you unluckily buy a stinky badger shaving brush, don’t panic. With some soap, shampoo, or borax, and a little effort, you can make the brush odor-free within a short time.

Lee Cantor

Provide the best shaving product reviews and shaving advices to the wetshaving community and friends.

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