How Do You Clean Gel Nail Brushes: The Ultimate Guide

How Do You Clean Gel Nail Brushes: The Ultimate Guide

You’re a gel fanatic, too, right? We thought so 😏. And we bet you’ve probably even dabbled in doing them yourself. Gel is difficult to master and perfect, but when done right, the results are beautiful, ethereal nails.

Like any art, taking care of your tools is essential. When you're doing gel nails, your brushes are an extension of you, so making sure they’re clean is important to your practice. Think of it like self-care for your favorite nail art companions 🛁 .

So, how do you clean gel nail brushes? VBP has got you covered. Keep reading for your step-by-step guide to the process, along with plenty of tips and tricks for this art. And when we say art, we do mean art, like Monet 🧑‍🎨.

How Often Should You Clean Your Brushes?

There’s no hard and fast rule for how often you should engage in a deep clean, so use your best judgment and devise a schedule that works for you. Just make sure that you do so regularly.

Since gel gives you the added benefit of crazy-sturdy nails that last longer—if only our Tinder dates were as dependable as gel nails—you also want your brushes to have those qualities. That’s why we clean them! Enough said.

What Do You Clean Gel Nail Brushes With?

You should use our One Step Gel and cleansing alcohol to clean your gel nail brushes. It’s incredibly gentle and effective. Plus, you might already have some in your drawer (especially if you do nails). 

Never use monomer or acetone both as these are much harsher and can damage your brushes. Both of these is great for dissolving stubborn uncured polish or gel paints. Still, sometimes you need something heavy-duty deep cleaning. 

Step-by-Step Guide for How to Clean Your Brush for Gel Nails

Now, we’re going to get into the process. Your perfect brush cleaning system may vary in detail, but these are general guidelines to follow to get your brushes soft and clean again.

How to Clean Your Brushes In-Between Uses

Don’t leave when we tell you this: wipe your brushes off after every use! It’s how you can easily extend their life. We want them to be practically immortal, right? And not in a creepy zombie way 🧟. 

Luckily, the everyday process couldn’t be easier. Just use a lint-free cloth to remove the excess gel after each use. Use the same cloth to wipe the bristles down. Then, use a cotton pad to clean off the handle and remove any sticky residue (nobody likes sticky hands ✋).

How to Deep Clean Your Brushes

Regularly cleaning your brushes is essential to keeping them in the best condition possible. Here’s an easy three-step process. 

1. Saturate a Cotton Pad in Your Chosen Cleaning Solution

Dab a bit of alcohol onto a cotton pad and wrap the tip of the brush with foil. Give it 30 seconds to soak in. You don’t want the pad to be dripping wet, just lightly saturated. If you don’t have a cotton pad on hand, try using a foil nail wrap.

2. Clean the Brush’s Handle

Swipe that cotton pad over the handle of your brush, taking care not to touch the bristles (yet). 

3. Clean the Bristles of the Brush

Now set the cotton pad down and gently swipe your brush over it. 10 swipes back and forth are generally enough to get most of the gel off. Make sure to be very gentle! Switch to a lint free nail wipe and repeat the process this will get rid of the lint from the cotton. Proceed to apply a layer of our One Step Gel that has an inhibition layer to keep the bristles moist.

Cleaning Gel Nail Brushes vs. Acrylic Nail Brushes

The biggest difference between gel nail brushes and acrylic nail brushes is what they’re made of. The natural hair fibers that make most acrylic nail brushes are super delicate, so you have to be careful when cleaning acrylic brushes. These brushes are resistant to acetone while gel brushes aren’t. 


Gel nail brushes usually use synthetic fibers, so they’re more durable if you take care of them properly. But you do have to  keep them away from UV/ LED light you use when doing a gel manicure. Otherwise, you’ll zombify them forever!

How Do You Extend the Lifespan of Your Brushes?

So, we mentioned zombifying. Let’s be super clear here: keep them away from the UV/LED light, or the bristles will harden, and you will have to throw that brush away. To extend the lifespan of your brushes, clean them regularly, maintain moist and keep them away from the (UV/LED) light!  


You should also store them with the handle facing down if you’re storing them in a cup or brush holder. This protects the bristles from getting smashed.

Signs that It’s Time to Clean Your Brushes

If you notice the bristles of your brush getting hard and find that it’s affecting the quality of your work, it’s time for some deep, deep, cleaning. You can also tell that your brushes need cleaning if lots of residue gel paint or polish is left in the bristles—gross! 

Looking for the Perfect Set of Gel Nail Brushes? Check Out VBP

We’ve covered the importance of having good, well-maintained tools. But are you looking for the perfect set of gel nail brushes? VBP has some of the best in the business. Don’t settle for anything less than the best—tools make or break your manicure!


Browse our selection of brushes and find your perfect fit today.