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So you’ve started dry brushing? Great, me too! It makes a huge difference in my body’s ability to detox. If you haven’t started yet, here’s more information on why it’s worth the 5 minute daily ritual.
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I’ve noticed advice on-line to discard your brush after 3 months of use and to get new one. I appreciate this advice, given where that dry brush has been, and how often.
Specifically, my favorite place to dry brush is my arm pits. There are lymph nodes located in our arm pits that when stroked release toxins. Perhaps I am especially sensitive; but I can actually feel a rush happen in my body, like a wave of die-off, when I brush the nodes under my neck, behind my ear lobes and under my arms. (The arm pits also help the body to detoxify through sweating.) I discovered, before seeing a lymphatic map, that the pubic line area has this same effect. I now know that there’s a major network of lymph nodes around the bikini area.
You get the idea. Body odor, toxins, genitalia, dry brush… after a while the thing maybe needs to be replaced.
However, I’m that girl who believes in reduce, reuse, recycle… wash. After owning my dry brush for 3 months it looked brand new. The wooden base, into which the bristles are attached, maintained complete integrity and the long wooden handle, well, of course, it showed no wear and tear. Throw it away? That seemed absurd.
I typed how to clean your dry brush and several variations of that into my search engine and came up dry. So this is the method I’ve created and I think it works great.
Goals when cleaning the brush are as follows:
- Keep all wood dry to maintain the integrity of the brush. (Wood and water are not friends.)
- Use an antibacterial agent to kill any bacteria on the bristles.
- Remove any dead skin cells that have sluffed off my skin in the past 3 months.
- If the bristles get wet during the cleaning process dry them quickly to keep the wood at their base dry and to ensure the bristles are dry for my next brushing.
Here’s my quick step-by-step cleaning method:
- Find a bowl that the brush fits into easily. Fill the bowl with water slightly lower than the bristles are tall, about 1″.
- Add 3 drops tea tree essential oil.
- Remove the handle from your dry brush. Place the brush into the water solution, bristles facing down, agitating the water gently (with a back and forth or swishing motion), moving the brush around in the sanitizing water, both freeing dead skin cells and distributing the essential oil amidst the bristles. (Essential oils don’t mix evenly into water.)
- Lift out the brush keeping the bristles facing downward. Shake it out over the sink. Add fresh water to the same bowl, rinsing the brush in the same way you washed it, with a gentle swishing motion. Discard water and shake the brush out over the sink.
The next steps are optional, for drying the brush in cold weather: double over an old dish towel. Lay the brush bristle-side down on the towel. Fold the towel over again, so the brush nests inside. Safety pin 4 points of the towel so it can’t fall out.
Place dry brush in the dryer with a load of drying clothes, preferably during the last 30 minutes of the cycle. This final step allows all the water to be absorbed into the towel and for it to dry. The towel protects the dry brush and gives it a quiet ride. Alternately, during hot, dry weather, the dry brush would dry quickly if placed outside in the fresh air and sunshine.
Lastly, if you have it, sprinkle 1 tsp. rhassoul clay over the dry bristles. Move the powder among the bristles using your fingers or by shaking and patting it. Then dump out any excess powder into the trash. This step absorbs any oil residue. A small amount of the clay will remain behind in the bristles, brushing out with the first few strokes of your next dry brushing. (Side note- Rhassoul clay is what I wash my hair with and it is great for one’s skin.)
Easy, quick, effective, earth-friendly and cheap!