Home How to How to Clean Hair Brushes the Right Way? [A Step-By-Step Guide]

How to Clean Hair Brushes the Right Way? [A Step-By-Step Guide]

How to Clean Hair Brushes the Right Way? [A Step-By-Step Guide]

If the bristles on your hairbrush are lost in a sea of hair, it’s time to clean it. The buildup of products, dead skin cells, and loose hair all contribute to a hairbrush that not only looks bad but could be doing more harm than good to your freshly washed hair. So you need to know How to Clean Hair Brushes.

With a few easy steps, you can get rid of the places where dirt and bacteria could grow on your favorite hairbrush. This will help you get healthier hair. Here’s what you need to know about how to clean hairbrushes and keep your scalp healthy so that your hair is healthier from root to tip. Taking a few minutes to clean your hairbrushes will make you look better, and this simple method will help you do it.

Why is it Important to Clean Your Hairbrush?

No matter how often you use it, your hairbrush can soak up water like a sponge. This means that its bristles can pick up all kinds of residue, both from your hair and from the outside world.

Leave-in conditioners, gels, and hairsprays that you put on your hair can build up and stick to the bristles of your brush. Your brush also has dead skin cells on it, which can get on your hair each time you use it.

Every day, hair falls out. The American Academy of Dermatology says that it’s normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs every day. There can be a lot of this hair at the bottom of the brush.

Soot, dust, and other dirty things in the air can also stick to your hairbrush and build up over time. If the bristles are already covered in oil or sticky hair products, it can make it even easier for hair particles to stick to your hairbrush.

If you don’t clean your hairbrush often, all this gunk can get stuck in your hair every time you use it. So, a dirty hairbrush may find it harder to do its job and make your hair look its best.

What Should You Use to Clean Your Hair Tools? 

  • Clarifying Shampoo: This shampoo is made to get rid of oily residue and dirt on the scalp, and it will also make it easy to clean hair brushes.
  • Liquid Soap: Use castile soap to clean the hairbrush and get rid of the sticky gunk. Castile soap is made from plants and has no chemicals in it.
  • Baby Shampoo: Baby shampoos are gentle and a great way to clean hair tools like brushes and combs without having to use them.
  • Baking Soda: Before you wash your hair brushes, add a tablespoon of baking soda to your shampoo. It is natural, safe, and works well as a home remedy for getting rid of dirt.
  • Disinfectants: Because hair tools are used so often, salons and parlors use disinfectants that are strong enough for an industrial setting. Also, a new hair brush sanitizer that uses UV light to kill germs has just been patented.

Are you using your hairbrush after it has reached its best? It is suggested that you get a new hairbrush every two years. We have a list that will help you decide when you need a new hair brush. Read on to find out more!

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How to Clean a Hairbrush?

If you use a dirty hairbrush on your hair, the dirt, oils, and product buildup can make your hair look dull, flat, and greasy. It goes without saying that you should clean your hairbrush, but that begs the question: how do you really clean a hairbrush? The bad news is that it’s not that hard.

Follow these easy steps to get rid of extra hair and buildup on your hairbrush.

Remove the Hair

Use your fingers to pull out the hair that is stuck in the bristles of the brush. If the stuck hair is very thick or hard to get out, you can try cutting it out with scissors. Katharine Boss, a hairstylist in Los Angeles and owner of the Freija Collective salon, uses the pointy end of a comb. You could also use chopsticks, a pen, or something else with a point. Getting rid of hair will help break up some of the bigger clumps of dust and scalp oil, making it easier to get to the smaller, more stuck-on pieces later.

You should actually make it a habit to clean your brush every time you use it since a brush full of hair can damage your hair. Gaunitz warned, “As the hair gets tangled in the brush, it will make brushing more difficult.” “That makes the pulling action stronger, which could cause more breaking or shedding.”

Get Your Sink or Bucket Ready

Fill a sink that isn’t being used or a large, clean bucket with hot water and a few drops of shampoo or mild soap. You don’t need to add a lot of product, but you do want some suds to rise.

Soak Your Brush

Put your brush in water and let it soak. Don’t soak a brush with a wooden handle, though, because the wood will split.

How long your brush needs to soak will depend on how often you clean it. You can soak your brush for 5–10 minutes if you clean it often. Soak your brush for 30 minutes to get a better clean.

Scrub and Pick

After you soak your brush, it should be easier to get rid of most of the gross stuff on it. Scrub between the bristles and along the base of the brush with a toothbrush or your fingers. When you need to, dip the brush into the water. You might have to use your fingers to slide any gunk that sticks to the bristles up each one.

Rinse and Dry

Now that you’ve finished the horrifying task of cleaning up your own waste, rinse the brush under running water to get rid of any soapy leftovers. Make sure to rinse the brush well because whatever is left on it will go back on your head.

Repeatedly squeeze your wet brush to get rid of any water that got into the soft part. “You don’t want water to get stuck in your brush, because that could cause bacteria to grow,” said Boss. Don’t worry if there is still some moisture left—whatever you can’t get out with your hands will evaporate. Just put the brush bristles down on a towel, and it should dry fine.

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Brush Still Dirty? Try a Vinegar Deep Clean

The best way to keep your hairbrush in good shape is to deep clean it often, but sometimes soap and water can’t get rid of the grime that’s built up in the bristles. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that does a great job of getting rid of tough buildup on brushes.

Just put the bristles in a cup of vinegar for 30 minutes, and then rinse them well under warm water. If the buildup is really tough, you may need to do this process more than once.

How to Clean Wooden Brushes

Most of the steps for a wooden brush are the same. But you can’t soak a brush made of wood. To get started, grab:

  • Comb with a pointed end
  • Oil of tea tree

Follow these steps to clean a wooden brush quickly.

  • Use a pointy comb to get as much hair and dust out as you can.
  • Brush the bristles to get any dust-out.
  • Mix together 5–10 drops of tea tree oil and warm water.
  • Soak the brush’s bristles for ten to twenty minutes. (Just get the bristles wet.)
  • Tap the bristles against a towel in a gentle way to get the water out.
  • Put the bristle of the brush on a towel to dry.

How to Clean Synthetic Brushes and Plastic Combs?

How to Clean Hair Brushes

  • If you need to, you can use tweezers, your fingers, or a pintail comb to pull out the dead hairs from the brush.
  • Fill the sink or a big bowl with warm water, and then add about two tablespoons of shampoo. Use a mixture of hot water and gentle shampoo to clean a brush or comb. You can move the comb or brush around in the water to make suds.
  • Soak the brush or comb for about 15 minutes in soapy water.
  • If you have a product that won’t come off your comb or brush, try dipping an old toothbrush into dry baking soda and using the gritty mixture to scrub the product off.
  • Use warm water to wash the brush or comb well. Give it a good shake to get rid of any extra water, and then put it on a towel with the bristles pointing down.
  • Let it sit overnight to dry.
  • Mix a little bit of white vinegar or rubbing alcohol with clean water in a sink or bowl. This will kill any bacteria that is still there. Use the solution to soak the bristles or comb. Let it dry in the air overnight or until it is totally dry. Paddle brushes with soft bases tend to hold water, so make sure each one is completely dry.

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Hairbrushes

  1. Skipping regular cleanings. Every hairbrush should be cleaned at least once a month, and more often if you have long hair, use a lot of hair products, have dandruff or another condition of the scalp, or have a lot of hair products in your hair.
  2. Soaking a wooden hairbrush. If you soak a hairbrush with a wooden handle, the wood can split and the bristles can come loose. You should also never soak a wooden comb.
  3. Using high temperatures. Do not clean or dry a hairbrush with water or heat that is too hot. Natural bristles can lose their shape or melt, and high heat kills the oils in synthetic bristles.
  4. Using alcohol to clean natural bristles. The natural oils in boar bristles can be dried out with isopropyl alcohol.
  5. Ignoring the handle. Don’t forget to clean both the brush head and the handle. The handle gets all the germs that are on your hands.

How to Clean a Hairbrush if You Have Dandruff

Dandruff is a skin condition in which flakes of skin come off your scalp and stick to your hair and clothes. It is usually easy to treat with medicated shampoos, and it does not spread to other people. It can, however, make your hairbrush look ugly.

If you have dandruff, wash your hairbrush once a week to keep skin flakes from sticking to your hair again. Follow the simple instructions above for how to clean your type of hairbrush.

How Often Should Hair Brushes Be Cleaned?

You take time and care to style your hair, so it deserves a hairbrush that is spotless. If the bristles are buried under a bunch of shed hair, your brush won’t work as well, and it might be hard to style your hair. Clean out the hair from your brush as needed, but know that it’s not something you have to do every day. Aguirre says that you should do this job about once a month, or more often if you shed a lot or have a lot of buildups.

When is it Time to Replace Your Hairbrush?

Even if you clean and take care of your hairbrush regularly, it will eventually wear out and need to be thrown away. A good brush can last for years, but Aguirre says you should buy a new one when the bristles are worn down and the brush doesn’t seem to clean your hair well enough.

“Technology changes so often that you might just need a new brush,” says Aguirre. “If your brush is older than five years, you might want to get a new one for yourself and your hair.”

But buying a new brush does more for your hair than just giving you a clean slate. Aguirre says, “You’ll be surprised how a simple purchase can make your hair look and feel healthier.”

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What is The White Stuff on Your Comb?

When you brush your hair, you may see that it has picked up some “white stuff” from your scalp. This is a mix of the buildup of product and minerals on your hair, dead skin cells, and maybe even dandruff.

When you use hard water, minerals stick to your scalp and are hard to get rid of with shampoo. These can even cause your hair to get heavy and break over time.

Using a product that “de-mineralizes” can help get rid of this mineral buildup and get rid of the grease on your scalp. When you use a comb on hair with product and mineral residue, you may see white or grey lint.

Tips for Keeping Your Hairbrush Clean Longer

  • As with any kind of cleaning, maintenance is key. The more often you clean your hairbrush, the less often you’ll need to deep clean it, and the better your hair will look.
  • You might want to buy a cleaning spray or soap for your hairbrush. These are sold at most drug stores.
  • Don’t use your hairbrush if your hair is especially dirty, greasy, or full of hair products.
  • Before you brush your hair, use a clarifying shampoo to get rid of any extra oil that might get caught in the bristles of your brush.


It’s important to keep your hair brushes and combs clean so they can help you style your hair better. Use lukewarm water and a few drops of shampoo to clean a hairbrush. This will give it a good clean without hurting it. If there is extra hair stuck in the bristles, first loosen it with a strong comb. After each use, you should pull out any loose hair. Also, wash your brush or comb about once every one to two weeks. Follow these easy steps to keep your hair brushes and combs in great shape.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to Clean Hair Brushes

Why Is There Fuzz in My Hairbrush?

Sebum, dead skin cells, hair product residues, and old hair make up the fuzz on our hairbrush. When we brush our hair over and over, they mix together, settles, and become what we call “fuzz.”

Can a dirty hair brush cause hair loss?

When dirt builds up on hair brushes, it can hurt the health of your hair and scalp. Even after you wash your hair, a dirty hairbrush can make your scalp dirty. If you keep doing this, your scalp and hair can get hurt. In turn, this leads to hair loss.

Can a dirty hair brush cause greasy hair?

If you don’t clean your hairbrush often, oil, dirt, and hair products that have built up on it will stick to your hair. If you use the same dirty brush on your hair a lot, it can get greasy.

How to disinfect a hairbrush or a comb?

Adding one or two drops of tea tree essential oil to the water and soap is an easy way to clean hair styling tools.

Use a hard toothbrush that you only use for this purpose to clean your teeth better. Before you rub the bristles and pad, put a drop of tea tree essential oil on the bristles or soak the brush in white vinegar. Rinse your brush well, and then let it dry on its own, bristles down, away from a heat source.

What do you soak hair brushes in to clean them?

Either one part ammonia and four parts warm water or one part vinegar and four parts water can be used to fill your sink or a bucket. Give your brush or comb about 10 minutes to soak. Rinse it well to get all of the cleaning solutions out. Just let it dry naturally, and you’re done.

What do professional makeup artists use to clean their brushes?

One of Sandev’s favorite cleaners is Ben Nye’s Brush Cleaner, which is used by professionals and on stage. The alcohol-based cleaner cleans brushes and removes oil-based makeup very well.

When should you throw away your hairbrush?

How often you should replace your hairbrush depends on the type of brush and how well you take care of it, but a good rule of thumb is about every six months. When it’s time to say goodbye, you can tell by looking at your brush every time you clean it.

Why shouldn’t you brush your hair every day?

Advocates say that brushing your hair too much can damage it and cause split ends and breaks, which can lead to hair loss. People say that if you don’t brush your hair, it will stay strong, healthy, and even look better.

Is vinegar good for cleaning hair brushes?

It does a lot to kill germs and makes your brushes smell nice after you clean them. Put two tablespoons of white vinegar in a cup of hot water to make a cleaning solution. Wash the tip of your brush in the mixture, and then rinse it in lukewarm water.