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How to clean a hairbrush with products you have at home

Is your hairbrush full of tangled hair? When life gets hairy, use these methods to effectively remove hair, dust and grime from your combs and brushes.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

How to clean a hairbrush

Key steps

Always make sure that you:

  • Remove all tangled hair before cleaning.

  • Use an old toothbrush to reach between the bristles.

  • Use baking soda to remove excess grime and white vinegar to disinfect.

  • Be gentle when cleaning wooden combs and hairbrushes.

  • Always rinse and air dry thoroughly before use.

There is nothing more unpleasant than brushing your washed hair with an unclean hairbrush. Whether it's filled with entangled hair or simply dust, learning how to clean a brush comb is super important to help keep your hair and scalp healthy. Just follow our easy clean hairbrush routine if you want to find out how to remove hair from brush bristles as well as how to clean a comb quickly with everyday products you're likely to have at home!

If you own a hairbrush made out of wood, make sure that you avoid submerging it in water as it could easily get moldy.

How to remove hair from brush bristles

To successfully remove hair from hairbrush bristles, you must be thorough. Start at the bottom of your brush and use a comb to lift away the hair strands. You may also need scissors to remove heavily tangled hair from the bristles, especially if there are big clumps. When it comes to mastering how to remove hair from a brush, it’s important to avoid applying too much force to the brush, as it could break.

How to clean a hairbrush with detergent

The easiest way to get dirt, dust and oil off your hairbrush is by washing it with mild detergents, such as Surf. Just follow the 5 steps below:

  1. Start off by dampening the bristles with warm water.

  2. Give them a gentle rub with your hand.

  3. Grab a bowl of warm, soapy water and use an old toothbrush to get into all the little spaces.

  4. Soak the brush to thoroughly remove stubborn particles.

  5. Give it all a good rinse and leave to dry naturally.

The Poll

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DIY hairbrush cleaner with baking soda

Want an easy clean hairbrush hack? Here’s what we recommend; why not make your own DIY hairbrush cleaner using baking soda? All you need to do is:

  • Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of shampoo.

  • Add warm water.

  • Use your old toothbrush to spread the mixture between the bristles. The slightly abrasive properties of baking soda will remove grit and grime.

  • Finish with a thorough rinse and set aside to dry. And voila!

  • This DIY hairbrush cleaner can also be used to clean your make-up brushes!

DIY hairbrush cleaner with vinegar

Out of baking soda? Don’t worry, you can also make a DIY hairbrush cleaner using vinegar. And because hairbrush bristles are prone to picking up bacteria, the use of white vinegar is actually a great way to disinfect hairbrushes while avoiding damage. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Soak your brush in a solution made from equal parts of white vinegar and warm water.

  2. Scrub the bristles with a clean toothbrush to get into small areas.

  3. Rinse thoroughly in clean water.

  4.  Allow your hairbrush to dry naturally and ta-da!

How to clean a comb and hairbrush made out of wood

While the above methods will work well on most hairbrushes or combs made of plastic, different measures must be taken for hairbrushes and combs made out of wood. Follow the tips below to find out how to clean a brush, comb, or any other wooden hairbrush product:

  1. Be gentle and never immerse them in water over a long period of time.

  2. Rub a small amount of detergent on the top of the comb teeth or bristles and spread it with your finger.

  3. Rinse gently – using a small amount of water or a cloth dipped in water.

  4. Gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush if dirt remains and rinse again.

  5. Pat dry with kitchen towels.

And that’s it – everything you need to know about how to remove hair from brush bristles and how to clean wooden combs! Save yours from the trash by giving it a good clean with these homemade and gentle solutions.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on cleaning hairbrushes

What can I do about dust mites in a hairbrush?

A layer of dust and dust mites in a hairbrush is not good for your hair or your scalp, as every time you use it you will transfer any build-up directly to your head. A couple of simple steps to rid your brush of this build-up are as follows; remove the hair from your brush, dip and shake the brush off in a bowl of warm water and finally rinse and dry under cold water. For stubborn build-up, we recommend using a toothbrush and a little shampoo before the rinsing step.

Are there any hair brush storage ideas to keep my hair brush clean?

If you want to keep your hairbrush clean in between washes, we have a few hairbrush storage ideas. First, place your hairbrush with the bristles facing down. If you can, store it in a breathable cloth bag. Finally, keep it in a drawer or other closed space, unless you are taking it out to use it. These hairbrush storage ideas will help keep it relatively clean in between washes.

How often should you clean your hairbrush?

How often you clean your brush is dependant on the type of products you use for your hair styling. If you are a regular user of hair products such as creams, gel, or hairspray we recommend that you clean your brush at least once a week. Otherwise, every 2-3 weeks is a good routine to keep to.

How do you clean dirt from hair?

The steps for how to clean dirt from hair are simple. First, don't wash your hair everyday – but if you do notice a little build-up of dirt in between washes you can rinse your hair off with plain water. On wash days, we recommend that you use a clarifying shampoo with natural ingredients and shampoo twice. Finally, ensure that you are avoiding things that could make your hair oily, such as oil hair products, touching and brushing it too much and over-washing.

Originally published