How to Clean Hair Brush – Fast & Easy

Cleaning your hair brushes should be at the top of your cleaning to-do list if it isn’t already. Do you not know how to? Worry not, I am here to enlighten you on how to clean your hair brush.

You make use of your hairbrush daily for easy circulation of your hair’s natural oils, as well as any hair-styling product you use for your hair. These oils and products leave residue and they build up on your brush as you continue to use the hairbrush every day. 

Asides from that, the strands of hair that naturally fall out of your scalp and the dead skin cells from your scalp sum up in your hairbrush as well. Let me not even start to mention bits of dust and other environmental junk that end up on your hair and then on to your brush as you brush your hair. 

All these elements and debris buildup may affect how well your hairbrush works and also, it will pass on the dirt to your hair strands. If you have recently noticed your hair looking greasy, it could be because your hairbrush is transferring the buildup to your hair.

Regular cleaning of your hairbrush will help to rid the brush and scalp of dirt, the residue of hair products, and oils. 

How to Clean Your Hair Brush

clean hair brush

After you have just washed your hair, the last thing you want is for the junk and dirt on your hairbrush to end up on your clean hair. Also, cleaning your hairbrush would mean that all the hair strands that are stuck in the brush bristles will be removed. 

So now that you know why there is a need for you to regularly clean your hairbrush, you must be wondering how to deep clean your hairbrush. Fret not, It’s as easy as learning to recite abc! It does not take much time to clean a hairbrush and once you have tried it, it becomes easier the next time.

What you need for this:

  • Bowl of warm water
  • Gentle shampoo
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Old toothbrush
  • Rat tail comb (optional)

1. Remove Stuck Hair From the Brush

To do this, use the tail of a rat tail comb to push out and remove fallen hair strands from the root of the brush. If you don’t have a rat tail comb in your possession,  you can make use of any pointy object such as a pen or pencil. 

You can pull out the hair with your fingers. However, if any strand is tangled and is hard to remove, you can cut it using a pair of scissors. Do this weekly, or as soon as you notice hair building up on your brush. 

2. Create Your MIX

shampoo and hotwater mixture

Once you’ve done the first step, you’ll need to create a cleaning recipe. Mix a few drops of mild shampoo and warm water in a small bowl. You can also add 1 or 2 teaspoons of baking soda into the mixture. Blend up the mixture in a cup and voilà! You are ready to clean.

3. Dip the Brush in the MIX

Insert the brush into the soapy water and let it saturate for 5 to 10 minutes. Dip the brush in the water and shake it several times. Doing this will loosen and eliminate the oils, dead skin cells, and product residue buildup from the comb. 

4. Use an Old Toothbrush to Scrub

Get hold of an old toothbrush and gently scrub off any buildup. Dip the toothbrush into your soapy water, then gently scrub the bristles of your brush. When you are done cleaning the brush thoroughly with a toothbrush, rinse the bristles with clean water and air dry the toothbrush.

If your brush is very dirty, use the old toothbrush to clean both the root and bristles of the brush. Dip the toothbrush into the soapy water and scrub every single bristle, starting from the root of the bristle and work your way up. 

SEE: Simple Tips to Make Your Hair Less Greasy

5. Rinse and Air Dry Your Brush

clean hair brush

Once you are done cleaning your hairbrush, rinse it thoroughly with cool water or, you can simply drizzle a little water on the brush and dry it with a cloth.

Air-dry the brush by letting the bristles face down, on a clean cloth or towel.

How to Clean a Hair Brush With Lice

If you have ever dealt with head lice, you may want to know how to clean a hairbrush that’s infested with lice. 

How to do it:

  • Wipe the brush with a paper towel
  • Now place the brush in a bowl of hot water to kill the remaining lice in the brush.
  • Let the brush sit in the bowl of hot water for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the brush and dry it.
  • After it’s completely dry, pour alcohol over it.
  • Now let the brush air dry.

How to Clean a Hair Brush With Dandruff

If you’re battling dandruff, you need to clean your hairbrush more often. 

Clean your brush every week. If you find out that there’s still residue that’s stuck in the bristles, try to deep clean your brush.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Prepare a bowl of warm water. 
  • Insert the brush in warm, soapy water and let it soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Allow the water to break down the residue buildup in the brush before using your fingers to brush through the bristles.


  • Soak the brush in warm water.
  • Pour in one teaspoon each of white vinegar and dish soap. 
  • Let the brush soak in the water for an hour.
  • Rinse the brush well with warm water and air dry it by laying it on a clean cloth or towel.

How to Clean Sturdy Plastic Brushes

This cleaning method is best for vented brushes and combs made of thick plastic. This means that the brush is without wood or natural materials. 

You’ll need:

  • A toothbrush
  • Hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon of shampoo
  • 1 Tablespoon of baking soda
  • A large bowl


  • Mix the water, shampoo, and baking soda in the large bowl. 
  • Put your brush(es) in the mixture and let them soak for about 20 minutes or so.
  • Scrub the base and bristles or the brush with an old toothbrush. Do this for a few minutes to break down and remove any remaining gunk. 
  • Once you feel that the brush is clean enough, rinse it well under clean water and air dry it.

SEE: Best Hair Color for Brown Skin And Its Unique Shades

How to Clean Plastic & Metal Brushes

This cleaning method is best for brushes such as paddle brushes, round brushes, and wet brushes. Only use this method if your brush is made of plastic and metal. 

You’ll need:

  • A toothbrush
  • Hot water
  • 1 tablespoon of shampoo
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda


  • Add a tablespoon of shampoo and baking soda into the hot water, and mix. 
  • Place the old toothbrush into the cleaning solution and use it to scrub the hairbrush bristles and the root. 
  • Scrub the entire brush gently, but thoroughly.
  • When you are done cleaning the brush, dip the old toothbrush into clean water and return to brush over any soapy areas of the hairbrush to “rinse” them clean. 
  • Dry the brush with a towel and place it over the towel to air dry it completely. 

How to Clean Wooden Brushes & Natural Bristles

wooden brush

This cleaning method is the best one to use for cleaning hairbrushes if the brush has a wood handle or natural bristles. It’s a gentle method to use for cleaning delicate brushes without causing any damage to them.

You’ll need:

  • A toothbrush
  • Hot water
  • 5 drops of tea tree essential oil


  • Pour the drops of tea tree oil into the hot water and stir it. 
  • Put your toothbrush into the water, and gently brush the bristles and handle of the hairbrush with it.
  • Don’t make use of too much water mixture, you need to keep cleaning as waterless as possible. 
  • Once you’re done with the cleaning, wipe the brush with a clean dry cloth, then air dries the brush laying it bristle-side down on a towel.

SEE: Home Remedies + Tips for Faster Hair Growth

How to Clean a Comb

Cleaning a comb is so easy. Simply pull out any excess hair from between the teeth of the comb and soak the comb in warm soapy water for a few minutes. 

You can also buff off any excess product residue build-up by using an old toothbrush to brush it. It’s as simple as that.

Why Is It Important to Clean Your Hair Brush?

Using your hairbrush daily hooks all of the residue of hair products from your hair, and the environment in its bristles. Leave-in conditioners, styling gels, and hairsprays are hair products that can build up on your hair and cause residues to stick to the bristles of your brush. 

Dust and other particles in the environment can also live on your hairbrush and build up with time. It is very easy for these particles to stick to your hairbrush If the bristles are already coated in oily or sticky hair products.

What Happens If I Don’t?

Refusing to clean your hairbrush regularly will cause all this residue to get deposited in your hair every time you use your hairbrush. If your brush is filled with residue and product buildup, brushing your hair with it will result in you adding dirt and oils back into your hair. 

SEE: Protect Your Hair’s Natural Oil With Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you clean your brush?

There are no regulations as to how often to clean a hairbrush. It all depends on the kinds of hair products you use on your hair and how often you apply them.

If you apply styling creams, gels, or hairspray to your hair often, it is best to clean your hairbrush at least once every week.

However, if you don’t use that much hair product on your hair, try to clean your brush every 2 weeks. You can try to always try to remove the hair strands that have accumulated in the bristles of your brush.

What can be used to clean hair brushes?

I would recommend using shampoo dishwashing soap and warm water to clean your combs and brushes.

If you’re going to make use of shampoo, ensure that it is clarifying. This would help break down any residue buildup in the bristles of the brush. A mild shampoo works well too. Dish soap works to clean brushes.

Should I boil my hair brush?

No, you shouldn’t. You can soak your brushes in hot water but do not boil them. 

Your goal is to clean your brushes, not to ruin them. Plastics melt at a point where the temperature of boiling water reaches or precedes 212° F.  Ensure that you do not boil your plastic brushes, otherwise,  they will melt and become unusable.


Hairbrushes collect dirt, oil, hair, and buildup of these residues anytime you brush your hair. However, you can easily neglect your hairbrush and completely forget to include it in your cleaning to-do list. 

It is important to clean your brush regularly as this will promote healthy hair and make your hair look its best without any unwanted oils, dirt, or other hair product residue. To properly care for your hair, ensure that you clean your hairbrush regularly.

Follow the step-by-step guide in the article for your type of hairbrush and get rid of all the unwanted particles in the bristles of your brush. 

Thanks for reading.

Liked the article you just read? Visit Africana Fashion for more fashion and beauty guides.