How to clean your hair brush

How to clean your hair brush

When was the last time you cleaned your hair brush?

Having a clean hair brush is really important for healthy, shiny hair. We spend our money and time on hair appointments, bleaching, cut and blow drys and high-quality shampoos and conditioners. Yet we overlook the basic tools we use every day. You wouldn’t want to have a shower in a dirty tub, so why would you want to use a dirty hair brush? 

Hair brushes are often forgotten about when it comes to our beauty routines, but it’s important to build it in to make sure you’re keeping your hair at its best. We use all sorts of hair products in our everyday lives from dry shampoo to styling wax and hair spray. All of these products can build up over time and you’re then transferring them onto your fresh, clean hair! Luckily, it’s easy to deep clean your hairbrushes at home using products you’ve probably already got.

We’ve put together this guide to help you make the most out of your hair brushes.  So whether you need to clean your detangling brush, plastic comb or anything in between, we’ve got you covered!


How to remove hair from your hair brush

Hair can get stuck in your brush along with dust, dirt and general bacteria. Being able to untangle the hair out of your brush is the first step in a good cleaning routine, but how do you do it?

Find the right tool: You need to ensure you’re equipped with the right tool to remove hair from your brush safely without damaging it. We recommend using something called a rat tail comb, which is a comb with a long pointed end. No problem if you don’t have one of those, as you can use any thin pointed object such as a clean pen or pencil. 

Pull the hair out: Gently ease the comb or other item underneath the hair and start to pull the hair out. If there’s a lot of hair, do this in sections to ensure you don’t damage the brush. 

Cut out if needed: Sometimes hair won’t budge and in that case, use a pair of scissors to cut the hair out of the brush, and then pull the strands out. Be careful not to cut the bristles or the brush itself.


What can be used to clean your hair brush?

There are no hard or fast rules when it comes to what you can clean your hair brush with. The good thing is that you will probably have something suitable knocking around in your kitchen or bathroom: you don’t need to go out and buy a specific item for that use only.  

Hot water

Beware of cleaning your brushes with boiling water. Whether your brushes are made of plastic or wood, pouring boiling water could damage them beyond repair. If you want to use just water to clean your brushes, make sure you leave it to cool for a few minutes before soaking your brushes.  


Combine warm water with a squirt of clarifying shampoo and leave to soak. You could also use dish soap or antibacterial hand soap, which, let’s face it, we all have an abundance of at home.  

Our step by step guide on how to clean your hair brush

So now you’re armed with your cleaning product of choice, and you’ve gathered together all your brushes, hard bristle, plastic, and the rest. How do you get your brushes into tip-top condition?

Pre-cleanse your brush

This includes getting as much of the dirt and grime out of your hair brush as you can. Remove the hair as we mentioned before with a rat tail comb or similar object. Then use tweezers to remove any large clumps of dusty and dirty debris. Once you’ve finished, tap your brush against the side of a bin and any remaining visible debris should fall off. 


Wash and soak the hair brush

Fill up a sink or a bowl with warm water and add in your cleaning agent. Let your brush soak for five minutes or so before you start washing it. Use a clean and unused toothbrush to gently scrub at your brush to get rid of any remaining debris or hair, starting at the base of the bristles and moving up. 


Rinse and air dry

Once you’re satisfied that you have sterilised your brush, give it a good rinse with clean, warm water. Pop on a clean, dry towel and leave to air dry, preferably overnight. Then enjoy using your clean hair brush the next day!


What about different types of brushes?

There are so many different hair types and textures, we will all have a variety of different hair brushes on our dressing tables. So should we be taking different steps for other types of brushes? Yes!


Detangler brushes

Those of us with tangle-prone hair will no doubt have a detangling brush in our beauty toolkit. Plastic detangler brushes can be cleaned with the same care and attention as any others. We recommend leaving them upright to dry so that the bristles don’t get damaged. 


Paddle brushes

When you clean a paddle hair brush you want to make sure that you don’t submerge the base completely as you don’t want the cushion to get water stuck in it, as it could get mouldy. Once you’ve cleaned and rinsed it, pop it bristle-facing down on a towel. This is so that any excess water can drain out of the cushion. 


Round brushes

Place the round brush in the warm, soapy water and swill for 30 seconds. For an even better clean, rub two round brushes together; this technique really gets deep into the bristles and removes any product buildup. 


Wooden brushes

Avoid soaking wooden brushes at all costs, as this could warp or damage the wood. Instead, give your wooden brushes a good rinse and gentle scrub before leaving them to dry. 



Combs can be cleaned in the same way as other hair brushes. You might be surprised to know, but you can pop many types of plastic combs of yours in the dishwasher if you have one. Just make sure you’ve got rid of any loose hair you’re good to go! 


How often should I clean my hair brush?

Experts recommend you should be cleaning your hair brushes at least once a month, at the very minimum. If you use a lot of styling products such as hair spray or wax then it’s worth washing your hair brushes around once a week. If you don’t use so many products, then every other week should suffice. 

If you can’t face the thought of cleaning months worth of grime out of your hair brushes, then it may well be time to invest in some new ones. Take a look at our new additions.

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