How To Clean Your Hairbrush (And Why You Need To!)


Are you a clean freak? One of those people who thrives on a clean home, even cleaning in those places no one can see (like behind the refrigerator and under the dresser)?

Maybe you’re the best friend of a clean freak, which means you wish you were pristine. You’re not living in filth but your livable house is not a museum. Your dishes get washed and the floors are swept. I bet you even clean your baseboards and ceiling fans every once in a while. (Speaking of, that’s a great 5-minute task to tackle today!)

You clean your bodies and hair on a regular basis. You bathe your kiddos and wash their dusty feet before bedtime. You clean your home regularly, including the bathroom that you get ready in. (You may even clean your makeup brushes and sponges. Good job!)

But do you clean your hairbrush? If you’re like most people, you don’t. (No shame, Mama.) You’ve never even thought to deep clean your hair accessories, aside from pulling out the loose hair. (Me too.) But all of that oil and product and loose hair collects in your brush, breeding a slew of unwanted things that you brush through your hair everyday.

Here’s everything you need to know about cleaning your hair brush, including why you should clean your hairbrush at all!

Why clean your hairbrush?

Do you wash the hand towel that you use everyday? Do you clean the counter you put food on? Do you wash the clothes you wear? You touch that hand towel, kitchen counter, and your clothes everyday, just like your hairbrush! It’s simply sanitary to clean your hairbrush, like other frequently used items.

Plus, hairbrushes and combs can trap old hair, build up excess product, and hold on to lint. Along with combing out tangles, a dirty brush will also add those ingredients to your clean, untangled hair.

How to clean your hairbrush?

This method works well for most hairbrushes. It’s a simple method involving a few ingredients that you already own. You can use baby shampoo, which is gentle on brush bristles. You can using a mild detergent, such as an all-natural dish or clothes washing soap. And if you don’t have either of those, combining vinegar and baking soda is an excellent option.

But note: this does not work for brushes with a wooden handle, with boar hair bristles, or for ones with a squishy rubber backing. See more details below.

How to clean most hairbrushes and combs:


  • hairbrush or comb (as many as you use, and as many as will fit into you sink)
  • baby shampoo; mild detergent; or 1/4 cup of vinegar and 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • warm water in your bathroom sink
  • optional: a pair of scissors or fork
  • optional: tea tree oil


  1. Pull out loose hair. Use small scissors to snip away knots (cut on both sides of the knot for easy removal), or use a fork to lift hair out of the bristles.
  2. Fill your sink with hot water. Add in either a dash of baby shampoo or a small amount of detergent. Another option is to use a ¼ cup of vinegar plus 2 Tablespoons of baking soda.
  3. Optional: add 3 drops of tea tree oil to your sink. This is a natural disinfectant!
  4. Swish your hairbrush in the water, then allow it to soak for 5 minutes.
  5. Check the hairbrush. If it is still dirty, swish through the water again and allow to soak for another 5 minutes.
  6. Repeat, but do not soak for longer than 30 minutes.
  7. Rinse out the hairbrush with fresh warm water.
  8. Dry on a towel, bristles side down, until fully dry.

How to clean a hairbrush with a wooden handle or with boar hair bristles:

Do not soak these type of brushes because of the natural fibers and wood. Use the above method, except swish for 30 seconds and then immediately allow to dry.

How to clean a hairbrush with a squishy rubber backing:

Ask the manufacturer how to properly care for this type of brush. Do not soak using the method above, or you will risk trapping moisture in the squishy rubber part. Contained moisture can brew mold or bacteria, neither of which are good for you hair.

How often should you clean your hairbrush?

Experts recommend that you clean out loose hair from the brush or comb after every use, and they suggest deep cleaning your brushes every week or at least once per month.

Here’s my suggestion: Create the habit of cleaning your hairbrush every week when you clean your bathroom. Clean your sink and counter, then soak your hairbrush while you’re cleaning the toilet and shower. It’s practical and makes sense to clean all of the “bathroom” at once!

P.S. You can also use this method for cleaning your makeup brushes. Why not clean your hairbrush and makeup brushes weekly when you clean your bathroom?