How To Clean Hair Brush Bristles

Cleaning the Bristles of a Hair Brush

To clean hair brush bristles, use shampoo. It’s important to clean your hair brush bristles regularly to avoid build up. Shampoo is great for cleaning hair brush bristles. Shampooing your hairbrush removes build up of hair products, hair, oil and dirt. Be sure to clean hair brushes at least once a month to avoid brushing your hair with a dirty hair brush.

Remove hair first. Use the end of a rat tail comb or teasing brush to pick out hair. Or you can use a comb to help remove hair. Next, hold the brush handle and swirl the head of the brush in a bowl of hot soapy water. Use a toothbrush to scrub the bristles. If you do not have an old toothbrush you can use another brush. Finally rinse your brush in a bowl of clean water by swirling it around. Make sure to thoroughly dry your brush.

How to Clean the Bristles of a Hair Brush

Why brush your hair with a dirty hairbrush when you just spent all that money on shampoo and you just washed your hair, right! Think of all that money you just spent on shampoo and time you took to make sure your hair was clean.

Be sure to check out my article on this site called Choosing a Boar Brush. In this article I list the best of the best boar bristles brushes.

You should do the same with your brushes. Keeping up with good hygiene is important and so is the same for your hairbrushes. Plus once you get into a habit it becomes easier. In the end it’s just a good way to preventing dirt from building up and becoming much harder to clean. It’s a good form of prevention.


How How To Clean Hair Brush Bristles
 Boar or NaturalNylon or PlasticBamboo or WoodenVent Brush
Dig out the hair from the brushYYYY
Use a comb to pull out hairYY  
Use the cleaning tool that came with the brushYY  
Use the end of a rat tail combYYYY
Soak in soapy water for 3 minutesYY  
Dry your brush thoroughlyYY  
Can use a toothbrush to scrubYY Y
Scrub with mixture of Tea Tree Oil and waterY   


Solutions and cleaning mixtures

  1. Tea Tree Solution – 5 Drops of Tea Tree Oil in 1/2 cup of hot water. Use a toothbrush to scrub.
  2. Baking Soda –  1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp shampoo, 1/2 cup of hot water. Use a toothbrush to scrub. Can mix in a measuring cup.
  3. Larger Baking Soda Mix – 4 cups hot water, 1 Tbsp shampoo, 1 Tbsp baking soda into a medium bowl. Use a toothbrush to scrub.

Hairbrush Cleaning Steps

How To Clean Hair Brush Bristles
How To Clean Hair Brush Bristles
  1. Brush Maintenance – It’s a great practice to always take a few seconds to remove hair from your brush after every time you use it. You can doe this easily by holding your brush in one hand and a comb in the other hand. If you have a rat tail comb (a pointed handle) then hold the teeth and run the point of the handle through the bristles a few times to dislodge and remove any hair. In addition you can also use the teeth of the comb to remove hair by lightly raking the teeth over and through the bristles. This action will lift the hair up so that you can then finish pulling it out of the brush by using your fingers.
  2. Clean you Brush by Using Shampoo – Did you know it’s a great idea to once a month or so shampoo your hairbrush? By performing this cleaning action on a regular basis removes dirt, oil, and any built-up hair products. You can do this easily by holding the handle and swirling the head of the brush around in a bowl of warm water. The step is to then put a few drops of gentle shampoo (I use baby shampoo) on the bristles of a toothbrush and use the toothbrush to scrub the bristles. Don’t forget to scrub the base of the hairbrush too. And lastly rinse the brush by swirling it around in the bowl of clean water. A word of caution if you have a wooden hairbrush. Do not soak your hairbrush in water as that could harm its cushion and any wooden parts.
  3. Dry Your Brush Overnight – After you have cleaned your brush place your nice clean wet brush on a dry towel to dry overnight. Do not put in the sun. Just simply put in a safe place out of the way where it can dry naturally. Make sure the bristles are facing down. Many cushion brushes have a small hole in the cushion at the base of the brush to allow water to drain out and air to circulate within the cushion part of the brush.

    Cleaning for wooden hair brushes

    Make sure you if have a wooden brush you don’t soak the head in water because it will ruin the wood. Use a spray bottle or spritzer bottle with clean warm water and wet the bristles, then use another bottle with shampoo or detergent and warm water mix. Use this solution and spray your brush while gently massaging the bristles. Use clean warm water and spray off the shampoo and or detergent. To get the desired results you may have to repeat this process several times.

    According to Stacey, Hair Research Analyst, “Using a comb can do wonders fast. Simply place the comb at the bottom of your hairbrush and work it in until you can pull your hair up and out. Turn the brush over and repeat until all the hair has been removed.

    Also you can use the end of a tail comb. The method I use is to insert the rat tail of a teasing brush between the bristles and pull up to help loosen hair. This method can also work for boar brushes, flat brushes, round brushes, vent brushes with ball-tipped bristles and even your hot brushes!

    Handles are important to keep clean too. When applying hair conditioners and other hair products most likely you hands are covered in product while styling and when you pick up your hairbrush residue get on the handle. Make sure to use a warm soapy towel to wipe down the brush handle.


    Clean brush – image courtesy of The Wet Brush