How to clean hair brushes? Step-by-step Guide

Date: December 21st, 2022 | Nageshwar RAO

When she flips her brushed hair, the world sees her. Have you ever wondered why elders always tell you to brush your hair regularly? Neat, clean, brushed hair is desirable to everyone. And, a well-designed hair brush helps you achieve that. A hairbrush smoothens your hair strands and detangles them by giving a smooth, clean look. However, it tends to get dirty pretty often by soaking up the oil, dust, dirt, and hair products from your hair. Hence, the real task comes – How to clean hair brushes?

It’s always recommended not to use a dirty hair brush. When you have a dirty or unclean hair brush, you tend to absorb all the oil and dirt back into your hair. Hence, if you want to ensure that your hair doesn’t go the same, make a habit to clean your hairbrushes regularly.

Yes, cleaning your hair brush is a process that should be followed regularly if you desire healthy hair. Whether you use a regular hair comb or an electric hairbrush, you should clean it every time before using it.

In this post, we have discussed:

  • Why is it important to clean your hairbrush?
  • How often should you clean your hairbrushes?
  • Things you may need while cleaning your hairbrushes
  • Must-follow steps on how to clean hair brushes
  • How to clean different types of hairbrushes such as round hairbrushes, roller hairbrushes, electric hairbrushes, and paddle hairbrushes?
  • What is the right time to change your hairbrush?

Here we go!


Why is it important to clean your hairbrushes?

No matter how many times you use a hairbrush in a day, it acts like a sponge to your hair. The bristles of a hairbrush attract all sorts of residue from the hair and the environment. We understand some of you might have noticed a greyish, black, or white residue on your hairbrush within a few days. Have you wondered how it comes?

To keep your hair healthy and shiny, you use several hair products such as hair scrubs, shampoos, leave-in conditioners, hairsprays, and so on that build up on your hair and get stuck to the bristles of your hairbrushes. Hence, your hairbrush carries dead skin cells and dirt that get transferred back to your hair every time you use it without cleaning it.

With such practices, your hair health gets affected, tend to shed hair, breakage issues, dandruff, and a lot more. Ideally, it’s normal if your hair is shedding 50 to 100 hair strands a day. However, they can shed a lot if you are not following the cleaning process. A dirty hairbrush can harm your hair badly and make them worse. Thus, you need to clean your hairbrushes regularly to avoid such trouble.

How often should you clean your hairbrushes?

As you don’t require to wash your hair daily, likewise there is no need to clean your hairbrushes daily. Cleaning your hairbrushes depends on the kind of hair care products you use and how often you use them.

For instance,

  • If you don’t use hair products daily, you need to clean your hairbrush every 2 to 3 weeks. Less usage of hair products attracts less oil, dirt, and other residues
  • If you use hair products such as styling creams, gels, hairspray, or leave-in conditioners, clean your hairbrushes once a week.
  • Make a habit of at least removing the hair strands from the bristles of your hairbrush every time before and after using it.

Things you may need while cleaning your hairbrushes

There are a few things you should keep in hand while starting the cleaning process. Just a few only. These are:

  • A bowl of lukewarm water. You can also use your bathroom sink.
  • Shampoo
  • Baking soda but that is only optional.
  • Scissor
  • Any old toothbrush or earbud.


How to clean your hairbrushes?

The process to clean your hairbrushes doesn’t take much time. However, you need to follow to right steps. The bristles of hairbrushes are like a magnet to dirt, oil, and dead skin cells that create hard-to-clean residue. Whether your hairbrush is a regular wooden comb or an electric one, be it any type of hair brush for your hair, there is a separate cleaning process to be followed, with a few variations. Let’s discuss the step-by-step process of how to clean hairbrushes.

Step 1: Remove hair from the bristles

Try to remove the hair from the bristles using your fingers. If you have long hair, there might be a chance that the hair gets stuck in the bristles and it gets hard to remove them. In that case, use scissors and try to cut away the hair that is tangled in the bristles.

If you have short hair, you can use any sharp pointed object like a needle, another long pointed end comb, pen, pencil, or toothpick. Any object that has pointed ends. It will help to remove the hair from the bristles.

Step 2 – Dip your hairbrush in shampoo water

Fill a bowl with warm water and put a few drops of shampoo in the water. Mix the shampoo in water and swish it around to create foam. For deep cleansing, add 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda to the water. After adding, stir the water well.

Step 3 – Soak your hairbrush in water

If you use a plastic brush, you can submerge the entire hairbrush in water without any worry. Let it soak for at least 5 to 10 min.

However, if your hairbrush has soft padding at the base where the bristles are attached to the brush, then dip the bristles part of your hairbrush in the water only. The padding of the hairbrush may get damaged if soaked in the water.

Similarly, in the case of a wooden brush, submerge the bristles of your hairbrush only. Soaking the whole hairbrush in the water may damage the beautiful finish of your wooden brush.

Dip the bristles for 5 to 10 minutes. After that dip and shake the brush or bristles several times. Repeating the process will help loosen the dirt and remove all kinds of oil, dead skin cells, product residue, and more. If your brush is not that dirty, this process will clean most of your hairbrush.

Step 4 – Use an old toothbrush or any pointed thing for deep cleaning

For deep cleaning your hairbrush, this step is required. The bristles of the toothbrush will help to clean the base and bristles. How to do?

Dip your toothbrush into the shampoo water and try to scrub each bristle.

First, start from the base of the hairbrush’s bristles and scrub upward. Make sure to rub the other edge of your hairbrush to remove any sort of buildup.

Step 5 – Rinse and dry

Once you are done with the deep cleaning of your hairbrush, then rinse the hairbrush with cool water. Take a look at your brush and see if the results are visible. If something is left, you can repeat the process.

Clean the brush and bristles with cool or tap water and wipe them with a dry cotton cloth.

Leave your hairbrush to dry by bristles facing down on the clean, dry towel or cloth.

Voila! You have done a great job. Your hairbrush is super clean and ready to use. Now you know how to clean hair brushes.


How to clean different types of hairbrushes?

There are several types of hairbrushes in the market and the process of cleaning them is slightly different, just a few variations.

How do you clean round hairbrushes?

  • A few steps to clean around the round hairbrush will remain the same as followed by cleaning a regular plastic hairbrush.
  • Try to remove hair from the bristles of a hairbrush using your fingers or cutting via scissors.
  • Use a tablespoon of any regular shampoo and mix it in the warm water in a bowl.
  • Put your round hairbrush inside the bowl. Leave it for 5-10 minutes.
  • Take any old toothbrush and start rubbing it against the round side of your hairbrush. Ideally, we advise using another round brush and rubbing them against each other with soapy, warm water.
  • Once done, rinse your brush with cool or regular water.
  • Place your cleaned round hairbrush on the dry towel and let it dry for a few minutes.

Now, your hairbrush is ready to use.


How do you clean paddle hairbrushes?

  • Take a pencil or pen and slide it through your paddle hair brush under the accumulated hair.

  • Once it gets free from the hair, soak the bristles of your hairbrush in soapy water. Make sure to use warm water with one tablespoon of shampoo only. Keep them soaked for 5-10 minutes.

  • Clean the bristles using an old painting brush or toothbrush. Soak the bristles 3-4 times and repeat the cleaning process.

  • Once cleaned, rinse the bristles with regular or cool water.

  • Keep it on a dry towel. Let it dry. For immediate use, you can dry the bristles using your hair dryer.


How do you clean roller hairbrushes?

  • Remove hair using a pencil or scissors. There should be no leftover hair while cleaning the brush.

  • Take lukewarm water in a bowl and add one tablespoon of shampoo. Stir it well.

  • Remember to clean the roller hairbrush, and avoid dipping the brush into the bowl. Dip it for 30 seconds and take it out. If you will dip it for a longer period, there is a chance the paddle of the roller hairbrush might get damaged.

  • Use any old toothbrush or colour brush to clean the roller hairbrush by dipping the cleaning brush into the water and rubbing it against the bristles. Repeat the process till the time it looks clean.

  • Once cleaned, rinse the bristles and brush with running cool water.

  • Once done, put it on a clean, dry towel and let it dry. For immediate use, you can dry it using a dryer.


How to clean an electric hairbrush?

While cleaning any electric hairbrush, make sure that it’s switched off, unplugged, and cool. Then, follow these steps:

  • Remove the hair from your electric hairbrush using scissors by cutting them or a pencil by sliding them from the brush.

  • Once the hair gets removed, clean your styler with a damp cloth.

  • While cleaning your electric hairbrush, you don’t need to soak it in soapy water. It will damage the product and might give you an electric shock while using it. Hence, avoid the soaking process like we do while cleaning other hairbrushes.

  • Make it dry using any hair dryer. Make sure your electric hairbrush is super dry before you store or use it.


What is the right time to change your hairbrush?

While cleaning your hairbrushes regularly and storing them in the right places can help keep your hairbrushes stay in good shape. However, there are several reasons to judge whether it’s time to retire your hairbrush or not.

For instance, you need to check whether the bristles of your hairbrush are not damaged or they are in good shape. Also, pay attention that when you clean your hairbrush, whether it gets cleaned properly or not. If it doesn’t get clean enough, it’s time to change your hairbrush.

Ideally, we suggest changing your hairbrush every year. Or at least by 2-3 years in case you are using an electric hairbrush.



Cleanliness is not limited to your body, hair, clothes, and so on. Your hairbrushes also need proper cleaning. Hence, whether you use a hairbrush regularly or a few times a week, clean your hairbrushes every week. The bristles of the hairbrush attract a lot of oil, dirt, etc., which can hamper your hair’s health. There is an ideal way to clean hairbrushes irrespective of their type. Use the right procedure to clean your hairbrushes and flaunt your hair like a diva. We hope this step-by-step guide on how to clean hair brushes is helpful.


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How often should you wash your hairbrush?

As we have mentioned in the post, if you are more into using hair styling products like gels, sprays, and leave-in conditioners, you should clean your hairbrushes every week. Otherwise, you can clean them within 2-3 weeks.

What happens when you don’t clean your hairbrush?

There is a high chance you might get dandruff. When you use a hairbrush, anything lingering in your hair strands gets stuck into the bristles of your hairbrush. Your hairbrush gets your hair product residue, dirt, oil, sweat, and even dead skin cells. Such dirt residue damage your hair health.

Why is there a white or grey substance on my hairbrush?

The white or grey residue you see is a mixture of dead skin cells, oil, dirt, dandruff, and more. All such residues create bacteria and hence, your hairbrush becomes more contaminated.

Does baking soda clean your hairbrush?

Baking soda is a great alternative to clean your hairbrushes. You just need one teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a bowl of warm water. Use an old toothbrush, dip it into the solution and rub it to clean the bristles of your hairbrush. After that, don’t forget to rinse the bristles with normal water.

Can a dirty hairbrush cause hair problems or hair loss?

Yes. Using a dirty hairbrush can cause many hair problems. Bad brushing habits damage hair health and lead to hair loss.

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