how to clean a hairbrush...the right way

How to Clean a Hairbrush…the RIGHT way!

Let’s dive into the world of clean hairbrushes!

You might be surprised to learn that there’s more to it than just yanking out old strands of hair. We will cover the best methods for deep cleaning, removing gray gunk, and dealing with mysterious buildup, all while using common household items like vinegar, baking soda, and even dish soap.

By the end of this comprehensive guide, you’ll be an expert on how to maintain your brushes and keep them in pristine condition.

How Do You Deep Clean a Hairbrush?

When we talk about a deep clean, we mean more than just getting the hair out. We’re talking about getting into the bristles, down to the base, and really tackling the buildup of oils, hair products, and skin cells.

For a thorough clean, start by removing all hair from the brush. A good trick for clean plastic hair brushes is to use a comb or even a pair of scissors to cut through and lift away the hair.

Next, prepare a cleaning solution. This could be warm water with a few drops of shampoo, or a mixture of baking soda and water. Submerge the brush in the solution and use an old toothbrush to scrub between the bristles. Rinse, shake off excess water, and let it dry bristle-side down on a towel.

How Do You Get Grey Gunk Out of a Hairbrush?

Grey gunk is a common issue that plagues many a hairbrush. It’s a combination of dust, product buildup, and oils from your hair and scalp. It’s not pleasant, but it’s easy to deal with.

For a natural-bristle or wooden hairbrush, be careful not to soak the brush as it can damage the material. Instead, use a toothbrush and a little bit of shampoo to scrub the base and bristles. For stubborn gunk, a paste made from baking soda and water can be a more effective solution.

What Is the Buildup in My Hairbrush?

The buildup in your hairbrush is a mix of various things. It includes dead skin cells, natural oils from your scalp, leftover hair products, and dust. In some cases, it might even be a type of mold or mildew, which can develop if your brush doesn’t dry out properly between uses. That’s why regular cleaning is essential.

How Do You Clean a Hairbrush Without Vinegar?

Not a fan of the smell of vinegar? No problem! You can use other household items for cleaning.

Dish soap is a great alternative. Combine a few drops with warm water, and use this to scrub the brush. Dish soap is excellent at cutting through oils and product residue.

Alternatively, you can use baking soda. Its mild abrasive nature can help dislodge stubborn gunk. Just make a paste with water, apply to the brush, scrub, and rinse.

And here’s a trick used in many salons: dryer sheets. Not only do they help to remove gunk and give your brush a fresh scent, but the anti-static properties of the sheet can also help to reduce static in your hair. Simply soak your brush in warm water with a dryer sheet for a couple of hours.

Why You Should Clean Your Hairbrush

Apart from hygiene, there are several reasons why you should regularly clean your hairbrush. The buildup in your brush can be transferred back to your clean hair, causing it to look dull and lifeless. A dirty brush can also lead to scalp infections and hinder the performance of your hairbrush, meaning it won’t detangle or style as effectively.

How Often You Should Clean Your Hairbrush

This depends on how frequently you use your brush and what products you use in your hair. As a general rule, aim to clean your brush at least once a week. If you use a lot of product, you might want to do it more often.

The Best Way to Clean Your Hairbrush

While all the methods listed in this article work well, the best method will depend on your brush type and your personal preferences. However, the universal steps that should always be followed are: remove hair from the brush, prepare and apply your cleaning solution, scrub, rinse, and dry.

How to Clean a Hairbrush with Commercial Cleaners

There are commercial cleaners available specifically for brushes. They usually come in a spray bottle and are applied directly to the brush. Scrub with an old toothbrush and then rinse. These are a good option if you’re short on time or prefer a more specialized cleaner.

How to Clean a Hairbrush with Natural Ingredients

For those who prefer a more natural approach, there are plenty of options. Baking soda, as mentioned earlier, is an effective and eco-friendly cleaner. Tea tree oil is another good option. It has antimicrobial properties that can help with any bacterial or fungal buildup. Simply add a few drops to your baking soda paste or soap solution.

How to Clean a Hairbrush with Vinegar

Vinegar is a powerful natural cleaner. To clean a hairbrush with vinegar, start by removing all the hair from the brush. Then, make a solution of equal parts vinegar and warm water. Soak the brush for about 15-30 minutes, scrub, rinse with warm water, and let it dry.

How to Clean a Hairbrush with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a fantastic cleaning agent. Make a paste with water and apply it to the brush. Use an old toothbrush to scrub. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and then rinse well.

How to Clean a Hairbrush with Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is another effective cleaner. It can kill bacteria and dissolve product residue. Dip your toothbrush in alcohol and scrub your hairbrush. Rinse thoroughly and let it dry.

How to Clean a Hairbrush with Dish Soap

Dish soap is great for cutting through oily residue. Mix a few drops with warm water, apply it to the brush, scrub, and then rinse. It’s that easy!

How to Clean a Hairbrush with Shampoo

Shampoo is designed to remove oils and product buildup from your hair, so it’s perfect for your hairbrush too. Just add a few drops to warm water and use this solution to scrub your brush. Rinse well and let it dry.


Now you know everything there is to know about keeping your hairbrush clean!

With these tips and a little bit of time, you’ll be able to prolong the life of your brushes and keep your hair looking and feeling its best. Clean brush, clean hair, happy you!

Regularly cleaning your hairbrush is essential for maintaining healthy hair and preventing product buildup.

By following the right cleaning methods and utilizing natural ingredients or commercial cleaners, you can ensure that your hairbrush remains clean, hygienic, and effective for styling your hair. Remember to deep clean your hairbrush at least once a month and remove any loose hair regularly to keep it in optimal condition.

With a clean hairbrush, you’ll enjoy healthier, more vibrant hair every day!

Frequently Asked Questions (not covered in the article):

  1. Can I use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process after cleaning my hairbrush? While it’s tempting to speed up the process, it’s best to let your brush air dry. Exposing your brush, especially wooden or natural-bristle brushes, to the heat of a hairdryer can cause damage.
  2. Can I clean all types of brushes the same way? Not all brushes should be cleaned the same way. For example, brushes with wooden handles or natural bristles should not be soaked, as water can damage them. Always consider the material of your brush when choosing a cleaning method.
  3. Can I clean my hairbrush in the dishwasher? While it might seem like an easy solution, it’s best not to clean your hairbrush in the dishwasher. The heat and intensity of a dishwasher cycle could potentially warp or damage your brush.
  4. Why does my hairbrush smell bad even after I clean it? A bad smell could be a sign of bacteria or mold. If your brush smells bad after cleaning, you may not have rinsed it thoroughly, or it might not be drying out properly. Make sure to rinse thoroughly and allow the brush to dry completely between uses.
  5. Should I clean my brush more often if I have dandruff? Yes, if you have dandruff, cleaning your brush more often can help prevent flakes from building up and being redistributed through your hair.
  6. Can I clean my hairbrush with toothpaste? While it’s possible, toothpaste isn’t the best option for cleaning a hairbrush. It might leave a residue, and it’s not as effective at breaking down oils and hair products.
  7. How do I clean a round brush or a brush with a complex design? The same principles apply. Use a comb or scissors to cut through and remove hair, and then use your chosen cleaning solution. A toothbrush can help you get into the harder-to-reach areas.
  8. What can I do if the bristles on my brush are bending or falling out? Bristles that are bending or falling out are a sign that it’s time for a new brush. Regular cleaning can help prolong the life of your brush, but all brushes will eventually wear out.
  9. How do I clean a hairbrush with rubber bristles? Rubber bristles can be cleaned in a similar way to plastic bristles. However, avoid using alcohol, as it can degrade the rubber over time.
  10. Is there a way to protect my hairbrush from buildup? While it’s impossible to completely prevent buildup, using less hair product and brushing your hair when it’s dry can slow down the process. Regular cleaning is the best way to manage buildup.

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