Cleaning Hair Brushes


Which is the best way to clean hair brushes? Mine are full of hair, oil, and dead skin. It’s especially difficult to remove everything between the bristles.


Category: Tags: asked January 3, 2013

5 Answers


I feel your pain. I have this problem particularly soon after flat ironing my hair if I happen to use too much product. First I pull out all the hairs stuck in my brush, fingers do the job quite well! After that I fill the sink with hot water and add a bit of shampoo so the water can foam. I then put my brushes and combs in and shake them about to loosen the dirt. You can add disinfectant if you like. I don’t bother.

I generally scrub the bristles with my nail brush, it’s not glamorous but it does the job lol. I suppose you could use an old toothbrush too. Don’t let a padded brush absorb too much water because they take forever and a day to dry.


I found this on Amazon, it’s a denman brush cleaner but I suppose it would work just as well for any brush.

Hmm, now if only someone would invent a smaller brush to clean this one. lol


I use a bit of cotton dipped in rubbing alcohol. It get’s rid of the gunk and sterilizes the brushes at the same time. Afterwards I just rinse them and they are ready to go!


Things learned at a salon:

Remove as much hair etc as possible with a comb. put some shampoo in a basin of hot water. Dip and swish the brushes; if they are wood handle or if they have natural bristles, proceed to the next step otherwise you can soak them for a bit. Drizzle a little shampoo all between the bristle tufts, then take a tooth brush, a nail brush, a brush cleaning tool, whichever works best, and scrub between each row of bristles, working up a lather if you can (it may not lather).

This scrubbing will remove most of the loose hairs that are trapped along with the other particles; if there are clumps of debris still in the tufts, you can use a toothpick or other slim pointy object (careful!) to insert in the tuft near the base and push the debris to the ends or out of the tufts. Pin bristles are usually clean after just a scrubbing, but tufted bristles often need the extra attention, especially if it has been a long time since it was cleaned.

Swish the newly cleaned brush in the soapy water again, examine to see if you need to do more cleaning (repeat steps if more cleaning is needed); if they are clean rinse with warm water. Shake as much excess water as possible into the sink or tub, and dry with bristles facing down on a towel. This prevents weakening of the tufts from prolonged exposure to water.

The brushes should be sparkling clean by now, or only need a hair or two pulled out manually. If you aren’t sharing a brush with others (a bad idea anyway), no need to disinfect.


Great information. Thank you.