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How to Clean a Hairbrush

How to Clean a Hairbrush by Katie Crafts;

How to Clean a Hairbrush!

You are supposed to clean your hairbrush once a month, but it’s one of those things that I completely forget about until I notice a golf ball sized amount of hair in it. Then I pull out the hair, throw it in the trash, the cat fishes it out to play with it and I’m completely disgusted that I let it go that long between cleanings (Yes, that really did just happen. Yes, it really grossed me out too.) Cleaning your hairbrush is a super simple process, so why not take a few minutes and care for yours now!

I have three different brushes, so I cleaned all of them and wrote up the differences. I didn’t take photos of the process since, well, ew, dirty hairbrushes. I’m sure you’ll get the gist of it though!


  • Dirty hairbrush
  • Rat tail comb
  • Your fingers
  • Shampoo
  • Sink or bucket filled with lukewarm water


  • First thing’s first- use your fingers or rat tail comb to pull out any loose strands of hair from your brush that you can. The more you can get out now, the better!
  • After you’ve filled your sink with lukewarm water, add a few drops of shampoo and swish it around.
  • Place your brush in the sink and let it soak for three or four minutes. If there is fabric on your brush, don’t submerge it- just keep washing around the fabric. If it’s all plastic or rubber like mine, throw it in the sink and walk away for a few minutes!
  • This is where a different brush means a different cleaning method! Here is each brush and what I did for this next step:
  1. Round brush with soft bristles: Use the end of your rat tail comb to dig through all the rows of bristles and get out as much (now softened) additional hair there is left. Use your fingers to pull out any extra that the comb missed. Use a little extra shampoo to help with any build up on the brush.
  2. Round brush with hard bristles: Use the comb part of your rat tail to actually COMB out the remaining hair from your brush. Sounds silly, but it totally works! Use your fingers to pull out any extra that the comb missed. Use a little extra shampoo to help with any build up on the brush.
  3. Paddle brush: You can try using the end of the rat tail comb to get out the hair, but since the bristles on the paddle brush are so far apart, you are better off just using your fingertips from the get go to remove the extra hair! Use a little extra shampoo to help with any build up on the brush.
  • Now that the little bit of extra shampoo has had a chance to work on the build up, use your fingertips or even a toothbrush (just, don’t go putting it back in your mouth- okay?) to scrub off any residue that your hairspray may have left behind.
  • Rinse with clean water to rid your brush of any extra shampoo that’s hanging around.
  • Place on a towel (right side down, if it’s a paddle brush) to let air out until totally dry.

Enjoy your newly cleaned hairbrush, and try not to go a million years between cleanings this time!


  • Don’t clean your brush with your fingertips if you have newly manicured nails! Since you may get a little rough during scrubbing, it’s likely you’ll chip a few!

Have other tips for cleaning your hairbrush? Share them below!