How to Clean Hair Brushes and Combs

posted by Andrea | 05/15/2015

how to clean hair brushes and combs

A few months ago, I shared my SUPER simple method of cleaning my makeup brushes.

After that post, I started thinking about other cosmetic products I need to clean on a somewhat regular basis… like my hairbrush and comb (well, it’s actually Nora’s brush).

Washing my comb and brush is something I usually don’t think about, so I often go a REALLY long time without cleaning them.

If you can relate, I’m guessing your comb and brush are super caked with hair products, grease, and general gunk. It’s probably not THAT gross if you’re the only person who uses your comb and/or brush — but if you share with others, you might want to take a few minutes every month or so to quickly clean your hair care “utensils”.

Here’s how I clean mine:


I don’t have this problem with my comb because my hair is super short. However, up until a few years ago, I had VERY long curly hair that clogged up my brush within a day or so.

I pulled out any hair in my brush on a very regular basis (probably daily), but if you don’t do this, it’s definitely the first step in cleaning up your hair brushes and combs.


This doesn’t work as well for brushes with a “soft” or “squishy” bristle part, but for hard plastic brushes and combs, you definitely want to soak it for a while.

You’ll want to fill a large mug or a shallow dish with some warm water and then add a little white vinegar or a squirt of shampoo.

Let the comb and/or brush bristles soak for a few minutes to soften the gunk.

If you have a squishy brush, just set the bristles of the brush in a shallow dish with a vinegar/water or shampoo/water solution and proceed with instructions below.


After you let it soak for a bit, you can either scrub two combs/brushes together to loosen the gunk, or you can scrub the bristles with an old toothbrush (this is what I do).

Look at all the gunk coming off the combs and brushes!


After scrubbing for a minute or so, rinse the comb/brush under running water and use a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe the bristles clean and dry.

If your combs and brushes are anything like mine, you’ll most likely be amazed at how much gunk you remove (it’s gross, but also weirdly satisfying for me!)

The whole process takes me less than 10 minutes — and every time I do it, I wonder why I wait so long in between cleanings.

I looked it up online and it suggested cleaning your combs and brushes every week! I’m definitely not doing that — but even every couple months is better than nothing 🙂


Also, if you regularly use a curling iron or flat iron, you can clean the gunk off them by soaking a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and wiping it across the surface of a COOLED curling iron or flat iron. Works like a charm — and you’ll most likely notice that the irons perform better when nice and clean!

Do you have any other tips for cleaning your hair “utensils”?


Filed under: HomeCleaning

Leave a comment


  1. Wanda


    I also use the dishwasher after removing the hair.
    And as a side note, I wash all the toothbrushes in the house about monthly or so in the dishwasher until time to replace them


    Andrea Reply:

    I know others who wash their toothbrushes and I’ve always thought about it. However, we have electric toothbrushes so I’m guessing the dishwasher method wouldn’t work very well 🙂


  2. Sheila


    I have put them in the sink, put baking soda on them. Then pour boiling water over them. It comes right off no scrubbing!


  3. Leigh


    I agree about the ammonia – I used to keep a jar filled with ammonia and soak my comb and brush every week. It cleaned the gunk right off without any scrubbing.


    Andrea Reply:

    I think this is what they do in beauty salons too!


  4. Mary


    I have had good luck soaking in diluted ammonia.


  5. Sara B


    I must be super lazy. I just remove all the hair from my brushes and put them in the top rack of my dishwasher, brush side down.


  6. Barb




  7. Jennifer


    Thanks for the reminder! A couple of my brushes are quite gross!