How to clean a hairbrush

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When you see an unclean hairbrush covered in dirt, oil and gunk, it can quickly get back into your hair. If you want a hairbrush to do its job well and live a long, fruitful life without adding unwanted residue into your shiny locks, it’s important to give it a good clean. No matter how often you use your brush, it has the ability to act like a sponge, meaning it can trap everything in its bristles.

Haircare products like leave-in conditioners, gels and hairsprays can build up on your hair and stick to the bristles of your hairbrush.

Your hairbrush also contains dead skin cells which can transfer back into your hair every time you have a brush.

Also, hair sheds on a daily basis, with experts estimating it’s normal to lose anywhere between 50 to 100 hairs a day.

And as a result of this naturally occurring phenomenon, a lot of hair can end up accumulating at the base of the brush.

How to clean a hairbrush

Cleaning a hairbrush doesn’t take up a lot of time at all, and once you know how to do it, it’ll be much simpler for the next time.

You will only need a few items:

  • Bowl of warm water, or you can use the bathroom sink
  • Gentle shampoo
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Old toothbrush
  • Rat tail comb (optional)

Whether your hairbrush is made out of wood or plastic, this method of cleaning them will follow the same steps aside from a few variations.

Start by removing the hair with a rat-tail comb from the base of the brush. If you don’t have one, just use any pointed object like a pen, pencil or ice pick.

You can also use scissors to cut away any hair that has been tangled in the bristles.

Next, fill a bowl or sink with warm water and add a few drops of gentle shampoo, swirling it around to bring out the soap suds.

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For extra cleaning power, you can add one to two teaspoons of baking soda, and stir the water well until properly combined.

For a plastic brush: Submerge the entire brush in the water, letting it soak for three to five minutes.

If the brush has soft padding at the base where the bristles attach to the surface, dip the brush bristles in the soapy water, making sure to keep the padding completely dry.

For a wooden brush: Don’t entirely submerge the brush into the water as this could damage both the wood and the finish.

Instead, just submerge the bristles in the water as described above for a brush with a padded base.

If you have a very dirty hairbrush, you might need to use an old toothbrush to clean the base and the bristles.

Dip the toothbrush into the soapy water and make sure to scrub each individual bristle.

Start at the base of the spikes and work upwards, scrubbing the other edge of the brush to remove any build-up.

Once you’ve finished cleaning your brush, rinse it under a stream of cool water, or you can sprinkle a bit of water onto the base and wipe it dry with a cloth.

Leave the brush to dry, bristles facing down, on top of a clean cloth or towel.

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