How to Clean a Hairbrush to Get Rid of All That Gunk

How to Clean a Hairbrush to Get Rid of All That Gunk

How to clean a hairbrush covered in hair and gunk 


Your favourite hairbrush is a lovely thing… when it’s a clean hairbrush, that is. But when it’s caked in months of old hair and rock solid from the hairspray? Yeah, maybe not so much. 


Although… is it your gunk? Maybe it’s a family member’s. Or your partner who’s borrowed your brush once… or twice. Maybe even three times. But love is stronger than the gunge on the hairbrush, so whoever’s gunge-d it up, knowing how to clean a hairbrush will turn a hairy-brush into no big deal. 


How to clean your hairbrush handle  


How many times do you think you’ve grabbed your hairbrush recently? Or your sibling, partner, or your visitors last week? Everyone’s been at it. And that’s perfectly fine. Sharing is caring, after all. But. Even if it’s just your own hand, that’s a lot of gross gunk and grunge on the handle. After all, do any of us wash our hands every time we go to brush our hair? It’s ok, you can be honest. 


So, how to clean a hairbrush handle. It’s actually really easy (big sighs of relief all round). Just follow these steps to rid the handle and solid parts of that inevitable grubbiness you started to think was actually part of the brush: 


  1. The easiest and best way to clean hairbrushes’ handles is to combine some warm water and a squeeze of shampoo.  
  1. Give the solution a swish around (but try not to shampoo your entire house). 
  1. Dip some strong kitchen towel in the cleaner and wipe all of the hard parts. 
  1. Rinse thoroughly. 
  1. Happy with the result? Answer yes and you’re done. No? Simply repeat the process. 


Tip: Plenty kitchen towel is ideal for hairbrush handle cleaning. It’s super-strong, which means it won’t break down, even when wet and covered in cleaning solution. No need to worry about it shredding up and leaving even more stuff for you to pick out, then. Result.    


The best way to clean hairbrushes to remove hair 


The handle’s clean and you’re good to go. Until. You glance at the bristles and URGHHHHH. Hair. Everywhere. A sign that a brush is well used… and well loved… but also a sign that you need to do some detangling – particularly if your brush looks like it’s been used to groom your dog when they couldn’t see through their hair (we’ve all been there). 


The key here is that you don’t want to damage the bristles or the cushions where those bristles attach. With that in mind, here’s how to clean your hairbrush without ruining it: 


  1. Start off by removing as much hair as you can with your hands. A gentle tug is fine; anything harder could mean you actually pull out the bristles. And using a hairbrush with three bristles left might save you time, but it’s not going to help out your hair much. 
  1. If you’ve got a rat-tail comb, perfect. Use the pointy end to get in amongst the bristles and loosen stubborn strands. Anything pokey will do, as long as you’re gentle. 
  1. If any tangles still remain you can carefully snip at clumps to make it easier to detangle them. 
  1. Take your time, especially if it’s really clogged up. Patience will lead to great results.  


How to clean hairbrush bristles 


Your hairbrush has been with you during that job interview prep when you needed to comb out that excess gel. And it was there when you dyed your hair a colour that turned out to be totally different to the one on the box. It’s been through a lot, and there’s bound to be a LOAD of sticky, tacky mush packed into the bristles. And a lot of it will have clung on even when you’ve delicately unpicked the tangles.  


Whether it’s how to get dust out of hairbrush bristles or how to remove sticky residue from styling products, weeks of comb-in conditioner or who knows what else (let’s not dwell on that thought too long *shudders*), this is what you need to do: 


  1. Make another solution of warm water and shampoo. Add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda if your brush is really yucky. 
  1. Submerge in the cleaning solution. For wooden brushes, it’s best to just submerge the bristle end. 
  1. Give the brush a wiggle around. Dunk it. Lift it. Shake it. Dip it. That should help loosen particles and clumps of dust. 
  1. That could do it. But if the job’s not quite done you can use an old (clean) toothbrush to get right into the bristles and tease out what remaining mess there is.  


There you go – how to clean hairbrush bristles and handles. A clean hairbrush is a happy hairbrush, free from gunk and grime, and ready for you, your loved ones or your new housemate to use… again! 


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