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How to Clean Hair Brushes with Baking Soda

How to clean hair brush with baking soda
Clean hair brush.

Our hair is often an element to our identity. It’s a way to express yourself and convey your style. How your hair looks is also a reflection on your hygiene habits. In order to maintain a healthy and clean mane, many people use special shampoos, conditioners, styling products, and heated tools like curlers or straighteners. 

However, many would agree that at the core of every hair maintenance routine is the mighty hairbrush itself. 

Cleaning different types of hair brushes

A hairbrush is the ultimate haircare staple. They come in a huge variety of styles. Some are made for detangling, some for wet hair, some are heated, some for thick or curly hair. No matter what your haircare routine is, you probably begin it with a hairbrush. You also probably end your day with brushing through your hair, and perhaps you brush it at other points in the day as well. 

With how often you use your hairbrush, you may notice it getting dirty rather quickly. This can be a combination of hairs stuck in the bristles, grease and oils from your scalp and locks, and other various debris like dead skin cells, dry shampoo, dandruff, and daily grime. 

It’s important to keep up with cleaning your hairbrushes to ensure your mane is kept as healthy as possible. Plus, it just feels nice to use a clean brush! Cleaning your hairbrush with baking soda is a great way to guarantee that it’s thoroughly cleaned and ready to use. 

Why should I use baking soda to clean my hair brush?

Baking soda has a fantastic reputation for absorbing oil and grease, cleaning up dirt, and deodorizing any questionable smells. It’s gentle enough not to damage your brush, but it’s highly effective in its cleaning abilities. Another plus is that it’s low in cost! 

Cleaning Plastic and Metal Hair Brushes 

You will need: 

  • baking soda
  • shampoo 
  • vinegar (optional)
  • water
  • bowl or sink 
  • tooth brush or small brush

Step 1: Remove all of the hair from your brush. You can use a pencil to lift up the hair if it’s very matted and difficult to move. You also can use scissors to snip through the hair if need be. 

Step 2: In your bowl or sink, mix about 4 table spoons of baking soda with 1 table spoon of vinegar, a small squirt of shampoo, and 1 cup of water. 

Note that the vinegar is totally optional. Vinegar is known to effectively loosen and remove dirt or grime, so it’s helpful to use for cleaning hair brushes. 

Step 3: Make sure the brush is submerged in the solution. You can let the baking soda and vinegar work their magic for about 5-10 minutes before you start scrubbing. 

Step 4: Use your toothbrush to scrub away the dirt and debris. 

Step 5: Rinse your brush with clean water, then set it aside to air dry. 

Your brush is now good as new and ready to use. 

Cleaning Wooden Hair Brushes 

Wooden hair brushes

Cleaning wooden brushes requires a more careful approach than plastic or metal ones. The wood should be exposed to as little moisture as possible. That being said, this process doesn’t involve a soaking step. 

You will need: 

  • baking soda
  • water
  • tea tree oil
  • a cloth or toothbrush
  • a small bowl

Step 1: Remove the hair from your hairbrush. You can follow the steps mentioned above to lift matted hair with a pen, or snip through thick hair with scissors. 

 Step 2: In your small bowl, mix baking soda with water. You should aim to create a paste-like texture, but it should be more on the dry side than the liquid side. 

Step 3: Use the tooth brush to apply the baking soda paste onto the wooden brush (on the front and back of the paddle is alright). You don’t need to let it rest for long, just about 2-3 minutes. Then, use your cloth or tooth brush to rub the baking soda paste away, and all of the gunk with it. 

Step 4: Combine a few drops of tea tree oil with equal parts water. Use your cloth or tooth brush to scrub your hairbrush with this mixture. The tea tree oil has anti-bacterial properties which can give it an extra deep clean. 

Step 5: Make sure you have wiped away any moisture from the brush, and let it air dry. 

You can now enjoy your freshly cleaned wooden brush! 


Considering we use our hairbrush daily, or even multiple times a day, it’s so important to keep it clean. There is much more to keeping our hair brushes clean than just removing hair from the bristles. These steps can guide you through the proper cleaning process using things you probably already have in your house. Hopefully you feel confident about cleaning your brushes and ready to tackle the task! Happy cleaning!  

How often should I clean my hairbrush?

They are recommended to be cleaned weekly. However, that really depends on the frequency of your usage and also how much hair you shed or oils your scalp produces. You should keep a look out for a buildup of hair stuck in the brush and/or white residue. 

What can I use in place of baking soda?

You could forfeit the baking soda and just use shampoo and vinegar. Just let the brush sit longer in the vinegar solution. 

Can I use conditioner to clean my brush?

No. Shampoo works because it has cleansing properties, while conditioner would likely leave oily or greasy residue on the brush and not fully clean it. 

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