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How to Get Lint Out of a Hairbrush in 4 Easy Steps

You’re probably familiar with loose hairs collecting on your hairbrush, but if you look a little closer, you may notice lint and other debris. Use this guide to learn how to get lint out of a hairbrush.

Getting Lint Out of a Brush: A Summary

Humans have between 80,000 and 120,000 hairs on their scalps and lose about 50 to 100 hair strands per day due to shedding. A lot of this ends up in your hairbrush.

Along with this collection on your hairbrush comes dust, dandruff, and oils from your hair which requires removal with the following steps.

  1. Remove the dead hair from your hairbrush
  2. Soak the hairbrush in warm water and shampoo for a few minutes
  3. Scrub the hairbrush with a clean toothbrush
  4. Rinse your hairbrush and let it dry

Cleaning your hairbrush is very important to your scalp, as your dirty hairbrush has the potential to harbor bacteria.

So, start gathering your materials, and head over to your sink to begin the cleaning process to remove potential bacterial microorganisms, lint, dirt, scalp oils, and dandruff from your beloved hairbrush.

Read Next: How to Easily Clean a Hair Brush

How to Get Lint Out of a Hairbrush in 4 Steps

Cleaning your hairbrush probably isn’t at the top of your list when you think of cleaning because brushing your hair is only one of the many tasks you do each day.

You probably don’t closely examine your hairbrush, so the thought of scalp irritation and infections from your hairbrush isn’t something you’re thinking about either. Lint forms on your hairbrush due to fabric particles, dust, hair products, and dandruff.

The scary truth is that your scalp is home to 4,838 long-living bacteria and 1,220 short-living bacteria. So, when you brush your hair, it is likely that some of this bacteria transfers to your hairbrush, mixing in with the lint and debris. 

To keep your hair-brushing routine a little more hygienic, you should wash your hairbrush every few weeks. This will prevent thick buildup on your brush and keep those nasty lint specks and bacteria out of your hair.

Let’s take a deeper look at what the cleaning process is so you can be on your way to having a squeaky-clean hairbrush.

1. Remove the Dead Hair From Your Hairbrush

When it comes to getting all of the old, dead hair out of your hairbrush, there are a few methods for this. Your first line of action is to start pulling the hair out with your fingers. You can also use a comb to try and comb the hair out.

The teeth of the comb should be able to cut through the knotted clumps of hair and pull them up. If your fingers and the comb aren’t doing much, you may need some scissors to cut through any large chunks of hair that got matted to your hairbrush.

Be careful not to cut the bristles on your brush when doing this. You should only need to do a few snips, and then your fingers and comb should be able to loosen the hair. Use tweezers to pick out any stray hairs. Hair products and heavy buildup of hair can cause matting on your hairbrush.

Matting on your hairbrush can also hinder how well the brush glides through your hair. The clumps can even collect dust and debris, depositing it into your hair.

This is why you should remove any hair strands stuck to the bristles after each brushing. Make sure to throw the hair in the trash and refrain from flushing it down the toilet.

Large clumps of hair can cause blockages in pipes and will cause your hairbrush cleaning to turn into a much bigger and pricier problem. After you have the majority of the old hair off your brush, you can move on to the next step.

2. Soak the Hairbrush in Warm Water and Shampoo for a Few Minutes

Your next line of action should be to soak your hairbrush. For this, you’ll need the following:

  • A sink filled with warm water
  • Shampoo or dish soap
  • Baking soda

Grab your shampoo and add some to the water until it combines and gets a little sudsy-looking. You can also add a sprinkle of baking soda to the water if you want to. 

Baking soda is in the category of gentle abrasives with a pH of 9 (low acidity) and works by dissolving and breaking down dirt and other organic matter. This is good to use if you see a lot of gunk stuck to your brush.

Keep in mind that plastic brushes are sturdy and can handle most soaps. Wooden brushes, or brushes that use natural materials, might be a little more fragile. So, finding a mild soap or shampoo for these hairbrushes is best to help prevent damage.

Soaking wooden brushes for long periods can cause damage as well. After your water mixture is ready, throw your hairbrush into the sink and allow it to soak for a few minutes. If you have a wooden brush, try your best to only soak the bristle side. 

3. Scrub the Hairbrush With a Clean Toothbrush

After soaking your hairbrush in the soap water, you’ll probably still notice some lint and dandruff stuck to the bristles or wrapped around the base of the bristles. 

To get rid of this buildup, you’ll need to grab the clean toothbrush you put aside earlier and dip it in the soapy water. Start scrubbing your hairbrush with the toothbrush where the base of the bristles is.

You can use your fingers to try loosening the larger visible chunks. Make sure to periodically dunk your hairbrush back into the water to rinse off any residue you loosened.

You may want to rinse the toothbrush every once in a while as well so you aren’t rubbing the lint and gunk back into the hairbrush. After your hairbrush looks clean, you can drain the soapy water and clean the toothbrush for storage. 

4. Rinse Your Hairbrush and Let It Dry

You can now rinse your hairbrush and allow it to dry. Take your hairbrush and put it under some lukewarm to cold running water. Using your fingers, try to rub any remaining loosened lint, debris, and soap off the hairbrush.

After all the remaining gunk and soap goes down the sink drain, you can start drying your brush with a towel. Grab a facecloth, hand towel, or whatever towel you have on hand, and try to soak up any water that is on your hairbrush.

If you have hair-like bristles on your hairbrush, try to ring out or squeeze out the water they might have soaked up. After you wipe your hairbrush down and ring out the bristles, with the bristles-side down, lay your hairbrush on your towel for a few hours.

This will allow any excess water to drain out of the hairbrush. You want all the moisture out of your hairbrush to prevent more bacteria or mold from growing on it. Once your hairbrush is bone dry, you can put it back in its normal spot and begin using it again. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Photo of two brushes stacked on top of one another for a guide to getting lint out of a hair brush


Here are some frequently asked questions people have when figuring out how to get lint out of a hairbrush.

Why is my hairbrush full of lint?

While your hairbrush can collect lint due to the environment you keep it in, most of what you’re seeing isn’t lint. The fibers you’re seeing mostly consist of dirt, dandruff, oils from your hair, and leftover hair products.

Why is there dust in my hairbrush?

If you find dust in your hairbrush, it is most likely due to your environment. Any dust particles or other debris that is floating around in your environment can quickly adhere to your hairbrush. Keep your hairbrush in a drawer or cabinet to prevent dust collection.

Can you clean a hairbrush with vinegar?

Vinegar usually isn’t the best thing to clean your hairbrush with due to its high acidity, which can break down your hairbrush if you soak it too long. However, it is a good product to scrub the bristle bed of your brush with because it has the potential to kill bacteria. You can lightly scrub your hairbrush with vinegar and warm water and then rinse it.

Can a dirty hairbrush make your hair greasy?

Yes, a dirty hairbrush can make your hair feel greasy and dirty. You’ll get this feeling due to the buildup of hair products and oils on your head. When you brush your hair with a dirty hairbrush, you’re essentially depositing all those oils and old dried-up hair products into your clean hair. Clean your hairbrush regularly to prevent this.

How often should you replace your hairbrush?

Cleaning your hairbrush is a great way to keep your hair care routine hygienic, but simply doing this isn’t enough sometimes. You should probably replace your hairbrush about once a year. However, you may be able to keep it longer if you are consistent with cleaning it every few weeks.

So, How Do You Get Lint Out of a Hairbrush?

A clean hairbrush is vital for your hair and scalp health. So, if you’re starting to notice your hairbrush looking a little linty, you can easily clean it with some soap, water, and a little scrubbing.

Use the four steps above to get your hairbrush back to looking brand new and free of lint and other gross debris. We hope this guide will help you remove the stress (and lint) from your your brush and your life for good!