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How Do You Clean Lint Out of a Hairbrush: Step-by-Step Guide

Cute African American woman wearing loose hair with a round brush head and a wide-tooth comb.

Have you ever noticed fuzzy white or gray lint on a dirty hair brush? In addition to being an eyesore, the build-up can negatively affect the health of your hair.

If you’re wondering how to clean lint out of a hairbrush, this is the article for you! We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to wash your hairbrush and prevent the lint from building up again in the future. 

How Do You Clean Lint Out of a Hairbrush

Every time you pass a linty brush through your hair, you transfer all the dirt and dust back onto your strands. To prevent this from happening, wash your hairbrush as soon as you start to see lint building up.

How to Clean Hair Brushes the Right Way! (Including the lint!)- KayleyMelissa

Want to know how to do it? Just follow these easy steps to remove lint out of your hairbrush and leave it squeaky clean. 

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Got a linty hairbrush in need of a deep clean? The first step is to gather the following supplies. 

  • Shampoo
  • Toothbrush
  • Warm water
  • Bowl
  • Dirty hair brush 
  • Isopropyl alcohol (optional)
  • Rat-tail comb (optional) 
  • Baking soda (optional) 
  • Scissors (optional)
Young African American female after washing her hair with baby shampoo showing off her beautiful curls.

Step 2: Cleaning Out the Hair

Once you’ve gathered everything you need, remove all of the hair and lint you can from the brush. You can either do this by hand or use the pointed end of your rat-tail comb to get in between the brush bristles. If you come across any stubborn knots or tangles, use a pair of scissors to remove them. 

Step 3: Get Your Warm Water Soak Ready

Squeeze a few drops of your favorite deep-cleaning shampoo into a bowl of warm water. Mix it well until you see bubbles start to form. For an extremely dirty hairbrush, add a few teaspoons of baking soda to give the mixture some extra cleaning power.

Step 4: Dip Your Brush

Dip the bristles of your brush into the water and let it soak for around 5 minutes. While you can submerge plastic hairbrushes completely, other materials can get water damage.

To protect your brush, try your best not to get the wood or fabric padding wet. Instead, dip just the hairbrush bristles into the water. 

Swish your brush around in the bowl of water every minute or so. That will help loosen stuck-on gunk and make your brush easier to clean.

If your brush is only slightly dirty, the dipping and soaking will usually be enough to clean your brush. 

Thoughtful young lady with bouncy curls styled with a clean hairbrush after a regular cleaning process.

Step 5: Scrub Your Brush With a Clean Toothbrush

After five minutes have passed, pull your brush out of the water. Then, apply a drop or two of your favorite shampoo to a clean toothbrush and thoroughly scrub the hair brush’s base and bristles.

Make sure each bristle gets attention, and work your way from bottom to tip. Dip both brushes into the water to get rid of the gunk and avoid spreading it around.

Keep scrubbing your brush until you’ve removed all of the visible residue. 

Step 6: Rinse Your Brush

Once you are satisfied, rinse your toothbrush and hairbrush with cool, clean water. Like before, try to keep wood or padded parts out of the water as much as possible.

As an alternative, you can also dampen a clean cloth and wipe away the excess shampoo and hairbrush lint. After you finish rinsing, give your brush a few shakes to get rid of excess water. 

Step 7: Let Your Brush Dry

Put your brush on a clean towel with the bristles facing downward, and wait for it to dry. Laying the hairbrush with the bristles downward allows the water to drain and decreases the likelihood that your brush will hold onto moisture and grow mold.

If you can, position your hairbrush at an angle with the handle pointing upwards.

Some brush handles are hollow, so positioning them at an angle helps ensure water doesn’t collect in the hard-to-clean base. 

This lovely lady has short, wavy hair that she's brushed into a loose style with a wooden brush.

Step 8: Sanitize Your Brush

After your brush is dry, you can sanitize it with a few spritzes of isopropyl alcohol for an even deeper clean. That will help get rid of any residual bacteria or fungi before they can be reintroduced to your strands.

This step is entirely optional, so skip it if you feel like it’s not necessary. 

How to Minimize Lint in Your Hairbrush

The lint you find on your hairbrush is actually a combination of dust, fibers, leftover hair product, oils, and dead skin cells. Sounds gross, right?

Luckily there are steps you can take to prevent this buildup and keep your brush cleaner for longer. Let’s look at them below.  

Wash Your Brush Regularly

Regularly washing your hairbrush is the best way to prevent lint from building up. The frequency at which you wash your brush should coincide with how much product you use, how often you use the brush, and whether the brush looks dirty.

While there’s no hard rule on how often you should wash your hairbrush, most experts recommend cleaning it every two to three weeks.

After washing her hair with baby shampoo, this beautiful young black woman is showing off her gorgeous curls.

Here are some other reasons you should clean your hairbrush regularly.

  • A dirty brush transfers dirt, bacteria, and oil back onto your scalp and strands. 
  • Skin and oil buildup provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, yeast, and dust mites. 
  • Using a dirty hairbrush can cause or exacerbate skin conditions like inflammation and dandruff. 

Exfoliate Your Scalp

While most people know the benefits of exfoliating your skin, some will be surprised to learn that exfoliating your scalp is just as beneficial.

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and leftover products, which cuts down on the tiny flakes and dandruff that eventually end up in your brush. 

For the best results, exfoliate your scalp while it’s soaking wet, preferably right after washing your hair. You can use a scrub or chemical exfoliant, depending on your preferences.

Can’t decide which one is right for you?

Chemical exfoliants are generally considered safer than scrubs because physical exfoliants can cause tiny tears and abrasions.

Once you decide on your exfoliant, gently massage the product into your freshly washed scalp using small circular motions.

Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing well with cool water. Repeat this process up to once a week, and you’ll notice your brushes and scalp stay cleaner for much longer. 

A pleasant young woman with bouncy curls coiffed with a clean hairbrush after normal cleaning.

Use a Hair Brush Cleaner

A hairbrush cleaner is a special tool designed to remove hair and lint buildup from your hairbrush. It has stiff metal prongs that cut through buildup and tangled hair with ease.

Hairbrush cleaners are even perfect for those notoriously hard-to-clean boar bristle brushes. Want to give one a try?

Just rake the hairbrush cleaner’s metal prongs through your brush’s bristles and repeat the process until you have removed the lint and hair. Then, rinse both brushes with water and let them dry. 

Use Lighter Weight Hair Products

Have you noticed that your brush seems to get linty right away? It could be a sign that your hair products are too heavy or sticky. Products that leave a heavy residue behind on your brush are probably doing the same thing to your strands. 

Be careful not to overload your hair, and instead, pick lighter oils, creams, and serums.

You should also avoid sticky products like holding sprays and gels, as they attract and hold onto dust and dirt. If you can’t avoid them, try to brush your hair before applying the product rather than after. 

This gorgeous woman has short curly hair that she has styled with a wide-tooth comb.

Why Is There Lint in My Hairbrush?

One of the most common reasons there is lint in your hairbrush is that it’s not being cleaned regularly. As you brush your hair, small particles, such as hair, dirt, and lint, can accumulate in the bristles of the brush. If the brush is not cleaned regularly, these particles can build up, resulting in a significant amount of lint.

How Do You Get Hairbrush Lint Balls off of Brush Bristles?

To remove lint balls from brush bristles, start by using your fingers to remove any large pieces of lint or hair. Afterward, soak the brush in warm soapy water to help loosen any remaining particles. Once the brush has soaked for a few minutes, use a toothbrush to gently scrub the bristles and remove any remaining lint or hair.

What Is the Dust Fluff in My Hairbrush?

Dust fluff is a mixture of hair, dirt, and lint can build up quickly if the brush is not cleaned regularly. The particles can create a thick coating that dulls the brush’s effectiveness and makes it harder to use. To prevent dust fluff from building up in your hairbrush, it’s important to clean your brush frequently.

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Ensuring your hair brushes, combs, and hair accessories are clean is an essential but often overlooked part of any healthy hair regimen. We hope this article has given you all the tools you need to clean lint out of a hairbrush and keep it from building up in the first place.