How To Clean A Boar Bristle Brush

how to clean a boar bristle brush

You have to clean a boar bristle brush?  Yup. You sure do, and here’s why:

Boar bristle hair brushes are excellent at distributing the natural oils in your hair from scalp to tip. Boar bristle hair brushes are also great at cleaning your hair by trapping debris, dirt, lint, and flakes. Because the bristle attract dirt and oils you need to keep your brush clean so you aren’t brushing the “crud” back onto your hair. (Gross, right?)

Dry Clean Your Boar Bristle Brush Once A Week (It Only Takes 60 Seconds)

Dry cleaning a boar bristle brush removes the hairs and dry debris that gets trapped in the bristles and is super easy to do. If you are lucky enough to have a very high end boar bristle hair brush (these can last for years and are often handed down from mother to daughter) it will come with a cleaning brush and instructions. If you are like the rest of us, just follow the directions below.

How To Dry Clean A Boar Bristle Brush



  1. Grab your boar bristle brush and hold it with the bristle facing down towards the trash can (gravity is going to help remove all that debris)
  2. Grab your nylon brush, comb or hair brush cleaning tool and run it through the boar bristle to remove any strands of hair, flaky scalp skin and dirt from the bristles and surface or pad of the brush. Do this for about 60 seconds until all the excess hair is removed and you no longer see debris floating down into the trash can.
  3. Dry clean your boar bristle brush weekly (or more often if needed).

Wash Your Boar Bristle Hair Brush Once A Month

Give those boar bristles a deep cleaning once a month (more frequently if there is a lot of build up that isn’t getting removed when you dry clean your brush).

NOTE: If you have a wooden boar bristle hair brush or a brush with a fabric pad, take special care NOT to allow the pad to become soaked or the wood submerged in water. Instead, just dip the bristles into the cleaning and rinsing water.

How To Wash Your Boar Bristle Brush


  • Bar Soap (like Ivory) or Anti-bacterial Hand Soap (try not to use a shampoo that contains silicone as it will coat the boar bristles and decrease their effectiveness)
  • Bowl or Sink
  • Old Toothbrush or Hair Brush Cleaning Tool
  • Towel
  • Hair Dryer (optional)


  1. Fill the sink or bowl with warm water.
  2. Submerge the “business end” of the brush into the water to wet the bristles.
  3. If using bar soap, just run the bar over the bristles and then work the soap into the bristles with your hand. If using anti-bacterial hand soap, just work a few pumps into the bristles.
  4. Grab your old toothbrush or hair brush cleaning tool and scrub the base where the bristles are inserted to remove any gunk stuck on there. This can be challenging if your bristles are tightly packed – just do the best you can.
  5. Plunge your brush back into the sink or bowl of water and swish. Use your fingers to help wash out the soap from the bristles.
  6. Once all the soap is removed, give it a final rinse under fresh warm water.
  7. Use the towel to rub the bristles dry and give a few good shakes to help get rid of any water. At this point you can grab your blow dryer (set to cool) and give it a few good blasts of air.
  8. Fold the towel and place the hair brush (bristles down) to air dry completely.

Your hair brush should look like new and ready to pamper your hair when fully dry.

A good boar bristle brush is an investment and with proper care can last a lifetime.  Do you know of any other ways to clean a boar bristle brush? Please share your ideas or experiences below.

Hugs & Happy Hair!

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  1. I had been cleaning by spraying a scrubber with a vinegar/water blend and then scrubbing the bristles. Hair and stuff comes out and the bristles look like new. Added benefit is its quick so I do it at least weekly. Assuming if vinegar is ok for my hair it’s ok for the brush!
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  2. This is an awesome suggestion for folks who don’t use oils or have lots of oily build up on their brush! Thanks for sharing.

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