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How to Clean a Beard Brush

Brushing your beard can be a crucial step in achieving a particular style or look, but it can also help to make your beard appear healthy and clean. If you are using a beard brush, however, you need to clean it regularly enough to improve both the performance and life of the brush.

Follow these steps to clean your beard brush:

1. Loosen Trapped Hair

Beard brushes are not just styling tools; they often double up as exfoliators for the skin beneath the hair, gathering all sorts of dead skin, gunk, sebum oil, and loose hairs within the bristles. So the first step in cleaning your hairbrush is to make sure that you loosen any trapped hair and debris caught in or around the bristles of the brush. You should do this over a trash can or outside, as it may create quite a mess. 

If you’re unsure how to loosen trapped hair, you may want to try using a comb, a q-tip (cotton swab), an old toothbrush, or the shears that you use for trimming your facial hair. 

2. Fully Remove Hair

Once the hair is loosened, you can either pull it out with your hands or lift it up with a comb. To prevent clogged drains, place the hair you pull out from the bristles in a bin rather than down a sink or toilet. 

3. Clean the Brush

To clean the brush, you’ll want to add a beard wash or beard shampoo to the base of the bristles. You can also use dish detergent or a line of liquid soap, but this is not ideal, especially for boar bristle beard brushes, as they may dry out the bristles and cause them to be brittle or permanently ruined if done frequently. 

Lightly run the brush under warm water and rub the bristles against the palm of your hand to generate a warm soapy lather. 

4. Rinse

Give the brush a good rinse under running water until the water starts to run clear. Don’t submerge the brush in a small bowl of water or a sink as this can cause the bristles to swell, splay, and degrade, and it can also ruin a handle, especially if its made from wood. 

While rinsing the brush, use your fingers to gently move the bristles around to allow water in between them to clean out any soapy residue. 

5. Dry

Pat the handle dry so that the wood, horn, or other material remains in good condition, then let the bristles air dry rather than rubbing dry with a hand towel. This helps to ensure that you don’t damage the bristles. 

When air drying, it is recommended to put your damp brush outside the bathroom to dry. It will be less humid and reduce the chances of mold, mildew, or foul odor occurring within the knot of the bristles. 

Be sure to set the brush with bristles pointing down.

Pro Tip: Don’t shake the brush vigorously to dry as it can loosen the bristles from the knot, causing them to gradually fall out every time you brush your beard.

Why It’s Important To Clean Your Beard Brush

Just like a scalp hairbrush, beard brushes need to be cleaned. It is important to remove the build-up of dirt, dead skin, natural oils, hair, and other debris from the brush. This is especially important if you regularly apply beard care products such as beard balm or beard oil. If you have oily skin, the buildup of oils on the bristles may also cause acne.

Additionally, cleaning your brush allows the bristles to get deeper into the facial hair, giving you more control when brushing and styling.

Regularly cleaning your brush can also increase the longevity of the beard brush. When cared for correctly, some good-quality beard brushes could last you a lifetime. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Brush?

Most beard care companies recommend cleaning your beard brush once every couple of weeks, especially if you brush your beard daily. However, you may want to clean your brush more frequently, particularly if you find dirt, dandruff, dead skin cells, or debris in your beard. 

Recommended Reading

Here are a few other articles you may find helpful:

Best Beard Brush: Is your beard brush beginning to show some signs of age?  Then check out our reviews of some of the finest beard brushes currently available.

The Differences Between Beard Combs and Beard Brush: Learn how both of these facial hair styling tools are quite different from one another.

How to Fix Beard Knots: Have some stubborn knots in your beard?  Here’s what causes them along with a few easy fixes.

Sean Miller

As co-founder of Tools of Men, Sean Miller has nearly a decade of experience in male beard and grooming care. He started the site in 2014 after discovering the lack of quality men’s grooming information online. He is a nationally recognized expert in hair, beard and skin care for men, and has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Vice, and more. He is also a frequent contributor to various online and print publications.

Sean Miller has dedicated his career to helping men understand the basics and fine details of proper grooming. He's traveled the world, testing products and learning from industry insiders to gain the knowledge he shares on Tools of Men. With a special focus on the trends, technology and products specifically designed for men he provides an educated, honest and informed perspective.