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How to Clean a Beard Comb

Regularly cleaning your beard comb will help prolong its life and improve its performance. 

When cleaning your beard comb, you’ll be removing oil buildup, gunk, debris, dirt, dead skin cells, and more that may be stuck between the teeth of the comb.  Additionally, removing knotted or tangled hairs trapped at the bottom of the teeth will allow the comb to reach further into your facial hair and provide a much smoother pass with each stroke of the comb.  

So today, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on cleaning a beard comb.

The Type of Beard Comb Matters

Depending on the type of comb you own, how you wash the comb will be different. Beard combs can be made of many different materials which include the following:

  • Wood 
  • Cellulose Acetate (plastic)
  • Metal 
  • Horn 

We discuss all the popular beard comb materials more in-depth if you’d like to learn more.  

Cut Away Tangled Hairs First

When cleaning a beard comb, it is important to cut away any matted or tangled hairs that are trapped within the teeth of the comb. A pair of barber shears are one of the best tools for this, as the sharp point easily cuts through even the most knotted or coarse beard hair.  If you don’t have these handy, then a toothpick or any small and pointed object can work.  Of course, if the comb teeth width is large, you can simply use your fingers.

How to Clean a Wooden Comb

One of the most popular comb types for taking care of your beard is the wood comb. These are great for beard grooming, but the materials used to make them are porous and so must be cleaned differently. In addition, they shouldn’t be submerged or soaked in water for an extended time, as this may damage them. 

Follow these steps to clean your wooden beard comb:

Step 1: Fill Sink or Bowl with Warm Water

Ensure that your sink is clean, and then fill it with warm water.  You’ll need this for quickly wetting and rinsing the beard comb.

Step 2: Add Soap to the Teeth

Once your sink is full, quickly submerge the comb for only a second or two and then apply a gentle beard shampoo or wash to the teeth of your wooden comb. 

Step 3: Scrub With a Dampened Washcloth

Wet a washcloth in the sink, and then wring any excess water from the cloth. Next, scrub the teeth of the comb until the soap forms a nice, thick lather. 

If you don’t have a washcloth available, an old toothbrush will also do the job. 

Step 5: Rinse

Quickly submerge the comb into the filled sink and shake it underwater to remove any soap residue quickly.  You can also just rinse it under running warm water – however, you may find that this exposes the comb to water longer.

Step 6: Dry

Pat dry with a hand towel and then let air dry. 

Step 7 (Optional): Oil the Comb

You may then want to add some natural oils to the comb to help preserve the wood and keep it from splintering. For example, you can add beard oil, beard balm, or coconut oil to the comb. 

How to Clean a Plastic, Metal, or Horn Beard Comb

Generally, cleaning metal, horn, or plastic combs is much simpler. There is less to worry about damaging the comb, and so it is a more straightforward process. 

Follow these steps to clean your beard comb:

Step 1: Fill Sink & Submerge Comb

Ensure that your sink is clean and fill it with warm water. Then, submerge your comb for approximately 30 seconds.

Step 2: Add Soap to the Teeth

Add a gentle beard shampoo or wash to the teeth of your comb.  A liquid shampoo often works better here.

Step 3: Scrub With Washcloth

Using a washcloth or any old piece of cloth, scrub the comb until you generate a sudsy lather. 

Step 4: Rinse

Rinse it until all of the suds from the soap are completely gone. 

Step 5: Dry

Pat dry with a hand towel or soft cloth, and then let air dry.

Common Questions

How often should you clean a beard comb?

You should clean your beard comb every couple of months. However, it doesn’t need to be done too often, especially if there aren’t any signs of oil build-up, grease, sebum residue, or any collection of dust, skin, or debris. 

Is it safe to wash a wooden beard comb?

Yes, it’s safe to wash wooden combs. However, repeated washing can cause the comb to splinter or crack. If your comb shows signs of wear, discontinue use. Splintered wood can rip the hair follicle and cause split ends or breakage. If you need a new beard comb, consider our reviews of some of the most popular beard comb brands.

Helpful Reading

Here are a few other articles you may enjoy reading about beard combs:

Benefits of Beard Combs: Learn just how indispensable the beard comb is when styling and taking care of your facial hair.

Hair Combs vs. Beard Combs: They may look the same but are they really the same?  Here we explore the differences between hair combs and beard combs.

Beard Comb vs. Beard Brush: Both provide a completely different look for styling your facial hair.  Learn the nuances between beard combs and beard brushes.

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.