Best Hairbrush Cleaners

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

35 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
113 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best hairbrush cleaners

Last Updated September 2020

It's an unavoidable fact that using a hairbrush to groom your hair causes a buildup of debris around the bristles if you don't clean it properly. Just swiping a brush through your hair results in hairs falling out and becoming trapped among the bristles, along with hairstyling products, dandruff, lint, and other particles. Shampooing your brush can help, but even this cleaning function may not remove all debris. That's where a hairbrush cleaner comes in.

This often overlooked tool is designed to effectively remove hair and particles that get trapped around hairbrush bristles — areas that are otherwise difficult to reach. Hairbrush cleaners are available in different designs with tines, teeth, tips, and/or short bristles to fit into the tight spaces around hairbrush bristles. They work on different types of bristles, too, from flexible boar to stiff nylon. 

When shopping for a hairbrush cleaner, you want to look for one that's well made and works for the type of hairbrush you use. But there’s no need to be confused when checking out your options. Continue reading our buying guide, including our favorite hairbrush cleaners, for all the information you need to know as you shop.

Hairbrush cleaners aren’t just for hairbrushes and combs used on humans. These handy tools are just as good at cleaning pet brushes and other pet grooming tools.

Key considerations

Design

Although the purpose of all hairbrush cleaners is to remove hair and particles, there are several ways that they achieve this goal. While some tools have just one brush-cleaning end, others have two or even three. All are capable of keeping your hairbrush clean. 

One cleaning end: This type of hairbrush cleaner has a straightforward structure that features just one end made for removing hair and other particles. A single-ended tool either has firm nylon bristles or metal tines and is great for daily use. 

Two cleaning ends: A hairbrush cleaner with two ends works just like a single-end model, but it has the bonus of a second cleaning tool. Typically, one end has longer tines or bristles for removing hair while the opposite end has shorter prongs or even pick-like tips that are great for removing dirt, fuzz, and hairstyling product from the base of the brush. We like dual-ended hairbrush cleaners for consumers who use a lot of hairstyling products or different types of brushes.

Three cleaners: Some hairbrush cleaners not only have two cleaning ends, but they also have a bonus pointed tip. It’s useful for scraping away hairstyling products and picking debris from around bristles and the base of the brush. From removing hair to whisking away debris to picking out tough tangles or dried-on hairspray, this multifunctional hairbrush cleaner has you covered.

Hairbrush/comb cleaner combos: In addition to tines or bristles for cleaning hairbrushes, some cleaners also have short, soft bristles for cleaning hair and debris from the teeth of combs. When it comes to combo tools, the hairbrush cleaning components are typically on one end with the comb cleaner situated just above the handle. If you use both a hairbrush and comb on a regular basis, this is the tool for you.

How it works

It’s easy to use a hairbrush cleaner. Simply swipe it through your hairbrush bristles and along the base repeatedly to remove hair and debris. Use a cleaner with tips or teeth to scrape away built-up product from the base of brush or pick particles from inside the bristles or in small crevices along the base. 

If you choose a hairbrush cleaner that also has a built-in comb cleaner, clean your comb by swiping it back and forth through the cleaner’s short bristles. 

Because a secure grip is important for effective hairbrush cleaning, keep the handle in mind as you shop. A curved or contoured handle can be a bit easier to grip than a straight handle, especially if you have any hand or dexterity issues.

Features

Hairbrush cleaners fulfill the important purpose of keeping your grooming tools clean, but they are fairly basic. A typical hairbrush cleaner consists of the cleaner end, or ends, and the handle. However, these components vary in design and materials.

Cleaner ends

Bristles: Just as hairbrushes have bristles, so do some hairbrush cleaners. They’re usually short and firm, so they’re effective at removing hair and particles. These bristles are usually made of nylon or another type of plastic and work well on brushes with softer bristles, such those made of natural boar. They also work on brushes with firm bristles but may not be sturdy enough to remove built-up hair products. 

Tines: Tines on hairbrush cleaners are usually longer than bristles and are made of metal or firm plastic. They typically have bent tips for gripping and removing hair. These types of hairbrush cleaners are very effective at removing difficult tangles, but they may be too harsh to use on hairbrushes with soft bristles or a wooden base.

Teeth: Hairbrush cleaners with teeth most often have dual ends. The teeth are short or long and made of plastic or other strong material. Shorter teeth are designed for removing built-up hair product and dirt along the brush base. Longer teeth easily remove hair and tangles when run through the hairbrush bristles.

Tip: Some hairbrush cleaners have a pointed tip on one end. While this can be used to pick out strands of hair, it also comes in handy when removing product buildup around the bristles and base. 

Comb cleaner: Hairbrush cleaners with comb-cleaning bristles are like two tools in one. The short, flexible nylon bristles sweep away hair, debris, and styling product when the comb is swiped over them. 

Handle

Just like a hairbrush handle makes it possible to use the grooming tool, a hairbrush cleaner handle provides the leverage needed for effective cleaning. You’ll have a choice of a straight or contoured handle. Most are made of hard plastic, but cleaners with metal or wood handles are also available. 

EXPERT TIP

Remember that many hairbrush cleaners are useful for cleaning other grooming tools, including combs, hair picks, clippers, and razors.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Hairbrush and comb: Dovahlia Boar Bristle Hairbrush Set
Try out your new hairbrush cleaner on a new brush made of quality boar bristles. This model by Dovahlia even comes with a comb, which will benefit from a cleaner that has dual-ends or a built-in comb cleaner.

Detangling brush: Revlon Detangle & Smooth Hairbrush
If you prefer a hairbrush with nylon bristles, a hairbrush cleaner will work on that type of brush, too. This Revlon brush has bristles that are flexible enough to smooth hair yet firm enough to tackle tangles.

Hairbrush cleaner prices

Cleaning your hairbrush with a hairbrush cleaner isn’t just easy, it’s also affordable. Models of this simple yet essential tool can be found for as little a few dollars, but even the pricier options rarely cost more than $16.

Inexpensive: Hairbrush cleaners that cost less than $5 may have single or dual ends and are usually made of plastic. 

Mid-range: These models cost between $5 and $10. You’ll find just about any hairbrush cleaner design, including some with metal tines and triple ends, in this price category.

Expensive: Hairbrush cleaners that cost $10 to $16 or a bit more are rare, but some specialty designs with contoured handles and dual rake-type metal ends tend to fall in this price range.

DID YOU KNOW?

Hairbrush cleaners that have long metal tines instead of firm bristles are often referred to as hairbrush cleaning rakes. In fact, many models that fit this description look like mini lawn rakes.

Tips

  • Be gentle. Don’t tug too roughly when pulling a hairbrush cleaner through your brush’s bristles. You may unintentionally pull out bristles, which can make your hairbrush less effective.

  • Use your hairbrush cleaner regularly. This will keep your brush clean and prevent hair, dirt, fuzz, and hairstyling product residue from building up.

  • Remove hairs and particles from your hairbrush cleaner. Keep it as clean as you keep your hairbrush.

  • Use your hairbrush cleaner every time you wash your hair. That way you’ll have a fresh, clean brush to use on your freshly shampooed hair. 

  • Choose the right hairbrush cleaner if you use hairspray. If you use hairspray frequently, it can build up on your hairbrush. Choose a hairbrush cleaner that has a pointed end, short bristles, comb-like teeth, or a combination of these components for scraping away dried hairspray. 

Did you know that you can use a hairbrush cleaner wet or dry? That makes this handy tool just as effective to use in the shower as when you’re brushing your hair at your vanity.

FAQ

Q. How do I clean a hairbrush cleaner?
A. You want to keep your hairbrush clean, so it only makes sense to keep the cleaner free of hair and debris as well. To avoid buildup, remove hair and other particles from your hairbrush cleaner after you pick them out of your hairbrush. Wash your hairbrush cleaner as needed, or at least once a week, with warm water and a drop of shampoo
 

Q. I use several different types of hairbrushes. What should I look for in a hairbrush cleaner?
A. For consumers who use more than one type of hairbrush, a multipurpose hairbrush cleaner is the best option. Look for one that has two or three cleaning ends for different cleaning needs. 
 

Q. Can I use a hairbrush cleaner every day?
A. Absolutely! You can whisk a hairbrush cleaner through your hairbrush any time you notice hair or debris around the bristles or base. This will prevent buildup and keep your brush clean. 
 

Q. What if bristles fall out of my hairbrush when I use a hairbrush cleaner?
A. This can happen, especially if you use your hairbrush cleaner too vigorously. Move slowly when you swipe it through the bristles, and don’t tug if it gets hung up on tangled hair. Instead, work them out using short, gentle motions.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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