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How to properly clean combs and brushes

Brushes like these should be cleaned every 2-4 weeks
Brushes like these should be cleaned every 2-4 weeks

Few things around the house are more disgusting than combs and brushes covered with hair, flakes of dry skin and styling product buildup. Dirty combs and brushes are more than unsightly, they are also unsanitary. Like all organic matter, hair and dead skin cells are breeding grounds for bacteria.

Your combs and brushes should be cleaned every few weeks. In hair salons, combs and brushes are cleaned and sanitized after each and every use. If hair salons are required to adhere to such rigid sanitation standards, then there must be a valid reason for keeping these items clean!

The first step when cleaning combs and brushes is to physically remove hair and other debris from the bristles. This is easy for combs, it can be tricky when it comes to brushes. The easiest way to remove hair from brush bristles is with the end of a tail comb (also known as a rat-tailed comb). You can also remove hair by using another brush and rubbing the bristles together. Hot running water will also help loosen residue from styling products.

After your combs and brushes are free of hair and other debris, they must be sanitized in order to kill germs and bacteria. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. The easiest way is to run scalding hot water over them. However, since the water needs to be above 110 degrees Fahrenheit in order to kill germs, this may not be possible in a bathtub or the bathroom sink. Another simple way to sanitize these items, and other beauty essentials like tweezers and shaving razors, is to spray them with rubbing alcohol. It is always a good idea to keep rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle somewhere in your bathroom because it is an all-purpose germ killer. It can be sprayed on any hard surface to kill germs.

If you are a fanatic when it comes to cleanliness, follow in the footsteps of your barber or hairstylist and keep your combs and brushes in a jar filled with that miraculous blue fluid known as barbicide. Barbicide, invented by Maurice King in 1947, is a hospital-grade disinfectant which kills everything from mold to HIV-1 and Hepatitis C viruses. If you don't want to take any chances with your combs and brushes, just ask your local barber or stylist to obtain some for you.