How to Clean Boar Bristle Brush

Boar bristles are perfect for evenly distributing scalp oil to the hair strands. Nevertheless, they soak oil from your scalp, which is why it’s paramount to know how to clean a boar bristle brush the right way to keep it free of debris, grime, and dirt.

The bristles on this brush are tight-knit, so getting them pristine can be an uphill task if you don’t know how to get the job done. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the cleaning process and a few maintenance tips to keep your brush in tiptop condition.

What You Need

We’ve rounded up the items you’ll require to get your boar brush looking good as new.

  • A Comb:  A rat tail comb with a thin or pointy end can remove the gunk and old hair from the brush.
  • Body Wash or Shampoo: Although you might be tempted to opt for strong cleaners such as vinyl siding cleaners to get the job done, for effective cleaning, you’ll only require a body wash or shampoo for a soapy rinse.
  • Water: Use room temperature or warm water to clean your boar brush.
  • A Container: It should be large enough to hold your brushes and the soapy rinse.

How to Clean a Boar Bristle Brush

Here’s a step-by-step process of how to get the job done and get your boar bristle brush looking good as new.

1. Remove the Excess Sebum and Comb the Brush

From the edges, comb the brush from the roots of its bristles. By doing so, you’ll be pulling the comb away from the brush, in turn loosening the hair. Repeat the process on each edge of the brush. Next, pull the comb through the brush to remove the hair on it. Repeat this until you remove the excess sebum and most of the hair from the brush.

2. Prepare a Shampoo Rinse

Mix a spritz of shampoo in warm water in a container. The amount is based on the material of your boar brush handle and its bristles. If it has soft padding coupled with a wooden handle, avoid immersing the brush in the water-filled container.

3. Soak Your Brush

Swirl the boar bristle brush in the soapy solution, ensuring you don’t submerge the brush, particularly if the handle is wooden and the padding is squishy. To prevent the soapy water from seeping into the cushiony part of the brush, position it such that the bristles face down.

Furthermore, avoid soaking the brush for too long (more than 10 minutes) to curb damage to the soft fabric padding that houses the bristles.

4. Rinse the Boar Brush

After 10 minutes, remove the brush from the container with the bristle side facing down. Rinse the container, fill it with clean, cold water, and swirl the brush. As you do so, avoid immersing it in the water to avoid wetting the wooden handle.

5. Let the Brush Dry

Once you’ve rinsed the brush, with the bristle side still facing down, run your fingers through the bristles a couple of times to flick away excess water. Lay the brush on a clean towel, wipe off any water on the handle, and leave it to air dry. Based on the amount of water absorbed by the cushiony part of the brush, it may take 24 hours or a few hours to dry completely.

It’s worth keeping in mind that a multitude of people has noticed smells like a boar when it’s damp. If you notice the same, fret not, as the smell will naturally dissipate once the brush dries. However, if the odor still lingers, then give it a month or two of use.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Boar Bristle Brush

Using a boar bristle brush
Image Credit: Pexels

Now that you know how to clean a boar bristle brush, let’s explore a few tips when it comes to proper maintenance.

Remove Hair Strands

After each use, rather than wait for the gunk and hair strands to build up, get into the habit of plucking the loose strands out of your bristle hairbrush each time you brush your hair.

Chop Off the Buildup

Typically, loose hair strands will accumulate at the bottom of the bristle hair brush. We recommend trimming the matted hair at the sides of the brush while ensuring you don’t chop off the bristles.

Keep the Brush Facing Down

Once you’ve cleaned the boar brush, leave it to dry facing down to prevent the soft padding from absorbing too much water and damaging it.

Add Essential Oils

You can add tee tree oil or your preferred option to the final rinse of the boar brush to infuse a scent that will linger after the brush dries.

Detangle Your Hair Beforehand

To avoid loose hair strands from accumulating between the bristles, we recommend detangling your hair before you use the brush.

How Often Should You Use a Boar Bristle Brush?

Although you can use the brush twice a day, the frequency boils down to your hair type. If you have an oily scalp, we recommend limiting it to once a day. That’s because regular brushing can make your hair oil.

Contrarily, if you have frizzy, dry, or curly hair, brushing your hair up to three times a day can facilitate the proper distribution of natural oils, make your strands smoother, and diminish frizz. Using your boar brush the ideal way is paramount in maintaining healthy hair.

How to Use Your Boar Bristle Brush the Right Way

We’ve rounded up a few pointers to ensure you’re using your brush properly.

Ensure Your Hair Is Dry

Use your brush on dry hair rather than wet hair to avoid stretching the strands, leading to breakage and damage.

Don’t Use It On Tangled Hair

A boar bristle brush wasn’t designed to detangle hair. Therefore, using it on tousled hair will further tangle it and cause breakage.

Begin from the Root

A boar bristle brush is designed to spread out scalp oils across your hair length. Therefore, brushing your hair from the tips rather than the root ruins the sole purpose.

Brush in Sections

Partition your hair into various sections and brush each section after another. By doing so, you’ll avoid tangling your hair and facilitate the uniform distribution of scalp oils.

Don’t Use Your Boar Bristle Brush on Hair Styling Products

Brushing your hair with styling gel or mousse will clog the bristles, making the brush harder to clean.

Bottom Line

Besides adding luster to your hair by uniformly distributing the natural oils, a boar bristle brush can help in frizz control. Although you may not realize it, authentic boar bristles can last more than a decade compared to standard brushes. All you have to do is ensure your boar hair brush is clean and well-maintained.


Let’s explore the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding cleaning boar bristle brushes.

How do you remove the odor from a boar bristle brush?

A filthy brush has a pungent smell. Nonetheless, shampoo, warm water, and a few drops of essential oil should do the trick.

How often should you clean a boar bristle brush?

Although it depends on the frequency of use, you should clean your brush up to thrice a week.

How can you get hair dye out of a boar bristle brush?

To get hair dye out of a boar bristle brush, you can try submerging the brush in a solution of baking soda and clean water. Make sure to cover the boar bristles. Soak the brush for 30 to 60 minutes and then rinse it well in hot water. This should remove as much of the gunk as possible. 

Scroll to Top