Often people don’t know how to get a hairbrush clean, and many don’t even think of this as a regular part of keeping up a home. However, you don’t want all of that old hair and product clinging to your brush, collecting dirt and bacteria. Here’s a quick way to get your old hairbrush clean and looking brand new.

Step 1: Remove Clumps of Hair

Whether you use a comb or any other household item to get down between the bristles, you need to remove old hair clumps first. Basically, you are loosening the hair enough to grab it by hand and toss it out. If the hair is really caught in there, you may want to use an old pair of scissors to lift the hair out and let you cut a little at the same time. Be careful not to cut off your bristles.

Step 2: Sanitizing Your Hairbrush

In a bowl, combine warm water with a little baking soda and shampoo. The shampoo is better than using a cleaning agent that could harm your hair next time you use the brush, and the baking soda will remove smells or oils.

If you have an old toothbrush handy, it’s the perfect tool for scrubbing the cleaning solution on your hairbrush. Be sure to rinse the cleaning liquid off afterwards. To clean several brushes at once or to let a larger brush soak (don’t do this with a wooden brush), fill the sink with your warm water and cleaning solution. Then you can let everything soak in the sink and rinse it off afterwards.

Step 3: Ongoing Maintenance to Keep Your Hairbrush Clean

It’s a lot easier to keep a hairbrush clean than to clean it for the first time in years. Simply pulling excess hair out of it every few uses will lead to less build up. Then the process becomes quicker, and you can soak your brush on a day when you are doing a more thorough cleaning—every three months or so.