How to Clean Horse Brushes

How do I clean my horse brushes?

Now that you have purchased the best quality horse grooming brushes on the market, you may wonder how to properly clean your horse brushes to ensure long product life and enjoyment for years to come.

Cleaning traditional horse grooming brushes with a wood back takes a bit of special consideration, since all materials and bristles are natural. The following instructions will help you to

  • keep you horse brushes clean and good looking
  • enjoy your grooming brushes for many years to come
  • ensure best grooming results


Question: How often should I wash my brushes?

Answer: Less is more! Once or twice per year with mild soapy water (see below) is sufficient. Use dry cleaning methods in between (see below).

Question: What is the best way to wash my brushes?

Answer: Please read below detailed instructions BEFORE washing your brushes!!!

Question: What is the best way to disinfect my brushes

Answer: If you have to disinfect, add a few drops of essential oils with anti-bacterial properties to your wash water, such as Young Living's "Thieves" or make your own disinfecting spray with essential oils. DO NOT USE HARSH CHEMICAL CLEANERS!!! If it isn't right for your hair, it's not right for a natural goat/horse hair brush

Question: How do I store my brushes?

Answer: Store them in a closed container or drape a towel over your brush caddy. Always store brushes on the side, not on the bristles.

How To Clean Grooming Brushes

THANK YOU for purchasing Fine Equestrian Brushes by HorseHaus. Knowing how to clean horse brushes with our two easy methods will help keep your brushes nice.

We recommend cleaning your goat hair and horse hair grooming brushes with the ‘Quick Method’ weekly and with the ‘Thorough Method’ once every 3-6 months.

Natural plant bristle dandy brusheshoof brushes, or mane and tail brushes (Tampico fiber, Union mix root fiber, coco fiber) can be cleaned with the thorough method once per month.

For horsehair, goat hair, boar bristle brushes:

QUICK METHOD – 1 x per week

cleaning horse brushes with potato starch

1.       Brush off any loose dirt with a curry comb.

1.       Sprinkle a generous amount of Potato Starch (NO corn starch!!) onto the bristle field.

2.       Rub the potato starch into the bristles.

3.       Let the grooming brush sit for about 30 minutes.

4.       Thoroughly brush the potato starch out of the grooming brush, using a firm curry comb.

5.       Frequently knock the curry comb against a wall to remove the starch and dirt and keep working to remove all starch.

clean horse grooming brushes

6.       Wipe the top and the edges of the base with a damp cloth.

7.       Run the damp cloth through the bristles.

8.       Enjoy clean brushes!

THOROUGH METHOD – 1 x every three to six months

  1. Clean the horse brushes against a firm curry to remove loose dirt and hair.
  2. Let about 1-1.5 inches of warm water into a flat sink or dish bowl, depending on the bristle length (you do not want the water to touch the base!).
  3. Dissolve some of your equine shampoo in the water.
  4. Place the grooming brushes bristles down into the warm water.
    Make sure the water does NOT touch the wood!
  5. Let soak for about 3 minutes.
  6. Drain the soap water.
  7. Gently work the bristle fields with your fingers to loosen soaked dirt.
  8. Carefully and quickly rinse the bristle field, holding the brush on its side so water can run off right away.
  9. Shake water out of the brush.
  10. Place the brush bristles down on a towel or a dishrack with a towel.
  11. Let drip dry for one hour.
  12. Gently work a dry towel through the bristle field. 
  13. Place brush on its side to dry completely. Turn frequently.

TIP: Finish the drying process in the sunlight, if possible! Sunlight kills germs naturally!


  • Do no place a wet brush “bristles up” to dry! The water will run down the bristles and into the wood back, swelling the wood, which will lead to cosmetic damage.
  • Do not cover the wood back of the grooming brush with water during soaking! The soak water should ONLY touch the bristles!

NOTE:  There is no need to use antibacterial soaps! Regular soap (shampoo or oil soap) is sufficient.

For dandy brushes, hoof brushes, mane and tail brushes with plant-based bristles like Tampico or Union fiber:

  1. Work the brushes against a firm curry to remove loose dirt and hair or comb through with a mane comb.
  2. Fill a flat sink or dish bowl with about 3 inches of hot water (less if the brush has short bristles).
  3. Squirt some natural soap (e.g. Dr Bronner), dish soap or shampoo into the hot water and dissolve.
  4. Let soak for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Work the grooming brushes against the firm curry in the hot water to remove dirt.
  6. Drain the water.
  7. Rinse the brushes under running water until all dirt is removed and the water runs clear.
  8. Shake water out of brush.
  9. Place bristles down on a towel or dish rack for one hour.
  10. Complete drying on the side, preferably in the sunlight. Turn frequently.

PREVENTION is an important part of keeping your brushes beautiful and functional for years. Here is how:

To keep the grooming brushes clean between cleanings:

  • Store the brush standing up or on the side and cover your grooming tote with a towel to keep dust out.
  • While grooming, brush your finishing brush or dandy brush against the firm curry every few strokes to remove dirt and knock the curry against the wall.


Last Not Least - During the grooming process:

Keep cleaning your flick, dandy, or finishing brush by stroking it against a firm rubber curry every couple of brush strokes to remove dust, debris and dander, then knock the rubber curry against the wall or ground so that dirt will not be reapplied to the brush during the next cleaning stroke.

Note: Use a good-quality curry to clean your horse or goat hair brushes! Do NOT use cheap plastic curries, as they will damage and pull out hair over time and make the brush loose bristles.

After the grooming process:

Thoroughly stroke your brush against a rubber curry to clean out the remaining dirt before putting your brush away.

How to store your grooming brushes:

Store your natural grooming brushes in a dry environment, either bristles up or on the side, never resting on the bristles. A closed tool box is better than an open bucket. If you have an open caddy, simply cover it with an attractive towel to keep away the dust.

Note: Slight discolorations of the wood or peeling of the varnish on the edges of the brush may occur with use over time. This does not NOT affect the usability of the brush and is simply a small cosmetic flaw.

Questions about brushes? Please contact us via email, phone, Facebook, or Website Chat!



Loving Essentials: Making your own essential oil disinfecting spray.

Gefen Pure Potato Starch