How to Clean a Wooden Comb

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Wooden combs do represent style and elegance with a traditional look. Although modern-day plastic combs are available in different varieties, they can never match the aesthetic appeal of a wooden comb.

Wooden combs are proven to be gentle over your hair in comparison to plastic combs. They are more proficient in terms of dealing with tangles and preventing hair breakage.

But to ensure that a wooden comb lasts long, you need to consider cleaning it over time. It won’t take much of your time, but you need to be aware of your options.  

How to Clean a Wooden Comb

Wooden combs are also prone to accumulate germs and grease over their teeth. Therefore, you need to seek cleaning of those wooden combs in order to prevent such germs from transferring back to your hair and scalp.

But you need to know that wooden combs are not favourable for the cleaning approaches with only direct water. Therefore, you need to be pretty much clear about your options. So, to get a clear idea of how to clean a wooden comb, you can refer to this guide with ideal methods & steps. 

A wooden comb on display

Method 1: Cleaning the Wooden Combs Only With Oil

Water in any form is not suitable for wooden combs. But, most people use warm water for cleaning purposes, which needs to be avoided. In fact, there are oils available in the market and at home that can solely help you clean the combs.

Here are the steps that you need to follow in order to make an approach for this method:

Step 1: Get the Oil for Use

You can preferably use hair oil or natural oil for cleaning the wooden combs. These oils have the potential to kill germs and stop the growth of bacteria. But, apart from hair and natural oil, you can also prefer using cotton oil and olive oil for the purpose.

The easiest option to choose an oil is to pick the one that you use on your hair. Apart from that, you can also choose the hair oil, whose texture and aroma are favourable to you. 

If you are willing to clean your wooden beard comb, then prefer using beard oil for the same. A fact is that it is recommendable for people to coat the wooden comb with respective oil right before using it for the first time.

It is to ensure that the wooden comb gets immediate protection. Hence, this will help suppress the cleaning efforts after a certain period of use. But do not worry, if you haven’t! You can still clean your wooden comb. 

Step 2: Get Started With the Cleaning Process

  1. You will need a clean cotton pad of wool or a piece of clean cloth and a toothbrush.
  2. Apply oil all over the wooden comb, with the use of a brush or by directly submerging it. 
  3. Now, use the cloth or wool pad to scrub it over the wooden comb gently. It is to remove any of the debris and excess oil from the surface of the wooden comb. 
  4. Make use of the toothbrush to reach out to the gaps in between the teeth of your comb. Clean between all those tines, but remember not to use water for washing out the oil from the comb. 
  5. Do a cross-check to ensure that all of the debris is out from the comb’s surface. 
  6. After you have scrubbed the surface, it is essential for you to wipe it with a clean cloth again. 
  7. Now, let the wooden comb settle down overnight or for few hours at least. It will allow the wooden comb to absorb the oil.
  8. Make sure you are storing the wooden comb in some dry place, where there is no source of direct heat or sunlight. 

You need to keep repeating the cleaning process for your wooden comb every few weeks. It is because combing your hair is not periodic but is a daily habit.

And, when you don’t clean the combs, they become home to bacteria that can damage your hair growth and be the reason for your hair fall. Therefore, it is better to clean them with just oil and no water. 

A wooden comb on display with a white background

Method 2: Cleaning Wooden Combs With Warm Water & Mild Soap

It is evident that direct water cleaning can damage the wooden comb. But if you can adopt some regulations to it, there will possibly be no damage to the comb. This method is just an alternative and is not recommended as anyone’s first option. 

Your first priority should always be to clean the wooden combs with natural, olive, beard, coconut, or other such oils. But, if by any chance you are willing to use water for cleaning purposes, then follow these steps to minimize or eradicate the damage:

  1. Prepare a solution of warm water and mild soap solution. 
  2. Soak the wooden comb onto that mixture. 
  3. It is better to add a little hair oil or some natural oil to this water & soap mixture for cleaner results. 
  4. You need to soak the comb for no more than 3 minutes. If you soak it for even a minute extra, then the wooden comb will start to swell and split. 
  5. You will need a soft cloth to wipe the comb properly for drying it. This step will also help you remove all of the debris from the surface of the comb. 
  6. Now, you can make use of a toothbrush to gently clean the gaps within those teeth of the comb. Use the toothbrush to reach out to those narrow spaces as well. 
  7. The hair products are the reason for which there are often build-ups formed between those spaces. So, it is your responsibility to ensure that you do not miss scrubbing any side or part of the wooden comb. 
  8. When you are over with the removal of debris from the body and tines of your wooden comb, you should dry it thoroughly. 
  9. There should not be any moisture over the wooden comb, as it might trigger the process of damage. You can use clean cloth wipes to dry out the comb. 
  10. When dry, you can then coat your wooden comb with a layer of hair oil, beard oil, or natural oil. It intends to protect the wood from being completely exposed to germs and bacteria. 
  11. Now, leave the wooden comb to settle down over a towel to let it absorb the oil. 
  12. Wipe out the excessive flowing oil from the surface of the comb, and then place it somewhere dry to keep it away from heat sources for the time being. Please do not keep them under direct sunlight for the drying process. 

This is the alternate method for you to seek cleaning of your wooden comb. But, never put this method as your priority! It is because water causes a lot of damage to wood, and if you intend to learn about such damages, then give this write-up a read.

In order to get a better glimpse into how to clean wooden combs proficiently, a video link is provided that will give you clarity on the cleaning approaches! So, access it from this YouTube link here

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Sanitize My Wooden Combs?

If you wish to sanitize your wooden comb right after you have cleaned it, then you must use tea tree oil for the purpose. Give a final wipe over the comb surface with the tea tree oil and allow it to settle overnight.

Remove any extra spread of oil over the surface with a clean cloth! Here is an article to make you aware of the diverse disinfecting applications of tea tree oil. Check it out right away!

Is Wooden Comb Feasible for Maintaining and Improving Hair Health?

Brushing the man's hair with a wooden comb

In comparison with the plastic combs of today, Wooden combs are light in weight and have soft bristles. Therefore, they have the potential to minimize the aspects of damage to hair or scalp.

As a result, it helps in rejuvenating the flow of blood to your scalp. Hence, it will help improve the hair quality and will give you a relaxing feel. To know more about how wooden combs will help your hair, don’t forget to go through this informative piece. 


While it is important to remember cleaning your home, you should not forget the little things, like your wooden comb. By now, you must have got an idea about the efficacies of wooden combs compared to plastic ones. Not just that, but you can now clean them with ease.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t notice debris stuck to your wooden combs; still, you need to clean them over specific intervals. And in that way, you can ensure to maintain the durability of your wooden comb! 

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.