Metal combs typically have fine teeth, so they're not as easy to clean as the wide-toothed variety. A dirty metal comb can harbor nasty bacteria or grime that will make your hair look dull and unhealthy. It's especially important to sanitize a metal comb if you've used it to remove lice or nits from your hair.

Step 1

Pull hair and other debris out of the comb's teeth.

Step 2

Fill a bowl with hot water. Ideally, the temperature of the water should be around 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

Add a few drops of mild liquid soap to the water and then add 1 tablespoon of unflavored mouthwash, bleach or white vinegar.

Step 4

Dip the comb into the water. Hold the comb by the handle, if it has one, and swirl it around in the water to knock loose any stuck-on debris.

Step 5

Let the comb soak in the water for at least 15 minutes or up to one hour. If the comb didn't have a handle and wasn't fully submerged, repeat the process with the unwashed part of the comb.

Step 6

Remove the comb from the bowl. Shake off the excess water and lay the comb on a towel to dry.


  • Avoid sharing your comb with other people. If you do lend a comb to someone, sanitize it before using it again.


  • If you're cleaning a lice comb, seal it in a plastic bag and stick it in the freezer for 12 hours to kill the lice and their eggs.