How to Clean a Comb (and Why You Should Even Bother)
Why Bother with a Beard Comb?
A beard comb is among a beardsman’s greatest assets to keeping his beard at its best. A beard comb has the ability to soak up oils and grease, as well as keeping the beard smooth and growing in the right direction.
Beard combs are usually in the employ of men with long beards. However, they are generally useful for beards and mustaches of all textures and lengths.
Maintaining a fastidious facial care regimen helps with keeping your skin and beard in tip-top shape. But that regimen should also cover the care of your brushes and combs, which come in contact with your skin.
With a dirty beard comb, grease and debris will only find their way back into your beard. The comb has narrow spaces between its teeth, so dirt and debris tend to build up there.
Think of your beard comb as your teeth. You wouldn’t leave chunks of food in the nooks and crevices of your teeth for so long that bacteria starts feasting on it, right?
If you suddenly got the urge to floss after that sentence, then it’s probably time to clean up your beard comb. Otherwise, you may have to look into your dental and facial hygiene habits and make some changes.
The Many Types of Beard Combs
1. Wooden Beard Combs
These types of beard combs are among the most preferred and used by beardsmen. The wood tends to retain a bit of beard oil, which moisturizes the beard during combing sessions between applications of beard oil.
Its structure and material also reportedly pull out fewer hairs compared to its metal and plastic counterparts. This prevents static buildup.
2. Plastic Beard Combs
These combs tend to have finer teeth and are perfect for those with short beards. They are also a great budget-friendly option.
Plastic combs are durable, cheap, light, and easy to carry around in your pocket or grooming kit.
3. Metal Beard Combs
Metal combs are also light but more durable than plastic combs. They are, however, only as great as how often they are polished.
A dirty metal comb snags multiple beard hairs, creates static, and strips away beard oil.
How to Clean a Beard Comb
This is ideal for cleaning beard combs made of metal and/or plastic. Basically, anything other than wood.
What you’ll need:
Disinfectant liquid soap
Make sure your water runs warm, but not too hot that it burns your skin. It’s best to gather the warm water in a sink, but a basin, bowl, or cup should be fine.
Squeeze a line of soap on the base of the comb where the teeth start. Make sure to do it on both sides of the comb.
Using your fingers, spread the soap generously between the teeth of the comb. Create a lather and go at it until the debris and gunk stuck between the comb teeth soften.
Give the comb a quick rinse in the warm water. This should wash off most of the soap, but it’s okay not to wash it off completely.
Put another line of liquid soap along each side of the comb just like you did in step 2.
Place the comb under running water, and use the toothbrush to scrape away. Brush from the base of the comb upwards to remove any buildup of debris.
Rinse the comb again, but this time make sure that the rest of the soap has been removed.
Shake the beard comb to wick off any excess water. Wipe and pat it dry with a hand towel.
Follow these general guidelines when cleaning your beard combs, and adapt accordingly based on the variation of style and material of the comb.
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For example, cleaning a fine-toothed comb calls for the same steps, but requires more time beneath running water. It also calls for a more persistent brushing and scrubbing job as debris can be wedged extra tight between the narrower comb’s teeth.
Don’t use a basin, as submerging the wooden comb for a long period of time can cause it to swell and splinter. Keep the water running and warm.
Apply a line of soap on either side of the comb, at the base of the teeth.
Scrub thoroughly with a toothbrush until every bit of debris is free. Be sure to go between the cracks of the teeth to really give the grime a run for its money, but not too hard, as the pressure may cause the teeth to break.
Rinse the comb quickly under warm water. Make sure all the soap, dirt, and debris get washed away. It helps to turn the water at its strongest to force the debris away as soon as possible so as to lessen the time the comb is in water.
Once the comb is clean, take it out of the water. Immediately pat it dry with a hand towel, taking care not to leave any moisture on it.
Leaving a wooden comb wet for an extended period of time can damage it. Be fastidious when hand-drying the comb, but don’t resort to extremes such as blow-drying hot air on it.
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Don’t wait for months on end to clean or replace your beard comb. You should be cleaning it once you see traces of buildup.
Keeping a clean comb helps maintain its strength, flexibility, and efficacy. It also helps your comb last longer, though don’t hesitate to replace your comb once it gives signs of finally giving out or teeth start to fall out.
How do you clean your beard comb? Let us know in the comments section below!