I am not sure if you are like me, but during the summer, I am way to busy to even think about cleaning my horse brushes. There is so much to do, horses need to be worked, videos need to be made and a garden needs to be tended to. But when the days start getting longer, and I finally feel that I can slow down a bit, I reorganize my barn. And even though I clean out my grooming boxes on a somewhat regular basis, I don’t clean horse brushes nearly as often as I probably should.

But every fall, and spring for that matter I do take the time to clean all of the horse brushes I have. And I don’t mean knocking the dust out of them, I will do that throughout every grooming. What I am talking about is cleaning and washing every piece of grooming equipment that touches my horses. And you know what? It isn’t that hard!


Not too many things you will need here really,

  • Dirty horse brushes
  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Towel
  • A sunny warm place to let your brushes dry


First things first here dear reader, you need to gather all of your brushes. First look in the grooming totes, but then also check the feed room, tack trunks, and even in the garage. I don’t know how I do this, but I will always find horse brushes laying around in very odd places.

Once you have gathered all of your brushes, using a horse hair brush, like this one….

cleaning horse brushes

Get all of the long hairs out and run a rubber curry over the bristles to get some of the dirt and dust out. I would advise you to do this outside. Because even though you can’t see it, there is a LOT of dirt hidden in your brushes.

After you have the brushes somewhat clean and rid of horse hair, now it’s time to prepare the brush bath. If you are brave, you can bring the brushes into your house and fill your sink with some warm water. This is how I do it.

cleaning horse brushes


Now add some dish soap, or shampoo if you prefer, and take a brush or two and put them into the sudsy water. I like to do this with my synthetic bristle brushes first. I wash the back and then using the hair brush, I run through the bristles. The idea is to loosen the dirt and the warm soapy water really helps with this.

how to keep your horse brushes clean

After I have done my synthetic brushes, I repeat the process with the real hair brushes. If your brushes have wood backs, don’t allow them to soak in the water long term. This will cause the wood to warp and crack. I have found you don’t need to soak the brushes very long in the water. Even if your brushes are really dirty, soaking isn’t necessary.

make your horse brushes last longer

Then rinse the brushes completely so there is no soap left. Repeat this process with all of your brushes and them place them on their side or bristles down to dry.


After the brushes have completely dried, usually a couple of hours in the sun if you can, it is time to put them back. For me this is very satisfying. My horses’ brushes are clean, and look like new. Like I said, very satisfying. And the best part of doing this is your brushes will last longer. I don’t know about you, but some of my brushes are expensive. My favorite Haas brushes can cost up to $35.00, so I want to make sure they last.

cleaning horse brushes

You will also be able to groom your horse better, and faster with clean brushes. And it is so nice to be able to run the rubber curry over the bristles of a brush, and no cloud of dust explodes from the brush!

This is a great project to do on a day where you can’t ride, or you are looking for a horsey related project. So instead of running out to buy a new brush, why not spend an hour or so and take care of the brushes you already have? It’s a cost effective solution that you will feel good about doing!

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