How to Disinfect Dog Brushes: A COMPLETE Guide for 2022 

It is important to keep your dog’s brushes clean and learn how to disinfect dog brushes to avoid the spread of any bacteria or germs. 

This is especially important if you have more than one dog in the house. Sharing unclean brushes can spread bacterial infections and pests from one dog’s fur or mouth to another.

Even though you may have a different set of brushes for each of your dogs, which is wise, these brushes need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly for your dog’s skin and coat health.

How To Disinfect Dog Brushes

clean dog brushes regularly for safety
Keep your grooming tools clean to ensure your dog has healthy skin and a clean, shiny coat.

To disinfect dog brushes and combs, you can soak them in a solution of 2 tsp bleach per 2 cups of cold water for 6 minutes, soak the brushes in isopropyl alcohol, or use a commercial pet-safe disinfecting cleaner.

Keep all cleaner bottles and soaking solutions out of the reach of your pets. Always rinse brushes thoroughly before using them again.

Brushes with wooden handles will become ruined if left to soak, so use a pet-safe disinfectant spray cleaner for wood-handled brushes.

How Do I Keep My Dog’s Brushes Clean?

Dog brushes and other grooming tools need to be cleaned regularly to ensure you’re not brushing dirt particles and old skin oils and dander back through your dog’s fur.

If your dog’s brushes don’t need disinfecting, they should still be cleaned as frequently as possible.

Ideally, you should soak your dog’s brushes and combs in a solution of degreasing dish soap and hot water, shampoo and hot water, or vinegar and hot water after every use.

Allow the brush to soak for about 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with hot water and allow it to air dry.

How Do I Disinfect My Dog’s Brushes?

clean a dog brush with antibacterial soap
One way to clean a dog brush is to soak it in a sink or dish of hot water and antibacterial soap for 20 minutes before rinsing.

Knowing how to disinfect dog brushes is also important. This will help keep your pet healthy and free from infection.

If your dog has been suffering from itchy skin or bacterial infections, disinfect all brushes right away.

When your dog’s brushes need to be disinfected, the process is much the same, but you need to use a disinfecting solution to kill germs, bacteria, and pests. Here are a few ways to disinfect your dog’s brushes.

If the brush is made from all heat-proof materials, such as silicone and metal, the brush can be boiled for 5 minutes to kill any bacteria or pests present in the bristles.

You can also soak brushes in a bleach solution of 2 teaspoons of bleach for every 2 cups of cold water. Never use hot water because it dissipates the bleach in seconds, rendering the solution ineffective.

This is a good method to use if the brush has been used to groom the dog while it recovers from a skin condition.

Be sure to rinse the brush thoroughly in hot water to remove all of the bleach and allow it to air dry before using it again.

You can also disinfect a brush by using a pet-safe disinfectant spray. This is a good option if you’re not sure if the brush materials will hold up to bleach or hot water.

Pet-safe disinfectant sprays can be found at any pet store. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.

Finally, for daily maintenance and bacteria-free brushes, we recommend keeping a small spray bottle with isopropyl alcohol in it handy. Spray down each brush after use and allow it to air dry. No need to rinse.

This will not clean any debris off of the bristles, so it’s not a replacement for cleaning the brushes, but it will kill any germs or bacteria on contact.

How Do I Disinfect My Dog’s Toothbrush?

Disinfect all dog brushes
Disinfecting all brushes, including toothbrushes is a great way to keep your dog healthy!

Your dog’s toothbrush should also be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Your dog’s toothbrush is the perfect breeding ground for oral bacteria if it’s not kept clean.

Our favorite way to keep toothbrushes bacteria-free is by spraying them thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol and air-drying them after each use.

The alcohol quickly dissipates, but you can rinse the toothbrush thoroughly before each use to make sure it’s free from any residue.

Replace your dog’s toothbrush monthly, if you’re brushing his teeth every day, to ensure the toothbrush is fresh and clean, and the bristles are still cleaning away plaque as they should.

Don’t use any cleaners on your dog’s toothbrush because if there is any residue left after cleaning it can make your dog sick.


It is a good idea to disinfect dog brushes regularly, even if they don’t seem dirty. This will help to ensure that any bacteria or germs are killed and will keep your dog’s coat healthy and clean.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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