How to Clean Makeup Brushes

Having to clean makeup brushes is not a fun thing to do. However, it is very important. Follow these steps to clean makeup brushes the right way!


I think most of us have been guilty at least once of putting off the task of cleaning our own makeup brushes. It’s understandable. It takes some effort to wash them thoroughly, and it takes quite a while for them to dry.

If you’re anything like me, your excuse will always be that you don’t have enough time to clean and dry them because you have to use them later. Well, I don’t want to use that excuse anymore, and you shouldn’t either!

So here are the steps to clean makeup brushes the right way.

Why is it so important to clean makeup brushes?


Although some of the reasons are pretty obvious, many people don’t realize how important it is to clean makeup brushes frequently. Here are some reasons that may help you understand why it’s important:

1. Dirty brushes can turn into a breeding ground for bacteria, which could be the cause of acne breakouts, oily skin, and other dermatological problems, like bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.

2. Clean makeup brushes make your makeup products run smoothly on your face, instead of caking up.

3. Previously used makeup brushes that haven’t been cleaned will still contain the previous product, so you will be mixing up colors or shades and getting muddy results.

4. Sharing filthy makeup brushes (even if it’s for a family member or close friend) will risk others getting infected with you bacteria, and if you don’t clean them right after they give them back to you, then you risk getting infected with their bacteria.

5. Taking good care of your brushes will make them last longer, so you won’t have to invest in new ones so often.

Although there are a few other reasons why you should clean them, I think these are more than enough to get convinced, right?

How often should you clean makeup brushes?

It depends on the use you give them. By a rule of thumb, if you use your makeup brushes daily, you should spot clean them after each use and deep clean them once a week.

Spot cleaning is easy and quick. It can be done by removing superficial residues with makeup remover wipes, or a daily brush cleaner spritz (like this one). However, to avoid the things we mentioned before, it is essential to deep clean them.

How to Deep Clean Makeup Brushes

What you need:

Cleaner – You can buy a makeup brush cleaner (like this one), or you can use any gentle shampoo (like baby shampoo).

If you don’t have any of these, you can simply mix water, dish soap, and a little bit of olive oil. (I will also add some of the micellar water I talked about in this article). Usually, dish soap is gentle enough for the brushes, but it also cleans tough dirt, and on the other hand, the olive oil will help keep the bristles soft.

You don’t really need any specific measurements to make your own makeup cleaner, just mix as much as you need for your brushes.

Also, you don’t need to fill a bottle, like I did. If you don’t mind mixing up a new cleaner for your next deep cleaning day, you could simply use a small bowl.


Washing surface – To ensure that you remove all makeup buildup, you should scrub your brushes on a textured surface. You can use a makeup brush washing mat or similar products, or you could simply use your clean hands. (I used a Silicone Scrubber like this one).

Clean makeup brushes thoroughly

Go over to the bathroom sink with all your makeup brushes and cleaning tools ready. Before you begin, it is very important to know that you should avoid getting water in between the handle and the bristles, since this can loosen the glue over time.


Run each brush under lukewarm water to get rid of superficial residues. Pour some of your cleaner on your brush, and scrub it gently but thoroughly, trying to lather as much as you can.




Rinse each brush under running water. Remember, try to focus on the tip of the brush. To make sure that it is completely clean, you should see the water run clear from the brush. If not, repeat all the steps.


After you’ve cleaned your makeup brushes, reshape the bristles as much as you can. To dry them, lay them on a cloth, preferably in a slight angle so the water drips down to the towel and doesn’t slip in to the handle.


And you’re done! Check out what a huge difference it makes deep cleaning your brushes in these Before and After shots:

The deep cleaning process takes some time, along with the drying. So you can just choose to do this on a day when you’re not planning on going out. If you go out every day, then just do it at night before you go to bed. That way, you’ll wake up to clean makeup brushes that you can use right away!

I know it takes time and effort, but it’s so worth it, right?

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