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How to Easily Clean Your Makeup Brushes

If you wear makeup everyday like me, you also use your makeup brushes every day. But do you also wash your makeup brushes every day? Well, you don’t really need to wash them every day, but you should be washing them often.


Believe me, this a surprise for me also. I confess, when I first started wearing makeup it never crossed my mind that I should be cleaning the brushes I use. When I think back on that it makes me cringe and honestly gag a little bit.

It’s important to clean your makeup brushes often because every time you use the brushes little bits and pieces of makeup, dirt, skin, oil, and bacteria get trapped in the bristles. Is that something you really want touching your face every day? I know I don’t. The dirt trapped in the bristles can cause irritation to your skin and cause breakouts.

Part of having a flawless makeup look is having a clean brush. You'd be surprised how dirty they can get. Here's a 4 step cleaning process for cleaning them. | @arelaxedgal

(This post includes affiliate links for which I may receive a commission at no cost to you should you make a purchase. Read my disclosure for more info.)

Also, cleaning your makeup brushes often, when done properly, can extend the life of the brushes. This is a good thing because good makeup brushes aren’t cheap and you don’t want to always shell out money buying new brushes when you don’t have to.


I clean my makeup brushes once a week. I’ve seen some people say they use a daily cleaner, but I haven’t felt it necessary for me to do that yet. Once a week is working for me. Here’s what I do to clean my brushes each week.

What I use to clean my brushes

1. A sulfate-free clarifying shampoo. 

2. My bathroom sink

3. My hands

4. A clean washcloth


5. My brushes


How I clean my brushes

1. Run water over the bristles
  • To start I wet the brush bristles one of two ways. 1) Run some warm water over them, 2) soak them in a small bowl with warm water and a gentle shampoo or soap.

2. Apply shampoo
  • I then take a small dab of the shampoo on my fingers and massage it into the bristles.

3. Rinse
  • After massaging the shampoo I rinse the bristles in warm water until the water runs clean. 
  • If it seems there’s a lot of makeup in the bristles I repeat the shampoo and rinse steps.

4. Dry
  • To dry the brush I dab the bristles with the washcloth and gently reshape the bristles. 
  • Then I lay out the brush on the washcloth to start drying. 
  • Later during the day, I put the brush in my brash stand with the bristles up. I’ve found my brushes dry quicker that way and the bristles stay in shape.
Part of having a flawless makeup look is having a clean brush. You'd be surprised how dirty they can get. Here's a 4 step cleaning process for cleaning them. | @arelaxedgal

To do a deeper clean of my brushes I will soak my brushes in a small bowl that I fill with warm water with a few tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide or witch hazel. Then I go through the four steps noted above for cleaning my brushes. The hydrogen peroxide and witch hazel act as an extra measure for removing bacteria in the brush bristles.

It’s that simple and only takes a few minutes to do which is well worth it. 

When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes?




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