How To Easily Clean Your Makeup Brushes

If you wear makeup every day 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 is 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. I don't know why because I would clean the combs and brushes I used on my hair weekly. When I think back on that it makes me cringe and honestly gag a little bit.

Keep reading to see how you can make sure you have clean brushes to apply your makeup without having to buy brand-new ones.

clean makeup brushes and sponges lying on a gray washcloth
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It’s really important to deep 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. Yeah, I know kinda disgusting. Is that something you want to touch your face every day? I know I don’t. The dirt trapped in the bristles can cause irritation to your skin and breakouts.

Additionally, 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’ve seen some people say they clean their makeup brushes daily, but I clean my makeup brushes once a week as I haven't found it necessary for me to clean them more frequently. Here’s what I do to deep clean my brushes each week.

What I use to clean my makeup brushes 

1. A gentle shampoo or soap

I use a variety of cleaners on my makeup brushes. Sometimes I use a gentle sulfate-free shampoo (typically a shampoo my hair doesn't like and I want to get rid of), my face wash, dish detergent, hand soap, or cheap soap bars. 

Some alternatives that I've seen others use are baby shampoo or specific cleaners made for makeup brushes. No matter what you use just make sure it's not something that could end up irritating your skin if some residue happens to be left on the brush.

2. My bathroom sink

I clean my brushes in my bathroom usually in my sink. Occasionally I'll use a bowl or plastic container instead of the sink.

3. My hands

There are many tools out there to help you clean your makeup brushes. Tools like this brush cleaner mat set or the brush egg can help scrub your brushes clean. I haven't yet invested in tools like that so I just use my hands.

4. A clean washcloth

I use the washcloth to help dry the brushes and for them to lay on to dry.

5. My brushes

This is a given since they're what is being washed.

How I clean my makeup brushes

1. Wet the brushes

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

2. Apply the cleanser

I then place a small dab of the shampoo or soap in the palm of my hand and swirl the bristles into the cleanser. I keep swirling the brush bristles until the cleanser has completely changed color.  

3. Rinse

After swirling the brush bristles in the cleanser I rinse them in warm water until the water runs clear. If it seems there’s a lot of makeup still left in the bristles I repeat the cleanser and rinse steps.

4. Dry

To dry the brushes I dab the bristles with the washcloth and gently reshape them. Then I lay out the brush on the washcloth to start drying.  Later during the day, I put the brush in my brush stand with the bristles up. I’ve found my brushes dry quicker than sitting up than laying down and the bristles stay in shape.

To do an even deeper clean and disinfection of my brushes I will soak them 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.

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?