Makeup Brushes – How to Clean Them the Proper Way?

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Makeup Brushes – How to Clean Them the Proper Way?

clean makeup brushes

Makeup brush sets come in all shapes and sizes. If you were as obsessed with Michelle Phan and Lauren Curtis as I am then it should not be difficult for you to name the brush types or to correctly use them. Piece of cake. However, when it comes to keeping them in good shape and good ‘health’ I’m sure it’s safe to say that we are quite clueless. It’s probably a shared secret between us makeupholics that we don’t clean our makeup brushes as often as we should (or ever!). Many people have used the same brushes for years and NEVER clean them *shudder*.

So, no, my friend. You’re not the only one.

Why do we need to clean our makeup brushes you may ask?

Cleaning makeup brushes may not seem like a dazzling task but it is definitely essential and should be added to your regular beauty routine. Makeup brushes are caked on with excess powder, dirt, and oils every time we use them. After some time those bristles become a perfect breeding site for bacteria. All of them, then, being put back on your face.

Oh dear!

clean makeup brushes

Image Source: Flickr

Not to mention makeup brushes are always on the recommended splurge list of all the experts, beauty editors and beauty bloggers. Spending a hefty amount on them means we hope they would last for a long time (or forever, if you’re optimistic like me). Deep cleaning makeup brushes helps to sanitize them and adding it to your routine is a safe way to protect both your skin and your investment. I’ll show you step-by-step to clean them naturally using only home remedies.

Firstly you need to know when should you give your beloved makeup brushes a well-rewarded bath? One of the sign is when the brush is no longer soft; it feels scratchy against your skin. Another way to tell is when your makeup looks cake-y and spotty. Keep in mind that the brushes have to be left for a while to be dry. So I’d recommend cleaning them after you have done your makeup for the day or before going to sleep.

Your makeup brushes deserve bubble bath time just as much as these 2 fabulous ducks!


Image Source: Flickr

All you need is warm water, a cleaning product of choice (baby shampoo, hair conditioner, olive oil or soap bar) and you’re ready to go.

  • Step 1: Lay your makeup brushes out ready for their bubble bath.
  • Step 2: Run your brush under lukewarm water. The brush should be put pointing downward. It’s important to note that the water should only be on the bristles, and NOT touch the handle. This can loosen the glue attaching the bristles over time.
  • Step 3: Put a small amount of shampoo or hair conditioner on your palm and swirl the bristles on it to build lather. (If olive oil is used, it should be put on a soft tissue, then you can swirl your brush on the tissue. In case of soap bar, you can rub it on the brush directly).
  • Step 4: Rinse the brush. Make sure you squeeze out the entire excess product. Again, water should not go up to the handle.
  • Step 5: Repeat if necessary (in case of stubborn dirt)
  • Step 6: Dry the brush gently with a cloth and reshape it as you go.
  • Step 7: Place the cleaned brushes on a towel and leave them to dry overnight (6-8 hours).
  • Step 8: Give yourself a high five for accomplishing such hard work (Don’t skip this step because you know you deserve it)

And we’re done!

See? That wasn’t too bad, was it? Waking up to fresh new makeup brushes is very exciting I guarantee. Your makeup brushes should now be clean, soft and ready for use. Repeat these steps once a week, if not more. If you’re struggling with pesky breakouts and clogging pores, deep clean your makeup brushes more often than average and you should see an improvement.

A few extra things you could do to show your makeup brushes some love:

  • Clean the handle by applying rubbing alcohol onto a paper towel and rub it on it. This can disinfect the handle too.
  • Paint the labels by clear nail polish to prevent them from wearing off which would make it easy to identify.


  • Pick up daily brush cleanser for daily use.

All these tips are easy to follow and you can do them at home. Hope you find this post helpful.

How many times do you clean your makeup brushes?

How many times do you think you SHOULD clean your makeup brushes?

Let me know in the comments below. I hope there would be some positive changes.

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