Clean Makeup Brushes

Edited by Melissa Rae, Eng, Gem, Donna and 1 other

You know just what to do with the many makeup brushes in your collection, from foundation and concealer, to eyeliner and lips. Even with the highest-quality makeup and the best application methods, dirty makeup brushes can end up ruining your entire look. Makeup brushes can be quite expensive, so you'll want to keep them clean and hygienic to get the most out of them. Dirty makeup brushes can harbor bacteria that could cause skin or eye infections and acne. You don't need expensive brush cleaners to keep your brushes in top shape. You just need about 15 minutes and a few common products you can find around the house. Read on to learn all about makeup brush cleaning and maintenance.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Melissarae cleanse-makeup-brushes-with-baby-shampoo.jpg

Ad

How Often Should We Clean Our Makeup Brushes?

In an ideal world, we would wash our makeup brushes after every use. However, that's just not practical for the vast majority of us. Makeup brushes should be deep-cleaned at least once every two weeks if you use them frequently. Once a week is even better. Some brushes require even more frequent cleaning in order to work properly. If you use a brush to apply gel eyeliner, it can dry up on the brush and make it hard to apply a smooth line. Eyeshadow, blush, and lip brushes can accumulate different colors as you use them, and you'll end up with dull or muddy looks that aren't true to color. It's best to spot-clean all of your brushes after each use with a brush-cleaning spray. This will help keep your brushes in good shape between deep cleanings. Keep the brush-cleaning spray and some tissues or paper towels handy in the area where you do your makeup everyday so you'll be more inclined to use it. You can purchase a brush-cleaning spray or make one yourself with the following recipe.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Melissarae Spray-Brush-Cleaners.jpg

How to Make DIY Brush-Cleaning Spray

  1. 1
    Mix 3 tablespoons of filtered water and 1/4 cup isopropyl alcohol in a clean spray bottle.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Add essential oils for scent and antimicrobial properties.
    You can add 5-6 drops of peppermint, tea tree, lavender or grapefruit essential oils to the brush cleaner. These are not necessary to add, but they can make the brush cleaner more pleasant to use.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Close the spray bottle and give it a shake before each use.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    To use the brush-cleaning spray, just spray it on a tissue or paper towel, and gently wipe off your makeup brushes in a downward motion between each use.
    This fast-drying spray will remove excess makeup and reduce the number of bacteria on your brushes. Let the brushes dry for a few minutes before putting them away.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

There are so many different products you can use to deep-clean your makeup brushes. You can purchase a designated brush cleaner, or you can use one of many products you can find around the house, such as shampoo, hand soap, facial cleaner or dish soap. The best time to clean your makeup brushes is at night, so that they'll be dry and ready to use the next day. Whether your makeup brushes are natural or synthetic, cheap or expensive, follow the steps in this article to keep your brushes clean, maintain the texture of the bristles, and save your skin from nasty bacteria and old makeup residue that can lead to breakouts.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Melissarae z brushes.jpg
  1. 1
    Gather your dirty makeup brushes and a few clean towels or cloths.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Fill a bowl or cup with warm water and add a tablespoon of shampoo, dish soap, castile soap, facial cleanser, or brush shampoo.
    For additional makeup-removing power, you can add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the water. The smell of vinegar will disappear after your brushes are clean. If you want, you can add a few drops of lavender, grapefruit, lemon or peppermint essential oils for scent. You can skip this step if you have a solid brush cleaner or if you want to clean your brushes with bar soap.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Rinse your makeup brushes under warm water to remove excess makeup.
    Hold the brushes with the bristles facing downward to avoid getting water in the barrel where the bristles are attached. Water can loosen the glue that holds the bristles on to the brush.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    If you're using a liquid brush cleaner, dip one brush at a time in the soapy water, and swirl it along the bottom of the bowl or cup to remove the makeup.
    Gently rub the bristles with a washcloth or your hands, using a downward motion to avoid messing up the shape of the bristles. It's harder to remove cream or liquid makeup from natural brushes because of the cuticle, so they might require a little more effort than synthetic brushes. Set each brush aside while cleaning the rest.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    If you're using solid brush cleaner, rub the wet brush against the solid brush cleaner or a bar of soap dampened with water until it starts to lather.
    Clean the bristles in downward motions with a washcloth or your hands in a downward motion. Set each brush aside on the towel while cleaning the rest.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  6. 6
    Rinse your brushes thoroughly under lukewarm water.
    Hold them facing downward, and try not to submerge the barrels in water.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  7. 7
    Gently squeeze out the excess water, and lay out your brushes on a clean towel to air-dry.
    Make sure to form the bristles into their natural shape, and lay them flat or at a downward slant to dry. You can put them in front of a fan or cracked window to speed up the drying time. Do not use the brushes again until they are completely dry.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

    Advertisement

Questions and Answers

Is there a special way to clean sable hair make up brushes?

My sable hair make up brushes are expensive and I do not want to ruin them.. I have tried: I only rinse my makeup brushes to avoid damaging the fine brush hairs.

During the entire history of cosmetology, there has been no better method of cleaning a brush than rinsing it. Washing brushes regularly is very important, as a dirty brush may cause not only irritation on the skin and acne, but also irrational excessive usage of make-up or poor quality of its application.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

This means that it is necessary to clean sable brushes at least 2 - 3 times a week and every time after their usage. Do not use alcohol solutions, which may damage the sable hair structure. Always use warm water or shampoo without conditioner. Conditioners may make your brush too soft, and it will be hard for you to pick up make-up.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Pour some shampoo into the palm of your hand, rinse your brush in warm water, and spread the shampoo over the brush. You have to be careful when washing the brush: do not squeeze or push it too hard and avoid getting water or shampoo into the handle of the brush. When foam has been formed, rinse the brush in warm clean water, making sure that there are no traces of the shampoo in it. Then, slightly wring it with care by squeezing the hair. Lay the brush onto a towel or a cotton napkin until it is dry. The idea position for drying a brush is with its hair hanging off an even surface (of a table, for example).

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Caution: do not let the brush dry in a vertical position. It will stay wet at the base, and it will lose its original quality. Do not dry the brush with a fan or by putting it onto the central heating system. Also, avoid using it for oil-based make-up foundations as the sable hair will absorb these foundations and washing the sable hair will become quite complicated and may result in a damaged brush.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Comments

VisiHow welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.




Melissarae
Premier Author
4 Articles Started
2,113 Article Edits
18,160 Points
Melissarae is a premier author with VisiHow. Melissarae has achieved the level of "Gunnery Sergeant" with 18,160 points. Melissarae has started 4 articles (including this one) and has also made 2,113 article edits. 14,500 people have read Melissarae's article contributions.
Melissarae's Message Board
Melissarae: Hi, my name is Melissarae.
Melissarae: Can I help you with your problem about "Clean Makeup Brushes"?
 

Article Info

Categories : Makeup & Cosmetics

Recent edits by: Donna, Gem, Eng

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,668 times.

Do you have a question not answered in this article?
Click here to ask one of the writers of this article
x

Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No