Tip: How to Clean Your Make Up Brushes {Healthy Habit}

Though many of us wear makeup every day, we don’t always think to clean our makeup brushes. This is a terrible habit to neglect, especially when you consider that we wash our faces every day. We do this to clear them of the dirt, oil, and bacteria that can accumulate on our skin. When we put on makeup, this nasty residue is then transferred onto our makeup brushes. So, how do we clear our brushes of this mess? It’s very simple. All you need to do learn how to clean your makeup brushes, using the following method. It doesn’t take any special products and you can have a full set of clean makeup brushes in a matter of minutes.

Items You Need to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

There are two different types of makeup brushes, natural and synthetic. The natural brushes are uses for powdered makeup, such as eyeshadow or blush. Synthetic bristles don’t absorb moisture like natural ones do. That’s why they work best with wet products like lipstick or foundation. These will also accumulate more buildup, requiring a stronger cleaning product.

Natural Brushes:

  • Baby shampoo
  • Lukewarm water
  • Towel

If you don’t have baby shampoo, you can use another gentle shampoo or soap for this process. If you are cleaning synthetic brushes, replace the baby shampoo with dish soap. This will cut through the oils much faster. Just think of how it works on a greasy pan!

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Step #1 – Wet Your Brush

Makeup Brush Cleaning

Run the bristles of your brush under warm water. Try to keep the water away from the handle to avoid soaking the glue. This could loosen the glue over time, causing your bristles to fall out.

Step #2 – Apply Shampoo

Clean your Make Up Brush

Put a drop of the baby shampoo into the palm of your hand. Swirl it around gently to lather up the soap. This will coat the bristles, loosening up any of the makeup residue clinging to them.  

Step #3 – Rinse

Rinse Make Up Brush

Rinse the bristles under warm water again, massaging the bristles to help remove the soap. This will also help to loosen up any makeup still trapped between them. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the water runs clear.

Step #4 – Dry

Dry Make Up Brush

Using a clean towel, cover the bristles and pat them dry. You can also gently squeeze them together with your fingers to remove any excess water. If any of the bristles have become crooked in this process, they will need to be reshaped. Do this with your fingers, straightening them until they are back to their original shape.

Step #5 – Leave Them Overnight

Air Dry your Make Up Brush

Once your makeup brushes are clean and looking good, lay them down on the counter with the heads off the edge. This will help them to dry quickly. Do not lay them on a towel since mildew could form while they dry. Leave them there overnight.

Pro Tips for Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

When it’s time to clean your makeup brushes, keep these tips in mind. This will give you the best results and make sure you don’t damage your brushes in the process.

  • Make sure you let your makeup brush dry naturally. Heat from a radiator or blow dryer can damage the bristles, so let them air dry.
  • The more often you use the brushes, the more often they should be cleaned. But for normal use, clean any synthetic brushes every week to prevent buildup. Wash your natural brushes at least twice a month.
  • Do not dry your brushes vertically. This will allow water to get into the ferrule, which is the area that joins the bristles to the handle. If water comes in contact with the glue, it will loosen the bristles. When this happens, the bristles shed, costing you those quality makeup brushes.
  • Always wash your makeup brushes when you buy them, before their first use. You never know who or what they have come in contact with while they are being packaged. New brushes may also have some loose bristles. It’s much better to wash them away instead of depositing them on your face.

Other Methods for Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Though the method above for cleaning your brushes works great, there are a few other options. Take your time and read through them to decide which one is the best to meet your needs and lifestyle.

#1 – Makeup Cleaning Sponge: (B00HLWOHFE)

Vera Mona Color Switch Solo - Removes Shadow Color from Your Brush

To keep your brushes cleaner throughout the week, you could try a makeup cleaning sponge. These allow you to brush the bristles across it after each use. The powder dusts off onto the sponge and sifts down to the bottom. This keeps the sponge clean on top for the next pass.

#2 – Brush Cleaner Spray 

Brush Cleaner Spray

For a fast cleaning process that you can do anytime, grab a brush cleaning spray. These are super easy to use. Just spray the bristles until they are completely wet. Wipe them back and forth across a paper towel until they are clean. It only takes a short time to dry, so you can do this every day. 

#3 – Vinegar and Olive Oil

Vinegar and Olive Oil Cleanser
via Crunchy Betty

For a more natural method, you can use olive oil to pre-clean your brush and condition the fibers. Then use some castile soap and water to scrub the bristles clean. Dip them in vinegar, rinse, and your brushes are as good as new. 

#4 – Sanitizing with Alcohol

Sanitizing with Alcohol
via Blushing Basics

Along with makeup build-up, germs can also be a concern. Though the baby shampoo method should get rid of them, you can dip your brushes in rubbing alcohol to be extra sure. Swirl it around, then wipe the bristles clean. 

#5 – Conditioning Your Brushes

Conditioning Your Brushes
via Xo Jane

It’s a good idea to condition your brushes once or twice a month. Put a couple drops of baby oil in your hand, swirl the brushes around, and rinse. Then lay them flat, the same way you do after cleaning your brushes. 

Clean Your Brushes Final Thoughts

When there are so many cleaning options available, why suffer from dirty brushes? No matter which method you choose, it will cost you very little of your time and money to complete. And with less dirt, oil, and germs traveling between your makeup and your face, your skin will look and feel great. If you are looking for more hair care articles check out our hair care buyer’s guides.