How to Clean Makeup Brushes
Cleaning your makeup brushes regularly is important, especially if you’re using them daily. Dirty makeup brushes can be a cesspool for germs, bacteria & dead skin (even dust), and can cause infections, irritation, and blemishes if left unsanitized for too long.
There are two ways to clean makeup brushes, spot clean and deep clean. If you’re only using the brushes on yourself, it’s not necessary to deep clean them every day, however, you should be deep cleaning your brushes every 1-2 weeks and spot cleaning them daily.
What is Spot Cleaning?
Spot cleaning is a quick way to remove product, oil, and bacteria from the bristles of the brush without getting it completely wet. The brush can be used shortly after it has been spot cleaned, making it ideal for daily use.
What is Deep Cleaning?
Deep cleaning sanitizes the entire makeup brush, from bristle to handle. Because it involves getting the bristles wet deeply cleaned brushes need to dry overnight.
How to Spot Clean Makeup Brushes
You can spot clean your makeup brushes each day by using a quick-drying brush cleaner. This will not remove all of the product off of the brush, but it will disinfect the bristles and keep your skin happy.
What You’ll Need:
- A Quick-Drying Brush Cleaner, such as Cinema Secrets or Sonia Kashuk Quick-Clean
- Paper Towel
- Rubbing Alcohol (70%) (optional)
- Gather all dirty brushes, paper towel, and quick-dry brush cleaner. If you’d like to clean the ferrule and handle of your brush, feel free to also grab some 70% rubbing alcohol.
- Lay out a sheet or two of paper towel on a clean, flat surface.
- Spray or dip the dirty bristles of each brush into the quick-dry cleaning mix, keeping it low and out of the ferrule of the brush (where the glue is).
- Swirl the dirty brush in light circular motions onto a clean sheet of paper towel until the color no longer transfers.
- Set your brushes on a clean paper towel for a few minutes, until dry.
- Optional: If you’d like to also clean the handle of the brush you can wipe it down with a clean paper towel and 70% rubbing alcohol.
How to Deep Clean Makeup Brushes
Makeup brushes should be deep cleaned every 1-2 weeks, depending on how frequently you’re using them. It’s best to deep clean your brushes after you’re done with your makeup application for the day, as the brushes will be wet and need to dry overnight.
What You’ll Need:
- Dr. Bronners Castille Soap (or any non-toxic soap made for cleaning brushes)
- Rubbing Alcohol (70%)
- A Bowl OR Textured Brush Cleaning Pad
- A Clean Towel
- Paper Towel
- Gather all your dirty brushes, 70% rubbing alcohol, Castille soap/makeup brush soap, and a clean bowl OR makeup brush cleaning pad.
- Lay out a clean towel next to your sink. Set 1-2 sheets of paper towel down on the opposite side of the sink and place the dirty brushes on them.
- If you’ll be using a bowl, fill it with a few drops of soap and warm water. If you’re using a brush cleaning pad, set it inside the sink and get it wet (make sure it’s been sanitized since the previous use).
- Grab a dirty brush and get the bristles wet by either dipping it into the bowl of soapy water or by setting it in your palm with runoff water from the faucet. No matter which method you choose, it’s important not to let the water go too high up the brush (it softens the glue that holds the bristles in place).
- Once wet, gently swirl the dirty brush in either the soapy water bowl OR against the textured brush cleaner with a drop of soap.
- Rinse the brush under clean runoff water in your palm, and repeat
- Gently swirl the brush until the water runs clear. Rinse once more under clean runoff water in your palm until all soap is removed.
- Gently squeeze out the excess water from the bristles. Set the brush aside on the clean towel and move on to the next brush until all are clean.
- Once all brushes have been washed, grab some clean paper towel and 70% rubbing alcohol and wipe down the brush handles of each brush (be sure to get the ferrule as well).
- Set the brush back down on the towel and allow to dry overnight.
- Repeat every 1-2 weeks (depending on how often you’re using the brushes)
- If you happen to get water too high up the brush, let it dry upside down. This will keep the water from ruining the glue and making the bristles fall out.
- If you’re using natural haired brushes (not cruelty-free), you should also condition them. Castille soap has oil in it and will condition the brush while cleaning. If you’re using something other than Castille soap you can add a few drops of olive oil to your soap to condition the natural hairs.
- Be extra gentle with your brushes. They are delicate (and expensive!). You don’t need to push, pull or swirl hard to get a deep clean.
Disclaimer: May contain affiliate links. All opinions are our own. Nothing stated above should be used in lieu of professional advice.