How To Clean Makeup Brushes: The Ultimate Guide

Makeup brushes are essential tools for achieving flawless makeup application.

However, over time, these brushes accumulate dirt, oils, and old makeup products, which can lead to skin irritations and affect the performance of the brushes.

Regularly cleaning your makeup brushes is crucial for maintaining their quality and ensuring hygienic makeup application.

With the help of step-by-step directions and professional advice, we will walk you through the process of how to clean makeup brushes successfully in this post.

Importance Of Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Using dirty makeup brushes can have several negative consequences for your skin. Firstly, bacteria, oils, and residual makeup trapped in the bristles can lead to breakouts, irritations, and infections.

Additionally, using brushes with built-up products can compromise your makeup’s color payoff and blending capabilities.

Regularly cleaning your brushes not only ensures a clean and healthy application but also enhances the longevity and performance of your brushes.

How To Clean Makeup Brushes?

Learn how to clean makeup brushes effectively and maintain their quality with our comprehensive guide. From choosing the right cleanser to drying and shaping the brushes, follow our step-by-step instructions for hygienic makeup application. Ensure flawless results and prolong the life of your brushes.

Materials Needed For Cleaning

Before diving into the cleaning process, gather the following materials:

  • Mild liquid soap or brush cleanser
  • Warm water
  • A shallow bowl or sink
  • Clean towels or paper towels
  • Brush guard (optional)
  • Brush cleanser spray (optional)

Step 1: Preparing The Brushes

Start by laying out all the brushes you intend to clean on a clean surface. This will allow you to easily assess the number and type of brushes you’ll be working with.

Additionally, you should remove any excess makeup residue from the brushes by gently wiping them on a tissue or towel.

Step 2: Choosing The Right Cleanser

To effectively clean your makeup brushes, selecting the right cleanser is important. Mild liquid soaps or specialized brush cleansers are both suitable options.

Avoid using harsh detergents or shampoos, as they can damage the bristles. If you opt for a brush cleanser spray, make sure it’s suitable for the type of brush you own.

How To Clean Makeup Brushes
How To Clean Makeup Brushes

Step 3: Cleaning The Brushes

Wet the bristles of one brush with lukewarm water, being careful not to wet the ferrule (the metal part connecting the bristles to the handle).

Apply a small amount of cleanser to your palm or a clean surface and gently swirl the brush in the cleanser. Use your fingers to work the cleanser into a lather, ensuring that it reaches all the bristles.

Step 4: Rinsing The Brushes

Thoroughly rinse the brush under lukewarm water, gently massaging the bristles to remove any remaining cleanser and makeup residue.

Repeat the rinsing process until the water runs clear, indicating that all the cleanser and debris have been removed. Take care not to submerge the entire brush in water, as this can weaken the glue holding the bristles.

Step 5: Drying The Brushes

After rinsing, gently squeeze out excess water from the bristles with your fingers, starting from the base and working toward the tips.

Then, lay the brushes flat on a clean towel or paper towel, ensuring the bristles are not touching surfaces. Allow the brushes to air dry naturally, avoiding direct sunlight or heat sources, which can damage the bristles.

Step 6: Shaping The Brushes

Once the brushes are completely dry, fluff the bristles gently with your fingers to restore their original shape. Use a brush guard or wrap the bristles with tissue to maintain their shape and protect them from dust and damage. Store the brushes in a clean and dry container or brush roll to prevent any contamination.

Expert Tips For Maintaining Makeup Brushes

  • Clean your brushes at least once a month or more frequently if you use them daily.
  • Avoid soaking the entire brush in water to prevent damage to the handle or bristles.
  • Use a gentle motion when swirling and cleaning the brushes to avoid bending or splaying the bristles.
  • Never dry your brushes upright or with the bristles facing upwards, as water can seep into the ferrule and weaken the glue.
  • Consider investing in quality brushes, as they tend to last longer and perform better.
  • Regularly inspect your brushes for any signs of damage or shedding. Replace damaged brushes to ensure optimal application and prevent skin irritations.

How Often Should You Clean Your Makeup Brushes?

Cleaning frequency depends on how frequently you use your brushes. For daily users, it’s recommended to clean them at least once a week.

If you use your brushes less frequently, cleaning them once a month should suffice. However, always trust your judgment and observe the condition of your brushes to determine if they require cleaning sooner.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

  • Avoid using hot water, as it can damage the bristles and affect the glue holding them.
  • Do not vigorously rub or pull on the bristles while cleaning, as this can cause shedding or loosen the ferrule.
  • Never leave your brushes standing upright in a container while drying, as this can cause water to seep into the handle and loosen the bristles.

The Benefits Of Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Regularly cleaning your makeup brushes offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Maintaining skin health by preventing bacterial buildup and breakouts.
  • Enhancing the performance and longevity of your brushes.
  • Ensuring true color payoff and seamless blending.
  • Creating a clean canvas for flawless makeup application.
  • Protecting your investment in quality brushes.


Your beauty routine must include cleaning your makeup brushes. You can keep your brushes clean and hygienic, ensuring optimal makeup application and protecting the quality of your brushes for years to come, by according to the detailed guidelines offered in this guide.

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