How to Clean Make-up Brushes

A hand holding a makeup brush, cleaning it under a running water faucet.

Welcome to the ultimate guide on How to Clean Make-up Brushes.

Whether you’re a makeup enthusiast or a professional artist, keeping your brushes clean is essential for flawless makeup application.

Let’s dive into the best practices, common mistakes to avoid, and expert tips for maintaining your makeup brushes.

Why Clean Make-Up Brushes Matter

Clean makeup brushes not only ensure a smooth makeup application but also prevent skin issues like breakouts and infections.

Neglecting brush hygiene can lead to the buildup of bacteria, oil, and old makeup residue, compromising both your skin’s health and the longevity of your brushes.

How to Clean Make-Up Brushes

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before starting, gather these essentials:

  • Mild shampoo or brush cleanser
  • Warm water
  • Towel
  • Brush cleaning pad or textured surface

Step 2: Wet Your Brushes

Dampen the bristles with lukewarm water.

Avoid soaking the entire brush to prevent water from seeping into the ferrule, which can loosen the glue and damage the bristles.

Step 3: Cleanse with Shampoo

Apply a small amount of mild shampoo or brush cleanser to the bristles.

Gently lather and massage the product into the bristles using circular motions on your cleaning pad or hand.

Step 4: Rinse Thoroughly

Rinse the brushes under running water until the water runs clear, ensuring all soap residue and makeup are removed.

Step 5: Dry Properly

Reshape the bristles and lay the brushes flat on a towel to air dry.

Avoid drying them upright, as water can drip into the ferrule.

Best Practices and Expert Tips

  • Use Gentle Cleansers

Opt for mild, sulfate-free shampoos or specialized brush cleansers to avoid drying out the bristles.

  • Clean Regularly

Ideally, clean your makeup brushes at least once a week to prevent product buildup and bacterial growth.

  • Be Gentle

Avoid harsh scrubbing or pulling on the bristles, as this can damage the brush fibers and shorten their lifespan.

  • Rotate Your Brushes

Having multiple sets of brushes allows you to rotate them, giving ample time for each set to dry thoroughly between uses.

  • Deep Clean Monthly

In addition to weekly cleanings, deep clean your brushes monthly by soaking them in a mixture of warm water and gentle cleanser for extra thoroughness.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Using Hot Water

Hot water can damage the bristles and weaken the glue holding them together.

Stick to lukewarm water for cleaning.

  • Skipping Drying Time

Ensure brushes are completely dry before using them again to prevent mold growth and bristle damage.

  • Using Harsh Chemicals

Avoid using alcohol, acetone, or harsh cleaners as they can strip the bristles of their natural oils and cause them to become brittle.

Two hands with soapy water cleaning the makeup brush.

Hacks for How To Clean Make-up Brush

Baby ShampooGentle on bristles and effective at removing makeup residues.
Olive Oil and Dish SoapMix for deep cleaning; olive oil conditions while dish soap cleans.
Vinegar and WaterA natural disinfectant; mix equal parts for a quick brush cleanse.
Makeup Brush CleanserSpecifically designed for brushes; ensures thorough cleaning and sanitization.
Silicone Brush Cleaner MatTextured surface helps to loosen dirt and makeup for a deeper clean.
Micellar WaterGreat for daily spot cleaning; removes makeup without drying out bristles.


Cleaning your makeup brushes is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy skincare routine and achieving flawless makeup application.

By following these steps and expert tips, you can prolong the lifespan of your brushes and keep your skin happy and radiant.

Incorporate regular cleaning into your beauty regimen to ensure a seamless makeup experience every time.

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