How to Clean Makeup Brushes {The Easy Way}

Want to know how to clean makeup brushes at home? Today I’m sharing the most simple way to clean makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I’m also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. 

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

How to Clean Makeup Brushes {The Easy Way}

In today’s post I’m sharing how to clean makeup brushes the easy way that will save you time and headache. Be honest: When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? It’s probably the most used tool in your makeup collection, yet too often makeup brushes aren’t being cleaned regularly, and as a result aren’t performing as they should.

Over time, excess makeup within the bristles can cause makeup brushes to lose their original shape and glory. Daily dirt and oil buildup in your makeup brushes can also cause breakouts, and house bacteria and germs that none of us want on our skin.

Read Next: Makeup Expiration Guide : When to Toss

That’s why it’s super important to establish a good makeup brush cleaning routine, which is why today I’m sharing my best tips on how to clean makeup brushes and my best practices on how to care for your makeup brushes in order for them to last longer.

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

How Often To Clean Makeup Brushes

A lot of people ask how often you should clean makeup brushes and whether or not you need to clean your brushes after every use. The answer really depends on how much you regularly use your brushes, but as a general rule of thumb you should be doing a thorough deep cleaning of your makeup brushes once a month, and using a brush cleanser a minimum of weekly.

Makeup brushes and sponges that are used to apply foundation and concealer should be washed even more frequently, as these are going to house pore-clogging oils that aren’t good for the skin.

As I wear makeup on a regular basis, I try to clean my makeup brushes every week and I clean my eye makeup brushes after every use with these makeup wipes and this $3 spray from e.l.f. I just lightly spray my brushes and gently dab them on these wipes to get off any excess product. The wipes are especially handy when traveling.

Establishing a routine will be the most difficult part, but to get started try setting reminders on your phone once a week. Trust me, your brushes, skin, and makeup application will thank you for it.

Looking for affordable makeup brushes? Check out my Ultimate Makeup Brush Guide

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

What to Use To Clean Makeup Brushes

There are a lot of different options when it comes to cleaning your makeup brushes, but I’ve personally found the best method is using warm water and a gentle dish soap or shampoo.

When looking for a product to clean makeup brushes there are two main important qualities.

  1. You want something that is going to actually remove the makeup, plus all the germs and bacteria
  2. You want something that isn’t going to be harmful or irritating to your skin

It’s all about preference here, but I recommend steering clear of products that have fragrance or ingredients that might cause adverse skin reactions. You also want to ensure you’re not using products that might be potentially harmful to your makeup brushes, as certain types of bristles require special care.

I’ve been washing makeup brushes with this dish soap for years and it’s always did a fabulous job, but just recently I started using this all natural makeup brush shampoo and I absolutely love it! The older I get the more mindful I’m becoming of what I’m putting on my skin, and the same holds true for what I’m cleaning makeup brushes with. This shampoo is 100% natural, antimicrobial, and fragrance + paraben free!

As mentioned above, I also really love using this daily brush spray and these makeup wipes for everyday cleaning and sanitizing.

A Step-by-Step Brush Cleaning Method – How to Clean Makeup Brushes

1. Squeeze a small amount (about a tablespoon) of gentle soap or shampoo into a bowl or mug filled with warm water.

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

2. Dip your brushes one at a time in the water, swirling and gently massaging the bristles in the palm of your hand to remove the makeup. If your brushes are extra dirty, you may need to apply a small amount of shampoo or soap in your palm and move your brush in circular motions. I also recommend this awesome makeup brush cleaning mat when cleaning larger foundation brushes.

Update: I’ve been using this makeup brush cleaning mat for over a year now and it makes the process go by so much faster! It has little suction cups that stick right on the bottom of your sink, making it super easy and mess-free. It’s truly worth every penny and even better you can save 10% off over here with my code KINDLY. 🙂

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

3. Rinse the makeup brushes with clean water, and lightly squeeze out excess water.

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

How to Dry Makeup Brushes

4. Lay brushes out flat on a towel to dry (overnight is best)

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

5. The next day (or once dry) gently fluff the brushes to get them back to their original shape.

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

Cleaning makeup sponges is also super easy. Simply dampen your makeup sponge and apply a small amount of shampoo in your hand.

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

Gently rub the sponge in between your hands and work up a lather until it rinses clear.

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

Extra Tips For Caring For Makeup Brushes

  • When washing makeup brushes, avoid submerging the brush handles in water. This can cause damage and eventually will cause your brush handle to fall off.
  • Always point your makeup brushes down when cleaning/drying, so that the water falls off the end of the bristles and again doesn’t cause damage to the handles.
  • Store clean makeup brushes and dirty makeup brushes separately, until you have time to clean the dirty ones. This will help stop the potential spreading of bacteria.
  • Store makeup brushes in an upright makeup holder or makeup pouch to keep them in their best condition. I actually love storing mine in cute mugs like this “Hello Gorgeous” one.
  • Last but not least, be gentle on your makeup brushes and use them lightly when applying makeup. Avoid pressing down hard with them and they will last so much longer.
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I hope you enjoyed today’s post on How to Best Clean Makeup Brushes and I hope this post will inspire you to start cleaning your brushes more regularly, if you aren’t already. The more you clean them, the easier and less time-consuming it will be and your skin will 110% thank you for it.

I’d love to know- how often do you currently clean your makeup brushes? Do you have any questions on how to wash makeup brushes? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by!- Cara

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Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

Want to know how to best clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I'm sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I'm also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer. #beautytips #makeupbrushes

Leave a Comment

 

57 Comments

  1. Barb wrote:

    Where did you find that stand for your hair products?

    Posted 6.17.18 Reply
    • Hey Barb- I bought it on Amazon over here. I love that it spins and you can adjust the shelving levels to fit everything nicely! 🙂

      Posted 6.24.18 Reply
  2. Whitney wrote:

    I don’t remember the last time I cleaned my brushes. I think you’re right… getting the routine established is the hardest part. Maybe if I decided to do it at the end of every month it would happen more often?? Thanks for getting me thinking about this because I know I need to be doing it.

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
    • Yep- setting reminders on my phone definitely has helped me.

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  3. Thanks for sharing this! I def don’t clean my brushes as much as I SHOULD. The only thing that I clean weekly is my beauty blender and even that gets so nasty. I plan to buy a second next week during the Sephora VIB sale. I can’t live without my Sigma mat and my solid beauty blender cleanser. Those are the two main things I use. I also have the Sigmagic Brush Cleaner which also comes in a foam. This works WONDERS on foundation brushes which in my opinion are the hardest to clean. Luckily I haven’t used foundation brushes in quite a while. All my other brushes aren’t that bad to clean. It just takes a while because I clean 50+ brushes at a time lol

    Posted 4.16.18 Reply
    • Oh I’ve never tried that brush cleaner but it sounds awesome!

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  4. Call me crazy, but I love cleaning my makeup brushes. This is mostly due to seeing how much product leaves the brush. It is amazing how much is left on the brush after using and attempting to swipe it clean. Plus, having clean makeup brushes reduces the amount of bacteria that can clog your pores!

    Posted 4.14.18 Reply
    • Haha it sounds like me and you are similar. I love power-washing outside. It’s amazing to see how seemingly clean sidewalks are actually covered in tons of grime and dirt. Best feeling ever is when you clean it all away!

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  5. OK….it is time! LOL After reading this post I have realized that mine haven’t been cleaned in months! opps…. :-/

    Posted 4.13.18 Reply
  6. Valerie wrote:

    Great step-by-step walkthrough. I desperately need to clean my makeup brushes right now, so this could not be better timed!

    Posted 4.12.18 Reply
  7. Sierra wrote:

    These are great tips! I have a makeup brush washing pad that I use but I don’t use it nearly enough as I should. I think I might have to clean my brushed tonight 🙂 Sierra~Beautifully Candid

    Posted 4.12.18 Reply
    • Brush mats are helpful too but I forget to use mine and usually just wash by hand lol.

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  8. I need to do this! Thanks girl!!

    Posted 4.12.18 Reply
  9. We have so many of the same brushes! I cleaned all of mine on Saturday – where was this post then? LOL! I used Dawn and baby shampoo to clean the brushes, and did the Dawn and microwave trick for my beauty sponges. They look brand new! I felt so accomplished!

    Posted 4.12.18 Reply
  10. Kelsie wrote:

    I slack on cleaning my brushes, but when I do clean them, it’s amazing!! I use dish soap, hot water and vinegar to clean mine! 🙂

    Posted 4.12.18 Reply
  11. Nadine wrote:

    I need to check out that brush shampoo. I clean my RT beauty blender daily or every other day. The rest of my brushes? They dont get near the attention they should with the cleaner haha. I need to work on that.

    Posted 4.12.18 Reply
    • I’m embarrassingly the opposite and don’t clean my beauty blender nearly enough. TBH I usually throw it away and get a new one over cleaning them since they don’t last very long anyways.

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  12. I’ m always the worst at waiting waaaaaay too long to clean mine – and then they just pile up and it takes a half hour to get them all done! Ha! But I use sensitive skin dish soap when I clean mine – it gets EVERYTHING out!!

    Posted 4.12.18 Reply
    • I totally agree- being proactive helps lessen the amount of time it takes to clean them.

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  13. Helen wrote:

    This is a GREAT guide! I am totally taking your tips and cleaning my brushes this week.

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  14. Alix Maza wrote:

    I really need to deep clean my makeup brushes! I tend to just run them under warm water when I’m done using them haha.

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
    • Yeah, you really have to get in there and rub the product out. I’d love if running them under water was enough though! 🙂

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  15. I love using a brush cleaning mat. It seriously cleans my brushes a million times better! I really want to try the free & gentle soap!

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
    • You’d love the brush shampoo! I’m on my second bottle now and it works so great. And brush cleaning mats are awesome aren’t they?

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  16. Kate wrote:

    I’m embarrassed to admit I have no idea when the last time was I cleaned my brushes, and that’s just plain ol’ gross! Thanks for the inspiration and motivation to clean mine when I have time this weekend <3
    Green Fashionista

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
    • Hope you found it helpful! I used to be SO bad about putting it off but I try to stay on track with it now.

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  17. Beth wrote:

    This is a great step-by-step guide on how to clean makeup brushes! This was a very informative post and gave me a better idea about cleaning my brushes! Thank you!

    Beth || http://www.TheStyleBouquet.com

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  18. What great tips!

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  19. I have the same makeup sponge and it definitely needs to be washed! Thanks for these tips, they seem really doable!

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  20. I am in total agreement with you here and establishing a routine is definitely hard. I don’t clean my brushes as often as I should but I clean them just like you do, only with a different brand of soap. When my face starts breaking out, I realize how long it’s been. We never think about it, but you’re absolutely right about bacteria growing in our brushes. Thanks for the reminder to take better care of my makeup tools!

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
    • Thanks Kristi, and that’s a great point. A lot of time the cause of breakouts on our skin is from dirty brushes/sponges. Definitely try to stay on top of it in keeping mine cleaned regularly.

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  21. I use the kids baby soap to waxh my brushes, but I should look into those wipes!

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
    • Going to share this on the blog on Friday!

      Posted 4.11.18 Reply
    • That’s such a good method too. And yes the wipes are so helpful for cleaning right after you’re finished doing your makeup.

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  22. Andrea Nine wrote:

    Great tips! Your brush collection is to be envied!

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
    • Thank-you! I don’t use some of these on a regular basis, but have them in my arsenal when it’s time to switch one out. 😉

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  23. Karly wrote:

    This is exactly how I clean my brushes, too! I’ve become really mindful about cleaning my sponge/concealer brushes a couple times a week because of bacteria and my acne-prone skin. I think it has helped. And, yes to keeping brushes in cute mugs!

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
  24. Lily wrote:

    I hate to admit that I don’t wash my brushes as often as I should. I need to get my ish together. LOL!

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
    • Haha I’m pretty good about my brushes but to be honest I usually slack on my beauty blender, which I know is so BAD. lol

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  25. I try to clean mine fairly regularly but yeah… that doesn’t happen as much as it should lol. I’ll definitely be checking out that brush shampoo!!

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
    • It’s SO good! I’m on my second bottle of it right now.

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply
  26. Laura wrote:

    This is something I need to do WAY more than I do now. Which is, once or twice a year. Gross I know!! But this makes it sound so easy so I think I will do it one night this week!

    Posted 4.11.18 Reply
    • It honestly helps make it easier the more often you do it, because you’re not spending hours and hours removing all the yuck. I’m a huge fan of the brush shampoo too which is so gentle and removes makeup easily.

      Posted 4.25.18 Reply