How to Clean Makeup Brushes The Right Way

Keeping your makeup brushes clean is essential to prevent bacteria buildup, which can lead to skin issues. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to effectively clean your makeup brushes and maintain healthy skin:

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

  1. Rinsing:Start by rinsing your makeup brushes under lukewarm running water. Focus on the tips to wash away residual makeup products. Be cautious not to wet the entire brush head, as this could dissolve the glue holding the handle and brush head together.
  2. Shampoo the Brush:Choose either clarifying or gentle shampoo for this step. Add a tablespoon of the chosen shampoo to lukewarm water in a bowl. Avoid using soap, as it may dry out the bristles.
  3. Swirl and Massage:Swirl the tips of your brushes in the shampoo-water mixture. You can also massage the brush tips in the palm of your hand to create a lather. This helps in effectively cleaning the bristles.
  4. Rinse:Rinse the brush tips a second time under running water to remove the shampoo and any remaining makeup residue.
  5. Repeat the Process:If necessary, repeat the shampooing and rinsing steps until the water running from the brush becomes clear. This indicates that there is no more makeup residue.
  6. Squeeze Out Excess Water:After ensuring your brushes are clean, gently squeeze out excess water from the bristles using clean, dry paper towels. Be careful not to deform the bristles.
  7. Dry the Brushes:Lay the brushes flat on a dry towel with the tips hanging off the edge, not upright. Placing them upright could allow water to flow down the bristles, potentially loosening the glue. Let the brushes air-dry completely before using them again.

How Long Does it Take for Makeup Brushes to Dry?

Usually, it takes about a day or overnight for makeup brushes to dry after cleaning. If you find them feeling stiff post-cleaning, applying conditioner to the bristles, rinsing with water, and letting them dry flat can help soften them.

What to Use for Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Several common household items work well for cleaning makeup brushes:

  1. Liquid Dish Soap:Liquid dish soap efficiently removes caked-on makeup residue. Apply some dish soap to a sponge, wipe your brushes on it, rinse with lukewarm water, wipe with a towel, and then let them dry flat.
  2. Vinegar and Lemon:A mix of vinegar and lemon serves as an excellent disinfectant, killing germs and leaving a pleasant scent. Combine two tablespoons of white vinegar with hot water, wash the brush tips, rinse with lukewarm water, and run the brush against a cut lemon to remove the vinegar smell. Apple cider vinegar can also be used.
  3. Baby Shampoo:Gentle on bristles, baby shampoo effectively cleans makeup brushes. Add a drop of baby shampoo to lukewarm water, swirl the brushes, massage the bristles, rinse, and leave them flat to dry.

How Often Should You Clean Your Makeup Brushes?

The frequency of cleaning depends on the makeup you use:

  • Wet Products or Makeup with Liquid Components (Concealer, Foundation):Clean at least once a week to remove product residue and maintain efficiency.
  • Eye Brushes and Brushes for Dry Makeup Products (Eyeshadow, Eyeliner):Clean every two weeks to prevent infections, as eyes are more susceptible.
  • Brushes for Dry Products on Skin (Powder):Monthly cleaning is sufficient.

Also, pay attention to sponges used with liquid products, cleaning them regularly to prevent bacterial growth.


Using dirty makeup brushes can lead to skin infections, allergies, and acne. Regular washing, avoiding sharing brushes, and seeking professional help if experiencing skin issues are crucial. Dispose of worn-out brushes to maintain efficiency and prevent potential problems.

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