How to Properly Clean Your Makeup Brushes

How to Properly Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Yup, your makeup brushes definitely need to be cleaned regularly. Not doing so can contribute to irritation or breakouts, and your brushes simply work better when they are clean. In this article we’ll discuss how to clean makeup brushes, what makeup brush cleaners do, and why it’s so important to keep your brushes clean.


Main Takeaways: Makeup brushes can harbor bacteria and mold, which is why it’s so important to make sure you clean them on a weekly basis.

Good to Know: Although it’s useful, you don’t necessarily need brush cleaners — the back of your hand makes a great surface for getting the gunk out of your brushes.

Recommended Products: So Clean! Facial Cleanser.


Looking for a cleanser to use for cleaning your makeup brushes? Look no further.

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Why You Need to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

If you’re like a lot of us, you might use your makeup brushes every day without even giving a thought to whether they’re clean or not. However, once you realize how much icky stuff is living in the fibers of your brushes, you’ll probably be pretty grossed out.

There’s a good chance that you may keep your brushes in the bathroom, as many do. The humidity from your shower or bath could be causing mildew or mold to form on your brushes. Every day dust settles on your brushes when they are sitting out, and they also absorb dirt and oil from your skin when used. When that gunk builds up, it can cause all sorts of issues, like breakouts, irritation, and– if you’re not careful– can lead to infections in the eye area.

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A dirty brush will also make it difficult to apply makeup well. The bottom line is that these brushes are exposed to a lot of various pollutants, so they need to be cleaned much more than you may realize.

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Now that we’ve (hopefully) convinced you to make a regular habit out of cleaning your makeup brushes, here’s how you go about it:

1. First, take your makeup brush and tap it against the lip of a sink. This will help loosen and remove power, dust, or even dead skin lurking in the hairs of the brush. For really dirty brushes, you might even want to rub the brush against a dry paper towel or an old washcloth.

2. Put a very gentle soap with no harsh ingredients or artificial fragrances in a bowl (our So Clean! natural facial cleanser works perfectly) and dip the brush in the bowl. A little goes a long way, but make sure the brush is saturated with soap. You can then run the brush under warm water or dip it in a bowl of warm water you’ve already prepared. No need to soak it — you just need enough to get a small lather going.

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3. Rub the end of your brush on a brush cleaner or the back of your hand to get the soap deep into the bristles. Work up a slight lather. You may need to wash off the soap lather a few times to get the brush fully clean. Once the lather is clear (meaning that you no longer see the color of the makeup that was on it), you should be good to rinse it.

4. Rinse the brush thoroughly until it no longer foams with soap. Once you’ve done that, gently take a paper towel and blot out whatever water you can. Lay them out on a clean paper towel or washcloth to allow the brushes to air dry. If you notice any of your brushes have lost their shape a bit in the cleaning process, gently force them back into shape before they dry.

Do not place your brushes upright to dry, as you don’t want water to seep into the brush holder and collect, causing rust and bacteria to form.

Remember to be gentle with your brushes. Handling them too roughly when you fan out the bristles or put them under water can hurt the shape of the brush or cause bristles to fall out.

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How Often Should You Clean Your Makeup Brushes?

How often you clean your brushes depends on how often you use them; but if you’re someone who uses them every day, then once a week to every ten days should do the trick. While that may seem like a lot of work, when you see how filthy your brushes are, you’ll probably want to clean them even more than that.

We hope that convinces you to make cleaning your brushes a regular part of your skincare routine. Given how little time it takes, it’s a small price to pay to avoid serious skin irritation or worse.

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