Cleaning Make-Up Brushes at Home

Cleaning brushes can prevent makeup build up.
Cleaning brushes can prevent makeup build up. (Image: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Many women use makeup brushes to transform their looks, highlight their positives and downplay any negatives. Though a commonly overlooked part of the process, cleaning your makeup brushes is a must. If you fail to clean your brushes properly, you run the risk of bringing unwanted bacteria to your face. Additionally, an uncleaned brush may not apply makeup as flawlessly as a freshly cleaned one would.

Video of the Day

Benefits of Cleaning

When you use makeup brushes, they don’t just deposit makeup on your face, they also pick up debris from your skin and from the surrounding environment. As they undergo use, these brushes commonly gather makeup. As this old makeup accrues in the brush the bristles can become brittle and dirty. Brushes also pick up natural oils from your skin as well as flakes of dead skin and bacteria. Through the use of proper cleaning techniques, you can remove all of these unwanted elements from your brushes.


Ideally, you should clean your makeup brushes at least once a month. To ensure that you don’t skip this important step in your beauty regimen, make a date on your calendar. Because your brushes may need some time to dry, it is wise to carefully plan your cleaning. For example, if you traditionally lounge around the house on Sundays, you may elect to clean your brushes the first Saturday every month, planning to leave Sunday as a day for drying as you likely won’t apply make-up on this lazy day anyway.

Cleaning Procedure

Cleaning your brushes is a simple process. To prepare, create a solution of soapy water using dish washing detergent. Fill your bathroom sink with water and a few drops of this suds-producer. Submerge your brushes in the water and, using your fingers, gently ruffle the bristles, so that any imbedded dirt is freed and washed away. If the water starts to take on the color of your makeup, drain it and draw new water. After washing all of your brushes in the soapy water, drain the sink and rinse each brush thoroughly until the water runs clear and no suds remain. Carefully straighten your bristles, using your hand to arrange them all in the proper direction while they are wet, as any stray bristles will likely not lay properly once dry. Lay the brushes on a clean towel to dry.


While following the basic cleaning process is generally sufficient for not just cleaning, but also sanitizing your brushes, you can purchase brush sanitizing solution. Solutions of this type, marketed by many manufacturers, are intended to be sprayed on your brushes periodically, killing any germs that collect. Using a spray of this type between washings may be a smart option if you have particularly sensitive skin.


Promoted By Zergnet
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.