what to clean makeup brushes with

by:Suprabeauty     2023-08-19

What to Clean Makeup Brushes With: A Comprehensive Guide


Makeup brushes are an essential tool for any beauty enthusiast. They help us create flawless looks, blend colors seamlessly, and achieve professional-level results. However, many people overlook the importance of regularly cleaning their makeup brushes. Dirty brushes can harbor bacteria, oil, and old makeup, which can lead to breakouts, uneven application, and overall ineffective makeup performance. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the importance of cleaning makeup brushes and provide you with easy and effective ways to clean your brushes to maintain their longevity and ensure optimal performance.

I. Why Cleaning Makeup Brushes is Important

1. Maintaining Hygiene:

Using dirty makeup brushes can lead to the accumulation of bacteria, oil, dead skin cells, and other impurities on the bristles. When these impurities come into contact with your face, they can cause breakouts, acne, and skin irritations. Regularly cleaning your brushes is crucial to maintaining good hygiene and preventing skin issues.

2. Improving Makeup Application:

Dirty brushes can also negatively affect the performance of your makeup application. When brushes are not cleaned regularly, old makeup residue can build up on the bristles, affecting color payoff and blending capabilities. Clean brushes ensure better color distribution and smooth blending, resulting in flawless makeup application.

3. Extending Brush Lifespan:

Investing in high-quality makeup brushes can be expensive, so it's essential to take proper care of them. Regularly cleaning your brushes helps to remove product buildup, preventing bristles from becoming stiff, frayed, or damaged. Proper maintenance extends the lifespan of your brushes, saving you money in the long run.

II. How Often Should You Clean Your Brushes?

1. General Rule:

As a general rule, it is recommended to clean your makeup brushes at least once every two weeks. However, the frequency may vary depending on how often you use your brushes and the types of products you use. Brushes used with cream or liquid-based products, such as foundation or concealer brushes, should be cleaned more frequently, ideally after each use.

2. Spot Cleaning:

In-between deep cleans, spot cleaning your makeup brushes with a quick-drying brush cleaner or a gentle cleansing spray can help remove surface-level dirt and bacteria. Simply spritz the cleaner onto a tissue or a clean cloth and swirl the brush bristles gently. This method is an excellent option for those who use their brushes daily or need to switch between colors frequently.

III. What to Clean Your Brushes With

1. Gentle Soap or Brush Cleansers:

One of the most accessible and effective ways to clean makeup brushes is using a gentle soap or specifically formulated brush cleansers. Look for soaps or cleansers that are free from harsh chemicals, sulfates, and alcohol, as they can damage the bristles. Wet the brush under lukewarm water, apply the soap or cleanser onto your palm or a brush cleaning mat, and swirl the brush gently in circular motions. Rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear and reshape the bristles. Leave the brushes flat on a clean towel to dry.

2. Olive Oil and Dish Soap Method:

For a DIY cleaning solution, you can mix olive oil and dish soap to effectively remove stubborn makeup residue and impurities. In a small bowl, combine a few drops of olive oil with a small amount of gentle dish soap. Wet the brush, then dip it into the mixture, and swirl it gently on your palm or a brush cleaning mat. Rinse thoroughly, reshape, and lay flat to dry.

3. Vinegar Solution:

Vinegar is known for its antibacterial properties and can be used to disinfect makeup brushes. Mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and lukewarm water in a bowl. Submerge the brushes in the solution, swish them gently, and let them soak for 20-30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and lay the brushes flat to dry.

IV. Maintenance Tips for Clean Makeup Brushes

1. Avoid Soaking the Ferrule:

When cleaning your makeup brushes, it is crucial to avoid submerging the brush bristles into the water above the ferrule (the metal clamp that holds the bristles together). Excessive water exposure can cause the glue holding the bristles to loosen, leading to shedding and compromised brush performance. Always ensure that only the bristles get wet during cleaning.

2. Drying Properly after Cleaning:

After cleaning, reshape the bristles and lay the brushes flat on a clean towel or a brush drying rack. Avoid drying them upright or using a hairdryer, as the heat can damage the bristles and alter their shape. Allow the brushes to dry naturally overnight or for at least 8-12 hours before using them again.

3. Storing Brushes Correctly:

To prevent dust, dirt, and bacteria from settling on clean brushes, make sure to store them in a clean and dry environment. Consider investing in brush holders or pouches specifically designed to keep brushes upright and organized. This not only maintains their cleanliness but also helps to preserve the shape and integrity of the bristles.


Cleaning your makeup brushes is a crucial step in maintaining good hygiene, achieving flawless makeup application, and prolonging the life of your brushes. By investing a little time and effort into cleaning them regularly, you can ensure optimal performance and enjoy a seamless makeup experience. With the methods and tips provided in this comprehensive guide, you can now confidently clean your makeup brushes with ease, knowing that you are taking care of both your brushes and your skin.

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