How to Clean Your Make-Up Brushes

How to naturally clean make-up brushes.

Hi. My name is Suzie and I have a Make-Up Addiction.

A few years ago, my make-up collection consisted of a few eyeshadows, a cheap mascara and a couple of nail varnishes that were so old they had separated and gone solid. Nice. However, one afternoon I was intrigued by a YouTube tutorial about creating an effective smokey eye look, and I was instantly hooked. I watched new videos several every evening, buying products and trying out new ideas. And with it came the brushes – blending, foundation, powder, fan, contour, flat liner… It’s been an exciting new education and I’m enjoying the journey, but they are beginning to take over my desk.

One thing I’ve become particularly aware of is the importance of keeping them clean – there’s all sorts of nasty bacteria that can develop on frequently used brushes that can cause all sorts of infections, and dirty brushes aren’t as effective. Generally, brushes should be washed once a week, but avid users should aim to do them twice a week.

I prefer to use more gentle products on my brushes than the professional brush cleaning sprays. Theres loads of different formulas and techniques that I have seen suggested for washing brushes – water and baby shampoo, olive oil, vinegar, hand wash…

This is what I do:

I use hot water directly from the tap (not the kettle) and a teaspoon of baby shampoo, swirling it around until bubbles appear.

Individually, I dip the brushes into the water and shampoo solution and move them around to remove the product.

I then empty the dirty water, refill the bowl with clean water (and more shampoo) and soak all of the brushes in the solution for about 5 minutes. I have seen some suggest 20-30 minutes but this will likely damage the glue that holds the bristles onto the brush and the brushes won’t last as long.

After I have soaked them, I rinse each brush under running cold water and reshape the larger brushes using my fingers.

I then lay them out on a clean towel and pat them gently to remove as much of the water as possible, reshaping them again if I need to.

Finally, I lay them out so they are hanging over the edge of a surface to dry, usually for about 24 hours. I’ve also seen recommendations to try and dry them with the bristles pointing downwards so the water does not affect the glue on the brush.

And there you have it – a simple, cost effective and gentle way to keep your brushes clean!

What about you guys? Do you have any tips for keeping your brushes clean and hygienic?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page, my Pinterest page and my Instagram page

24 thoughts on “How to Clean Your Make-Up Brushes

    • Hahaha! I had put them on a table on top of a towel so I could take pictures for the post and The Bloke walked in and stared at me looking all confused…

  1. This is practically the exact same routine I do for cleaning my brushes. I find it very satisfying, especially when I see how dirty the water is!

  2. I used to clean my brushes like that but I always felt it didn’t quite get to the roots of the brush and then they took forever to dry out. I then discovered the most amazing brush cleaning tool and I’ve never looked back. Pristine brushes and dry to use within 10 seconds. All shape and size brush accommodated. Best purchase ever! It’s the StylPro brush cleaner and dryer set.

  3. Im doing almost the same but never use hot water only warm beacuse Im scared of taking this metal thing (ferrule?) under hot water not to make hair brush falling from it, but baby shampoo is best.

  4. Pingback: How to Clean Your Make-Up Brushes – Ketepaultals – Blog,News,Business,Health

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