Makeup Brush Cleaning

Dread cleaning your makeup brushes?  It may be easy to slack in this department; I’m guilty of it too but sometimes I find washing them a bit therapeutic. I know I’m a nerd but washing your brushes is so important.

Makeup brushes are an investment and keeping them clean will extend its lifetime while keeping the natural and synthetic fibers soft and flexible for many years. Beautiful makeup is as much about the tools you use as the products you apply.

Makeup brushes collect bacteria, dust, dirt and dead skin cells and not washing them can cause breakouts and blemishes on your skin. Using dirty brushes can cause you to believe that you have an allergy to a product when the real culprit could be the brush causing that breakout.  The bristles on your brushes should not be clumped together. Bacteria love moist environments and brushes caked with foundations and concealer can be a playground for them. Now imagine putting those bacteria ridden brushes in your expensive makeup products and then transferring all of those germs to your face.  Ewww.

So how regularly should you be washing your brushes?  That depends on how often your use them and what they are being used for.  Makeup artists probably do this regimen more often, probably after each application. Brushes used for cream based products require a deeper cleaning than brushes used for powder based products and should be washed more often. Have you ever seen all of the gunk that comes out of your eyeliner brush? It’s gross! I would say you should wash your brushes every two weeks if you wear makeup daily but at least once a month.

There are many ways to wash your brushes and tools you can use but not all are necessary. The most common one used would be with baby shampoo and olive oil mixture for a deep cleaning.  Then there is spot cleaning which you can use a brush cleaner solution and spray it on a paper towel or towel and rub your brush in a back and forth motion.  Some tools that are on the market to help you get the grit out are the Sigma Glove and Mat but really any silicone oven glove with grooves can work.  However these solutions and tools can add up in price. I prefer a more natural and cost effective way and it works wonderfully. My brushes have never been cleaner.

My Method:


-I’ve been using a bar of olive oil soap (Bulk Barn, $2) so I can rub the brushes directly on the bar. The oil also conditions the bristles. Tea tree oil soap can also be used for antiseptic purposes.

-Once a lather is formed on the bar, I rub the brush in up and down and circular motions on a brush egg (really cheap on eBay)

brush egg.jpg

-Then rinse the brushes with warm water, hot water can cause the glue holding the bristles together to separate.  It’s also important not to get the ferrule (metal part of the brush) too wet as it will cause rusting and will eventually loosen the glue.

– Once there’s no more makeup or soap residue, gently ring the water out in a downwards motion.

– reshape the bristles to its original form.

– Using a towel, make a roll to create an angle and lay the brushes to air dry with the bristles facing downwards so the handles of the brushes on top of the rolled part. This will ensure all water trickles into the towel, not the ferrule.

-I like to leave them out overnight to dry.

-This method can be used for your sponges as well.

-It is also important to clean your eyelash curler to remove any mascara and bacteria to prevent any eye infections.

I don’t know about you but I feel like cleaning by makeup brushes now haha.