Easy and Simple Ways to Clean Makeup Brushes


For all those who enjoy applying makeup on themselves or others, let it be known, your makeup brushes are a great place for dirt and bacteria to accumulate. When you use your makeup brushes, the bristles do not just apply the color pigment but also pick up on excessive dirt, oil, and bacteria which can prove harmful for sensitive skin owners especially those who have an acne-prone skin. If this hasn’t scared you already, also know that your brushes can transfer viral diseases and even herpes! Medical practitioners are strongly against the sharing of makeup brushes within more than one subject, especially those that are in contact with wet areas of your face like the mouth and eyes.

However, dearest reader, do not be afraid, for we bring to you an easy user’s manual on how to effectively clean up make up brushes so that your health and skin does not get in the way of your beauty enhancing artistry. Below, you shall find a step by step guide on how to easily and effectively clean makeup brushes.

Things Required For Cleaning Makeup Brushes

  • 1 towel
  • Soft shampoo; baby shampoo recommended
  • 1 shallow bowl
  • Your sink for running tap water

Step 1 – Collect All the Makeup Brushes For Initial Washing

Begin by bringing your brushes and all the things you require on to your sink’s counter so that everything is easily accessible. Next, run the bristles of your brush one at a time under lukewarm water, all the while protecting the area which meets the brush’s base because this area is usually where glue is applied for holding your brush together. And too much exposure to water can damage your brush’s base and result in some bristles loosening up.

Step 2 – Create a Solution of Water and Shampoo for Cleaning Brushes

Next, pour approximately 3/4th cup lukewarm water into your shallow bowl and squirt some shampoo in it also. Mix up the water and shampoo to create a soft lather. You can even use the tip of your brush to mix both components together.

Step 3 – Dip the Makeup Brushes in Solution

In case you haven’t used a brush’s tip to mix the components, this is the time when you slowly dip your brushes, one at a time, into the shampoo and water mixture and stir and swirl the brush around till it leaves all color pigmentation and you are positive that all the dirt and bacteria has come out.

Step 4 – Rinse the Brushes Gently One After the Other

Gently rinse the brush with flowing water from the tap. Use the tip of your fingers and thumb to lightly wash away all excessive shampoo residues from between the bristles. Also, make sure when you are washing the brushes, they are facing downwards which is the same position as the water running. This technique will help protect the glue and leave your brush with a longer lifespan in your makeup kit.

Step 5 –Place Wet Brushes on Towel after Cleaning

The towel that you have spread out on your countertop, use it for patting your wet brush on it. This will help you get rid of any extra moisture. Afterward, use your fingers and thumb to gently reshape your brush since it would have become limp and disfigured because of the water. Then dab it on the dry towel again and leave it to rest in a way that it is facing downwards. Make sure none of the bristles are bent under the brush’s weight when you leave it to rest.

Step 6 – Check Each Brush to Make Sure it is Clean

After a while, when your brushes have become soft and dry, fluff the bristles a bit. Now your bush is ready for use and looks as good as new.

Other Methods for Cleaning Makeup Brushes

If you are not comfortable using soft shampoo to clean your brushes then there are some other methods that you can also use. Specialists at Bobby Brown also recommend using a brush cleanser which is often easily available in the market instead of strong soaps which tend to make the bristles of your brush hard and dry. Others also recommend using a soap and olive oil mixture. This method is very similar to the one mentioned above and only requires you to make a mixture of extra virgin oil(one part) and antibacterial soap(two parts) in place of water and shampoo. Using olive oil means you are in fact in a way conditioning the bristles of your brushes. This method is highly recommended for people who own makeup brushes made of organic hair.


Indeed the ultimate point of this article is not to scare you but to make you aware. Your makeup brushes and other makeup accessories that you use on your skin every day are probably the most lethal and dangerous things for your skin. Understanding basic methods to protect your skin are very important in today’s world where our skin is prone to severe weathering due to high pollution. Moreover, if you are reading this article then it means you are fairly too fond of your makeup brushes lifespan, and why shouldn’t you be- makeup brushes and other accessories are a huge investment no doubt and protecting your investment should definitely be top priority!