How to Clean Makeup Brushes

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Cleaning makeup brushes can be a daunting task. It’s something that I frequently put off doing. There is no thrill or excitement in cleaning makeup brushes like there is when trying out a new product for the first time. One reason why I often put off cleaning my brushes is because I always feel like I’m going to NEED them to apply my makeup while they are drying. Nevertheless, cleaning your makeup brushes is a task that needs to be done regularly.

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

Despite how much I loathe to wash my brushes, the first use after their “bath” is always the best. It’s like using a brand new brush all over again. If you follow me on Instagram (which you totally should) then you saw that I just gave my brushes a fresh wash just the other day, and I thought I would share with all of you the steps I take to clean my brushes.

First, Gather ALL of your Brushes!

I store all of the makeup brushes that I use on a daily basis in a desktop organizer. But I also have a set of travel makeup brushes plus beauty blending sponges and other various brushes that need to be cleaned as well. I try to wash everything at once, it’s just how I like to do it. But one could also clean your brushes in batches if you preferred.

Makeup Brush Cleansing Mitt Dupe

Makeup Brush Cleansing Supplies: Mitt + Cleanser

Makeup brush cleansing mitt’s are all the rage right now in the beauty world, but many of them cost a pretty penny. I’m so thankful to have stumbled upon a dupe for these high-end mitt’s on Instagram (thanks le_lipstick & ihaveadupeforthat– if you aren’t following these ladies on Instagram yet, you should be). As soon as I saw it, I knew I needed this in my beauty kit, so on my next trip to Walmart I picked up a silicone oven mitt for just $4.98!.

To clean and scrub all of the built-up gunk out of my makeup brushes, I paired the mitt with a simple cleanser….BABY SHAMPOO! Yes there are other makeup brush cleansers currently on the market today, specifically designed to gentle clean makeup brushes. But in my opinion, baby shampoo works just as well and is just as gentle. I just use an off-brand baby shampoo that I pick up at the Dollar Store for just $1 that works just fine for me.

To clean each brush I first wet my brush with the bristles pointing down. Always when cleaning your brushes keep the bristles pointing down at all times to prevent water from going into the base of your brush. Then I place a small dollop of baby shampoo onto my oven mitt and scrub the wet brush to get the shampoo distributed throughout the brush. I continue to scrub in a circular motion and place the brush and oven mitt under warm running water until there are no more suds and the water runs clear. I do this for each and every brush. Once clean, I shake the brush upside down back and forth to fling off any excess water that I can then I place the brushes on an old t-shirt (I feel it pulls away extra moisture a lot more effectively than a towel would- if you’ve seen my hair plopping video you’d know I have a thing for repurposing hubby’s old shirts) until I am done cleaning all of my brushes.

Hanging Makeup Brush Drying Rack

Hang Upside Down to Dry

After your makeup brushes are all clean, it’s time to give them ample time to dry. I found this neat trick, a brush tree dupe, on Pinterest that uses hair ties and a towel rack. My towel rack doesn’t point directly down but rather at an angle, which is fine. I just take a bunch of hair ties and place the end of my brush through the hair tie. Wrap the tie around the bar and feed the other end of my brush through. The elastic in the hair tie keeps the brushes nice and secure to the towel rack (and works just as well as a brush tree would). It also frees up space on my counter tops. Before finding this trick, I always had the dilemma of where to put my brushes when they were drying, so this works out perfectly for me. I typically will wash my brushes in the evening and allow them enough time to dry out completely. Usually overnight will do it, but sometimes I’ll let them hang until noon the next day just to be sure. If you’ve ever had a brush be ruined because it didn’t dry long enough and the bristles started coming out, you’ll know that making sure it is completely dry before storing is an absolute must!

How do you clean your makeup brushes?

The Domestic Diva
The Domestic Diva

Heather is a homeschooling mom of two boys currently living in central Georgia. She has been sharing her domestic story online as a lifestyle blogger for 15 years. Through her blog and social media platforms, Heather provides a glimpse into domestic life as she shares with other stay-at-home moms how she tackles modern homemaking and the challenges of raising a family.

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1 Comment

  1. Jessica Peeling
    July 11, 2014 / 6:48 pm

    This is a great post, because I always have trouble getting color out of a brush that I have used with one specific product for a long time!