How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Have you ever applied your eye shadow only to find the color muddy and NOT the color you wanted? This happens when there’s a build-up of older shadow amongst the bristles of your eye shadow brush.

Luckily, you can clean your makeup brushes on a regular basis so they apply makeup just as if they were new. This will also get rid of harmful bacteria that may be living in your brushes as well.

I suggest washing the brushes you use most often at least once a week. Wash them sooner if they have a lot of product build-up. For brushes used less often, aim for washing them out every few weeks.

This method works for all bristled makeup brushes, whether for lips, foundation, eye shadow or concealer.

What You’ll Need

You don’t need much to clean your makeup brushes. Gather up…

  • Dirty makeup brushes
  • Cleaning fluid
  • Clean water

You have a lot of options for cleaning fluid. I use antibacterial soft soap. Others use baby shampoo. There are also brush cleaning fluids made by beauty companies such as Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner or Japonesque Professional Brush Cleaner.

Just make sure that you choose something delicate and simple without harsh chemicals. If the soap can be used on your face, it can be used on your brushes.

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

Now it’s time to get started!

  1. Put a small dab of cleaning fluid in the palm of your hand.
  2. Run your dirty brush under the tap or dip it in a cup of clean water.
  3. Gently swirl the brush in your palm, mixing the water with the soap.
  4. Rinse the brush and swirl it in your palm again.
  5. Rinse thoroughly until the water dripping from your brush runs clear.
  6. Squeeze out any excess water from the makeup brush bristles and set it down so the bristles aren’t touching any surface.
  7. Let dry. This may take a few hours.

Once the brush is dry, you’re ready to use it all over again!

How often do you wash your brushes?


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  1. Great post! I clean my brushes about once a week using Johnson’s baby shampoo.
    .-= gio´s last blog ..Looks: Blue Pop =-.

  2. Thanks, Gio! I’m really considering picking up Baby Shampoo just for this purpose. I imagine it’s better for my brushes than the antibacterial hand soap I’ve been using.

  3. I just tried this method today (using J&J baby shampoo), and have to say this was by far the easiest and cleanest way I have ever cleaned my brushes. Thanks for posting!

  4. I use an all purpose cleaner called Basic H. I like it because it has no perfumes. I think using clean brushes is very important but is something that can be easily overlooked. I clean my brushes as a matter of course when I clean my bathroom and that makes sure it gets done once a week.

  5. I use MAC brush cleaner almost every day.

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