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How to clean your makeup brushes? (What you should use, and how often)

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

If you’re like me and recently your makeup brushes became victims of trying new colourful looks and desperately need a deep clean, here's the answers to some of your top brush cleaning questions.

How often should you clean your brushes?

Unlike makeup artists who clean their brushes after each client you have a little more leniency on your own personal brushes. However you should still be giving them frequent cleans to avoid bacteria buildup that can lead to breakouts. Not cleaning your brushes regularly can also lead to product buildup and you may find your makeup isn’t applying smoothly so the cleaner your brushes, the better your makeup application.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes deep cleaning your brushes might be on the bottom of your busy schedule. There are some products that can make your life a lot easier in the mean time. Brush cleaning sprays are perfect for day to day cleaning that can be done in seconds. I would suggest doing this as at the end of your week or if you’re swapping between eyeshadow colours this is a really good way to clean in between so you can get the true pigment of whatever eyeshadows you are using.

When it comes to deep cleaning I would suggest cleaning brushes that you have used liquid, cream or gel products with like your foundation, concealer and eyeliner brushes at least every 10 days. This is because they are our most used brushes and also the ones that get the most buildup. Eyeshadow brushes we tend to have a lot more of and if you are using a cleaning spray in between deep cleans you can get away with leaving them a bit longer. I would suggest deep cleaning your eyeshadow brushes every 3-4 weeks.

What should I use to clean my brushes?

Here are some amazing cleansing sprays you should try!

Iso Clean Makeup Brush Cleanser

Bobbi Brown Makeup Brush Cleaning Spray

Revolution Anti-Bacterial Brush Cleansing Spray

For your deep clean!

Bobbi Brown Conditioning Brush Cleanser

Dr Bronner's Tea Tree Pure-Castile Liquid Soap

Beauty Blender Liquid Cleanser

What is the best way to clean my makeup brushes?

Cleaning sprays are perfect for quick weekly cleans to keep your brushes good as new. Here is the best way to use them…

  1. After washing your hands, spray some of your cleansing spray of choice onto a tissue or kitchen roll.

  2. Gently move the bristles in a circular motion through the cleansing spray. Make sure you don’t press them down flat onto the tissue.

  3. Keep doing this until there is no product left on your brush or on the tissue. You may have to re spray on clean tissues a couple of times until this is done.

  4. Make sure if your brush is slightly wet to rearrange bristles in their original position whilst they dry.

Deep clean!

  1. After cleaning your hands, run your brushes under lukewarm water.

  2. Use a pea sized amount of your cleanser into your palm.

  3. Gently massage the bristles of your brush into your palm removing any product.

  4. Squeeze out any water left on your bristles and reshape into their original position. You can leave the handles on a towel overnight but try to have the head of the brush over the edge of a surface so they can dry without touching anything.

Things to watch out for!

  1. Do not leave your brush bristles submerged in water for a long period of time. It can be bad for the glue that holds the bristles together and could result in your brushes starting to shed.

  2. Do not fully submerge the brush handles for a long period of time especially if they are wooden as they will start to crack.

  3. If you are using a heavily alcohol based cleanser be careful of any coating on your brush handles like printed brand names or brush codes because the alcohol will strip it if you aren't careful.

Happy Cleansing!

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