Clean Makeup Brushes

10 Easy Steps to Clean Makeup Brushes at Home

In Fashion Trends & Advice by shubham JL

The internet is full of DIY make-up brush cleaner hacks. From the use of vinegar to alcohol-based products, every “beauty guru” has something they swear by. The problem is that some of these methods can cause severe damage to your make-up brush bristles. For this reason, it’s crucial to follow the right techniques when you want to clean your make-up brushes.

So, what are the steps to clean make-up brushes at home? To effectively clean your make-up brushes and preserve the quality of the bristles, follow these steps:

  1. Gather your supplies.
  2. Create a bristle-safe DIY cleaner.
  3. Place the cleaner in a bowl and swirl the first brush into the mixture.
  4. Dip and swirl the other brushes into the cleaner, one at a time.
  5. Rinse the brushes with warm water.
  6. Repeat step 4 until the water runs clear.
  7. Remove excess water from the brushes.
  8. Dry the make-up brushes.
  9. Secure all your brushes with a rubber band.
  10. Hang the brushes on a wall hook.

If you wear make-up often, it’s crucial to give your make-up brushes some TLC once in a while. This way, you’ll prevent the buildup of acne-causing bacteria and ensure your brushes function well. In this article, you will find a step-by-step guide on how to clean your make-up brushes and guidelines on how often to do it.  Gather your brushes and get ready to clean!

How Can I Clean My Make-up Brushes at Home?

You have the best skincare routine, which you’d never miss even if you’re tired and tempted to sleep in your make-up. However, your skin isn’t responding as you expect. You continually struggle with rashes or acne. Take a moment and ask yourself: when was the last time you cleaned your make-up brushes?  If you’re not sure where to begin to clean your brushes right, check out are list of recommendations for the best online makeup courses for beginners.

Most people maintain a full skincare routine but forget to keep their tools clean. If you’re in the same boat, it may be time to give your make-up brushes some love. If you have no idea where to start when it comes to cleaning your brushes, this article will tell you everything you need to know to clean your make-up brushes at home.

The first thing you need to do is create a cleaner that’s safe for your bristle brushes. Avoid harsh chemicals or anything that has alcohol in it because it may be damaging to your brushes. Resist the temptation to throw your brushes into a washing machine. The heat inside the machine will cause the bonding agents to loosen up, which will end up damaging your brushes as well.  (Source: Marie Claire)

Once you have a safe make-up brush cleaner in hand, all you need to do is to use it to clean your brushes, rinse the brushes, and leave them to dry.

10 Easy Steps to Clean Makeup Brushes at Home

It takes lots of will-power to clean filthy, grimy make-up brushes. If you don’t know how to do it, procrastination may seem like the best option. However, avoiding it won’t make the situation more manageable. As the make-up keeps piling up on your brushes, you’ll notice it’s harder to achieve a flawless look because there’s too much buildup on the brushes.

(If you want to look at the 10 best make-up brush brands check out that article!) 

Not to mention, your brushes will become a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause serious skin problems when you use the brushes on your skin. However, you don’t have to dread cleaning your make-up brushes. With our ten simple steps, you should have all your brushes as good as new in a matter of minutes. Here’s how to clean make-up brushes at home: (Source: Expert Home Tips)

Step #1: Gather Your Supplies

For this DIY project, you’ll need the following items:

  • Dirty make-up brushes
  • A bowl
  • A spoon
  • Olive oil or hair conditioner
  • Antibacterial dish soap
  • Running warm water
  • Paper towels
  • Rubber bands

Step #2: Create a Bristle-Safe DIY Cleaner

If you’ve invested in quality make-up brushes, chances are the bristles are made of natural hair bristles or natural fibers. You wouldn’t wash your hair in a washing machine or use harsh chemicals on it, would you?

The same case applies to make-up brushes. Using harsh chemicals or rough cleaning techniques can easily cause damage to your make-up brushes.

To prevent damage and ensure your make-up brushes are squeaky clean, you need to use a mild cleaner.  Fortunately, there is a DIY make-up brush cleaner that you can create with items you have readily available at home.

To make the cleaner, you’ll need:

  • A bowl
  • Antibacterial dish soap
  • Olive oil or hair conditioner
  • A spoon

Mix equal parts of the dish soap with equal parts of olive oil or hair conditioner and use the spoon to mix the two. The conditioner or olive oil protect your make-up brush bristles from drying out during the cleaning process.

Step #3: Place the Cleaner in a Bowl and Swirl the First Brush into the Mixture

Once your mixture is ready, the next step is cleaning your brushes. Take the first brush, dip it into the cleaner, and swirl. You will notice the cleaner starts changing color when you begin swirling – an indication that the cleaner is getting the dirt out of the brush. Keep swirling until most of the dirt is out of the brush.

Step #4: Dip and Swirl the Other Brushes into the Cleaner, One at a Time

Next, clean the other brushes as you did the first, making sure to work on one brush at a time. If you notice the cleaner has completely changed color, create a new batch, and use it on the other brushes to ensure you achieve a thorough clean.

Step #5: Rinse the Brushes with Warm Water

Once you’re satisfied with the cleaning steps, the next step is to rinse off any leftover dirt and the excess cleaner from the bristles. To do this, run warm water through the brushes.

Step #6: Repeat Step 4 until the Water Runs Clear

Once you’ve rinsed all the brushes, repeat step 4 until the water runs clear – an indication that there’s no more dirt on the brush bristles. However, if you notice that there’s still a lot of colored water running through the brushes, you may want to swirl the brushes one more time through a new batch of DIY cleaner to remove any leftover dirt.

Step #7: Remove Excess Water from the Brushes

After thoroughly rinsing your brushes and ensuring there’s no more dirt on them, the next step is to remove excess water from the brushes. Use your hands to squeeze the excess water from the bristles. Place the brush on the palm of your hand and use your thumb to walk the water down the length of the bristles.

Step #8: Dry the Make-up Brushes

Afterward, pat the make-up brushes on a paper towel to dry them further. Dry one brush at a time, and change the paper towel when it gets too soggy. Repeat for all brushes.

Step #9: Secure All Your Brushes with a Rubber Band

The next step is to leave your make-up brushes to air dry. Don’t put them upside down in a jar or leave them lying on the countertop. Keeping them in an upside-down position causes the water to flow onto the handles, which may end up loosening the bonding material used to hold the handle to the brush.

Keeping the brushes on your countertop will only lead to the collection of dirt from the surface. The best way to dry your brushes is in a hanging position. To do this, secure a few brushes at the handles with a rubber band. Having too many brushes together will increase the drying time.

Step #10: Hang the Brushes on a Wall Hook

Once all your brushes are attached to rubber bands, hang them on a wall hook and leave them to air dry. And you’re done! You now have bacteria-free, clean brushes!

What is the Best Cleaner for Make-up Brushes?

Some of the best make-up brush cleaners on the market include:

Can You Use Dawn Dish Soap to Clean Makeup Brushes?

Dawn Dish Soap is an excellent make-up brush cleaner if you don’t want to buy specialized products.  The soap has powerful degreasing properties and is gentle on make-up brush bristles. (Source: Ogle School). To use it, follow the DIY make-up brush cleaner steps mentioned above.

How Often Should You Clean Make-up Brushes

How often you should clean your make-up brushes depends on how many people use them and how often they’re used.

  • If you don’t share your brushes with anyone and you wear make-up often, it’s advisable to clean them twice a week.
  • However, if you share your brushes, each person should clean the brush after use.

The same case applies to individuals who suffer from breakouts or have cuts and grazes on their faces. If you have problematic or sensitive skin, it’s advisable to clean your make-up brushes every day to avoid getting your skin into contact with anything that may irritate it and cause an adverse reaction. (Source: Good Housekeeping).

Wrapping Up

There you have it – a comprehensive guide on how to clean make-up brushes at home. As you can see, the steps are quite simple, and you can complete the entire process in just a few minutes. However, if you decide to clean your make-up brushes at home, remember to choose gentle dish soap and always top it up with some conditioner or olive oil to ensure your brush bristles don’t dry up and start falling off.

Also, having a good make-up organizer can help you keep your brushes clean instead of leaving them in a bag. You can check out the best make-up organizers in that article!

If you decide to use a store-bought product to clean your brushes, make sure to check the ingredients thoroughly. You should confirm that the product doesn’t include alcohol or any other harsh ingredients that may damage your brushes. Most importantly, dry your brushes correctly to prevent damage and dirt accumulation – never hang them bristles-up, always face the bristles down!