How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

One of the most essential, but dreaded,  chores of a makeup lover is to clean their makeup brushes. Although nothing feels as good as applying your makeup with a fresh and clean makeup brush, getting your brushes to that squeaky-clean state is not the most fun task. It is important to clean your brushes to avoid breakouts and stop bacteria, debris, and other nasty stuff from transferring to your face. In this article, we will talk about how to give your brushes a quick clean daily and how to easily give your tools the deep cleaning that they need every week. We have a list of all the products you need to get your brushes as clean as possible. We even found some products to help make this dreaded chore easier. Did you know there are machines that clean your brushes now? Keep reading to learn more.

Daily Cleaning

A daily cleaning of your brushes will help get rid of some of the makeup, bacteria, and other debris that is building up on your brushes. This is also great if you use brushes for multiple tasks or like to play around with various colors. For daily cleaning, we recommend a spray brush cleaning that is meant for daily cleaning like these below. When using a daily cleaning spray, your bristles are cleaned and conditioned at the same time. The brushes will also dry quickly without any remaining residue, making them ready for your next makeup application.

Japonesque Makeup Brush Cleanser

This daily brush cleaner from Japonesque will give your brushes the special care that they deserve. It can quickly remove excess makeup on your brush while maintain the original quality of your even your most loved makeup brushes. Your tools will be cleaned and ready for your next flawless look.

The specially formulated cleanser quickly lifts away all types of makeup for improved brush performance.

TIP: Spray brush cleanser approx 6-inches away from makeup brush. Wipe brush hairs on terry cloth to remove impurities.

E.L.F. Daily Brush Cleaner

E.L.F. always provides great products to add to your makeup bag without making a dent in your wallet, and this daily brush cleansing spray is now different. This product can help remove dirt, oil, makeup, and other buildup that grabs on to your precious brushes. Your makeup brushes will get their daily cleansing while being conditioned to keep your tools working their best.

Art Naturals Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner

This makeup brush cleaner helps to dissolve any bacteria, oil, dirt, or makeup left on your brushes. This formula is sulfate, paraben, and cruelty free. Your brushes will be clean and conditioned, ready for your next fabulous makeup look.

How to Clean Your Brushes Daily

Products Needed

Daily brush cleaner

Clean paper towels

Dirty used brushes

Step 1: After you have applied your makeup for the day, take the makeup brushes that you have used and put them to the side so you know what brushes you need to clean.

Step 2: Grab one of your dirty brushes and spritz it with your daily brush cleaner. There is no need to over saturate the brush.

Step 3: Wipe clean the brush on the paper towel.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 on each brush until it wipes clean on the paper towel.

Weekly Deep Cleaning

Giving your makeup brushes a weekly deep cleaning is necessary to remove not only stuck on makeup, but any oil, debris, bacteria, and other undesirable build-up that collects on your brushes throughout the week. You also want to condition your brushes weekly to keep them in tip-top shape, this will help them to last longer. When your brushes are cleaned properly, regularly, your makeup applies easier, blends better, and is dispensed evenly over your face. When cleaning your brushes weekly you can use one of the specialty shampoos listed below. Follow the directions recommended for washing to keep your brushes in their best shape.

EcoTools Makeup Brush Shampoo

If you want to make sure your brushes are cleaned and conditioned, this specialty shampoo is for you. This brush shampoo from EcoTools is dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic. Free of parabens and phthalates, this cleanser will keep your tools cleansed and conditioned without harsh chemicals.

Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel Brush Cleanser

Real Techniques makes some of the best brushes that you can find at drugstore prices, so they understand the importance of keeping your brushes clean.  This non-drying gel formula is alcohol-free and will help to extend the life of your favorite brushes. Their special formula removes makeup, oil, debris, and all other impurities that are hiding in your precious tools.

Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser

This cleanser from Japonesque is different from the others but still provides great results. Harnessing the conditioning power of coconut oil, this solid formula works for brushes and sponges to make cleaning easy. It is a less messy way to clean your brushes and it perfect for those who love to travel, as you can just toss it in your makeup bag.

Or you can use products that you have around your house. Our favorite method to cleanse, kill bacteria, and condition your brushes at the same time is to use dish soap and coconut oil.

How to Deep Clean Your Brushes

Products Needed

Dish Soap

Coconut Oil


Microwave safe plate


Dirty Brushes

Step 1: Pure coconut oil comes solid and needs heat to become liquid. We recommend warming a teaspoon of oil on your microwave safe plate for 5-10 seconds in the microwave until it becomes a liquid.

Step 2: Once your coconut oil has melted, add a few squirts of dish soap and mix the two liquids together to create your own brush cleansing solution.

Step 3: Take your dirty makeup brush and run it under lukewarm water to loosen up any stuck-on makeup or debris. Avoid getting the base of the bristles wet, where the bristles and the brush handle meet. This may cause the glue to loosen over time and eventually your brush to come apart.

Step 4: Swirl the wet brush into your cleansing solution

Step 5: Swirl the brush into the palm of your hand or cleansing mat or egg (see below) while running it under lukewarm water.

Step 6: Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the water runs clear

Step 7: Reshape the bristles with your hands back to their original shape

Step 8: Either lay flat on a towel to dry or hang dry on a specialty drying rack (see below).

How to Make Cleaning Your Brushes Easier

Makeup Brush Cleaning Mat

A Makeup brush cleaning mat makes the chore of cleaning your brushes 100x easier. They are pretty much a little wash board for your makeup brushes allowing you to get deep in between the bristles where makeup is sometimes hiding. This set comes with one large mat and one small one that is perfect for traveling. Each mat has multiple textures to make scrubbing your brushes easier than ever. This is a must have for anyone that uses makeup daily!

MelodySusie Makeup Brush Cleaner Egg   

These eggs from MelodySusie work using the same concept as the mat, but in a more compact size. This set of two eggs each have two different textures. One meant for small brushes and the other is perfect for larger brushes. If you are a frequent traveler, these eggs will be the perfect addition to your makeup bag.

The width of the opening is 1.4inches, which is perfect for two fingers in it to hold the brush egg easily. The tiny granules are used for cleaning small brushes and the stripes are designed for bigger makeup brushes.

Makeup Brush Cleaner Silicone Glove

The Makeup Brush Cleaner Silicone Glove gives you complete control when you are scrubbing your brushes. No more scrubbing on your palms until they are dry and chapped. Now use these brightly colored gloves with multiple textures all over it, to give your brushes the deepest clean possible. You can get your brushes clean in no time without drying out your hands in the process. That’s a win-win.

Lilumia 2 Makeup Brush Cleaner

Now this, my friends, is the Rolls-Royce of makeup brush cleaners. This electric makeup brush cleaner from Lilumia does multiple brushes at a time- up to 12- with just a push of a button in three easy steps. Your brushes will be clean within 15 minutes after running through 3 rinse cycles, making sure your brushes are squeaky-clean. If you don’t like it for some reason it comes with a 2 week return policy and a 1 year warranty. Take the work out of this weekly chore and treat yourself to this luxurious machine.

Makeup Brush Drying Rack

Drying your brushes properly is essential to keeping them in their best shape for as long as possible. This silicone drying rack can hold up to 28 brushes of multiple sizes upside down, keeping the water from loosening the glue on the handle and bristles. It is also collapsible for easy and convenient storage.

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