How to Clean Makeup Brushes

imageUsing dirty makeup brushes is like re-applying old makeup, bacteria and oils that have built up on the brush. Cleaning the brush helps keep the brush in a better state for longer, though you don’t have to clean your brushes after every use. For me, I always look at how much makeup has built up, so a brush used one day with a lot of foundation doesn’t necessarily need to be cleaned, but a brush with multiple layers of a one or five different a products from different days should be cleaned. Of course, it can be a hassle to clean them and sometimes products that clean makeup brushes are expensive. Cleaning your brushes can be easier than you think, all your need is anti-bacterial dish soap and olive oil(or avocado oil or another natures oil substitute). The soap will dry out the hair from the natural haired brushes so the oil conditions it. Synthetic brushes only need the soap.

You Need

Small plate or bowl
Paper towels or cloth towels
Cup with a rounded bottom, wine glass
Skirt hanger
Olive oil or another natural oil
Anti-bacterial dish soap
Dirty makeup brushes


First pour about a one to one ratio of olive oil and soap onto a plate or a bowl. You don’t need exactly one to one ratio and there can be a little less olive oil than soap.

Hen grab a dirty brush and mix the two together. You will notice the soap and oil will turn the color of the makeup. So if you had blue eyeshadow there should be blue streaks. The mixture will look very messy and dirty but you can use the mixture for multiple brushes. After mixing in very dirty brushes or a lot of brushes, you can rinse off the plate and add more soap and oil. When your done mixing your brushe dint he soap and oil do a thorough rinse under the sink with warm water because cool water closes the hairs and puts a seal on the ends. Similar to dying hair, you rinse with cold water not hot, just after dying your hair.

For synthetic brushes and sponges, pour soap onto the plate and mix around the sponge or brush until you see most if not all the makeup pigment leave the tool. Not all the pigment will leave the sponge but much of it will.

Then grab a paper towel and squeeze out the water with the towel. When you do this look for opaque water or any signs of soap left. Then grab a glass with a rounded bottom because a rounded bottom will suit most brushes and set the brushes with the bristles facing down. You can position them to your liking or even stuff a paper towel in the bottom the put the brushes in the catch water and help them stand up. If you want you can grab skirt hangers and clip the ends of the brushes with the clips on the hangers so their bristles aren’t being smooshed. I have found that with most of my brushes that the form returns to normal and many of them dry quite fast so they aren’t left in that position for very long. If you are in a hurry you can get. A blow dryer and set it on low. Make sure you leave the brushes facing down for at least a little while so gravity can pull any remaining water out.


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