How To Clean Makeup Brushes – A Detailed Guide



Makeup is all fun and games until it’s that time of the month when you have to clean your makeup brushes. No matter how nice and expensive your makeup brushes are, be it the best Sephora brushes, you HAVE to clean them! Cleaning makeup brushes are very important, and many people do not realize that. Brushes are often left uncovered, meaning dust particles accumulate on it, plus, you use the same brushes every day, even when having an allergy or pimple, meaning the brushes are contaminated with germs and bacteria.

Reusing these brushes without cleaning them may put you at risk in getting the pimple or allergy again. It may even cause a rash to appear due to the bacteria!

Makeup brushes when in use constantly, may tend to dry up and become rough and abrasive, making them harder to use. The bristles may become too rough to be used on your face, as they get caked with product and debris from your face, causing irritation on your face. This can be prevented by washing your brushes. Each brush’s wash-time varies based on what product is applied with it. Here’s a timeline of when each brush is to be washed:

  • Foundation and Concealer brushes – These brushes are used almost daily, and the product is thick and stays on the brushes, hence they should be cleaned once EVERY week!
  • Blush Highlighter brushes – These are also used on your face, but since the product is pigmented and in the form of powder, you can clean them once every other week.
  • Eye shadow brushes – These can be cleaned once or twice a month, as these brushes aren’t used as often in your daily makeup routine.

Now that we know how many times each brush should be cleaned, we can now learn the best way to clean makeup brushes. Of course, there isn’t only one way to clean makeup brushes. Hence I will be mentioning multiple ways of cleaning them, with detailed steps. But first, we need to know what the various makeup brush cleaners are.

How to clean makeup brushes at home – YouTube

Many girls are lazy and think that cleaning your brushes is just something makeup artists and professionals at beauty salons do. They feel that there’s some rocket science behind it and ultimately don’t even try to clean out their brushes.

However, that’s not the case. It’s relatively simple, and you only need a few essential products that lie around your house. You don’t need to plan or prepare to clean your brushes, nor do you need to run to the departmental store to get a branded brush cleaner.

You can easily clean your brushes at home and use products that are in your kitchen! It’s a simple DIY. Many YouTube videos are present that utilize home products in cleaning makeup brushes. I’ll be sharing my favorite picks and the most effective ones with you!

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What to use to clean makeup brushes:

Your best options in cleaning your brushes are lying around the house; you can use shampoo, vinegar, coconut oil, alcohol or just give them a natural cleanse.

How to clean makeup brushes with Shampoo:

When it comes to choosing a makeup brush cleaner, you have loads of choices, and out of one of them, there’s one that is available all the time and in every household – shampoo!

The shampoo does wonders to your hair, imagine what it’ll do to your brushes. Take equal parts of water and shampoo, and stir it up to make a foamy and bubbly solution. Dissolve your brushes in it for about an hour and then exfoliate them, to remove any greasy residue on the brushes. Rinse with water, and you’re good to go! Don’t forget to let all your brushes dry out overnight though. Leave them on a paper towel, and press them with another paper towel, so they dry out completely.

BONUS TIP: If you’re looking to soften your brush, a hair conditioner can be used to moisturize the brush bristles. This will feel amazing on your face the next time you’re putting on your makeup!

How to clean makeup brushes with Vinegar:

Vinegar is a great natural cleaner that can be used to suck the dirt and pigment off of the makeup brushes in no time. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can remove bacteria and can show a visual difference in the before and after of the brushes. To tackle the dirty brushes, you must take a small bowl and create a solution which is 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar, you can vary the total resolution depending on how many brushes you need to clean, but the ratio must remain the same at all times.

You should leave your brushes in this solution for a few hours, and make sure the bristles are thoroughly soaked. Take the brushes out and then wash them under water. You’ll see the dirt and pigment falling out, and your brushes will come out clean. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell staying in your brushes, it won’t because vinegar is known to be a natural deodorizer!

How to clean makeup brushes with Coconut Oil:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is very much respected and raved about in the beauty world; it’s a lifesaver for all skin types! For this solution, you’ll need 2 teaspoons of coconut oil (liquid form), mixed with 3 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. Swirl the brush around in this solution, ensuring that the coconut oil gets well into the fibers. And then rinse your brushes one at a time, by holding the brush facing downwards. Place the fibers of the brush under a stream of clean, cold water, gently pulling downwards on the fibers. Continue rinsing, until the water runs clear.

The coconut oil is meant to remove all the nasty product that’s clung onto your brushes, while the lemon juice is said to remove any bacteria – it disinfects your brushes! If your brushes seem to have a bit of coconut oil left on the bristles, just swirl them around in the lemon juice. The acid will break down the oil.

How to clean makeup brushes with Alcohol:

You can either dip the brushes in alcohol, or you can spray alcohol over the brushes. I prefer dipping the brushes, as it makes less of a mess. Take some rubbing alcohol in a shallow bowl, and dip the brushes in it. Make sure you only dip the bristles, because if you dip the handle, the glue keeping the bristles and handles together will loosen, and ruin your brushes. Wash your brushes after 5 minutes, as alcohol will remove and pigment within seconds! It’s the best makeup brush cleaner that can be found at home.

Don’t forget to dry the brushes. Just remember to never stand the brush up to dry. This allows excess water to drip into the handle area, which could also loosen the glue and cause the bristles to fall out.

How to clean makeup brushes naturally:

If you have no soaps or fixes, then this is the simplest way to clean your brushes. Just wash them with water. All you have to do is leave them in water for a while and then rub them gently, to remove any dried up pigment. Gently remove the residue from the brushes, so the bristles don’t fall out. Place the brushes beneath a running tap and wait till the water appears clear, this is when you know your brushes are 100% clean. Tap with a paper towel, and leave overnight to dry completely. They’ll look brand new in the morning!

How to clean makeup brushes – YouTube:

If you still haven’t understood the method of how to clean the brushes, then there are tens of thousands of videos and tutorials available on YouTube, teaching you exactly how to wipe clean your brushes. Makeup artists from around the world have videos on their channels, showing each step of cleaning the makeup brushes and showing you authentic results and comparisons, with before and after footage of the brushes.

Here are some tips to make your makeup brushes perfect:

  1. The bristles may splay out from being rubbed on the paper towel. Use a comb or your fingers to collect all the bristles together and ensure they are all facing in the same direction. This will help separate each bristle, giving you a smoother application.
  2. Do not use your makeup brushes until they are completely dry. Makeup could stick onto the brushes, and it could cause your makeup to clump, wasting your product and your time.
  3. Gently massage the tips of your bristles with your palms, without applying too much force. This helps to exfoliate the brush tips and removes any excess residue that’s stuck.
  4. Make sure to rinse your brushes with lukewarm water. This helps to soften your brushes and minimizes the chances of any bristles falling out.

We need to understand that when you clean your makeup brushes regularly, you are actually preserving them. The more frequently you clean them, the longer your investment is bound to last, helping you save your best makeup brushes for eternity! You can even try making your own DIY, by mixing in other substances that you think may help clean your brushes. Do whatever is most convenient to you. So stop procrastinating on Friday nights, turn up the music and start cleaning those makeup brushes, keeping all the steps and tips in mind. Happy cleaning, girls!

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