How I Clean My Makeup Brushes

Have you ever gone to apply your foundation or blend out an eye shadow and your brush doesn’t perform well, leaving you thinking “what the fudge?!”? If this has happened to you, that means it’s time to wash your brushes!

Congratulations – you’re about to enter the seventh circle of Hell.

Image result for when you have to wash your makeup brushes meme

I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say that washing makeup brushes is one of the worst, most mind numbing chores ever. But it’s a necessary evil, because not washing your brushes means they are harboring bacteria.

Image result for ew meme


That’s right, Marilyn Manson, nobody wants bacteria-riddled brushes!

Before we get to techniques and methods, let’s look at some supplies and about how often you should be washing your brushes.

How Often Should I Wash My Brushes?

Personally, my goal is about every 10 days, but it usually ends up being every two weeks. If you don’t do your makeup as often as I do, you can stretch it even further. But be warned that stretching it too far can cause break outs and your brushes won’t perform as well.

What do I use to wash my brushes?

Fortunately, there is a plethora of options out there on brush care. There’s soaps, both liquid and solid, brush cleaning mats, brush cleaning liquid (yes, different than a soap), as well as many DIY options. There are even machines now! However, I haven’t seen many good videos on YouTube about the machine. Personally, I use dish soap and water. Yeah, legit dish soap. Dish soap is made to break down oils – there are facial oils in my brushes – ergo, I use dish soap.

Selecting an option is all about what will work best for you. You have to find something that works quickly and efficiently so that you’ll actually wash your brushes. I cannot recommend a brush cleaning mat enough! It aids in the cleaning and rinsing process. I use the mat that is linked above.

How do I dry my brushes?

When leaving your brushes to dry, it is important that you don’t leave them bristles up. The water can leak downward and destroy the glue of the bristles and ferrule. They either need to be laid flat, which is what I do, or hung upside down. To hang them upside you can either use a contraption like this or put some of your ingenuity to work with some hair ties and a clothes hanger.

Image result for cleaning brushes meme


Okay, so you’ve got your filthy brushes, the product you’ll use to clean them, and you know how you’re going to dry them – now what?!

Now, we wash!

I recommend putting on your favorite playlist, a movie, or your favorite TV show. It’ll help pass the time.

First off, when washing your brushes, it is important you don’t submerge the brush passed the ferrule. You’re probably like, “What the fudge is a ferrule, Kalyn??”

Image result for makeup brush ferrule

That’s the ferrule. The ferrule is the metal part between the handle and the brush head. Completely submerging the ferrule can damage the glue. It’s the same reason you don’t want to dry your brushes bristles up.

To thoroughly wet the bristles, I press the brush head against the mat to splay out the bristles and then run water from the faucet over the bristles. Splaying the bristles out against the mat will be especially helpful for your bigger, fluffier, and more dense face brushes. Once it is good and wet I apply a small amount of dish soap to the mat and then swish, swirl, and swipe the brush against the mat in the soap. I use about a penny sized amount – or even less – for smaller brushes and up to a quarter size for larger brushes.

To rinse the soap out, I run the brush against the mat under running water. I always take more time than I think I need to, to rinse, as I don’t want there to be a dish soap residue left on my brush. I am also careful to keep the handle of the brush pointing upward during this entire process.

I then wring the excess water out of the bristles, reshape the bristles if necessary, and then lay flat to dry. During the summer, my brushes dry completely over night. During winter, I try to wash my brushes earlier in the day when I don’t have to be somewhere early the next day.

Welp, I feel like I’ve now said “bristles” and “brushes” enough to last me a lifetime!

Did you learn something new from this post?

How do you wash your brushes?







2 thoughts on “How I Clean My Makeup Brushes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s