How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes and Sponges

this is your reminder to get 'em clean

This post is all about how to clean your makeup brushes. This post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn us a commission at no extra cost to you.

how to clean your makeup brushes

OK, I have a confession… I don’t clean my makeup brushes as often as I should.  But that doesn’t mean you should also neglect your makeup brushes.

In reality, we could all be a little more disciplined when it comes to cleaning our makeup tools. 

You should be aiming to clean your makeup brushes every week — yes! weekly!  Weekly cleanings will not only help you keep the integrity of the brush but will also keep bacteria at a minimum.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, dirty makeup brushes may cause infection, such as fungal infection, E. coli, or a staph infection. Dirty makeup brushes may also cause breakouts (who wants that?)

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES

STEP 1: USE LUKEWARM WATER TO SATURATE BRUSHES

You can either place the brush under the running faucet or whirl it around in a container with some water.

DO NOT submerge your brushes in water.  Doing so may loosen the glue holding the bristles together causing them to fall out. 

STEP 2: POUR MAKEUP BRUSH CLEANSER ONTO THE CLEANSING MAT

You can use any textured surface, including the palm of your hand.  If you don’t have a brush-cleaning silicone mat, try using your kids’ legos or another plastic toy with grooves and ridges. 

STEP 3: GENTLY SWIRL MAKEUP BRUSHES WITH SOAP

Swirl your makeup brush in the cleanser until it is fully coated. You could also massage the cleaners in between the bristles until you create a lather.

STEP 4: RINSE WITH WATER

Rinse the soapy bristles under clean water to rinse.  If the water runs clear, you are done.  If not, repeat steps 2 and 3 until the rinsing water is clear. 


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STEP 5: REMOVE EXCESS WATER

Squeeze excess water from the brush by placing the bristles (upside down) between your fingers or using a towel.  Be sure to get as much water out without tugging or pulling too much on the bristles.

STEP 6: LAY FLAT TO DRY

Lay your brushes flat on top of a towel to air dry. The brushes will usually take a day to fullydry. I like cleaning them on the weekends so they’ll be ready to use for the workweek ahead. 

MAKEUP BRUSH CLEANER DIY

Don’t have a makeup cleanser on hand? No problem! Chances are you have the ingredients needed to make your own homemade makeup brush cleanser with items in your kitchen. 

There are two homemade makeup brush cleansing options that I recommend.  One method is by mixing 1 cup of water, 1 TBSP of olive oil, and 1 TBSP of dish soap in a bowl.  

If you’re looking for a quicker method, you could use baby shampoo or anti-bacterial soap, like liquid Dial

CAN YOU USE DAWN DISH SOAP TO CLEAN MAKEUP BRUSHES?

Yes, you can use Dawn dish soap to clean your makeup brushes. If you’re looking to deep clean your makeup brushes, Dawn dish soap is great at removing oils from brushes and sponges.  

Dawn works just as well as any makeup brush cleanser (and you may already have it in the kitchen!)

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP SPONGES

Makeup sponges can soak up a lot of oil and makeup and should be cleaned regularly to avoid spreading bacteria. 

I recently tested out my makeup cleanser against Dawn and found that Dawn did a really good job at getting out the makeup. 

It’s also a great degreaser so I felt like my makeup sponge felt better and cleaner.  

Simply mix 2 tsp of Dawn dish soap with about a cup of water.  I submerge my sponge and gently massage. 

Once it’s all soapy, I run it under some lukewarm water and squeeze until all the suds disappear. Lay out to dry.

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