What’s the proper way to wash makeup brushes?

How to Clean Makeup Brushes Correctly: A Step-by-Step Guide

Makeup brushes are essential tools for creating flawless looks, but they can also become a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned properly. To maintain their performance and ensure optimal hygiene, knowing the right way to wash makeup brushes is key. This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to effectively clean your brushes, keeping them in excellent condition and protecting your skin from potential infections.

Firstly, it is important to understand that makeup brushes should be cleaned regularly, ideally once a week, to remove product buildup, oils, dirt, and bacteria. This not only extends their lifespan but also prevents breakouts and helps achieve smoother, more even application.

Before diving into the cleaning process, gather a few essential items: lukewarm water, a gentle soap or brush cleanser, a clean towel or paper towel, and a brush cleaning pad or textured surface for better results. Once prepared, follow these steps for a thorough cleaning:

  1. Start by rinsing the bristles of the brush under lukewarm water. Make sure to avoid wetting the ferrule, as it may cause damage or loosen the glue holding the bristles together.
  2. Gently apply a small amount of gentle soap or brush cleanser to your palm or the cleaning pad.
  3. Swirl the brush bristles in the soap or cleanser in a circular motion. This will help to loosen and dissolve any makeup residue.
  4. Rinse the brush under lukewarm water again, while continuing to gently swirl the bristles with your fingers or on the cleaning pad. Repeat this step until the water runs clear, indicating that all the product and soap residues are removed.
  5. Gently squeeze out any excess water from the bristles with your fingers, being careful not to deform the bristles. Alternatively, you can lightly press the brush with a clean towel or paper towel to remove the moisture.
  6. Reshape the bristles if necessary. Gently use your fingers to reshape them to their original form, ensuring they dry in the proper shape for optimal performance.
  7. Finally, lay the brushes flat on a clean towel or paper towel to air dry. Avoid standing them upright while wet, as water can drip into the ferrule and compromise the brush’s integrity.
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By following these simple yet crucial steps, you can maintain your makeup brushes’ cleanliness, longevity, and effectiveness. Remember, regular cleaning not only enhances your makeup application but also promotes healthier skin. Stay tuned for the next section, where we will delve deeper into the importance of proper makeup brush maintenance to safeguard your skin and address common concerns.

The Proper Way to Wash Makeup Brushes

Proper cleaning of makeup brushes is essential for maintaining their quality and ensuring the health of your skin. Over time, these brushes accumulate residue, oil, and bacteria, which can lead to breakouts, skin irritation, and the deterioration of the brushes themselves. By following the right techniques, you can prolong the lifespan of your makeup brushes and maintain a flawless makeup application. Here is a step-by-step guide to properly clean your makeup brushes:

Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin washing your makeup brushes, gather all the necessary supplies. This includes a gentle cleanser or brush cleaner, a clean towel or paper towels, a shallow bowl or sink, and warm water. You may also opt to use a silicone brush cleaning mat or glove for a more efficient and thorough clean.

Step 1: Wet the Bristles

Start the cleaning process by wetting the bristles of your makeup brushes with warm water. Make sure to only wet the bristles, avoiding the area where the handle and bristles meet, as this can loosen the glue and cause the bristles to shed.

Step 2: Apply Cleanser

Next, apply a small amount of the cleanser or brush cleaner onto your palm, a silicone cleaning mat, or directly onto the bristles of the wet brush. Gently swirl the brush in a circular motion, ensuring that the cleanser reaches all the bristles and effectively removes any makeup residue.

Step 3: Rinse Thoroughly

Rinse the brush under running water, while continuing to swirl it to remove any remaining cleanser. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear and all the soap residue is gone. Make sure not to submerge the entire brush into water or let water seep into the handle, as this can damage the brush and its bristles.

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Step 4: Squeeze Out Excess Water

After rinsing, gently squeeze out the excess water from the brush bristles. You can use a clean towel or paper towel to blot the brushes and remove the moisture.

Step 5: Reshape and Dry

Reshape the brush bristles with your fingertips to restore their original shape. Then, lay the brushes flat on a clean towel or hang them upside down to air dry. Hanging them upside down allows any remaining water or moisture to drain away from the handle, avoiding damage to both the bristles and the handle.

Step 6: Repeat Regularly

To maintain clean and sanitary brushes, it is recommended to wash your makeup brushes at least once a week, especially if you use them daily. Regular cleaning not only removes dirt and bacteria but also helps to keep the brushes soft and in good condition.

By following these steps for proper cleaning of makeup brushes, you can ensure that your brushes stay clean, your makeup application remains flawless, and your skin stays healthy. Don’t neglect this crucial step in your beauty routine!

Statistic: According to a survey conducted by the Society for Applied Microbiology, more than 90% of makeup brushes are contaminated with bacteria, highlighting the importance of proper cleaning and hygiene.

FAQs – What’s the proper way to wash makeup brushes?

FAQ 1: How often should I clean my makeup brushes?

You should aim to clean your makeup brushes at least once a week to prevent bacteria buildup.

FAQ 2: What should I use to wash my makeup brushes?

You can use a gentle liquid soap, baby shampoo, or a specialized makeup brush cleanser.

FAQ 3: Can I use warm water to clean my brushes?

Yes, warm water is suitable for cleaning your brushes. Make sure it’s not too hot to avoid damaging the bristles.

FAQ 4: How should I wet the brush before washing?

Gently wet the bristles under lukewarm water, being careful not to immerse the entire brush to prevent water from seeping into the handle.

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FAQ 5: How should I lather the soap or cleanser?

Place a small amount of soap or cleanser in your hand and gently swirl the brush bristles in the product to create a lather.

FAQ 6: Should I be careful not to get water on the metal ferrule?

Absolutely! Water can weaken the glue that holds the bristles together. Avoid wetting the metal ferrule and focus on the bristles.

FAQ 7: How do I rinse my brushes after washing?

Rinse the bristles under running water, again being cautious to avoid wetting the metal ferrule.

FAQ 8: How should I dry my makeup brushes?

After rinsing, gently squeeze out any excess water and reshape the bristles. Lay the brushes flat on a clean towel to air dry. Avoid using a blow dryer as it can damage the bristles.

FAQ 9: Can I use a hairdryer on a low setting to speed up the drying process?

It’s generally recommended to let your brushes air dry naturally. Using a hairdryer, even on a low setting, can cause damage to the bristles or alter their shape.

FAQ 10: What’s the benefit of regularly cleaning makeup brushes?

Regular cleaning removes bacteria, dirt, oils, and old makeup residue, which helps prevent breakouts, maintains brush performance, and ensures your makeup goes on smoothly.


Throughout this article, we have learned several key points regarding the proper way to wash makeup brushes. Firstly, it is essential to clean brushes regularly to ensure the removal of dirt, oils, and bacteria that can accumulate over time. This not only optimizes the performance of the brushes but also prevents potential skin issues. Secondly, it is crucial to use the correct cleaning solution for each type of brush, taking into account the bristle material and the type of makeup product it is used with. Gentle shampoo, antibacterial soap, or specialized brush cleansers are excellent options depending on the situation. It is advisable to avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the bristles.

Furthermore, the correct cleaning technique is also key in maintaining the brushes’ quality. It is recommended to start by wetting the brush bristles with lukewarm water, applying the chosen cleaning solution, and gently swirling the brush in the palm of the hand or using a textured cleaning mat to remove product buildup. Thoroughly rinsing the brushes is essential, ensuring all the cleaning solution and residue are completely removed. Lastly, it is important to reshape the bristles and let the brushes air dry horizontally to avoid any water damage or bristle misalignment.

By following these guidelines for proper makeup brush cleaning, not only will the brushes be kept in excellent condition, but the risk of skin irritation and breakouts will also be minimized. Regular cleaning promotes the longevity and effectiveness of the brushes, ensuring a smoother and more hygienic makeup application experience. So, incorporate these practices into your beauty routine and enjoy the benefits of clean and well-maintained makeup brushes.