Thursday, 8 December 2011

Makeup brush cleaning guide

How to clean your makeup brushes

We spend so much money on cleansers and toners every year to leave our faces squeaky clean and spot free. That's why it's important to use clean makeup brushes to ensure you're not counteracting this by adding bacteria and germs back on to your skin.

So, to break this vicious cycle I bring you a cost effective, easy and even fun way to clean your makeup tools!

What you will need:

  • Olive Oil
  • Shampoo - any brand
  • Kitchen Towel
  • A Bowl
  • Your Brushes
  • A Towel for Drying

1. First of all pour a little olive oil on a sheet of kitchen towel and choose your first brush to degerm. Using soft strokes coat the bristles in the olive oil. This softens the bristles whilst breaking down the makeup so the brushes are easier to clean. Never use a scrunching motion as this will ruin your brush!

2. After coating the brushes in olive oil I leave my brushes in a bowl of warm water and a few drops of shampoo. This lets the brushes soak up the shampoo in all the bristles. Make sure you keep the handles as dry as possible as getting them wet can encourage rusting and it's damaging to the longevity of the brush life!

3. Next, run the brushes under a luke warm tap and watch the makeup run off the brush. Make sure you always have your brush facing downwards as letting water run up the brush will loosen your bristles away from the brush handle. We wouldn't want that especially after saving up for some great makeup tools. I found swirling the brush around on the back of your hand helps to ensure you get rid of all makeup that's hiding in the bristles.

4. At this stage brushes which only have a light amount of make up on will most likely be clean. However, if the water is still not running clear work some more shampoo in to the bristles, rinse, repeat until your happy your brushes are germ free and the water is running clear.

5. Once your satisfied give the bristles a good squeeze to get rid of as much excess water as you can.

6. Now leave your brushes to dry on a flat surface. Like I said before this is really important as drying them upright can lead to the brushes from loosening.

That's it now you have happy and healthy brushes ready for your next makeover!

  • Wait 24 hours before you use the brushes again so they are thoroughly dry. 
  • You can give your brushes a quick clean after each use by spraying them with a makeup brush cleaner and then wiping down with a kitchen towel. 
  • Try and store your brushes in a dry place away from dust if possible.
  • Clean brushes that you use for liquid makeup such as foundation weekly.
  • Try and clean powder brushes using this technique at least monthly. 
  • A clean brush makes it easier to apply makeup and you can go about your day knowing your face is clean. 

Does anyone else clean there brushes this way? Or do you have any other ways to clean your brushes that is more effective?


  1. This is great. I usually only wash my brushes with water, but I know I need a better cleaning regime. Will definitely try this.

  2. It's so easy and leaves your brushes soft and smelling delicious! Let me know if you do give it a try :)

  3. I saw this on the Kandee Johnson YouTube!

  4. It's great to hear other people use this technique too. I learnt it at my M.A.C counter.

  5. I would be careful about using Pantene shampoo as it has lots of artificial silicone, which puts a coating around hair and in time will ruin your brushes. Baby shampoo is best because its super gentle.
    (just my advice as a hairdresser & makeup artist)

    I often use this method to clean makeup brushes also!