Cleaning your makeup brushes: a step-by-step guide!

By Celina Mahoney

Investing in the right tools is an essential part of creating flawless makeup looks. But how well do you look after them? Washing your brushes should be a part of your regular routine.

Makeup, dirt and oil can build up in the bristles that can cause blemishes and spread bacteria between clients. Fortunately, cleaning your brushes can be a simple process.

We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide for beauty professionals and enthusiasts alike!

What you need:

  • Make up brush cleaner or baby shampoo
  • A sink
  • An old towel or cloth


  1. Getting started

Begin by dampening the bristles of your brush in warm water to remove any residue and prepare them for deep cleaning. Be careful to only dip the tops in though, as wetting the handle can cause bristles to fall out and reduce the lifespan of your brush!

  1. Grab the soap

Once your brushes are well rinsed, grab the soap if your choice. If your brushes are only used personally, baby shampoo can be a cost effective option that will gently remove makeup and oil. However, if you are a professional, investing in something that contains antibacterial ingredients is a wise choice. Models Prefer Brush Cleaner ($12.99 at Priceline) and Brush With Success ($24 at Mecca Cosmetica) will have your brushes squeaky clean in no time as well as stop the spread of any unwanted germs.

  1. Lather up

Now you’ve chosen your desired brush cleaner, its no time to put it to use! Pour a little soap in your palm and work it into a lather, by swirling your brush in circular motions. Or, if you want a deeper clean, try a brush cleaning tool, such as the Sigma Beauty Express Brush Cleaning Glove ($41 at Sephora).

  1. Rinse and repeat

Rinsing is one of the most important steps of the brush cleaning process. Whilst removing excess soap in the sink is a good first step, make sure you rinse them under the tap until the water runs clear. This will ensure all the soap is removed, prolonging the life of your tools as well as stopping any skin irritations. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until your brushes are clean and all makeup and soap is removed.

  1. Time to dry

Grab an old towel and gently squeeze bristles to remove excess water. Then lay them out to dry, out of direct sunlight. To speed up drying time and ensure your brushes don’t lose their shape, it can be a good idea to rotate them every now and them. This can take a little while, so it’s a good idea to wash brushes after use in the morning when you wont need to use them again for a while!

Products mentioned:



We would love to hear from you!

These are our top tips for cleaning brushes but would love to learn any hacks from the BF community. Let us know in the comments below what you do to keep your tools in tiptop shape!

Ask a makeup artist also!