How to Clean Makeup Brushes

Do you know how to clean makeup brushes?

There are two ways on how to clean makeup brushes: Spot cleaning and Deep cleaning. I will be talking about both in detail to help you take care of your brushes and make them last for a long time.

You won’t be needing anything special, nor will you have to spend so much money on cleaning products. if you’re interested, then please continue reading this post and watch out for the video tutorial.

Spot Clean Makeup Brushes


how to clean makeup brushes


What is spot cleaning? It’s a quick, but superficial way to clean makeup brushes. You use a tissue, wet or dry, or a piece of cloth with a brush cleaner that’s usually alcohol based. It’s convenient for on the spot cleaning when doing makeup on other people or yourself because you don’t have to use a new brush. What are the advantages and disadvantages?


  1. It’s quick and easy to do.
  2. You don’t need a lot of makeup brushes.
  3. You can quickly re-use your makeup brushes.
  4. It’s convenient for every day and ensures that you have clean and bacteria-free brushes for every day use. (especially face brushes)
  1. It doesn’t cleanse your brushes. You are only cleaning the surface.
  2. Rubbing your brushes on tissue or cloth often can affect its bristles.

These are the things you will need for spot cleaning your make up brushes:

  • Tissue or piece of cloth that you don’t use anymore
  • Makeup brush cleaner

There are several makeup brush cleaners available out there, a few of my favorites are:

The ELF Make up Brush Cleaner

how to clean makeup brushes


ELF offers quality makeup products for affordable prices, and one of them is their brush cleaner. I’ve been using it for months and it does the job well. It dries up fairly quick and doesn’t leave a strong smell on the brush. If you are on a budget, then this is a great choice for you.


Parian Spirit Make up Brush Cleaner

How to clean makeup brushes


Parian Spirit is one of the most popular brush cleaners out there. It’s effective and dries up real fast and it doesn’t have any unpleasant smell to it. If you are willing to invest on a good quality makeup brush cleaner, then you might want to check this out.


How to clean makeup brushes by spot cleaning:


how to clean makeup brushes


  1. Take a tissue or a piece of cloth that you won’t be needing and your brush cleaner.
  2. If you are using a spray type brush cleaner, spray the bristles or the tissue or cloth.
  3. Hold the brush downward and rub it on the tissue or cloth.
  4. You will notice that the product is being removed from the bristles and transferred on to the tissue or cloth.
  5. Repeat this on different areas of the tissue or cloth so you can tell how much stain is present.
  6. Repeat this until the stain on the cloth gets lighter until there’s no more stain visible.

Deep Clean Makeup Brushes


how to clean makeup brushes


What is deep cleaning? It’s a more time-consuming way of cleaning your brushes and should be done at least twice a month. It cleanses your brush of all makeup products and leave them good as new. This is done using a brush cleanser or shampoo. There are several ways to do this, but I will be sharing with you what I do to ensure that my brushes last longer.


  1. It cleanses your brushes of all makeup products leaving them good as new.
  2. It ensures that your brushes are completely free from make up residue.
  3. This prevents bacteria from thriving.
  4. It preserves and conditions the bristles of your brushes, especially those with animal hair.


  1. It’s time consuming.
  2. If you prefer cleaning your brushes with your hands to really take off the product, you will have to expose them to water for a long period of time, depending on how many brushes you have.
  3. Exposing your brushes to water and shampoo can loosen the adhesive used on the ferrule (connects the bristles to the handle) and bristles.
  4. It takes time for the brushes to completely dry since blow drying them is not recommended.

These are the things you will need to deep clean your makeup brushes:

  • A brush cleanser or shampoo.
  • A conditioner (yes for the hair) but this is optional.
  • A small container for your cleanser or shampoo.
  • A set of brush guards for all your makeup brushes.
  • A container to place your brushes for drying.
Here’s a preview of what a brush guard looks like:

how to clean makeup brushes

You will have to clean makeup brushes by the sink so you have easier access to water and you won’t make a mess anywhere else. Personally, I prefer using my hands when deep clean makeup brushes because I have better control. Here’s how I do it:
  1. Pour out the shampoo on the palm of your hands.
  2. Clean makeup brush by rubbing in a circular motion on the cleanser or shampoo until you see it bubble up. It usually becomes dirty from the make up product so be prepared to pour more of the cleanser or shampoo. Make sure that you do not include the ferrule to prevent the soap from seeping in and loosening the adhesive.
  3. Place the soapy brush in a glass with the bristles facing down or by the side of your sink while you finish the rest of the brushes.
  4. Rinse the brushes by the faucet (make sure to stay away from the ferrule) and squeeze out the excess water and shampoo with your fingers until the flow is clear and non-soapy. Say hello to PRUNE FINGERS!
  5. You can follow the same process when using your conditioner.
  6. When you are done, shape the brushes accordingly and put on a brush guard. This allows the brushes to dry in its original shape.
  7. place the freshly cleaned brushes in a glass with the bristles facing downward. This allows gravity to do its work! No need to worry about the bristles because your brush guard will take care of it!


how to clean makeup brushes
The brushes usually dry overnight depending on the room temperature. Blow drying your brushes is not recommended since this will affect the bristles. You will have to be patient with this method, but it is recommended that you do this once or twice a month at the very least so residue from various products will not accumulate and promote bacterial growth or affect the functionality of your makeup brushes.
That is how to clean makeup brushes. I hope that this was informative enough and hopefully I covered all aspects. For a video tutorial, please refer below and check out my YouTube channel for more makeup related videos.

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