How to Wash Makeup Brushes: A Complete Guide


Have you ever stopped to think about how often you should wash your makeup brushes? With regular use, makeup brushes can quickly accumulate product buildup, dirt, and bacteria that can harm your skin. It’s no wonder that so many dermatologists warn against using dirty makeup brushes.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of washing your brushes regularly, provide a step-by-step guide, offer quick tips, highlight the benefits of using clean brushes, and discuss an alternative solution to washing – dry brush cleaners.

Step-by-step guide to washing makeup brushes

Before we get started, let’s make sure we have all the necessary items needed for the task at hand:
– A bowl of lukewarm water
– A gentle soap or cleanser
– Your dirty makeup brushes
– A clean towel or paper towels

1. Wet the bristles: Start by wetting the bristles of the brush with warm water. Be careful not to soak the entire brush, as this can loosen the glue that holds the bristles together.

2. Apply soap or cleanser: Next, apply a small amount of gentle soap or cleanser to the bristles. You can use a designated makeup brush cleaner or even a mild dish soap.

3. Massage the bristles: Gently work the soap into the bristles using circular motions. You can also use a brush cleaning pad for deeper cleaning.

4. Rinse the brushes: Rinse the bristles under running water until all the soap has been removed. Be sure to keep the brush facing downwards to avoid getting water onto the ferrule, which can loosen the glue.

5. Squeeze out excess water: Carefully squeeze out any excess water from the bristles using a clean towel or paper towel. Be sure not to pull the bristles as this can cause damage.

6. Reshape the bristles: Shape the bristles back into their original form to prevent any misshaping or splaying. Use your hand to gently reshape the bristles while the brush is still wet.

7. Let the brushes dry: Finally, lay the brushes flat on a clean, dry towel or hang them upside down to dry. Never lay the brushes upright as water can travel down and settle in the ferrule causing damage.

Video tutorial on washing makeup brushes

Sometimes it can be challenging to follow the detailed written instructions. That’s why we recommend checking out a video tutorial. Video tutorials allow you to see the process in action and can make things easier to understand.

Quick tips on how to wash makeup brushes fast

If you’re in a hurry but still want clean makeup brushes, there are quick tips you can use to speed up the process.

– Use lukewarm water instead of hot water. Hot water can cause the bristles to fall out of your brush.
– Soak the brushes in soapy water for several minutes before cleaning. This can help break down the product buildup and make cleaning faster.
– Use dish soap instead of regular soap. Dish soap is made to cut through grease and is great for removing product buildup.

Benefits of clean brushes

Keeping your makeup brushes clean comes with many benefits, including:

– Preventing breakouts: Clean brushes reduce the risk of transferring bacteria to your skin and causing breakouts.
– Improving the application of makeup: Dirty brushes can make applying makeup difficult and leave a streaky finish.
– Extending the longevity of brushes: Clean brushes last longer and don’t need to be replaced as frequently as dirty brushes.
– Lowering the risk of infections: Clean brushes can prevent the spread of bacterial infections.

Alternative to washing: Dry Brush Cleaners

Dry brush cleaners are a quick and convenient way to clean your brushes without the use of water. They come in the form of sprays or granular powders that can be rubbed into the bristles and then brushed off. Dry brush cleaners are great for spot cleaning brushes in between deep cleaning sessions.


Washing your makeup brushes doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following our step-by-step guide, using quick tips, and understanding the benefits of clean brushes, you’ll not only keep your skin happier and healthier, but you’ll also extend the lifespan of your brushes. Remember, it’s essential to wash your brushes regularly to keep them in tip-top shape.

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