How to Clean Makeup Brushes at Home

You apply moisturizer, wear sunscreen, and only use high-qualitymakeup, so you think you have the perfect beauty regimen. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case if you never clean your makeup brushes. Your makeup brushes get dirt, oil, dry skin, bacteria, and debris inside of them, and if you never wash them, you are just sweeping these things across your face. The very materials living inside of your makeup brush are the same ones that cause blackheads, whiteheads, and acne which is why you should make brush cleaning a habit now.

If you are someone who uses alcohol or brush cleaner to wipe your brushes, you are on the right track but you can’t do this forever. Think about cleansing your hair. Sure you could mattify oil and mask smells with a dry shampoo but your hair will eventually need a deep clean.

Parts of a brush

To wash your makeup brush correctly, you must first know its anatomy. The average makeup brush consists of three parts: the bristles, handle and ferrule (the metal part that connects the bristles and handle). No matter what cleaning method you are using you should never wash the handle or ferrule, it could cause your brush to self-destruct (relax, it won’t explode, it will just fall apart).

Types of bushes

The kind of brush you have will determine how you should clean it and what product you should use to do so. There are three types of brushes:

  • Sponge applicators are used to apply foundation products. While most sponges are disposable, some are made for multiple uses and must be washed. These brushes should be cleaned with something that is sulfate free, so the sponge doesn’t dry and break.
  • Brushes with natural hair tend to be the most frequent brushes used to apply makeup. Natural hairs attract more pigment and depending on what it is made of can feel plush. Natural haired brushes are made for powder products and will need a product made for deep cleansing. Avoid using sulfates on your natural haired bristles so the hairs don’t become rough. These bristles can be tough to cleanse adequately, so you may need to use a little elbow grease.
  • Synthetic hairs can be washed using sulfates because they don’t dry out as easily. These brushes are used for liquid or cream products because they will not absorb them. Depending on the type of product you like to use with your synthetic bristles they may be tough to clean (think waterproof creams).

*If your applicator is disposable don’t overuse it, you could end up with a bacterial infection. *

What you’ll need

Before cleaning your brushes you should gather all of your materials including:

  • Brushes
  • Brush Cleaner
  • Drying rack or paper towel
  • Running water
  • Sponge
  • Clear Fingernail Polish
  • Alcohol

How to clean a makeup brush fast

As stated earlier, some people use brush cleaner to cleanse their brush. Using a brush cleaner doesn’t require any water but is a quick way to sanitize and prevent color mixing. Most brush cleaners are made with alcohol and fragrance, so it is best that you just go and grab a bottle of rubbing alcohol. This method shouldn’t be used in excess, especially on natural haired brushes, the alcohol may cause the bristles to dry out.

To use a brush cleaner, just spray it directly onto your brush and wipe off any pigment on a paper towel. You should repeat this until no color transfers onto your paper.

How to deep clean a makeup brush

deep clean a makeup brush

deep clean a makeup brush

Looks like you’re ready for the big leagues! Let’s walk through the steps you must take to thoroughly cleanse your makeup brushes:

  1. Grab your cleansing product. You want to use something gentle so a baby shampoo, mild dish soap, or a simple soap like dial will suffice.
  2. Thoroughly saturate your brushes with water. You want to make sure you only get the hair wet, do not get the ferrule or handle wet. It is inevitable that water will splash onto these pieces but do not add any excess.
  3. If your brush is loaded with creamproduct, you should use olive or almond oil to help dissolve it. Some soaps aren’t powerful enough to remove these products from your brush, so they need a little extra help.
  4. Place the soap on a sponge and use it to swirl your brushes on. Wait until the soap comes to a lather. You are welcome to run your finger through the brush hairs to ensure you remove all of the debris, but too much pressure could permanently bend your brush or remove its hair.
  5. Rinse your brush with warm water and squeeze out any extra droplets. Be sure you have the brush with the bristles facing down so no water leaks into the ferrule or eventually it can begin to rust.
  6. If you want to clean your handles, go over them with a little alcohol. You may also place clear nail polish over the brand and brush name so that it stays on longer. There is nothing like needing a new brush and not remembering the name of your favorite!
  7. Lay your brushes flat on a clean towel. Your brushes should be left to air dry. There are some companies that make drying racks for makeup brushes that can make things so much easier!

There are a few things you should avoid when cleaning makeup brushes at home

  • Never store wet brushes with the bristles facing up, the water will leak into the handle and cause it to disconnect from them.
  • Try to wash your brushes with lukewarm water.
  • Do not use your brushes again until they are completely dry. Your bushes will not function the same way when wet, you will have very a spotty application no matter what product you use.
  • Never let your brush dry in a scrunched position because it will stay that way even after it dries.

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