How-To: Clean Your Makeup Brushes!

27 June 2013

Hi lovelies! Since my Makeup Brush 101 post a couple of weeks ago, I've been getting a lot of requests to  do another post all about how to properly clean and care for makeup brushes. Cleaning your brushes is absolutely essential for maintaining their quality, but more importantly, it keeps them sanitized (which prevents bacteria and oil from spreading around your face!). Please note that my way of cleaning brushes is certainly not the only way, I've just found that this is what works best for me.

I try to spot clean my brushes with an anti-bacterial brush cleaner every day after use. For spot cleaning, all you need to do is spritz some cleaner solution onto your brush and then wipe them off on a tissue or towel until you no longer see any product residue. Some of my favorite spot cleaners are Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner, Sonia Kashuk Brush and Sponge Cleanser, and e.l.f. Studio Daily Brush Cleaner.

At the end of each week, I like to give my brushes a more thorough deep cleaning. This process is definitely a bit more time-consuming, but it really does a great job of cleaning up all the makeup build-up and restoring your brushes back to their original condition. A lot of people like to use a shampoo specifically made for makeup brushes like Sephora Brush Shampoo or MAC Brush Cleanser. However, I've found that it's just as effective and a lot more affordable to just use baby shampoo (Johnson & Johnson will do the trick!).

Since we all know how much I love lists here at Sparkle & Mine, here is a step-by-step guide for deep cleaning:

1. Gather all of your makeup brushes that need cleaning near a sink. Also be sure to grab a towel and your brush shampoo.

2. Take a brush and run it under warm water, angled bristle side down. This is VERY important, as it ensures that water will not leak into the ferrule or handle of your brush. This can cause the glue holding your brush together to loosen, which will make your brush shed a lot more.

3. Place a small amount of shampoo in the palm of your hand, and gently rub the brush in the shampoo until you no longer see any product coming off.

4. Run the brush under warm water again, using your fingers to rinse out the shampoo.

5. Gently squeeze brush to release excess water and test it on skin to ensure there is no makeup or shampoo residue.

6. Place brush on towel to dry. Bigger, more dense brushes can take up to a full 24 hours to dry, while smaller brushes typically take just a few hours. That's why I try to wash my brushes on a night when I know I won't be doing my makeup the next day!

7. Repeat steps 2-6 with all of your brushes!

I'd love to hear your tips for makeup brush cleaning and care in the comments below! 

Photo: Made by Girl


  1. I made a diy video on how I washed my brushes with my diy brush cleaner. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-TnZ34meAvM hope you can check it out.

  2. I never really spot clean, just wipe the tips of brushes that I've used with gel liners and such on the makeup remover that I was using that day. Otherwise I love to deep clean with baby shampoo from Johnson & johnson. xx

    Daphne | Peanut Butter and Chocolate | bloglovin'

    1. Sounds like a good routine to me Daphne! :)

  3. Really helpful! Thanks for sharing great tips.
    Indeed nicely clean tools are very important, especially when we using them for face.

    Beautiful Things by L&A

  4. Hi Sarah! Just want to say that I love the new design of your blog! I think having the navigation on the left is such a good feature rather than the usual navigation on the top. ^^

    I don't own a lot of brushes actually but I do almost the same thing when washing them - maybe if I get loads I will try that Sigma one, have you seen it?

    x Donah (just followed your blog)
    GiG Crew

    1. Thanks Donah! I'm liking it so far too! :)

      Are you talking about the Sigma brush glove? Or am I totally off base lol?

  5. Hi Sarah(: I found your blog on Pinterest and became addicted and got inspired to start my own blog! But i was wondering how you link whatever your linking in word form but highlighted and not all that internet long stuff?!

    Again love your blog and the new design!


    1. Good for you!! Here's a quick tutorial on that for ya!: https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/41379?hl=en

      I'd love to see your blog when it goes live, best of luck! :)

  6. Hi Sara :o) First I LOVE your blog! Mine is pretty sad in comparison, lol......anyhow, I wanted to ask you if it's o.k. that I've been using regular shampoo or all natural soap?

    Thanks so much!!
    Jackie :D

  7. Hi I was wondering where you got your containers from where you store the brushes?


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