Home > Brush 101 > How to clean makeup brushes

We get a lot of questions on how to clean makeup brushes. While makeup brushes can get pretty dirty from everyday use, knowing how to clean your brush properly can help you keep them looking like new. How to clean these brushes depends on the material that the brushes are constructed from and the methods for cleaning differ for the various types of brushes. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help! In the meantime, read through the steps below to learn how to clean and keep your favorite makeup brushes looking like new.


The main issue is to avoid bacteria build-up and to prevent distributing bacteria back onto your makeup products. Additionaly a clean brush provides flawless applications each time without spreading old makeup back on your face.


A good rule of thumb for personal makeup brushes are usually once a week if your brushes are used daily. If only using a few brushes each day, it is best to clean them right away after use and let them dry for next day use. A good cleaner shouldn't take too long to clean off fresh makeup. If you do not use your personal makeup brushes on a daily basis, cleaning your brushes every two weeks is adequate.

For professional use on clients, schedule to clean your makeup brushes every night after all appointments are fulfilled to prevent distributing bacteria onto your next day clients.


Solid cleansers can be used for deep cleaning and great for traveling as you can carry them through security check-points. Liquid cleansers are also great for deep cleaning but can be a little more difficult when traveling.

An inexpensive way to clean your makeup brushes is to use everyday household products like Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo or a glycerin bar soap made from vegetable oil. Avoid conditioners as they usually will leave a film on your brush hairs.

If you need to do a quick cleaning on the spot, Cinema Secrets is an ethanol based cleaner that provides an on the spot quick dry cleaning but overtime will damage the bristles. This should not substitute the deep cleaning process and should only be used for a quick clean. Brushes should always be deep cleaned to remove build up and prevent bacteria from growing.


Step-by-step guidelines to clean makeup brushes.
1. Wet the brush under warm water making sure the water does not hit above where the ferule (the metal/brass/aluminum piece) and handle meet.
2. Swish the brush in an appropriate cleanser. Use either the palm of your hand or a raised textured silicon mat. A rough textured surface will help wash the makeup off the brushes.
3. Rinse the brush thoroughly and repeat till clean.


You always want to shape the brushes before you let them dry.
1. Have the brush hairs tilted down on a counter with the bristles facing away from any surface to avoid denting the brushes. A good rule of thumb is to have the end of the handle higher than the tip of the brush. This will help keep the shape of the brushes and prevent water from seeping up into the ferrule and handle.
2. Consider purchasing a makeup brush drying rack. (There are many DIY brush drying systems that you can look up on youtube)
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