Brush Basics - How To Clean Your Brushes

Regularly cleaning your makeup brushes is so important for a number of reasons

  • Brushes, especially ones used with liquid or cream products, can hold breakout causing bacteria and oils.
  • Cleaning your brushes will help them to last longer and keep their integrity over time.
  • A clean brush applies and blend products more easily.  I always notice a difference in the way my makeup applies after I have just cleaned my brushes.  

Below is how I clean my brushes step by step, complete with a video at the end!

I recommend deep cleaning your brushes, like this, at least every 2-3 weeks, with regular spot cleanings as needed.  To spot clean I like the Sephora Daily Antibacterial Brush Cleaner.  It is a great way to quickly clean and disinfect brushes between uses.  

To deep clean brushes there are plenty of good products out there, but they can be pretty expensive.  I prefer to use Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo.  Not only is it inexpensive, but it also cleans the brush and is gentle enough to use on both synthetic and natural brush hairs.


You will need:

  • Sink
  • Small bowl
  • Brush cleaner or a gentle baby shampoo
  • Towel
  • Brushes

How to Clean Your Brushes:

1.  To start run the brush under the water to wet the brush hairs.  Be sure to always keep the brush facing down.  If water or soap gets into the base of the hairs, where they meet the handle, it can loosen the glue over time and cause the hairs to fall out.

2. I like to either pour a small drop of soap into my hand, a small bowl, or onto the edge of the sink.  You don't need a lot, a little bit goes a long way.  

3.  Then take the damp brush with the soap and swirl it on the palm of your hand to work up a lather, and rinse.  Repeat this process until all the water runs clear from the brush, also ensure that there is no residual soap.  

4.  Reshape the bristles and lay out to dry.  I like to take a towel and roll one end so that the brushes can dry bristles down.  It will take some time for the brushes to fully dry, so I recommend cleaning them after you have applied your makeup. 

Once your brushes are dry they are ready to go!


Here is a quick video of how I clean my brushes


I am thinking about making Brush Basics, a series of posts covering what brushes to use, my favorite brushes, storage, and much more!  Let me know in the comments below if you want to see these Brush Basics posts!

Chelsea