HomeBeauty & MakeupHow To Clean Makeup Brushes At Home In 6 Quick Steps

How To Clean Makeup Brushes At Home In 6 Quick Steps

This post was originally published in October 2018. Updated in November 2022.

Wondering how to clean makeup brushes at home the right way? First, you must know it’s essential to clean your brushes especially if you wear makeup every day. Washing them regularly helps remove bacteria, dirt, dust, and dead skin cells and it prevents makeup products from getting mixed.

Dipping dirty makeup brushes into your products and then onto your face leads to skin problems like clogged pores, acne, and uneven skin texture.

Plus, dirty brushes that are full of bacteria cause an unhealthy environment for your skin which may lead collagen and elastin to break down.

In this article, I will include the proper steps to clean your makeup brushes, how often you should clean them, how to extend the life of your makeup brushes, and more FAQs.

Let’s get started…

How To Clean Makeup Brushes At Home?

How To Clean Makeup Brushes At Home In 6 Quick Steps

First, You’ll need:

  • Your facial cleanser, makeup brush cleanser, gentle soap, or natural chemical-free shampoo.
  • A bowl of lukewarm water.
  • A clean and dry towel.
  • Alcohol spray.
  • Cotton pads.

Now, How to clean makeup brushes at home? the steps include:

1- The first thing to do is to wet the bristles with lukewarm or warm water. Don’t wet the ferrule as this could dissolve the glue that holds the bristles in place.

2- In a bowl, add lukewarm water and about one tablespoon of your preferable cleanser then swirl the tip of your brushes in the bowl in circular motions.

3- For the best results, massage your brush tip in your palm. You can also use your fingers to cleanse oil and dirt that are stuck in the brush hairs.

4- After that, rinse the bristles off with clean water. Repeat the steps until your makeup brushes are clean.

5- Squeeze out excess water from the bristles with a clean and dry towel. Be extra gentle and avoid pulling on the bristles while drying them.

6- Lay the brushes flat on a towel and let them air dry, keep the bristles hanging off the edge of the counter. This helps your brushes dry in the right shape. Avoid drying the brushes vertically as this can make water leak into the ferrule and dissolve the glue, which will damage your brushes.

Bonus: Use rubbing alcohol (70%) and cotton pads to wipe away the handle and ferrule to keep them germ and bacteria-free.

How Often Should You Wash Your Makeup Brushes?

How To Clean Makeup Brushes At Home In 6 Quick Steps

Cleaning your makeup brushes frequently helps keep your brushes soft and free of unwanted build-up makeup and leaves your skin healthy and glowing.  

So, it’s recommended to clean your makeup brushes and sponges once a week. But if your skin is super sensitive or acne-prone or if you usually use heavy makeup products, it’s best to wash your brushes after every use.

Also, it’s highly recommended to have your own makeup brushes to avoid infections and skin problems. And if you’re a makeup artist, you will need to wash the brushes before and after every use.

Related: The Top 11 Signs That Tell If You Have Sensitive Skin

How To Make Your Makeup Brushes Last Long?

A lady holding a mirror and wearing makeup

To extend the life of your makeup brushes:

  • Store the brushes in a clean and dry place. Avoid leaving them in a damp place or exposing them to direct sunlight as this can damage the bristles.
  • Organize your brushes and keep them away from dust.
  • Clean the brushes frequently.
  • It’s best to keep your makeup brushes separated to avoid the chance of spreading bacteria and germs.


  1. What Should You Not Clean Makeup Brushes With?

    Avoid using soaps that contain harsh ingredients like sulfate as it can dry out bristles and shorten the life of your makeup brushes.

  2. What Soap Can I Use To Clean My Makeup Brushes?

    You can use a makeup brush cleanser, any gentle soap, or chemical-free shampoo to clean your makeup brushes safely without drying out the bristles. Any of those can help successfully remove grease, powder products, and oil-based makeup.

  3. Can You Clean Makeup Brushes With Face Cleanser?

    Yes. You can use your daily facial cleanser to clean your makeup brushes as it can dissolve dirt, makeup, powder, and dust without damaging your bristles.

  4. What Happens If I Don’t Wash My Makeup Brushes?

    You will transmit bacteria, dirt, and dust from your face to your makeup products and then to your face again. This leads to different skin issues including clogged pores, breakouts, redness, and discoloration.

The Bottom Line

The steps on how to clean makeup brushes at home will definitely help keep your skin clean and help you get rid of dirt and bacteria, which will prevent further skin problems and skin aging.

You can safely use any gentle soap and lukewarm water to cleanse your brushes without damaging them. Keep in mind to wash your makeup brushes frequently to maintain your skin health.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here