How To: Wash Your Makeup Brushes

Hello Beauties and welcome back!

I haven’t done a post for the “How To” series in a long time so I started brainstorming different ideas. Yesterday was Sunday, which is cleaning day for me. I was cleaning up my vanity desk (by the end of the week, I have makeup everywhere) and saw how many dirty makeup brushes I had. Then the idea came to me – I should show y’all how I clean my makeup brushes! For the longest time, I didn’t know that I needed to clean makeup brushes and how important it was that I did, but then I saw a YouTuber talk about it and realized what I was missing. Since then I’ve learned three different ways of cleaning makeup brushes and today I am going to share all three methods with y’all.

Method #1 – Flash Cleaning

This method is best for makeup brushes that aren’t too dirty or if you don’t have the time to deep clean and dry your brushes.

What You Need:

  • A towel
  • Makeup Remover – I used the Simple Kind To Skin Dual Effect Eye Makeup Remover OR
  • Makeup Brush Cleaner – I recommend the Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner! I just used mine up so I used the makeup remover instead.
  • Dirty makeup brushes

Steps:

  1. Swirl the brush into the towel to get excess product off.
  2. Add 3-5 drops of the makeup remover to the towel. If you’re using a daily brush cleaner that has a spray, you can spray your brush directly once or twice. 
  3. Swirl the brush into the spot where the makeup remover is. Do this for 30 seconds. If you’re using the daily brush cleaner, you can swirl the brush into any clean area of the towel because the cleaning product is on the brush already. 
  4. Repeat steps 2-3. This second round of cleaning is performed to confirm that the brush is clean. 
  5. If your brush is still dirty after spot cleaning twice, then you should consider deep cleaning the brush. All lightly dirty should be sufficiently clean after the two rounds of swirling. 
  6. Brushes after a flash cleaning usually dry within 10 minutes or less, depending on how well and long you swirl the brush in the towel. Once dry, you can use the brush right away.

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The next two methods are for deep cleaning. Both methods require a towel, a water source, and a textured surface but different supplies depending on the cleaner used. For the water source, you can do this in your bathroom sink or have a small bowl of water. For blogging (picture) purposes, I chose to use a small bowl, but I usually do deep cleaning in the bathroom sink. For the textured surface, the most affordable option is to use the palm of your hand, which will cost you $0!!! You can also use a brush cleaning mat or pad. Brush cleaning mats and pads can be purchased at an affordable price from TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Amazon, Sephora and Ulta. If you go with Method #3, a small brush cleaning pad comes with the cleaner.

Method #2 – Deep Cleaning with DIY Cleaner

What You Need To Make The DIY Cleaner:

  • Dish soap
  • Olive oil
  • Small dish, cup or plate

Steps:

  1. Make the DIY Cleaner by making a mixture of dish soap and olive oil in a 3:1 ratio; so for every 3 drops of dish soap, add 1 drop of olive oil. Do this in the small dish, cup or plate. I would not recommend making the mixture in the palm of your hand like other tutorials have shown, because it will be absorbed into the skin and then you’ll have to remake the mixture multiple times.
  2. Swirl the brush into the towel to get excess product off.
  3. Dip the brush into the DIY cleaner. 
  4. Swirl the brush on the textured surface. Do this for 30 seconds. Make sure a good lather builds up and that the brush becomes saturated. 
  5. Turn on the water and continue to swirl the brush on the textured surface in the water. This will start to wash out the soap and makeup in the brush. Do this until you no longer see any soap suds.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 if the brush is still dirty after the first round of cleaning.
  7. Squeeze the brush bristles in a downward motion to get water out.
  8. Swirl the brush into the towel for 10 seconds to get excess water out. 
  9. Look at the brush bristles. Are there bristles bunched up? (Refer to picture 9A.) If there are, that means there is still soap left in the bristles. Repeat step 5. It is very important that the brush is thoroughly rinsed because you don’t want leftover soap, old makeup, skin cells and bacteria living in that brush! You don’t want to break out, do you? Nope! Then go rinse out that brush! Repeat step 7 to make sure that the bristles look soft and aren’t bunched up. (Refer to picture 9B.) That’s when you know it’s completely clean. 
  10. Leave the brush laying flat or standing up with the bristles facing down on the towel to dry overnight. Sometimes the brush will feel dry already but don’t be fooled – it’s not. 

Method #3 – Deep Cleaning with Store Bought Brush Cleaner

The difference between methods #2 and #3 is the type of brush cleaner used. As you already know, method #2 uses a DIY cleaner, while method #3 uses a store bought version. Store bought brush cleaners can be liquid or solid like a bar of soap. If the store bought cleaner you had is a liquid, you can actually use the same steps as method #2, starting from step 2. The steps for method #3 are tailored to solid store bought cleaners, but also might start to sound a little repetitive, because the cleaning part is basically the same. Since method #3 uses a different type of cleaner, the difference in steps is how the cleaner is applied and worked into the brush. So if you’re using a liquid store bought cleaner, you can go back to method #2 steps and if you’re using a solid store bought cleaner, continue reading!

Recommended Brush Cleaners:

  • Beauty Blender – Blendercleanser Solid ($16)
  • Beauty Blender – Liquid Blendercleanser ($18)

Steps:

  1. Do you have a liquid or solid store bought brush cleaner? If you have a liquid store bought brush cleaner, you can use the same steps as method #2 starting from step 2.
  2. If you have a solid store bought brush cleaner, start by swirling the brush into the towel to get excess product off.
  3. Dip the brush into the water to wet the bristles. Unlike liquid cleaners, solid cleaners are more dry and without wetting the brush first, it wouldn’t be able to pick up enough cleaning product. If you’re using the sink and running water as the water source, don’t invert your brush to get the bristles wet. Make sure your brush is always facing downward. 
  4. Swirl the brush into the solid brush cleaner. Depending on how wet your brush is, sometimes a lather can build and other times, it won’t – just make sure enough product gets into the bristles. 
  5. Swirl the brush on the textured surface. Do this for 30 seconds. If a lather didn’t build in the previous step, it needs to happen now. If it doesn’t, dip your brush into the water or swirl it in the cleaner, because there isn’t enough of one product to do so. 
  6. Then swirl the brush on the textured surface in the water. Do this until you no longer see any soap suds.
  7. If your brush still looks visibly dirty, repeat steps 4-6 until the brush looks clean.
  8. Squeeze the brush bristles in a downward motion to get water out.
  9. Swirl the brush into the towel for 10 seconds to get excess water out.
  10. Like step 9 of method #2, look at the brush bristles to check for bunched up bristles. If there are bunched up bristles, rinse out the brush again. You can swirl it on the textured surface as well, depending on how soapy the bristles still are. Then repeat steps 8-9 until your bristles look soft and aren’t bunched up.
  11. Leave your brushes out to dry overnight, standing up with bristles facing down or laying flat on the towel. 

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That is it for the 3 cleaning methods for makeup brushes that I know of!

Do you know another way of cleaning brushes?

If you do, please share! I would love to learn another way of cleaning brushes, especially if it is a method that is fast AND deep-cleaning. If any of you have any questions, feel free to ask it in the comment section below. I will do my best to answer! I hope y’all have a wonderful #MakeupMonday and I’ll ttyl~

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Always Cleia | 16th Apr 18

    I always use baby shampoo to clean my brushes plus a drop of olive oil. It’s just a bit more gentle than dish soap. I do use a beauty blender cleanser bar for my sponges though!

    • Linda Talks Beauty | 17th Apr 18

      Nice! I haven’t tried baby shampoo yet. For sponges, the bar soap definitely works better for me than other options.

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