How to Clean Makeup Brushes with Brush Cleaner

How to Clean Makeup Brushes with Brush Cleaner

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Keeping your makeup brushes clean is essential for maintaining healthy skin and achieving flawless makeup application. Dirty brushes can harbor bacteria, oil, and old makeup residue, which can lead to breakouts and less effective makeup application. Using a dedicated brush cleaner can make the cleaning process efficient and effective. This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning your makeup brushes with brush cleaner.

Why Cleaning Makeup Brushes is Important

Regularly cleaning your makeup brushes offers several benefits. Firstly, it helps prevent the buildup of bacteria that can cause skin irritation, breakouts, and infections. Clean brushes also ensure better makeup application, as old makeup residue can affect the texture and color of your products. Additionally, proper brush maintenance extends the life of your brushes, saving you money in the long run.

Choosing the Right Brush Cleaner

There are various types of brush cleaners available, including liquid, solid, and spray cleaners. When choosing a brush cleaner, consider the following:

  • Effectiveness: Look for a cleaner that can remove all types of makeup residue, including oil-based and waterproof products.
  • Gentleness: Ensure the cleaner is gentle on the brush bristles to prevent damage.
  • Ingredients: Opt for cleaners with natural or non-irritating ingredients, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Popular brands like Cinema Secrets, MAC, and Real Techniques offer highly effective brush cleaners that cater to different needs.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you start, gather the following supplies:

  • Brush cleaner (liquid, solid, or spray)
  • A small bowl or cup (for liquid cleaners)
  • A clean towel or paper towels
  • Lukewarm water

Step 2: Wet the Brushes

Begin by running your brushes under lukewarm water, with the bristles facing downward. This helps to prevent water from seeping into the handle, which can loosen the glue and cause the bristles to shed. Gently swirl the brush tips in the water to remove surface dirt and old makeup.

Step 3: Apply the Brush Cleaner

  • For Liquid Cleaners: Pour a small amount of the brush cleaner into a bowl or cup. Dip the bristles into the cleaner and swirl gently. Avoid fully submerging the brush, as this can damage the ferrule (the metal part that holds the bristles).
  • For Solid Cleaners: Wet the brush bristles and swirl them directly onto the solid cleaner. Work up a lather by swirling the brush in your hand or on a cleaning mat.
  • For Spray Cleaners: Spray the cleaner directly onto the brush bristles. Ensure the bristles are adequately coated with the cleaner.

Step 4: Clean the Brushes

Once the brush cleaner is applied, gently massage the bristles with your fingers to work the cleaner through the brush. For a deeper clean, you can use a brush cleaning mat or glove, which has textured surfaces to help remove stubborn makeup residue.

Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly

Rinse the brushes under lukewarm water, again keeping the bristles pointing downward. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear, ensuring all the cleaner and makeup residue is removed. Be thorough, as any remaining cleaner can cause the bristles to become stiff.

Step 6: Remove Excess Water

Gently squeeze out the excess water from the bristles using your fingers. Be careful not to tug or pull on the bristles, as this can cause them to shed. You can also use a clean towel or paper towels to blot the bristles and remove additional moisture.

Step 7: Reshape and Dry

After removing the excess water, reshape the brush bristles to their original form. This helps maintain the brush’s shape and ensures optimal performance. Lay the brushes flat on a clean towel or hang them upside down to dry. Avoid standing the brushes upright while they dry, as this can cause water to seep into the handle.

Step 8: Let Brushes Dry Completely

Allow the brushes to dry completely before using them again. Depending on the brush size and density, this can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight. Ensure they are in a well-ventilated area to speed up the drying process.

Tips for Maintaining Clean Makeup Brushes

  • Frequency: Clean your makeup brushes at least once a week to prevent buildup and maintain hygiene. For brushes used with liquid or cream products, consider cleaning them more frequently.
  • Spot Cleaning: For a quick clean between uses, use a brush cleaning spray. Spray the cleaner onto a paper towel and gently wipe the brush bristles.
  • Avoid Harsh Products: Never use harsh detergents or alcohol-based cleaners on your brushes, as they can damage the bristles and reduce the brush’s lifespan.
  • Proper Storage: Store your brushes in a clean, dry place. Consider using a brush holder or organizer to keep them upright and in good condition.


Regularly cleaning your makeup brushes with a dedicated brush cleaner is essential for maintaining healthy skin, achieving flawless makeup application, and extending the life of your brushes. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure your brushes remain clean, effective, and in excellent condition. Happy cleaning!

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