Happy Thursday, fam!!! This post has been a LONG time coming. Mainly because I am the actual worst at it and I needed to get my own self in order before I preached to you about it. 😉 I’m finally back on a regular wash schedule and as a makeup artist, beauty lover, biochemistry-loving human being: I feel the need to tell you not only HOW to easily clean your makeup brushes but also WHY it’s so dang important. A lot of people think, “yeah, yeah, yeah….I know I’m supposed to clean them but it takes forever and I always forget” and even worse than just forgetting for a few weeks is those of you (and I KNOW you are reading this) who have never cleaned your brushes ever. Ever. Sigh. I’m hoping to scare some sense into you today so that you take the plunge and at the very least clean your brushes once a week. It’s important. I promise. Let’s dive into this.

How To Easily Clean Your Makeup Brushes + WHY You Should Be Doing This Weekly

Taylor holding eyeshadow brushes outstretched in hands.

Taylor holding brush cup filled with eyeshadow brushes in front of sink


How To Easily Clean Your Brushes:

You probably have anywhere between 5-25 makeup brushes depending on your skill level and makeup obsession. I personally own almost 60 brushes myself, which, I agree is totally over the top but what can you do. You have your basic eye makeup brushes, and then your face brushes. Here are the easy steps to making sure they stay clean for you:

  1. Run brush under cool water to wet the bristles. 
  2. Swirl gentle into solid soap (Sephora brand or Beauty Blender brand both work AMAZING).
  3. Gently scrub brush into silicone brush pad to remove makeup and bacteria.
  4. Rinse under cold water.
  5. Squeeze excess water out with a paper towel.
  6. Hang upside down to dry.

I LOVE the Sigma brush mitt for my silicone brush pad. It works GREAT and has different little guys for easy size and type of brush – and different swirls for washing and rinsing so you do the least amount of damage to your brushes. 

NEVER use hot water to wash your brushes. You will not only dry out your bristles and cause them to break and scratch your face – but you will also weaken the glue holding the bristles to the brush handle. You’ll end up significantly shortening the life of your brushes if you do this. Cool water is the way to go every time.

Taylor holding brush cleaner over edge of sink.

Taylor holding soapy brush over edge of sink

Taylor holding rinsed brush over edge of sink.

WHY You Should Be Cleaning Your Brushes Weekly (but actually probably more):

Ugh. Where to even begin. First of all – your brushes are like little perfect homes for a number of bacteria. 1. That is disgusting but 2. It’s also bad for your skin. If you are struggling with acne – one of the first things to rule out are dirty brushes. They sit on your makeup brush holders and just multiply bacteria, and then the next day you happily swirl that lil Petri dish of grossness all over your face. FUN! 🙂 Eye brushes aren’t as bad as face brushes – but it still isn’t great. I’m also counting beauty blenders or makeup sponges in this as well. Those are LITERAL sponges for bacteria. Do your face a HUGE FAVOR and please clean those dang brushes so that you aren’t causing unnecessary skin woes.

If that isn’t enough for you: you are significantly shortening the life of your brushes by not regularly taking care of them. The makeup can degrade the quality of your brushes and stop them from performing how they should be. If you are someone who spends money on makeup brushes – you are essentially losing that money you spent by not getting the best performance and length out of your brushes. Which is a real bummer if you ask me.

Last, if the first two STILL didn’t do it for ya, you are ruining your own makeup ability by not cleaning your brushes. Why? Because you aren’t able to go in with clean brushes and new colors. All you end up doing is significantly muddy-ing your shades and blending because you are essentially going over top and blending with dozens of other previous colors. SO if you are struggling with blending and just can’t figure it out – maybe look at the cleanliness of your brushes before knocking your own makeup ability. It is nearly impossible to get a clean makeup look if you are using dirty brushes. No bueno, my friend.

Taylor standing holding face brushes outstretched in hand


How To Easily Clean Your Makeup Brushes + WHY You Should Be Doing This Weekly

Brushes are one of the single most important tools of makeup. Seriously. Not exaggerating. You can have the best makeup in the world – but if you aren’t taking care of your brushes, you aren’t getting the most out of the makeup you are buying. It is a waste of your money! Keeping them dirty shortens their lifespan, hinders you from applying makeup correctly and cleanly, and also is just very gross all the way around.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”yw37q” via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]You can have the best makeup in the world – but if you aren’t taking care of your brushes, you aren’t getting the most out of the makeup you are buying.[/ctt]

holding solid brush cleaner over edge of sink

Cleaning your brushes can take anywhere between 10-45 minutes (guess who sits on the 45 min side…) but it’s worth it. I suggest making your cleaning day over the weekend when you can give them adequate time to dry because there is nothing worse than going to use a brush and finding out it’s still wet. Some brushes with more bristles (kabuki brushes + large face brushes) can take over 24 hours to completely dry. I often do it Friday mornings after I’ve applied my makeup for the day and by mid-morning to early afternoon on Saturday, most of my brushes are ready to go. 

Do you regularly clean your brushes? Or are you a slacker? 😉 Let me know in the comments below!

Similar Posts


  1. So the last step, what do you use to hang your brushes up to dry? I usually just let the brush end hang over the edge of my counter, so they aren’t technically upside down but not touching anything.

    1. I have a sigma brush wheel where I am able to hang my brushes upside down. It’s SO helpful. But as long as you squeeze the extra water out and lay them flat, they should be fine. 🙂

  2. I don’t wear make up all the time but I do try to clean my brushes often. At least in between uses, especially with my sensitive skin.

    Xx, Nailil

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *