Easiest Way For Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Everyone’s always looking for tips on cleaning makeup brushes at home. What we’ve done here is searched across the web for the best tips and instructions.

This is coupled with some of the best makeup experts weighing in on how they clean their makeup brushes.

By the end of this piece you should have a better idea as to what you’re doing.

First on Cleaning Makeup Brushes from The Every Girl:

First, run your brush bristles under lukewarm water. Make sure to keep the bristles pointing downwards, avoiding the area where the handle meets the head. If water gets in there, it can loosen the glue that holds the bristles together!

Next, dispense a small amount of baby shampoo into the palm of your hand. About a nickel-sized amount should do the trick.

Now, swirl the brush bristles into the baby shampoo until it creates a rich lather.

After you feel you’ve worked out the dirt and oil that has been trapped in the bristles, rinse the brush head under lukewarm water again.

Squeeze the excess water out of the brush by pulling it in between your thumb and the side of your index finger. If the water that is released is dirty, go ahead and repeat the cleansing process again. Once the water runs clear, you know you’ve done a good job and can move on to the next step.

Use a cloth or a paper towel to dry off the bristles, reshaping them as you go.

Don’t forget to clean your other makeup tools, like your eyelash curler! Just take a little baby shampoo in between your fingers, massage it in, and then give a quick rinse.

Lay your brushes flat to dry overnight.

Actress Lauren Conrad has a slightly different take on Cleaning Makeup Brushes

  1. Begin by running your brushes under lukewarm water, rinsing out all of the residual makeup. Try to focus on the actual bristles while avoiding the part of the brush where handle meets the head, as this can loosen the glue over time
  2. Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and a squirt of shampoo, and gently swirl your brush tip in the water. If you need to, you can also swirl the brush in the palm of your hand to work up a lather.
  3. Rinse the brush tip under running water once again. Repeat steps two and three until the water runs clear from the brush,
  4. Use a cloth to wipe your brush clean, reshaping the bristles as you go.
  5. Lay your brushes flat on a cloth to dry.

The Website PopSugar Incorporates Other Household Items for Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Step 1: Mix two parts antibacterial dish soap to one part of the extra-virgin olive oil on a clean plate (don’t use paper plate, as the oil will seep through).

Step 2: Grab your first brush and wet it slightly with lukewarm water. Make sure the brush stays bristle-side down throughout the entire process. If water gets into the ferrule (the middle tube part that holds everything together) of the brush, it can loosen the glue, causing the bristles to fall out.

Step 3: Dip the damp brush into the soap mixture and coat it thoroughly. Next, work the mixture into the bristles using the palm of your hand and fingers. Continue until the soapy residue is makeup free.

Step 4: Rinse the brushes under lukewarm water until no soap runs from the bristles.

Step 5: Roll a dish towel like you would a yoga mat, and drape a paper towel over it so that most of the paper towel hangs off. (The paper towel should look like a slide coming down from the dish towel). Next, arrange the brush so the top of the handle sits on top of the towel, pitching the rest of the brush down onto the paper towel. This will allow your brushes to dry on a slant, while keeping moisture away from the ferrule.

The Experts

This is all fine and good, but what do the experts do? Into The Gloss recently spoke with a number of experienced makeup artists to get their take on cleaning makeup brushes. Here’s what they had to say below.

Tom Pecheux

I like to use an organic soap to clean my brushes. Something like Savon De Marseille Olive Oil Soap, which I prefer in a bar, so that I can rub my brushes directly onto the bar of soap. I do this after each time I use my brushes.

Once in awhile, when I don’t have to work the following day, I wash with the bar soap and let my brushes chill over an air conditioner to soften them. If I’m in a rush, I will set them on top of a radiator, and if I really don’t have time, I will put a blow dryer to them.

It is important to let them dry naturally and standing up so the shape is restored. For synthetic brushes, like lip and concealer brushes, I use hand sanitizer on them after each use.

Beau Nelson

I clean my brushes using the Beautyblender Solid Blendercleanser for natural hair brushes, which is great for me because it’s portable, and I can take it anywhere without it leaking all over the place. Occasionally, I condition my natural hair brushes with hair conditioner and leave them to soak it in for an hour or so.

For synthetic brushes, I use dish soap like Dawn, which helps cut through the cosmetic oils and silicones used in makeup that can be hard to get out. The number one thing I’ve found that I love is the Sigma Beauty Spa Brush Cleaning Glove.

It looks crazy, but that in combination with the Blendercleanser gets my brushes cleaner than ever was possible before.


I shampoo my brushes with unscented Savon de Marseille Bar Soap. Then, I lay them flat to dry overnight.

I use dish soap for stubborn grease paints or glitter in brushes, but I only use synthetic brushes for these things so that the hairs are not destroyed

Mario Dedivanovic

To clean my brushes, I first wet them thoroughly with water and rub them gently onto a bar of antibacterial soap. Then I rinse them with warm water and wash one more time with a gentle shampoo. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo works well.

I like to mix a couple drops of tea tree oil with the shampoo because it has antiseptic benefits, and it also leaves the brushes smelling great. I give a final rinse, squeeze them out gently with my fingers, and lay them on a clean towel to dry.

Gucci Westman

Éminence Organics Natural Brush Cleanser is what I like to use. I also found an Organic Lavender Brush Cleanser from Afterglow Cosmetics, which is great!

I clean my brushes every day after I use them and deep clean once a week since lots of bacteria can accumulate in brushes, Also, I am a clean freak with my kit.

For the deep cleaning, I use Rahua Shampoo. I put the cleanser in a cap and dip the brush in. After I wash them, I let them dry on a towel.

Sometimes I spray them. Depending on time, if I am catching a flight or in a rush, I spray and try to make sure they are dry as possible before putting them in the brush cases. This is so that they don’t lose shape and the hairs stay intact.

Hung Vanngo

I am a neat freak, so I clean my brushes after every single makeup look. To clean the brushes, I pour liquid brush cleanser into a little bowl and then dip in one brush at a time, swirling the brush around in the bowl.

I usually leave the foundation and concealer brush for last. After that, I use tissues to soak up most of the liquid on the brushes. Then lay them all flat on top of a paper towel to dry.

For lip brushes and brushes that I use with heavy pigments, I use The Masters’ Brush Cleaner and Preserver because it can strip off all the oils and pigments.

This is made to clean painter’s brushes, so you can get it at any art supply store.

Brigitte Reiss-Andersen

Dirty brushes tend to not distribute powders properly because of the yucky buildup. I never use water because it makes them smell terrible. It also makes the bristle loose, which leads to the brush falling apart over time—and wood handles don’t like being wet either.

I prefer a spirit solution, which is quite easy to find these days. Japonesque, Ben Nye, and Cinema Secrets—which you can find in Sephora—all have really good ones.

In addition to cleaning the brushes perfectly, the alcohol in the solution is an instant disinfectant as well. Just pour enough cleaner into a glass or a paper cup—no plastic because the product will melt it—to cover the bristle.

Dip the brush into the solution and move it around to help it dissolve the dirt. Then, place the brush on a paper towel, squeeze thoroughly, and let it dry on a towel.

I prefer squeezing rather than rubbing because it’s gentle for the brushes. They will certainly last longer. After about 30 minutes, the cleaner has evaporated, and what you have is a perfectly clean, dry brush.


With the trends of contouring and heavy makeup being a big deal right now, there are a lot of products on the market to assist in cleaning your makeup brushes. We’ve highlighted our favorites below.

 MelodySusie Apple Shape Makeup Brush Cleaner / Brush Cleaning Mat for Makeup Brushes – Beautiple

  • HOT SALE MAKEUP BRUSH CLEANER MAT – Distinguished cleaning textures and wider openining for 4 fingers.
  • UNIQUE DESIGN WITH GREAT FUNCTION – Unique apple shape design to make a special looking. The width of the opening is 2.76 inches, which is perfect for four fingers to fit in easily and hold the brush cleaner tightly.
  • SPECIAL SILICON TEXTURE DESIGN – There are four silicon texture designed at the back of the makeup brush cleaner: right hand side design for washing and swirling, left hand side design for deep cleaning and refine.
  • COMPACT SIZE & LIGHT WEIGHT – Size: 3.94 * 0.98 * 4.02 inches in Length * Width * Height. Weight: 0.17lb. A compact makeup beauty tool when travelling and a great choice as a gift for family and friends.


 28 Hole Makeup Brush Tree Holder Organizer Folding Collapsible Air Drying Tower Brush Dryer

  • Tower help protect the shape of your brush’s bristles after washing
  • Hold 28 makeup brushes, well made and makes cleaning your brushes much easier
  • It tucks away for safe and easy storage
  • Eliminates clutter and helps organize brushes while drying


Cleaning MakeUp Washing Brush Silica Glove Scrubber Board Cosmetic Clean Tools

  • This is the makeup brush cleaner, will help thoroughly clean through all the bristles and make cleaning your brushes.
  • Very useful tool to cleaning various of your makeup brushes
  • Compact in size and very cute,will fit easily in your makeup case.
  • Grand new,made of high quality silicone,will not damage your brushes
  • Smaller knobs on the top used for foaming and lathering, The grooves in the bottom of the egg are used to agitate the bristles


Lilumia 2 Makeup Brush Cleaner Device- Electronic Cleaning Machine 

  • MAKEUP BRUSH CLEANING DEVICE – This Hi Tech beauty appliance cleans up to 12 brushes at one time and works with natural or synthetic cosmetic brushes. LILUMIA CLEANSER SOLUTION SOLD SEPERATELY!
  • AVOID BREAKOUTS & BLEMISHES – Keep your skin clear and your makeup brushes clean and sanitary with the best-selling Lilumia 2 makeup brush cleaner. As seen on TV, it will benefit your skin and improve makeup application.
  • UPGRADED LILUMIA 2 – Enhanced Wash Cycle reduces the amount of time by 50% where your brushes are in contact with old makeup and bacteria. Additional Rinse Cycle removes any leftover remnants of makeup or cleanser. Improved Base Design acts as a vacuum to funnel dirt and debris from the cleaning surface. BONUS Removable Cleaning Disk for stubborn build up.
  • CONVENIENCE – No more hand-scrubbing your makeup brushes over the sink – just sit back and relax as the Lilumia 2 does the work for you. Watch as the Lilumia 2 completes a wash cycle and 3 rinse cycles automatically restoring your brushes to like new condition, extending their lifetime and Saving Money. Clean your brushes with a simple push of a button!
  • MODERN, SLEEK DESIGN – Featuring a transparent and futuristic design, this electronic brush cleaner adds to countertop appeal anywhere in your home. Available in 4 Color Options Matte Black, Glossy Pink, Satin Gold, and Silver Chrome.

In Conclusion

Many of the tips available across the vary, but are similar and nature. All the experts have weighed in. This should undoubtedly help you with cleaning your makeup brushes at home when the time comes. Home cleaning is super easy when you have the right products.