How to Clean Makeup Brushes
How to Clean Makeup Brushes


Like any reliable tool, high-quality makeup brushes can be expensive. Taking proper care of them will ensure that they last as long as possible, making them well worth their price.

Washing makeup brushes regularly is essential to getting rid of built-up oils, dirt and dust that they've accumulated. Brush hairs and bristles are porous, so the longer you wait between brush cleanings, the more built-up grime and residue you're reapplying to your skin. Dried and caked-on products can also make your brushes stiff and scratchy, which will make your blending process more difficult and can irritate your skin.

The best way to clean makeup brushes is often believed to be with a sudsy product like a brush cleanser, dish soap, or even baby shampoo. These can sometimes dry out and damage the bristles of your brushes. Household products sometimes used to clean makeup brushes, like vinegar and olive oil, may leave lingering smells or oily residue that you may not want mixed in with facial products.

Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is non-abrasive and non-corrosive, so it will deep clean dirty makeup brushes without ruining them. The hard-working cleaner is also a degreaser, which can work wonders in expelling oil-based makeup products like foundations, concealers, cream contours and blushes. It's also clean-rinsing so you don't need to worry about cleaner residue mixing with your makeup products.

When it comes to the question of how often you should clean makeup brushes, there are a multitude of answers. Many dermatologists recommend soaking brushes, especially those used to apply foundation and concealer, once a week to prevent product buildup. Brushes used around the eyes can be cleaned twice a month. All others, such as powder and blush brushes, can be washed once a month.

If you notice brush hairs splitting off or falling out, it may be time to replace the brush altogether.

Directions for Cleaning Makeup Brushes:

  1. Wet bristles. Wet the bristles with lukewarm water. Avoid getting water above the place where the bristles attach to the handle, which is called the ferrule, as this can loosen the glue over time and lead to bristle loss.
  2. Soak brushes. Pour full strength Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner into a large cup or jar – only use enough to submerge the bristles. Soak the brushes for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Swirl brushes. Carefully swirl your brushes around either inside the cup, on the side of a sink, or on the palm of your hand. This will loosen makeup and residue lodged in the bristles.
  4. Rinse and reshape. Rinse thoroughly in clean water. Again, be careful not to wet the handles of the brushes. Squeeze excess moisture out with a clean towel or paper towels. Reshape each brush head so it dries back to its original shape.
  5. Dry. Let the brushes air dry with the bristles hanging off the edge of a counter. This allows them to dry in the correct shape. Do not lay your brushes on a towel to dry, as the bristles can become mildewed, and never dry them vertically where the water could leak into the ferrule.

TIP: When you're finished soaking your brushes, pour the used Simple Green in the sink. You can use it to give your sink a quick wipe down and help deodorize your drain.

TIP: For directions on how to clean makeup sponges, click here.


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