How to wash makeup brushes!

I love being nosey when it comes to make-up hygiene (and am quite OCD when it comes to makeup – sharing especially) so I thought I’d let you guys know how I clean my makeup brushes and what I use to do so! 

how to wawsh makeup brushes
how to wash makeup brushes 2
how to wash brushes 3

I like to use a couple of different products to wash my brushes.  Baby shampoo is a great choice as it’s very gentle on the hairs and not packed full of bad ingredients, but more recently I’ve been using Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap as it’s a great organic product without preservatives, with lots of uses!  It’s gentle enough to be used on brushes and foams up nicely getting rid of all dirt and grime.

I start off by wetting the brush hairs a little under the tap, being sure not to get the handle too wet (this could damage the brushes).  I then pour a little of the magic soap (or baby shampoo) onto either my hand or the brush hairs, and swirl it around in my hand to get rid of the dirt.  Depending on the type of brush and what you use it for, it may take a couple of rinses with the soap and water before it runs clear.  I should also say it is really satisfying seeing all the colourful grime that comes out of the brushes (gross, ha!). 

After cleaning with the magic soap, I also like to give each brush (especially the face brushes) and quick clean with my current face wash.  As I am acne prone I have to be careful about what I use on my face so I feel like giving them a final once-over with my face wash helps to prevent breakouts!
Once the water runs clear and the hairs look their normal colour, lay them down on a towel or tissue and leave to dry naturally.  Never leave them standing up to dry whilst wet as the water can trickle down to the handle and damage the brush.

I like to wash my brushes every couple of weeks and I find just before bed is the best time, as then I can leave them to dry over night so they are ready for use the next morning!

Also – for quick in between washes, I just use a little spritz of Clinique’s Brush Cleaner (or a little one I have from Sephora).  This is great if I’ve used a really dark messy colour or gel eyeliner, as it gets the majority of the product out in a few spritzes whilst wiping on a piece of tissue!

I hope you’ve picked up a few little tips from this post and are feeling inspired to get a-washing!

How do you clean your brushes?  What are your favourite brush cleaning products?



  1. July 16, 2013 / 8:47 pm

    I clean my brushes like you! So glad that I know I'm doing it right haha 🙂 x

  2. July 16, 2013 / 9:10 pm

    I swear by Dr Bronner's! I have the lavender one, makes my brushes smell lovely 🙂 I hang them upside down to dry to stop water getting into the ferrule.
    Sophie x
    Red Lips Sink Ships

  3. July 16, 2013 / 9:36 pm

    I love using Dawn antibacterial dish soap to kill the germs. Mixed with olive oil for conditioning. I have never seen so much come out of the brushes. I do love using the baby shampoo on my personal brushes, however for makeup kit, I opt to use the Dawn Antibacterial. Just to be safe 🙂 thank you for sharing. I have more info on how I do it on my blog, if you are interested. Have an awesome day.

  4. July 16, 2013 / 9:37 pm

    I do the same. I use shampoo, that I don't use on my hair for it. I have only several brushes, so I clean them pretty often.

  5. July 16, 2013 / 9:48 pm

    Thanx for the tips I will definitely be taking up your advice.

    Jodie x

  6. July 16, 2013 / 10:08 pm

    What are the brushes with the beautiful black and purple coloring?

    • July 17, 2013 / 8:39 am

      They are the Real Techniques eye brushes, I ADORE them, they're the best brushes ever!

  7. July 16, 2013 / 10:19 pm

    I do it exactly the same! I just need to get into the habit of doing it more regularly…
    Emma x

  8. July 16, 2013 / 10:41 pm

    I do the same thing! I love the Dr Bronner Magic Soap, I have the lavender one. And I keep a bit of MAC brush cleaner in a little spray bottle by my makeup and spot clean my brushes after use.

  9. July 16, 2013 / 10:54 pm

    I need to build up my brush collection! Will definitely be buying the Johnson's Baby Oil and Clinique brush cleanser, I always feel like I don't have time to clean my brushes so I need to start doing it more! Thanks for the tip! xxx

  10. July 16, 2013 / 11:06 pm

    I do exactly the same as you with baby shampoo! works a treat! although more recently i've been getting so lazy with washing my brushes and i hate myself for it haha x

  11. July 16, 2013 / 11:20 pm

    I use baby shampoo as well! And wow I have to say I'm jealous of your brush collection! Mine isn't quite so extensive haha.
    Lovely Notions

  12. July 17, 2013 / 12:20 am

    Great post, I should really do this more often but it always feels like such a chore so I just use the Sephora brush cleanser in between uses instead.


  13. July 17, 2013 / 12:24 am

    I use dishwashing liquid! It is especially good for washing foundation brushes, as it is tough on grease!
    I have been doing that for over a year, as I shared the tip in June last year :

    I have never though of using a face wash, but it makes sense.

  14. July 17, 2013 / 2:16 am

    Yay! Right now I'm using some random organic soap stuff but I think baby shampoo is amazing with a bit of some kind of brush cleaner!

  15. July 17, 2013 / 2:35 am

    Not sure if this is bad or not, but I use dish soap. My face isn't particularly sensitive and the soap does the job. I've used baby shampoo but felt like it didn't take everything out.

  16. July 17, 2013 / 6:27 am

    I'm ashamed to say that I really slack at cleaning my brushes, I must get better at it … Thank you for reminding me. x

  17. July 17, 2013 / 6:29 am

    I always enjoy reading about how other people clean their make up brushes. I use the baby shampoo but I also use conditioner on my larger face brushes to keep them nice and soft. Spraying perfume on them is always good for sanitizing them xx
    Cupcakes And Cocaine

  18. July 17, 2013 / 6:55 am

    I clean my brushes lıke you but after clean, I staple down my brushes on my cork board (memory board)with elastic hair ties, so they dry out fastly and without any damage.


  19. July 17, 2013 / 8:44 am

    I do mine exactly like you, I hate it when people don't clean theirs! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD 

  20. July 17, 2013 / 9:15 am

    I use the dr bronner and love it, I haven't found anything better to clean brushes! I found it in tk maxx too! I cant stand dirty brushes! X

  21. July 17, 2013 / 9:58 am

    I clean my brushes with shampoo for damage hair 🙂 .. When will be up your room tour video ? Can´t wait 🙂

  22. July 17, 2013 / 11:32 am

    I have been searching for the best way to do it. I do it almost the same as you although I don't have as many brushes at all! I have only recently gotten into makeup and beauty.


    Étáin’s Little World

  23. July 17, 2013 / 12:32 pm

    hey nice way of telling through pictures.You've got an amazing range of brushes.Thanks for sharing:)

  24. July 17, 2013 / 12:52 pm

    I use a cleanser after I've used the brush to get the product off, then once a month I deep clean them (wash with shampoo and conditioner).

    I use the No.7 Brush Cleanser and whatever shampoo we have in the house!

    Amber 🙂

  25. July 17, 2013 / 12:57 pm

    I have little things called brush guards, they basically are little flexible cylinders that come in various sizes that can be put over the hairs of your brush so you can leave them to dry with the hair downwards and the water can run out. I really love those, they are not too expensive and can be used whilst travelling to protect your brushes as well.
    Otherwise I clean my brushes like you do 🙂


  26. July 17, 2013 / 7:51 pm

    I have to say I am pretty lazy and just use baby shampoo, and spot clean occasionally, need to get better with it though!


  27. July 17, 2013 / 11:20 pm

    Hello, great post.. I like you blog, I follow you on bloglovin'. Please follow me back!

    Brittany, xx

  28. July 18, 2013 / 2:58 am

    Great tips! Good thing that i have passed by your blog for I def have learned a lot here. i will def follow your tips on how to clean brushes. I have many brushes to clean and now I know the right way to do so.

  29. July 18, 2013 / 2:09 pm

    Super awesome and cute blog and cute post

    Cute cute blog… Following your blog!!!

  30. July 19, 2013 / 9:11 am

    It is necessary to wash makeup brushes regularly. If you wash these before use of cosmetics, you can't face any skin problem in future.

  31. July 19, 2013 / 5:46 pm

    great post! I like to clean mine detergent and a bit of oil, I'd find it better to my brushes! The baby shampoo was not so great I started notice the brush's bristles thicker once I applied the makeup on my skin later..

  32. July 19, 2013 / 7:12 pm

    I love washing my brushes because they look so lovely afterwards 🙂 I sometimes thinks its a bit of a chore because they take so long to dry :/
    Nice tips though!

    Katie xx

  33. Anonymous
    July 19, 2013 / 7:21 pm

    This is beautiful! Loving the look 🙂

  34. July 20, 2013 / 6:47 am

    I am so happy that I bump into your blog 🙂 We share the same passion!

    Will definitely come again to check out your blog and I like your writing style 🙂

    Come and check out my blog too if you have the time <3

  35. July 20, 2013 / 4:46 pm

    I've been using Dr Bronners soap for a while now as a body wash and for shaving but on your advice I used it to clean my brushes the other day and its so effective, thanks for the tip.

  36. July 22, 2013 / 4:38 am



  37. July 22, 2013 / 6:43 pm

    Make Up Hygiene is so often overlooked! Having read this post, I am far more concious about cleaning my brushes regularly. Thanks for introducing the Clinique Brush Cleaner, I've always used water alone, but now know there is something just for the job!

  38. July 22, 2013 / 11:06 pm

    I think its very important to make sure that brushes are regularly cleaned. Otherwise the skin could really clog up due to bacteria. Nice post

  39. July 22, 2013 / 11:07 pm

    I think its very important to ensure that brushes are regularly cleaned. Otherwise the skin could get clogged up due to bacteria. Nice post

  40. July 23, 2013 / 12:21 pm

    Great post <3 Thanks!
    Jasmine @

  41. July 23, 2013 / 2:59 pm

    Haha, yes, I do it exactly like you but I do not have such an impressive brush collection! WOW! Thx for sharing- I like your blog very much!

  42. July 24, 2013 / 10:21 pm

    I notcie you have real techniques brushes! I lvoe them! The body shop tea tree face wash is my weapon against dirty brushes! 😀

  43. July 25, 2013 / 6:49 pm

    This helped me out alot, ive always been a little nervous to wash my brushes. 🙂

  44. July 26, 2013 / 11:29 am

    Thanks for this tip for washing my makeup brush.

  45. July 28, 2013 / 5:48 am

    Great info about brush washing.
    Natural beauty

  46. August 8, 2013 / 7:10 pm

    This is a great post, i always wash mine with baby shampoo!:)

  47. August 21, 2013 / 9:26 am

    I use olvie oil as both brush cleaner and make-up remover :3
    I'm about to make a post about olvie oil in general since it is ama zing~~~

    Feel the smooth~~~

  48. November 19, 2013 / 3:03 am

    Where can I get a good deal on private label makeup brushes?

  49. January 22, 2015 / 11:09 am

    Ooooh lovely! Very similar to my method 🙂 And you have a gorge brush collection!


  50. February 16, 2015 / 12:40 pm

    What an amazing brush collection! I bought a few brushes two months ago but I am afraid to use them just because I don't know how to clean them. Thanks a lot for sharing these advices here! Really useful! Regards! Bulls Cross Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  51. October 20, 2015 / 2:05 pm

    Fantastic idea! I clean my brushes pretty often. I use only water! I am going to try your method. I was afraid not to damage them. But your photos convinced me that it can`t happen. Thank you! Best regards!

  52. June 28, 2016 / 10:23 am

    Great post! It was very similar for my method on how to wash my brushes. And I love your brush collection so nice 🙂 Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog. 🙂

    Makeup Brush Set

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