How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes – DIY

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes - DIY

Hygiene has always been an important part of one’s daily life. Whether we talk about the plates we eat on or the clothes we wear, everything should stay clean and germ-free. So why not our makeup brushes? 

This is because every time we use a brush, myriads of tiny granules of dust and dirt get stuck in between the bristles. This, in turn, fosters bacterial growth, which can have a derogatory effect on our skin upon replication. 

Unclean makeup brushes can cause acne in your skin, and if your skin is sensitive, this can even lead to other allergic reactions. 

Stay with us if you wish to learn how to clean your makeup brushes at home.

DIY Cleaning Solution 

The first step in the makeup brush cleaning process is to prepare the cleaning formula. Since bristles of makeup brushes are soft and delicate, using just any kind of soap might not be a good idea. 

To make an effective cleaning solution, you need some antibacterial dish soap and olive oil. Simply take a small container and add equal parts of both the dish soap and conditioner to it. Mix both the ingredients, and your DIY makeup brush cleaning solution is ready! 

Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Follow the steps given below to clean your makeup brush without any hassle: 

Step 1

Run a gentle stream of lukewarm water through your makeup brushes while holding them with the bristles facing down to wet the tips of the bristles. 

Step 2

Add a few drops of your DIY cleaning solution on a textured cleaning pad or your palm, and swirl the brush in the solution until it’s all lathered up and any pigment or debris is gone. 

To create lather with your cleaning solution, carefully press your makeup brush into the solution until it becomes foamy. 

Step 3

Squeeze your makeup brush gently to get rid of any remaining solution or water on the brush, and then rinse it. 

Step 4

Rinse the brush with clean water once more, this time with the bristles pointing downward. Gently squeeze out any remaining water, then shape your bristles back into their original position. Set it idle to dry. 

Step 5

Lay your brushes flat on a towel or tissue paper to dry so that they don’t wrinkle. You can also hang the brushes in the air (upside down) to ensure that air is circulated along the whole length of the bristles.

Additional Tips

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes - DIY
  • It’s important to keep the water from getting inside the head of your brushes. It can weaken the adhesive that holds your brush together and even damage the material that is used to make the handle of your brush. 
  • Avoid completely submerging the bristles in water, and never rinse your brushes in hot water, as hot water might loosen up the adhesive, resulting in bristle damage. 
  • Leaving the brushes under natural air/ fan (at a low setting) is the best way to dry them. Make sure you don’t use any kind of high-heat equipment like a hairdryer, as it can cause the bristles to dry out and change shape.

Why Olive Oil? 

Along with acting as a cleaning agent, olive oil also helps loosen the makeup allowing it to come off easily when rinsed with water and dish soap. 

Besides olive oil, some other essential oils such as lavender and tea tree oil are also considered good options for cleaning makeup brushes. 

If you don’t wish to add olive oil to your cleaning solution, you can use a mild hair conditioner as well. Alcohol, baking soda, and coconut oil are some more options worth a shot. 

What Not to Use

You might find several blogs and posts suggesting you use any kind of soap to clean your makeup brush. 

However, you must know that hard or scented soaps can worsen the situation instead of improving it. They can ruin the texture of your bristles, making them extra hard and bad for your skin. Therefore, it is suggested to go for soaps that are organic and non-scented. 

Importance of Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes 

A lot of individuals don’t realize the importance of cleaning your makeup brush regularly. Read below to learn about some important reasons why cleaning your makeup brushes on a regular basis is essential. 

Dirty Brush  = Cakey Makeup 

In order to achieve a good finish, it is essential that your contour, concealer, and foundation blend seamlessly. An unclean brush might not be able to help you blend your makeup properly, leaving you with an unfinished makeup look. 

Having makeup bits on your brush from the last session can also mess up your current shade as it can blend, giving rise to an uneven tone. Consequently, you will end up with an undesired shade and streaky look. 

Has Negative Health Effects 

Besides being harmful to your skin, unclean makeup brushes can also affect your internal health. For instance, using a dirty eyeshadow brush might infect your eyes. Dirt and bacteria from the brush can also give you a viral infection. 

Clean Brushes Last Longer

Mostly, makeup brushes start tearing apart after some time if not cleaned on a regular basis. As we mentioned earlier, the bristles of makeup brushes are sensitive, and after a point of time, they might start to break and fall out of the brush handle because of the dust getting accumulated inside of them. 

If you wish to lengthen the durability of your makeup brushes, make sure you clean them the moment you observe dust and makeup getting accumulated in them. 


Even if you haven’t washed your makeup brushes before, the process is quite basic and straightforward. 

You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it earlier once you get used to it. You might as well start noticing a reduction in skin irritation, blocked pores, and acne. As part of a healthy home environment and skincare regimen, clean makeup brushes are strictly imperative. 

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