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How to Clean Makeup Brushes and Sponges at Home?

May 1, 2020 Ken Tan

Cleaning makeup brushes and sponges is not what most people think about. As a makeup lover, one of your top priorities, besides choosing the best product that suits the taste and skin, keeping your makeup brushes clean is especially important.

Doing so will help prevent any bacteria from making the bristles their home. A dirty makeup brush can cause skin irritation and acne breakouts. After using makeup brushes, you can use cosmetic table organiser to keep your cosmetics items organised. 

Peradventure, you are unsure how to clean makeup brushes and sponges at home; fret not because you are at the right place. This article contains a comprehensive guide on best ways to clean makeup brushes. Do not allow anyone to discourage you because cleaning makeup brushes is not as complicated as portrayed outside.

How frequent to clean a makeup brush?

Normally, you should clean your makeup brush after use. However, that can be challenging, especially when you have a busy day. Nevertheless, there is a way out of this when faced with this situation.

If you use your brushes with powders, it is advisable to clean them at least once or twice a week. This is adequate for powder makeups like bronzers and blushes. For brushes with creams or liquids, you must clean them daily. Do not neglect cleaning your brushes used for concealers, eye shadows, and liquid foundations daily to avoid bacteria infestation.

Notwithstanding, if you use sponges, it is preferable to wash them daily because they harbor bacteria easier than brushes. Sponges are used when wet and stay so for a while after usage. Cleaning the sponges daily can help avoid any bacteria accumulation and reduce infestation.

What to use in cleaning makeup brushes and sponges?

There are several options available here when it comes to cleaning makeup brushes. Overall, it will depend on your budget and the type of makeup brush used. Nowadays, baby shampoos are one of the widely used items to clean brushes. Remarkably, they work like magic as they contain gentle formulas that naturally clean fiber brushes.

Another option is ivory soap, as it takes liquid makeup brushes quite well. It comes in handy when breaking down any heavier formulas on your makeup brushes. Alternatively, a dawn dish soap can also deep clean your brushes as it quickly emulsifies concealers and oil-based foundations.

The other two options available are makeup brush cleansers and textured cleansing mats. However, if you are looking for a household product for cleaning makeup brushes, you can consider using vinegar and olive oil to keep your brushes clean. You can watch videos online on using homemade products to clean your makeup brush.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean Makeup Brushes and Sponges

There is no one way when it comes to cleaning makeup brushes. Everything hinges on doing it the right way. Overall, the best best ways to clean makeup brushes are discussed below:

1. Pre-cleaning the brush

You can do pre-cleaning of the makeup brush before washing the brushes. To do this, you can spritz isopropyl alcohol or instant brush cleaner on your makeup brush bristles. Wipe gently on a tissue paper or a clean face towel to remove any leftover products on the brush. This makes the next step easier.

Alternatively, you can do this lightly to clean and disinfect the brushes before using them for the day. You can also use essential oil to do the pre-cleaning, especially if you follow the preceding steps.

2. Soak the makeup brush

After completing the pre-cleaning stage, the next step is to soak the brush for a while to drench the bristles. You can take it off within a few minutes. However, if you have not washed or cleaned your brush for a while, you can allow it to stay for some minutes. This process allows the soap to build up and break any residues on the makeup brush.

You can allow the brush to stay inside lukewarm water mixed with liquid brush soap or run through a running tap. Notwithstanding, you should avoid soaking the metal part of your makeup brush since it can dissolve the glue that holds it together.

3. Using a gentle bar or makeup brush soap

If you want a deep cleaning, you can use silicone-free baby shampoo, gentle bar soap, a makeup brush soap, or unscented antibacterial hand soap. These items will remove any dirt build-up on your brush while neutralizing bacteria on it.

Allow the soap to move into the brush bristles to soften any remaining makeup. You can use a brush cleaning mat or the palm of your hand to do this. Just swirl your makeup brush bristles in a circular motion while working the soap softly into the brush head.

Continue the process pending when the soap becomes white rather than the color of your blush, eye shadows, or foundation. Gently rinse the brush under a running tap while squeezing the bristles gently. You can continue the process pending when you have the desired result.

4. Allow to dry

Once your makeup brushes are clean as you want, you can allow them to dry. A brush drying rack can come in handy here to help the drying process. Avoid using a hairdryer because it can melt the glue that holds the brush. Your makeup brush is ready for the next day's use. However, if you have urgent work, you can allow it to stay for some hours. You can place it around a small fan to speed up the process.


Cleaning makeup brushes are the best way to keep your brush bacteria-free. Luckily, you can wash your brushes for some time; however, you need to replace them after a while. At times, your makeup brushes might be incapable of cleaning. The best option is to toss them away and get a new makeup brush. Remember, the right tools will help enhance your work.

Getting your makeup brush cleaned up should not be a complicated process. If you followed the steps mentioned here, you might learn how to clean makeup brushes and sponges at home. Keep your brush bacteria-free today.

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