How to: Clean Your Makeup Brushes?


Well-known member

From being a makeup junkie & from going to school for cosmetology and Master Esthetics I have learned many different ways of handling & cleaning your cosmetic brushes. Their is not only one “right” way but their is most definitely many wrong ways to clean them!

I remember one night we were all doing some cleaning and one girl (bless her heart) wanted to clean the makeup brushes; lets just say she had no idea how. She got all the makeup brushes from the makeup station & put them in water (yes underwater) and let them “Soak” then she just left them in the sink for the weekend… in a open bag. Then when Monday came around I saw them still in the bag & already they had some kind of bacteria/mold growing on them! She made many errors.

  • Do not submerge them underwater! Your going to fill the brush with water & that will make the perfect place for bacteria to harbor within the brush itself!
  • If you leave them on their side or have the head of the brush right side up you will have water go into the brush & that will destroy the glue that holds the hairs together. (thus costing more money)
  • She left the cleaner on the brushes; some cleaners have strong chemicals that could break down the hair or brush handle (Don’t leave it on forever)
  • The area she put them in has high traffic, people wash their hands, clean other products with in that area. (Put them in an area that is clean as possible).
  • Specially If you use your makeup brushes on clients, you need to clean them after every use, (if not you could possibly spread a cold, virus, acne)
[h=2]Now like I have said before there are many different ways to clean them, here is a way I found to clean them.[/h]
  1. Get a clean bowl or some kind of plate (so that you can put the cleaner onto it)
  2. I have seen many people use household dish soaps to clean them but I feel that may be to harsh on the hairs (specially if they are real hair) so what I use is one of my shampoos mixed with little bit of Argan oil. Then pour it into the bowl. This will get all the makeup, extra sebum (oil), dirt and etc off the brushes!
  3. You then can work (don’t man handle) them into your hand or a soft cloth; in circular motion to help break up the makeup and spread the product.

Look at all that makeup that came off!

4.Next gently put them under warm/cold water(Hot water can damage hairs & wooden handles) for couple minutes using that circular motion again.

5.Then get a paper Towel and gently blot dry them. (Then Spray them with a Disinfectant brush spray, just to be sure they are fully clean)

6.Lastly but maybe most important to let them dry do not put them back into your brush holder or on their sides. If you are broke at the moment like myself here is a easy way to hold them upside down.

Get some common electrical tape; I use electrical tape because its likely not to leave a sticky film or take off the brush designs. Like the photo above, place the brush onto the tape. Then making sure to have the head of the brush upside down place them on the end or your desk, vanity. This may seem silly/ghetto but hey it works! Then once they have dried they are ready for the next fierce look.
Wow the electric tape trick is awesome. So simple I need to try this the next time I clean my brushes. What is a good brush cleanser?


Well-known member
thank you Marie4u for the very informative and thoughtful directions on how to clean makeup brushes. I also use shampoos to clean my brushes but I liked your tip about adding argan oil.


New member
Thanks for the advice! I actually use baby shampoo to clean mine! Very gentle and it takes everything off!


Well-known member
I was taught to clean your brushes after every use.

The key thing I look for in brush cleaners, is that they must be quick drying, like in seconds. All of my brush cleaners are instant drying, except the Quo brush shampoo.

Here are the brush cleaners I use on a regular basis... (Notice that Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner is not on here). That will be topic for another day.

I use paper towel to wipe / dry my brushes after cleaning.

The great thing with Parian Spirit is that they have an immersion tub with a screen so that all of the pigments will settle to the bottom and not get mixed back into your brushes while cleaning them.

IMG_0240.JPG FullSizeRender.jpg

The 99% is for cleaning brushes that have been used with alcohol based make-ups such as Skin Illustrator, Reel Creations, Temptu, and Bluebird.

... And my lip balm haul... Nothing to do with brush cleaning... ;)


This is Naimie's in-house brand brush cleaner.


The MUSST Brush Cleaner is also great for flushing / cleaning out air brush guns especially when using alcohol based and waterproof based make-ups, as they are notorious for gumming up the needle, nozzle, and sometimes the trigger mechanism.

(99% takes too long in breaking down the pigments, hence you use too much, and then the fumes get overwhelming)


For larger fluff domed brushes like powder, blush, and contour brushes I use Quo's brush shampoo.

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