Best of Beauty: How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

When’s the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes?

Be honest.

Most of us don’t clean our makeup brushes anywhere near as often as we should. But what’s the point of wearing an expensive foundation that promises to perfect our skin when the very brushes we’re using to apply the foundation are laden with old makeup, germs, dead skin cells, and bacteria?

I don’t know about you, but I can tell it’s way past time to clean my brushes when I start seeing acne pop up that suspiciously follows the lines of my blush brush.

So I’m going to try to clean my brushes every Sunday night. Won’t you join me?

“They” say it takes only a couple of minutes if you do it regularly. Of course the first time in a while will always take forever…

how to clean makeup brushes

Step 1: Soak the bristles of the brush in a bowl of warm soapy water. Unscented soap will work, as will baby shampoo.

Step 2: Swirl the brushes round and round to remove makeup, being careful to wet only the bristles, not the metal part or down into the handle. Doing so can create rust or cause the glue holding the brush together to break down over time.

Step 3: Run cold water over the bristles to rinse off any remaining makeup. Again, be careful to wet only the bristles.

Step 4: Lay flat on a towel to dry overnight. Note that if you dry the brushes upright, water is likely to seep into the handle, potentially creating rust or breaking down the glue holding the brush together as above.

Here’s to clean makeup brushes and clean faces in 2013!

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About Jo-Lynne

Written by Jo-Lynne Shane, a professional lifestyle blogger, brand advocate and community manager. Named one of Nielsen’s 50 Most Influential Women in Social Media, Jo-Lynne is best known for her award-winning lifestyle blog, Musings of a Housewife, where she dishes up an assortment of food, fashion, fitness and family travel. She has been featured on, Southern Living Magazine, and in Cosmopolitan Magazine. In the local sphere, Jo-Lynne facilitates the vibrant networking group Philly Social Media Moms, providing community, support and education for 200 area bloggers. Jo-Lynne lives and works from home in the suburbs of Philadelphia with her husband of 17 years, three lively children and one extremely spoiled shih tzu named Savannah.


  1. Gah! Good reminder. Time to clean the brushes!