How To Clean Makeup Brushes (With Photos)

I have been following this brush cleaning method for almost an year and even 10-12 month old makeup brushes are in great condition.

Step 1: Take clean water in a bowl. Just enough to dip the bristles of your brushes.

Brush Cleaning Step 1
Brush Cleaning Step 1

Step 2: Add shampoo in a bowl and mix it. I am using Dove Hair Fall Therapy.

Brush Cleaning Step 2
Brush Cleaning Step 2

Step 3: Wiggle your brushes in shampoo + water mixture. Do you see how the colour of water has changes in the second picture?

Brush Cleaning Step 3
Brush Cleaning Step 3

All babies taking bath together. ๐Ÿ™‚

Brush Cleaning
Brush Cleaning

Step 5: Squeeze the excess water lightly on the sides of the bowl.

Brush Cleaning 5
Brush Cleaning Step 5

Step 6: Run the brushes under either warm water or cold water. I mostly run them under cold tap water. Just make sure that the pressure of the water is not too high. That might harm the bristles of your brushes.

Brush Cleaning Step 6
Brush Cleaning Step 6

Step 7: Roll your brushes on a news paper or paper towel to get rid of the excess water.

Brush Cleaning Step 7
Brush Cleaning Step 7

Step 8: Time to condition your brushes. In a bowl, add some hair conditioner and mix it with water. I am using Dove’s hair conditioner.

Brush Cleaning Step 8
Brush Cleaning Step 8

Step 9: Time to wiggle again. See, now the water in the bowl is not too dirty.

Brush Cleaning Ste[ 9
Brush Cleaning Step 9
Step 10: Time to run the bushes under cold water again.

Brush Cleaning Step 10
Brush Cleaning Step 10

Step 11:Gently reshape your brushes on your palm and pat on a tissue to remove excess water.


Brush Cleaning Step 10
Brush Cleaning Step 10

Happy Clean brushes.Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

Squeaky Clean Brushes
Squeaky Clean Brushes

Step 12: Dry the brushes flat on a paper towel and turn them the other side after 3-4 hours.

Time to let them dry
Time to let them dry

I have noticed that brushes take 6-8 hours of drying.

Some tips:

  • Don’t dry your brushes in sun. Let them dry in shade.
  • You may use baby shampoo or any mild shampoo for cleaning your brushes.
  • Clean your brushes frequently. This would keep your brushes bacteria free and make them last longer.
  • If you are using your brushes for liquid/ cream foundations or lipsticks etc, clean the brushes after every use.ย  Follow some of the basic makeup sanitization rules.
  • I tried cleaning brushes on a sponge but that didn’t work for me. I used to get irritated with that method. What about you?

How do you clean your brushes?

What Makeup Brushes Do You Need?
Makeup Brushes : How To Take Care
Cutify your Makeup Brushes
How to Clean Jewellery at Home
How to Clean Gold and Silver Jewelry at Home


37 thoughts on “How To Clean Makeup Brushes (With Photos)

  1. I use olive oil and johnson’s baby shampoo….I was not using my regular shampoo as I had seen in couple of youtube videos that this shampoo could be harsh for the bristles but since ur using them and its working fine i think this is a good way of using my leftover Dove Shampoo since I’ve stopped using Dove since a couple of months as it just stopped doing any good to my hair and have a whole bottle left to finish ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I also used to use Johnson’s baby shampoo but that got over so using Dove now. ๐Ÿ˜› Dove is a mild shampoo and I have used it a couple of times. Have not seen any hair shedding as such. But to be on the safer side, I would be shifting to Johnson’s baby only.

      he he give it a try. ๐Ÿ™‚

      How do you use olive oil?

      1. I put a little olive oil on paper tissue and smoothly rub the brushes over it…this helps to break down all the hard makeup particles….later follow that by washing in Johnsons baby shampoo the same way as you have shown

        1. oh yes, olive oil is such an amazing cleanser. I use it all the time to remove my eye makeup. I guess it’s time to try the magic oil for brushes as well. Thanks for the tips. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hey Nandita,

      Conditioners keep the hair of brushes from getting brittle. However if you use a baby shampoo you may completely skip using a conditioner. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Btw I think liquid dettol soap could be harmful…Instead you may just wash your brushes with a mild shampoo and wiggle them in a dettol liquid+ water mixture . Follow up with with regular rinsing.

  2. Haha..

    The method is the same as what I do..for my art brushes…I am so possessive abt them..Now I guess I should start on a decent Makeup brush collection too ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Would you believe I learnt this method from my painting teacher? I got highly irritated with the sponge method and she was the one who suggested me to do this. So there you go, the art and makeup connection. Brush collection is actually fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. hi RATI,

    how r u doing…

    i had bought multiple brush set on sunday…

    but still confused about the usage of all of them

    can u tell me the use of comb like brush?????

    i m a dumbo in case of using brushes lol…

    keep smiling


  4. Nice detailed pics. I do a similar method, except I don’t wash my eye and face brushes together n I put very little water in a dish so the water doesn’t seep to where the bristles are glued. N I don’t use conditioner…for no reason ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ve had some brushes for almost 10 years now n they still look the same so can’t complain!


    1. I know about not cleaning eye and face brushes together but I have no patience , seriously. ๐Ÿ˜›

      10 years is such a long time. Since when did you start doing makeup? ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. I too do wht HD does. First rub in oil to loosen the make up and then wash them individually with shampoo.

    Like Cynthia – I too wash my eye brushes separately. Lip & face brushes tend to carry more bacteria as compared to eye. I don’t want cross infection. But yes, it takes like a few minutes extra when you do them individually.

  6. yes rati

    this is the one. thanks yaar.
    i m also good.
    today i m also going to shop for IGlide pencils from colorbar

    lets c wats more i vl purchase

    bye for now

    1. You may comb your brows in place with the side that has soft brush like bristles and you may separate your lashes or any clumps of mascara with the side that has plastic bristles. Not a must have brush but now that you have it, you might as well use it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. @Rati n HD ~ I’ve been obsessed with makeup since forever…but of course I had to wait till I was in college to start wearing it regularly. N yeah I did put on makeup when I was alone n wash it all off before my mom got home :D. Even in school I did all my friends’ makeup on Teacher’s Day n other occasions. They just came to me…I never understood why then ๐Ÿ˜€


    1. I was never a makeup girl even though my mom has enjoyed doing makeup always. But now I am covering up for all the years I have not done makeup. ๐Ÿ˜›

      They came to you because you were good. Obviously. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. he he…that reminds me of my school days when I had secretly cut a fringe at home and would pin it up before mom would come to tie my plaits so that she wouldnt find out ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I have also used Olive oil before washing brushes but I found that:
    Brushes don’t clean well.
    Don’t pick up the product well.
    If not washed properly can totally spoil your cosmetics.

    It is better to condition your brushes with a mild conditioner,using a strong conditioner will prevent your brushes from doing their job properly.

    Even the professional Brush cleansers have a mild conditioning effect after washing(I’ve used MAC).

  9. hi all.. i have recently joined this blog.. addicted to it already..
    Can u suggest me on how I should clean my foundation sponges??

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