How To Clean Makeup Brushes

updated Jun 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

It’s a task that’s too-often overlooked, but cleaning your makeup brushes regularly is so, so important: it’s an easy way to promote healthy skin by keeping bacteria and dead skin cells at bay. It takes just two minutes, and can even prolong the life of your makeup brushes.

How often should you clean your makeup brushes? At least once a week for concealer and foundation brushes that get caked with build-up. Any other brush being used around your eyes should get attention twice a month, and the rest can be scheduled for a once-a-month clean. If you’d rather handle them all weekly because it’s easier — that’s fine too. And your skin will probably thank you for it.

What You Need


  • warm water
  • castile soap or organic baby shampoo
  • hydrogen peroxide (optional)


  • glass or small bowl
  • clean cloth or paper towel
  • hair ties or rubber bands
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

1. Whether or not your brush looks clean, the bristles are porous and are more than likely harboring bacteria and oils that you won’t want on your face. Before mixing the solution, wipe your brush off with a dry cloth. You’ll be surprised how much makeup you can remove with this simple step.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

2. Add a few drops of castile soap or baby shampoo to a bowl of warm water. I used Dr. Bronner’s unscented baby-mild castile soap which is fragrance free and contains double the amount of olive oil, perfect for my sensitive skin. At this point you can also add hydrogen peroxide to the solution as an anti-bacterial.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

3. Gently swish the brush around in the mixture. You may allow the brush to sit in the solution for up to ten minutes.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

4. Remove the brush from the solution and wipe down with a clean rag to remove any excess moisture from the brush.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

5. Reshape the brush and hang upside down to dry using this hair tie makeup brush cleaning and drying hack.

More great tips and tutorials: Cleaning Basics