How to Wash Makeup Brushes Properly (2020)

Washing your makeup brushes properly is an important part of your beauty routine! Without care, your brushes will become too caked with old makeup to be effective. Plus, dirty brushes lead to bacteria. It's been proven that using a dirty brush can lead to breakouts, congestion, and skin irritation. So why risk it? Instead, you can learn all the best cleaning techniques here!

We've assembled a handy guide to washing your makeup brushes properly, complete with multiple methods. There's no reason for you to use an excessively dirty brush, especially when the solution is so easy. It takes minimal effort to clean your instruments, and you'll be better off for it. What are you waiting for? Check out our guide and clean those brushes!

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We hope you find these handy products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: we participate in affiliate programs, and may receive a share of sales from links on this page.

Method 1: Use a spray.

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Point your brushes’ heads down and spray your brush a few times. Then, swirl your brush against a cloth or paper towel—this way, you’ll loosen up the pigments that were stuck in the brush.

Method 2: Use a liquid cleaner.

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Grab your liquid cleaner and fill a small bowl with a thin layer of it. Then, dip the tip of your brush into it, before running your brush back and forth on a paper towel or microfiber towel.

Method 3: Use soap and water.

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Wet the tips of your brushes with lukewarm water—don’t submerge them completely! And don’t let your water get too warm; hot water will loosen the glue of the brush.

Then, grab some soap.

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Add a drop of soap to a cleansing pad—or even your palm—before swirling the brush in the soap until it’s fully lathered up.

You can also use bar soap.

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If you’re using bar soap, you can create a lather by rubbing your brush right into the soap!

Squeeze the brush.

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Get any excess soap and water out of your brush by gently squeezing it out.

Then, rinse again.

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With the bristles facing down, rinse out your brush one more time—again, don’t submerge them or use too-hot water!

Squeeze again.

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Get out the excess water one more time by squeezing the brush gently, and mold your bristles into place so that they’ll dry properly.

Set your brushes out to dry.

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Thankfully, there are drying racks and pads made especially for makeup brushes! You can also use a fan to dry out the bristles faster, if you’re in a hurry.

How often should you do this?

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Well, experts say that you should clean your makeup brushes at least once a week, to prevent a buildup of product and excess germs from festering.