How To Clean Makeup Brushes – Easily

How To Clean Makeup Brushes - Easily

There are two rules that apply for maintaining clear skin if you wear makeup, firstly never go to bed wearing your make up the second is to keep your makeup brushes clean and hygienic by washing them regularly. Makeup brushes can also be an expensive investment so it is important to care for them correctly.

After many years working in the beauty industry which sometimes involved cleaning multiple kit boxes containing brushes and utensils at the end of a long day here is the method I used with the addition of a great time saving gadget I’ve discovered recently.

How To Clean Makeup Brushes - Easily


  1. Begin by running your brush under lukewarm water to loosen any residual makeup, focus on the actual bristles while avoiding the part of the brush where the handle meets the head, as this can loosen the glue over time.
  2. Cleaning solutions – If I’m on the go MAC Brush cleaner is my number one choice, it cleans and freshens brushes with a few swipes it also contains ingredients that speed up the drying process essential for professional use. If I’m deep cleaning my brushes at home I reach for Dr.Bronner liquid castile soap – mild baby unscented this product is completely natural it gives a thorough deep clean but the addition of natural organic oils also help’s to loosen any stubborn product whilst conditioning the bristles thus prolonging the life of the brush.
  3. The cleaning mat – Since trying the Sigma Express Brush Cleaning Mat Mini – I’m a convert. The Sigma Express Brush Cleaning Mat is an innovative device that features seven different textured zones to wash both eye and face brushes the different textured surfaces really work out any old makeup from even the innermost fibers of the makeup brush head, far better than my own fingers ever could. This is such an effective time-saving gadget that I now can’t imagine using anything else it makes such a difference.
  4.  Add a small amount of cleaning solution to the mat (which attaches to your sink using suction cups) then swirl the brush in circular motions on the wash section, next rinse and swipe over the rinse section, finally use the refine section for ultra deep cleansing if required.
  5. Gently squeeze any excess water out of your brush
  6. Gently wrap and squeeze in a lint free towel (this will speed up drying time)
  7. Re shape the brush head
  8. Place on a clean dry towel, l position the brushes so the tip of the head just hangs off the edge of your bench or table this prevents the under side of your brush getting distorted whilst drying (you can also use drying tree’s which give excellent results) Do not dry your brushes upside down as it can loosen the glue and rust the bristle casings.

How To Clean Makeup Brushes - Easily

Without deep cleaning your makeup brushes, mold and bacteria can live deep within the bristles, therefore you should aim to cleanse your brushes every two weeks (if you suffer from persistent breakout’s it really should be weekly) it’s a routine your skin will thank your for.

Do you have a love-hate relationship washing your makeup brushes?

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  • Im always lazy to clean my brushes but I try to do it at least once a week . I’m going to try that tool . It looks fantastic
    The color palette

    • The cleaning mat is fantastic, less mess, faster and more efficient! def worth a try. k x

  • I love to use bars of soap to clean my brushes, it really gets rid of all the buildup! I always try to wash them once a week if I can!

    Jodie, xo // Jodie Loue

    • Once a week! that’s perfect it’s something I’m always going on about as a beautician. k x

  • Madalena Dantas

    Sigma brushes are amazing and this post is really helpful! I might buy the pink mat, it’s just an amazing idea!!

    • Yep Sigma brushes are one of my faves, such great quality and at an affordable price point. Thanks for the comment. k x

  • Andrea

    I’ve always been using warm water and some makeup remover or face cleanser to wash my brushes.. Is that bad? Maybe I should try the Dr Bronner’s stuff. I like that brand but I haven’t tried their liquid castile soap yet.

    ~Andrea Tiffany~

    • Hi Tiffany no it’s not bad, Dr. Bronner’s has the added bonus of organic oils so it also conditions the bristles, but adding a tiny bit of almond oil to a face cleanser would work fine, I do like something that foams also as it tends to get further into the brush head. Thank you for stopping by. k x

  • I love cleaning my brushes, it’s a good satisfactory feeling. I’m happy with using baby shampoo as it leaves my brushes being soft 🙂 x

    • Baby shampoo is a popular choice too 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. k x

  • I always have Dr. Bronners at home and have never thought of using it for brushes! I always go for baby shampoo!

    Erin xxx

    • It’s definitely worth a try its just a little bit more conditioning. k x

  • Jaclynna Nicole Bilon

    I have been curious about the Sigma brush cleaning mat! Thank you for the review!

  • great tips! I have always been using a little bit of shampoo and warm water. but i didn’t know about this mat!

  • I actually find cleaning my brushes really satisfying so I’m quite good at doing them regularly 🙂

    Jess xo

    • Lol I think having to do so many so regularly for work I what look toward to the job. Thanks for stopping by:) k X