How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Did you know that your makeup brushes collect not only old makeup, but also dirt and debris, oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Seriously, you’re reapplying all of that gunk back on your face every time you reuse a dirty makeup brush. Your makeup brushes are also an investment and you should care for them properly so that they last longer. I’m going to show you an easy way to clean your makeup brushes and beauty sponge at home!

What You’ll Need:

  • Baby Shampoo
  • Warm Water
  • (optional) Cup of some sort. You can use the palm of your hand but I have found that a wine glass does a great job for swirling… I’ll get to that in a bit!
  • A Sink. Seriously, you’re going to want something to dump all that nasty water into.

Cleansing Directions:

Use Baby Shampoo to begin washing your makeup brushes.First, You’ll want to add a few drops of baby shampoo to your cup, or in my instance, wine glass. If you would rather use the palm of your hand, that’s fine, too. Add a few drops of baby shampoo to the palm of your hand. Which ever method you prefer is fine, but for the sake of the readers who don’t want to read my repeating steps both ways, just pretend I’m talking about your palm when I am talking about the wine glass, okay? OKAY! So where was I? Ah, yes, the drops of baby shampoo! Why am I using baby shampoo? It is gentle yet effective enough at cleaning the bristles of your brush, keeping them extra soft! Why else do you think it’s called the shampoo for babies? Oh, and FYI, you can find baby shampoo for less than $1 which makes this one of the least expensive ways to clean your brushes… SCORE!


Swirl the bristles of the makeup brush in the water mixed with baby shampoo to cleanNext, add enough warm water to the glass to cover most of your bristles. Dip the bristles of your makeup brush into the glass and begin to swirl. Here’s why we are going to TRY no to dip the entire brush in water: the bristles are glued to the brush and because warm water can loosen the glue, you might end up losing bristles faster than normal which is the complete opposite of what we are trying to do in terms of having your makeup brushes last longer! You are going to continue to swirl the bristles until your water looks like chocolate milk. Well, it might not look like chocolate milk. That part depend on how long you’ve gone without washing your brushes, or even your skin tone. In this photo, I am cleaning one of my foundation brushes. I guess my face is the color of chocolate milk. *shrugs* You can also gently tap the head of the brush to the bottom of the wine glass to loosen the dirt collected in between the bristles.


Rinse the bristles of the makeup brush with cold water.

Dump out the water, you really don’t want to use that again. Rinse the bristles of your makeup brush with cold running water to get rid of any remaining product. As I mentioned earlier about avoiding a de-gluing process, hold the makeup brush so that the bristles face down, therefore allowing the water to run down the brush hairs. After you have finished this step, if you notice that your makeup brush still isn’t clean enough, or you see that there is still gunk in between the bristles, repeat the previous steps using a few more drops of baby shampoo and more clean water. You know that your brush is clean when you get to the point where your water is still clear while you are swirling your brush in the baby shampoo and water mix.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce your brush is clean, gently squeeze out any excess water. Don’t forget to remold your bristles to it’s original shape. You’ll want to wait until your brushes are 100% dry before using them again so make sure that you store them somewhere to let them air dry. Do not, I repeat… DO NOT store your brushes in an upright position. Remember, that whole de-gluing is a serious thing and you won’t want the brush hairs falling out any time soon so it’s best that you store your brushes face down or at an angle. I made a semi-see-saw with a folded towel that held my brushes over the edge of the towel and at a small angle (check out the main title photo in this post). Doesn’t really matter how you store it, just PLEASE don’t store them upright!


Before and After photo of my foundation makeup brush using baby shampoo to clean it

I kid you not, this is the same foundation brush! Never again will I go this long between deep cleaning! So how often should you clean your brushes, anyway? It’s recommended to do a gentle quick clean after each use. I have been using the MAC Brush Cleaner to disinfect and clean my brush when I actually remember to use it. I try to do to it after each use, I really try, but life gets in the way and well, chances are I forget! When it comes to deep cleaning (which is everything you read in this post), that really depends on how often you use your brush. If you use it excessively, it might be ideal to do this once every other week. Don’t use your brushes that often? A deep cleaning once a month might be ideal for you. Just feel it out and see what works best for your brushes!

Did you know you can also use baby shampoo to clean your makeup sponges, too? Check out my quick pictorial down below. (psst, Share it with you friends!)

Step by step pictorial on how to clean your beauty blender or makeup sponge.


I feel as though I get carried away in my posts explaining things but I wanted to make sure I was sharing enough information so that you are able to take what you learned and try it at home. Let me know how you clean your makeup brushes, if you do… which you should be doing anyway! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Xoxo Un Besito,


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  1. Great post! Very informatve! It was good you mentioned about how the bristles are held in the brushes. Some folks don’t know that and I think those are the ones who you see complain their brushes fell apart when they washed them. And no soaking brushes in a cup either cuz that is just bad.
    We all have a tendency to think that because we’ve spent a lot of money on our brushes that they should last forever when unfortunately that is just not true. I discovered that myself especially with my foundation brushes that get more usage than say a blush brush. When they have been cleaned regularly, but you notice that the bristles just do not all lay one way anymore (they sort of start going willy nilly) and the brush is not picking up as much product as when it was newer… then a new brush is probably what you need. Those bristles are extremely important in picking up product as well as laying it on the face. A new brush is sometimes like a breath of Spring!! 🙂

  2. Your comment was like a breath of fresh air in the Spring! haha thank you so much for your input and reminders! You’re right! I have a brush or two that I’ve decided it’s time to retire. When I notice my makeup just isn’t picking up or going on the way it should, even after being clean… THEN ITS TIME TO GO!

  3. Hey Rocío, your post has served as a reminder to get my brushes thoroughly cleaned again. I shudder to think back to my teenage years when I used them literally for ages, not knowing I’d apply bacteria on my face over and over again. Ugh! Sometimes baby shampoo doesn’t cut through the product at the first attempt, and then I keep applying it a second time and that usually does the trick. I love the feeling of lathering a brush in the palm of my hand. Aww, makes me happy!

    1. Awww, So happy that it helped, Eve! And trust me, most of us have been there. I hate thinking about how long my brushes sat in my makeup bag in high school O.O! And I thought I was the only person that found peace in the lather ha!

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