face makeup How to Properly Clean Makeup Brushes and Blenders

It’s easy — and necessary.

March 11, 2022
Cleaning Makeup Brushes And Blenders CMS Bmag

You’re probably aware that having clear skin comes down to several factors, including a solid skin care routine, your diet and genetics. But what you might not know is that if you want all the effort you put into your skin care routine to be worth it, then you’re going to want to be washing your makeup brushes and makeup blenders regularly. 

In addition to causing color transfer and muddiness when doing your makeup, brushes and sponges that haven’t been washed harbor bacteria that can lead to breakouts. Plus, dipping dirty tools into your makeup also transfers bacteria to your products 一 not just your face. 

So, keep reading to find out how to clean makeup brushes and makeup sponges the right way 一 and how often you really need to wash them. 


How Often Do You Need to Wash Your Makeup Tools? 

There’s no perfect science to this, but if you’re using your makeup brushes and sponges daily, it’s a good idea to thoroughly clean them once a week. However, if you can’t make that happen, give them a good clean at least every other week and treat them with a brush cleanser in between.

Brush cleansers are typically liquid formulas that come in spray bottles making it easy to spot treat your brushes with. They have a high alcohol content which helps to kill bacteria, and they’re great for getting rid of pigment from makeup. But the truth is, they’re not as effective at eliminating bacteria as traditional soap.  


How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Follow the steps below to ensure that your makeup tools stay clean and in top shape.

1. Choose Your Cleanser

First things first, you need to get the right makeup brush cleaner. You can actually buy a brush cleanser made specifically for makeup brushes and makeup blenders, in the form of a bar soap or liquid. But if you don’t have any on hand, you can keep it simple by using products you already have at home. 

A gentle shampoo, hand soap, or daily facial cleanser can work perfectly to help break down the makeup or dirt that has caked onto the bristles over time 一 without damaging your brushes.

Editor’s tip: While you may have heard that dish soap is a good option for cleaning your brushes, it can be pretty harsh and cause the bristles to dry out. Instead, pick one of the more gentle options we mentioned above. 


2. Lather and Swirl

Set up shop at the sink and start running lukewarm water. Begin by wetting your dirty makeup brushes. Be sure to point the brush so that the bristles are facing down 一 this helps prevent water from seeping into the handle and loosening the bristles over time. Then, squeeze a small amount of cleanser in the palm of your hand. Take a brush and swirl the bristles in your hand to help loosen the debris. 

Once your brush is thoroughly sudsy and the cleanser that was in your hand has started to change colors, your brush is ready to be rinsed off. Repeat these steps until the water starts to run clear, and your tools have returned to their original color. Remember that some brushes are densely packed and have long bristles — like stippling brushes — so ensure that they’re properly washed before you move on.


3. Rinse and Dry

When you’ve finished rinsing, gently brush your tools against a microfiber cloth or towel (even a textured paper towel will do) to test their cleanliness and dislodge any last bits of dirt or makeup that might remain. Then lay your brushes down to dry on a towel, which will help absorb any excess water. 

Editor’s tip: You may be tempted to put all your makeup brushes in an upright position while they dry, but don’t. Storing wet brushes standing up can cause water to leak into the metal bit beneath the bristles which can potentially lead to mold — the same way that washing them with the bristles facing up can. 


How to Clean Makeup Your Sponges

We love makeup blenders like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender, because they help seamlessly apply liquid and cream products. But if you’re using dirty ones, you could be doing your makeup routine more harm than good. The good news is, cleaning makeup blenders is just as easy as cleaning makeup brushes. Here’s a recap on what to do.


1. Lather Away

First, squeeze your dirty makeup sponge a few times under water to thoroughly wet it. Then, pour a small amount of cleanser onto the blender and massage it into the blender to loosen makeup. 


2. Rinse and Repeat

Rinse, squeeze out the excess water, and repeat as necessary. Keep squeezing and wetting your blender as often as you need until the water runs clear. Leave your blender on a towel to dry, then store it in a cool, dry place.


Next: 6 Beauty Editor-Approved Tips To Organize Your Makeup Collection



Edited by: Alyssa Kaplan, Image Credit: Chaunte Vaughn