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How to Clean Makeup Brushes and Blenders

Face Makeup

Brushes and blenders and bacteria, oh my! Chances are you use your makeup brushes and makeup sponges almost every day—but how often do you really clean them? 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 more regularly. Keep reading to find out why it’s so important to keep your makeup tools clean, then learn how to clean makeup brushes and makeup sponges the right way.


It’s no secret how valuable beauty tools—like makeup blenders and brushes—can be when it comes to applying foundation, concealerblush, and more. In fact, you probably own quite a few different varieties that you take out in the morning when you’re getting ready for the day. They just make everything look so much better, right?

There’s just one major caveat: Beauty tools aren’t nearly as valuable when they aren’t clean. Not only do they not work as well if they’re loaded up with old makeup, but makeup brushes and makeup blenders can be breeding grounds for bacteria. If you aren’t cleansing your tools regularly, storing them properly, and remembering not to share them with friends, you could have a problem on your hands. Think about it: The buildup of products and germs can contaminate your brushes—and if you don’t clean them thoroughly, then you’re going to transfer that to your face. Um, no thanks!


Once you take a moment to think about your makeup brushes touching your face and coming into near-constant contact with dirt, oil, and bacteria, it should be an easy realization that they need more love and maintenance. To learn how to wash your makeup brushes, follow the steps below.

Step #1: Choose Your Cleanser

One of the easiest and best ways to clean makeup brushes? Cleanser! Washing makeup brushes doesn’t need to be a big undertaking—you can keep it simple by using products you already have at home. A gentle shampoo, soap, or daily facial cleanser can work perfectly to help break down the makeup or dirt that has caked onto the bristles over time, without damaging your brushes. You can also wash makeup brushes with a brush cleanser—it’s up to you as to what you’d like to use!

Step #2: Clean Away

Once you’ve chosen the best product to cleanse with, it’s time to get right to it. Set up shop at the sink and start running warm water. Begin by wetting your dirty makeup brush(es). Then, squeeze a small amount of shampoo or facial cleanser in the palm of your hand. Take a few brushes at a time and swirl the bristles in your hand to help loosen the debris. Once your brushes are thoroughly sudsy and the cleanser or shampoo that was in your hand has started to change colors, your brushes are ready to be rinsed off. Repeat these steps until the water starts to run clear, and your tools have returned to their original color. (Just keep in mind that certain dark-hued makeup products may have permanently stained your previously lightly-colored makeup brushes.)

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

Editor’s tip: Tempted to put all your makeup brushes in an upright position while they dry? Better rethink that! Storing wet brushes standing up can cause water to leak into the ferrule (the metal bit beneath the bristles), which can potentially lead to mold.


We love makeup blenders because they help seamlessly apply liquid and cream makeup products like foundation and highlighter. But what if you’re always in a rush and feel like you have no time to wash all of your makeup sponges? The good news is, the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender can be cleaned easily—using pretty much the same steps you follow to clean your brushes. Yep, it’s that simple—so no excuses from now on! Here’s a recap on what to do.

Step #1: Lather Away

First, wet your dirty makeup sponge. Then, pour a small amount of cleanser, shampoo, or soap onto the blender. Massage your cleansing product of choice into the blender to loosen makeup.

Step #2: Rinse and Repeat

Rinse, squeeze out the excess water, and repeat as necessary. Leave your blender on a towel to dry, then store it in a cool, dry place.

Next up: 9 Makeup Brush and Makeup Blender Hacks