Spring Cleaning Makeup Brushes

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Makeup brushes are a breeding ground for dirt, oil and bacteria. It’s recommended you wash your brushes daily. But let’s be honest, nobody has time for that. I spend close to an hour doing my makeup, I’m already late for whatever event I’m supposed to go to, I’m not about to take the time to wash my brushes too. So here’s a more realistic time line.

Liquid Foundation Brushes/Sponges – Daily (Like, actually. It’s gross to put on yesterday’s caked on makeup)

Powder Brushes, Eye-shadow brushes – 2-4 weeks, As long as you don’t have a cut or a popped pimple, powder brushes can be extended a little longer. Helpful tip to keep brushes germ-free, when dusting off excess powder off a brush, DO NOT blow on them, you’re breathing germs onto your brush this way! Tap the barrel of the brush on the back of your hand to remove excess powder. I will also tap off the brush before using it.

Liquid liner/Brow Brushes - <1 week. These tend to get goopy and caked with product, keep these clean so that your eyeliner and brows are always sharp and flawless.

Shopper Drug Mart’s beauty brand, Quo came out with a brush cleaning shampoo and a silicon brush cleaning mat. The shampoo cleans and conditions both natural and synthetic brushes. The argan oil helps nourish the brush hairs and keeps them soft and not bristly. The formulation is perfect for brush cleaning because it doesn’t foam or form a ton of suds, like a traditional shampoo. This makes rinsing the product out easier. The second is a silicon mat with varying raised textured surfaces. This provides a clean area where you can run your brush along to work in the shampoo and get between all the hairs for a deeper clean. The silicon is an easy surface to clean after each use, just rinse under warm water.

You don’t need to buy these things to clean your brushes, of course. Using regular shampoo is just as effective. It is also a good way to get rid of the last bit of shampoo in a bottle. However, shampoos produce a lot of soapsuds, which may make rinsing your brushes more difficult. So dilute the shampoo to reduce suds. And if you don’t want to splurge on the mat then you can simply work the shampoo with your fingers. The mat is just a convenient tool.

Steps For Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes.

Things you’lll need:

Two buckets or tupperware with warm water
Shampoo/brush cleaner
Brush cleaning mat (optional)
Paper towels

Step 1: Fill each bucket with warm water, pour a couple of drops of shampoo in one of the buckets. Making a soapy solution ensures that you don’t just glob on huge amounts of soap onto the brush which wastes the shampoo but also it’ll make it difficult to rinse later when there is a ton of soap.

Step 2: Swirl your brush into the soap mixture, if you have a mat, you can work the soapy water into the brush by swirling the bristles across the mat. You can also work in the soap with your hands. Keep your brush head facing downwards at all times. Try not to get the ferrule wet, this is where the glue holds all of the hairs together, you don’t want to damage or dissolve the glue, causing the brush hairs to fall out.

Step 3: Rinse using the second bucket, swirl the brush in the clean water. You can gently use your fingers to get all the soap out. Pat dry with the paper towel, and let it dry lying flat. Make sure you let the brush hairs dry in its original shape; you don’t want to the brush hairs to be distorted or kinked when it dries. The best way to dry the brushes is actually to let it dry hanging upside down and letting the water drip out. They have brush holders for this purpose, or you can hang them by the handle using large bull clips. If not just let it lie flat, until it’s completely dry.

I find that cleaning the brushes this way prevents the brush hairs from absorbing too much water, and therefore they dry a lot faster. All my brushes were dry in a couple of hours and were ready to use the next day. 

To quickly clean and disinfect on the spot you can use a brush disinfecting spray. I got mine from Sephora. Spray 2-3 pumps onto the bristles and then tap dry on a clean paper towel. I use this normally with things like my eyebrow angle brush. Because I use it everyday, it gets clumped up quickly. I concentrate the spray on the bristles, this helps loosen the caked on brow gel and then clean it off with a cotton pad. You can use this spray to quickly disinfect any brush.

I hope this helps with your brush cleaning needs. It really doesn’t take long. I managed to clean all my brushes in less than 30 minutes. Try it out!

Until next time!

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