How to Easily Clean Your Makeup Brushes at Home

woman holding dirty makeup brushes

Having oily, acne-prone skin means I’m constantly thinking of ways to help my skin not breakout. One thing that’s often overlooked? My makeup brushes. I’ve cleaned them many times over the years, but it’s not something I do with regularity. One time they got so bad that I considered throwing them out and just starting fresh! Sadly, it’s not until I realize they’re insanely dirty and grimy-looking that I finally decide to clean them. By that point, it’s probably too late.

When I realize that I’ve been using those same, bacteria-filled brushes on my skin for weeks (maybe months?), I get so grossed out. Maybe that’s why I breakout so frequently?! Well, there’s more than one factor at play in my breakouts, but filthy makeup brushes surely aren’t helping!

Now I’m making it a point to clean my makeup brushes at least once a month, but I’m really aiming for twice a month! Here’s how I quickly and easily clean my makeup brushes at home:

dirty makeup brushes

How to Easily Clean Your Makeup Brushes at Home

Step 1: Gently Wash

Makeup brushes have soft, delicate bristles, so it’s best to wash them gently! I’ve been using Mrs. Meyer’s liquid dish soap, which is mostly plant-derived. Any all-natural or organic soap would do the trick, but I’d recommend staying away from any dish soaps that have harsh chemicals. First off those chemicals aren’t good for your skin and second, they’ll likely dry out your brushes, shortening their lifespan.

Squirt a little soap into a small bowl with warm water. Wash one brush at a time, swirling the brush in the warm, soapy water until clean. If they’re really dirty, you might have to empty the bowl and do this a few times until it’s clean. Rinse brushes with warm water. With each brush, start with clean soapy water!

cleaning brushes at home
how to clean makeup brushes with Meyer's clean day

You can also use an all-natural or organic bar of soap. Just get it wet and swirl your brushes directly on the bar of soap, rinsing in between. Just make sure you fully rinse the bar of soap when you’re finished if you go that route.

person dipping dirty makeup brush to a cleaner
makeup brush dipped in a cleaner

Step 2: Reshape & Dry

Before you just lay your brushes down to dry, make sure you’ve squeezed (gently) most of the water out of them and make sure you reshape them. You don’t want them drying in bizarre shapes or with the bristles poking out every which direction. Once you’ve reshaped them, lay them on a clean dish towel or paper towel to dry.

Wait until they are completely dry to use them again. I usually wash mine in the morning and won’t use them again until the next day, which gives my face a day off of makeup!

makeup brush after dipping in a cleaner
woman reshaping brushes
drying makeup brushes

I’ve also heard that it’s beneficial to clean your brushes between deep cleans uses with a simple makeup brush cleaner like these below. I haven’t tested any yet, but I’m planning on picking one up soon! Have you used a brush cleaner you like? Please share!

Have you ever cleaned your makeup brushes? How often do you clean them and how do you clean them?

BTW, my current Beautycounter skincare routine, and 3 daily skincare non-negotiables.

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