If you love makeup, you must be familiar with makeup brushes and sponges. Indeed, you must get a lot of use out of your makeup tools, but do you clean them as often as you should? Here is all you need to know about How to clean makeup brushes and sponges.
Why should you clean makeup brushes?
Our faces have tons of bacteria growing on the surface. Some of those are not harmful to us, and their function is to maintain the skin’s health. Harmful bacteria exist on top of your skin, and it only takes one use for those bacteria to transfer to your makeup brush and a makeup sponge.
These bacteria mixing with the leftover makeup on your brush would fester and grow if you don’t clean the brush.
Dirty makeup brushes contaminate your makeup products, but they are also the culprit for clogged pores, skin irritation, and acne breakouts.
How to clean your brushes
Makeup brushes are generally of two types: synthetic brushes and brushes made of natural bristles. To clean your makeup brushes, you should first see what brush bristles you are working with.
Brushes with natural bristles are softer and more expensive, and brush hairs are more fragile than synthetic brushes. These brushes need to be cleaned with a gentle soap.
Synthetic bristles are more long-lasting and can be washed more frequently. Makeup sponges require regular cleaning because it is used to apply liquid makeup like foundation and concealer.
Now that you know which tool should be washed in which way, let’s get into the meat of brush cleaning.
Try a dry shampoo for Makeup brushes
Not one you use on your hair! There are dry brush cleanser sprays in the market that are so easy to use, and you use your brushes instantly after cleaning them, as opposed to waiting for a whole day for them to dry.
Spray the cleaner onto the brush head and wipe the pigment off on a paper towel. This method instantly refreshes your brushes in between uses and prolongs their life. This type of cleanser is used a lot by makeup artists.
Keep in mind, though, that dry cleaning is not a substitute for deep cleaning. You must clean your brushes with a good liquid brush cleaner every few weeks.
Deep clean with liquid soap
Deep cleaning your makeup brushes every few weeks is an absolute must to prevent bacteria growth and ensure a smooth makeup application.
Here are some liquid soaps you can use to get your brushes squeaky clean.
Choose dish soaps and baby shampoo.
Dish soap and baby shampoos are readily available in everyone’s homes, and if not, they don’t cost a lot of money to buy at the drugstore.
Take warm water in a shallow container and put a few drops of dish soap or shampoo. If you use a lot of liquid makeup, put a drop of olive oil into the mixture. Now, dip the brush hairs into the mixture.
Make sure you don’t get the brush head wet because inside the head is the glue that holds the handle and brush hairs in place. If that gets damp, your brush hairs will come loose.
After the makeup brush is dipped in the mixture, gently massage it in a circular motion in the palm of your hand. This helps break down the product buildup slowly. Dip the brush back in the soap and continue this process until no makeup comes off your hand.
Brushes with powder makeup like blush, contour, and eye shadow get clean easily. Liquid makeup, on the other hand, is inherently long-lasting. Therefore, tends to set in the brush and cling to it. The olive oil will break those stubborn pigments off the makeup brushes.
Use Bar soap to clean the Makeup brush
If you feel like making your cleanser is a hassle, a good old bar soap would do the trick just fine. Take a gentle bar soap, wet the brush bristles, and swirl it around on your soap.
All that gunky stuff will come right off. Once the brush is clean, rinse it with lukewarm water and move on to your next brush.
What about brush cleaning tools?
We have only talked about ways in which you can clean your makeup brushes with a brush cleanser and your bare hands.
Now, let’s discuss some of the tools out there in the market, specifically meant for cleaning brushes.
Silicone cleaning pad | Makeup artist favorites
This product is a favorite of so many makeup artists. Celebrity makeup artist Andreea Ali swears by this silicone brush cleaning pad for cleaning all her high-quality, celebrity-skin-touching makeup brushes.
This is a silicone mat with tiny raised bumps and grooves throughout it, and the most remarkable thing about it is that it attaches to your washbasin. Pour some liquid soap into the water at your basin, dip your brush into the soapy water and swirl it on the raised patterns on the pad.
The raised bumps and grooves get the lather deeper into the bristles and give your brushes a deep clean without being too harsh on them. So many brands make these. You won’t have trouble finding something like this online or in your favorite beauty store.
Should you try a brush cleaning machine?
This cool makeup brush cleaning machine had gotten a lot of hype in the beauty industry a few years ago. It claimed to make washing brushes super easy by taking away all the manual work that we dread so much.
You were supposed to fit your brush handles into the attachments in the machine, pour some of your preferred cleaners, close the lid and press a button.
The machine would dip the brushes into the soap, spin them into the soapy solution, pull the brushes out of the water, and keep spinning them until they dry.
Doesn’t that sound amazing? The solution to all your boring brush cleaning problems?
The only downside to this type of product- and it’s a big one!- is that the machine spins the brushes aggressively when it’s drying them, and that causes the bristles to spread out in all odd directions. The brushes don’t get back to their original shape and eventually get ruined.
Pro makeup artist and famous YouTuber Robert Walsh doesn’t recommend this type of machine for that very reason. I wouldn’t either.
How to dry your brushes?
Now that we know everything there is to know about the actual washing portion of cleaning brushes let us talk about the drying process.
Knowing the correct way to dry your makeup brushes is just as -if not more- important than cleaning them. Here’s what to do and what not to do.
Rinse and squeeze
Once the brushes have been cleaned, it is very important to rinse them with clean water so that all the soap can be rinsed out of them. If soap remains on your brushes, they won’t apply makeup properly. There may even be acne flare-ups because of this.
Once the brushes have been rinsed well, it’s time to squeeze out the excess water from the wet brushes. Always be very gentle while squeezing out the water, don’t be too harsh, or you will either be pushing water into the brush head or pulling bristles out of the brush.
Sheath and dry
Once you have your clean brushes, it’s time to dry them. The easiest way to do this is to place the brushes on a clean towel to lay flat against the counter. Don’t store them upside down right away.
To ensure all the brushes maintain their shape, gently mold them to taper out towards the top. You can also put mesh sheaths on the bristles if you have those. By doing this, your brushes will not lose shape and will always come out looking brand new.
Do stains mean brushes are not clean?
Those hard pigments will stain the brushes if you have used waterproof makeup, super long-lasting liquid lipsticks, or liquid blushes. Those stains don’t come off, no matter how you wash them off.
That’s normal, and it doesn’t mean your makeup brush is dirty. Many brushes get stained, and in Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughs’ words, they have been very well-loved.
You can and should wash your makeup sponges every time you do your makeup. Since they are meant to be used damp, and all you need is some soap and water, there is no excuse not to clean them every time they get dirty.
Just make sure you don’t use your nails while rinsing out the water, or you might cause a tear. Also, leave the sponge to dry completely before storing it away because damp things harbor bacteria.
How often should you clean your makeup tools?
If you are a makeup artist, you should ensure your brushes are clean for every client. If you can’t do a proper clean, use the spray cleaner options and disinfect the brush handles.
If you use your tools on yourself, you should ideally clean your brushes every week. If not, make sure you use your brush cleaner every two weeks. If even that seems too much for you, please don’t go longer than a month without washing your brushes and sponges.
Now that you know How to clean your makeup brushes, I hope you will take proper care of them. Tell me which was your favorite brush cleaning method and your preferred brush cleaner!
Liked this article? You’ll love these too!