How To Deep Clean & Wash Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes are part of our beauty routine. They make applying cosmetics a breeze. Now, brushes accumulate lots of dirt after several uses. Leaving all that dirt accumulate in our brushes will damage them. Plus, eventually, dirty makeup brushes will cause skin problems. According to makeup artists, brushes must be deep cleaned once a month when they are used sporadically, and once a week if used every day. Here's how I wash my makeup brushes.

Set up your working station: Your kitchen or bathroom sink is the perfect place. Gather your dirty brushes. Fill a bowl with clean water. Add two drops of alcohol in this water. Lay your dirty brushes with the bristles down in the bowl(This will help dirt to loosen up while you keep gathering your cleaning tools). Place a hand towel next to your skin to dry to brushes. Pour mild shampoo on a small saucer; such as baby shampoo or Dawn dishwashing detergent. You can also use a solid laundry soap like Zote. Now, let's begin.

How to wash makeup brushes: I like to start washing my face brushes first. So, take your first brush to clean from the bowl and squeeze the excess water. Next, deep the bristles into the mild shampoo. Let lukewarm water run from your faucet, and swirl your brush in the palm of your hands. Move your brush around your palm ridges to loosen up dirt quicker. Keep swirling your brush in your hand while water lathers the bristles. You'll see all dirt coming off. Once, the water from your brush comes out clear. Let water run for a few seconds. Rinse-squeeze your brush bristles. Dry your brush on the hand towel and lay flat. Proceed, with your next dirty brush.

You can use Zote soap to deep clean your brushes. All you need to do is follow the same steps mentioned above. But, instead of using the palm of your hand. Swirl your brush on the Zote soap. The prints of the Zote soap will work as the ridges on the back of your hands removing any hidden dirt. Or, instead of dipping your brushes in baby shampoo, sweep the brush side by side on the Zote; then do the swirling in your hands' method.

Many makeup companies have invented tools to ease washing makeup brushes. Sigma Beauty cosmetics created the cleaning glove and the brush mat. These are better to use especially when you have too many brushes to wash. I have them both and use together too. But, I use the hands method when I have less than 10 brushes to wash. Or, will alternate between the mat and the glove.

What to do after all brushes have been washed: Now that you have laid down all of your 'just-cleaned' brushes. Find a flat surface where you can dry your brushes overnight. Place a bath towel on this flat surface and fold the end of it twice. Place your brushes on the folded side of the towel with the bristles facing down and outward. Another way is to place inside of a glass bowl with bristles facing down. The water will evaporate while the glass catches any moist. Brushes must be washed and put to dry with the bristles facing down to avoid any water to get into the ferrule. Water can loosen up the glue that holds the bristles in place. It can detach the handle from the ferrule too.

You can use a drying brush towel that can be purchased on eBay. Or even use a drying cord and rubber bands. Here's a video by Clean MySpace that can help.

How I reshape my brushes: Brush guards are plastic meshes that are used to reshape brushes after washing. They are very inexpensive and can be purchased online at and other retailers. You will slide the brush guard inserting from the end of the brush handle sliding it towards the bristles. Also, don't forget to sanitize your handles by using an alcohol-dampened cotton round. Just swipe from the ferrule to the end of the handle. Place your brush guard. Restow your brushes. And now, they are clean and ready for next use.

Have fun deep cleaning/washing your makeup brushes.

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