How To Clean Makeup Brushes And Sponges At Home

Clean and disinfect makeup brushes naturally without brush cleaner

If you are wondering how to clean makeup brushes and sponges there are a few DIY home remedies that will leave them squeaky clean and conditioned.

Dirty brush with the words "How to clean makeup brushes and sponges"

Anyone who wears makeup regularly (hopefully) knows the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes.

Dirty brushes aren’t just bad for your skin, they can cause a multitude of other issues if left uncleaned.

If you don’t want to buy a cleanser for just your makeup brushes and sponges, you can do it using common products you may have in your house.

You can also find the proper timing to clean and wash your makeup tools and the problems dirty makeup brushes can cause to your skin.

5 Ways To Clean Makeup Brushes And Sponges Naturally

These DIY remedies are great for cleaning brushes at home without a brush cleaner. Also, perfect to condition or disinfect.

1. How To Clean Makeup Brushes With Dawn Dish Soap

How to clean makeup brushes with dawn soap and olive oil
A DIY remedy to clean brushes

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How to wash makeup brushes with soap?

Dish soap is a common household item, and Dawn is one of the most gentle brands on the market.

Olive oil, a common cooking oil, is another component of this DIY cleaning procedure.

Dawn acts as the shampoo for your bristles, while olive oil acts as the conditioner, keeping the bristles of your makeup brushes smooth.

You just need Dawn dish soap, olive oil, and a plate.

For best results, pour the two ingredients on a flat surface (like a plate, or a pan) and swirl the makeup brush where the two ingredients meet.

Then brush the makeup brush over the palm of your hand until you feel the brush has been properly cleaned.

Then rinse with lukewarm water, making sure the brush is pointing downward so the force of the water doesn’t damage the bristles.

If the brushes are held with the bristles pointing up, the water can get into the base of the brush and damage the glue that holds the bristles together.

After rinsing, then airdry your brushes on a paper towel, and you’re done!

For sponges, use only Dawn dish soap or any other liquid soap, rub the sponge gently until the surface is clean, then rinse under lukewarm water until the water runs clear.

Airdry the sponge, making sure there is good air circulation to airdry the entire sponge.

2. How To Clean Makeup Brushes With Alcohol

DIY makeup brush cleaner with alcohol
Best way to eliminate residual makeup from brushes

Rubbing alcohol is a key ingredient for any at-home cleaning tool kit. To clean your brushes or sponges, pour alcohol into a shallow bowl.

Dip your brushes into the bowl and swirl the brush around.

Repeat with your other brushes, then empty the bowl. Replace the alcohol in a bowl with fresh alcohol, and repeat the process until the alcohol stays clear.

This may seem like an involved process, but not only are your brushes getting cleansed but they are also being sanitized.

Then gently squeeze the alcohol out of your brushes, rinsing under lukewarm water if needed, and then air dry your brushes on a paper towel.

Alcohol is also a good way to disinfect your makeup brushes and sponges. Saturate the sponge in a fresh bowl of alcohol and squeeze the alcohol out, then airdry the sponge on a paper towel.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

How to clean a dirty makeup brush with hydrogen peroxide
Deep-cleaning makeup tools

Hydrogen Peroxide is not only a great item to keep around the house in case of bruises or scrapes, but it can also help you disinfect makeup brushes and tools.

Sometimes, your makeup tools need more than just cleansing.

Make a solution of one-half hydrogen peroxide, and one-half water. Let your makeup brushes soak in the solution for five minutes.

Then rinse your brushes clean with clean water (warm is best), with bristles pointing down, and let air dry on a paper towel.

Hydrogen peroxide is also a good cleanser to sanitize your makeup brush handles and other tools for body beauty.

4. Can Vinegar Clean Makeup Brushes?

How to wash makeup brush with white vinegar
Regular cleaning help to eliminate product residue

Another great cleaning agent to have around the house is vinegar, in this case, white vinegar.

To use vinegar to clean your makeup brushes, simply mix two tablespoons of white vinegar in a cup with warm water, dip your brushes into the mixture, and swirl them around until clean.

Rinse them with lukewarm water and then place them on a paper towel to air dry.

To clean your makeup sponges, use a half teaspoon of gentle dish soap (Dawn is recommended), 2/3 cup white vinegar, and warm water.

Submerse the sponge, and then lather and rinse until the water runs clear.

5. Baby Shampoo

How to clean makeup brushes with baby shampoo

One of the most recognizable baby shampoos is Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, but any gentle shampoo or equivalent (like Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap Unscented) will do.

First, rinse your brushes under lukewarm water, pointing them down so that the force of the water doesn’t go into the bristles.

Then put some baby shampoo into the palm of your hand and gently swirl your brushes in a circular motion until there is a lather.

Next, rinse your brushes in lukewarm water until water runs clear, squeeze excess water, and let them air dry.

To clean sponges, fill a bowl with warm water and mix it with baby shampoo.

Submerge the sponge and let soak for thirty minutes, then gently rub and cleanse the sponge by hand until the water turns color, indicating that foundation, debris, and oils are leaving the sponge.

Lastly, gently squeeze the sponge and rinse under warm water until the water is clear.

Whatever method you use to clean makeup brushes and sponges make sure they are completely dry before using them again.

Check that the bristles are separated and store them vertically.

If you want to try a product specially designed to clean makeup tools check out this great selection.

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How to clean makeup brushes and sponges

How Often To Clean Makeup Brushes

Woman hands cleaning a makeup brush with soap

Brushes and sponges can hold foundations and oils from your skin, not to mention other types of debris, and if not cleaned properly can become a health hazard.

Not only are you applying a dirty makeup tool to your face, and perhaps causing breakouts, but it also affects how the tool performs on your face.

With old foundation or debris caught in the bristles, for example, on a foundation brush, the application of your foundation may not be as smooth as it should be.

Some indications that cleaning is in order are, for fluffier brushes, like for applying powder or blush, the buildup can be seen in the bristles.

For brushes used for liquid makeup, the bristles may become stuck together or change shape due to the buildup.

Sponges will become discolored.

Most makeup artists recommend cleaning brushes and sponges at least once a week, but if they are used every day is better to wash them after each use to prevent breakouts or contamination of your natural or synthetic brushes.

7 Reasons to Dump Your Dirty Makeup Brushes

1. Bad For Your Skin

Hand holding a dirty makeup blender

Skin irritation and skin infections are one of the most obvious issues that can arise from neglecting to clean your makeup brushes.

Weeks’ worth of dust, dirt, product build-up and more can cause the bristles in your brushes to grow stiff and brittle.

Dirty brushes, sponges, and blenders are a breeding ground for nasty bacteria. Imagine transferring all of that gunk to your face every single day. Not good.

2. Clogged Pores and Acne

Woman covering a pimple with concealer

Dirty brushes can collect dust, dirt, makeup residue, pet dander, and other allergens floating in the air.

Using dirty makeup brushes is just painting all of those allergens onto your face and clogging up your pores. This can result in acne breakouts.

And what do we do when the skin breakout?

We apply more makeup, thus creating an endless nightmare loop.

3. Ruin Your Makeup

Woman face applying foundation brush strokes with a brush

You paid good money for your makeup and your makeup tools.

Not maintaining them properly will result in ruining both products.

Hard, stiff brushes will damage the product. Likewise, you bought a certain product because of its gorgeous color.

You want that color to show up true to shade, right?

Not cleaning your brushes can cause other colors to deposit into your nice, new makeup and, ultimately, ruin the original color.

4. Spread Disease

Two young smiling ladies with cosmetics in their hands

The bottom line, you should never share your makeup brushes. This goes double if you don’t regularly clean and maintain your brushes.

Keeping your brushes clean, and to yourself, can help prevent the spread of diseases like herpes and pink eye.

This can also occur if you’re sharing makeup products or tools with a friend that doesn’t keep them clean.

Don’t be the friend that gives everyone the awful pink eye.

5. Your Makeup Won’t Look As Good

Beautiful woman's face with makeup and brushes in her hands

What’s the main reason why we buy makeup brushes in the first place?

Because makeup applied with brushes looks significantly better than makeup applied with bare fingers.

Hard, brittle brush hairs will actually cause your makeup to look even worse than if it was applied with your fingers.

Again, this isn’t merely a texture issue.

Makeup from the previous day, or even week, is still sitting on that brush.

By not cleaning your brushes, you’re essentially applying old makeup over and over and over again. Gross.

6. It Can Be A Waste of Money

A collection of clean pink makeup brushes and flowers

Again, a good quality makeup brush or a beauty blender can be expensive, especially if you splurge and buy the best brands.

Properly maintained brushes last significantly longer than neglected brushes, meaning you won’t have to replace them as much and you can keep more of your hard-earned money in your own pocket.

7. Dirty Brushes Can Attract Bugs

Dirty makeup brush
Learn how to clean makeup brushes at home to prevent bugs

Bugs and other nasty creatures can take up residence inside a gross, unwashed makeup brush.

Needless to say, these creatures carry germs and diseases of their own.

You absolutely do not want to be painting those germs all over your face every single day

Dirty makeup brushes aren’t just bad for your skin, they’re bad for your skin and your wallet.

Proper brush maintenance can help prevent a multitude of issues, such as disease, bugs, acne, and much more.

It only takes a few minutes a day to clean your brushes, so there’s absolutely no excuse not to do it. It’s not worth the risk

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Helpful cleaning tips

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