How and how often to clean makeup brushes?

edited March 2014 in Ask the Beauty Brains
Do we need to clean makeup brushes? What is the best way to do that? And how often? What are the dangers of not cleaning them?


  • edited March 2014
    Yes you definitely need to clean them because bacteria can build up which can spread infection. 

  • Do you think pure ethanol is good enough? I just have a lot at home and no better use for it.
  • One of the most problematic bacteria that grow on makeup brushes is Staphylococcus Aureus. Ethanol has been shown to fight Staphylococcus Aureus growth at concentrations greater than 10%
  • Use pure ethanol but it might dry your natural bristle brushes. If you have lot's of expensive ones, you might regret harming the hairs on them. If they're synthetic bristle, or they're cheapies, that's a different story.

    I have hundreds of brushes and many of them are very expensive so I treat them like my little babies. I spritz them with a daily sanitizing product frequently and once monthly I wash them with my little mixture of product (I use baby shampoo, mixed in with Philosophy purity face wash which cleans off even the heaviest makeup, on the face and on the brushes).
    When you do use water and a proper wash, make sure not to get too much water near the base of the bristles so that the glue doesn't start to dissolve, which can make the brushes more prone to shedding. Make sure you rinse very thoroughly and lay the brushes flat to dry. You can try some contraptions which are on the market, such as brush guards and hanging apparatus type things, which would probably be helpful, but I can tell you from experience that just laying them flat to dry is good. If you have really expensive natural bristle brushes which you want to keep all your life, use a little bit of hair conditioner on the ends too. It keeps the bristles soft. :)
  • Is it okay to use pure ethanol on synthetics?
  • Is there any real advantage to using expensive brushes that obviously I have no idea about?
  • I stopped wearing makeup bc its too hard to properly clean the brushes. They are really easy to ruin. 
  • I use 91% isopropyl alcohol on synthetic makeup brushes to clean them. I keep it in a travel size spray bottle and spray the bristles after using the brushes each day and wipe them on a paper towel. Every couple of weeks I use either a mild hand soap or shampoo and wash the brushes. After about a year of doing this daily the brushes are still in great shape.
  • The annoying thing is trying to wash and dry them without water getting into the ferrule. Not for me. I give up!
  • I haven't had a problem with that myself. I just wash them bristles down, rinse well (holding sideways), blot with a towel and air dry them lying flat across a towel rolled up. I angle the bristles down while they are drying. 

    I do have a couple of kabuki brushes that take f o r e v e r to dry though.
  • I have nowhere to dry my brushes.
  • Mine dry on a towel beside the bathroom sink during the day or on a towel on the bed. I just make sure the bristles are angled downwards. Careful folding of the towel takes care of that. :)
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!