Squeaky Clean Brushes

We are all guilty of sometimes using dirty brushes to do our makeup. Even I struggle to keep in the habit of cleaning my brushes if I have had a busy work schedule.

But cleaning your brushes should be an a part of your routine. Think about all the things you touch during the day, then think about how often you touch your face. All of the germs and grime are transferred onto your face and then onto your brushes the next time you touch up your makeup.

Even when you apply makeup onto a clean face, your skin secretes oils (which is good it keeps your skin healthy) but the oil transfers onto your brush which then sticks to dust, dirt and old makeup and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Do you really want to then put that directly onto your face?

Cleaning your brushes is important but it is also a delicate process; the bristles of the brush have a delicate balance of their own oils, cleaning them with the wrong products could end up simply damaging them.

Here are some of the tried and tested methods that I have used over my years using and working with makeup.


Baby Shampoo

Baby shampoo is a pretty cheap way of deep cleaning your brushes. Pour a small amount onto a clean plate or your palm and swish the brush through it, gently rubbing the shampoo into the bristles with your fingers. Once you are satisfied you have got all the dirt, wash the suds out with luke warm water. Hang the brushes upside down to dry, this stops the water from running down and rotting the glue at the base of the brush that holds the bristles together.

Washing up Liquid and Baby Oil

Using the same cleaning techniques as with the baby shampoo mix 3 parts washing up liquid (better the quality the better the clean) with 1 part baby oil. If baby oil is good enough for babies its good enough to deep clean our brushes!

With both of these techniques your brushes will take over night to dry, maybe longer for thicker brushes.

Brush Cleaner

This is an obvious one as it does exactly as it says on the tin. However, it can also be very expensive especially is you have a large brush collection to clean. Pour the cleaner into a bowl and swirl the brushes in the contents for 30 seconds (or longer if it is a particularly disgusting brush) then wipe onto a clean towel and leave to dry. They should dry in a matter of hours.

Baby Wipes

These won’t deep clean your brushes but they will clean the surface. This methods if great for daily cleaning and to use while travelling. Simply wipe the brush over the wipe including the handle as germs build up a great deal on them.

IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol)

This is my preferred way of cleaning brushes as it can be used as a deep cleaner or a quick cleaner, either way it is fast drying. To deep clean pour a little of the IPA into a bowl and wash in the same way as a brush cleaner. (Even when the IPA is brown with makeup it will still be an effective cleaner as it destroys germs.) This should completely dry within 15 minutes or so. For a quick clean pour a little of the IPA onto a towel and wipe over your brushes; this will dry instantly.

It is more cost effective to buy a large bottle but you can purchase smaller, more convenient bottles which will still last you a good amount of time as a small amount will clean a large collection of brushes, making it a very cheap way to keep your brushes in good condition.ipaCleaning your brushes will make them last longer, will increase the life of your makeup, will make the makeup apply better and will help clear acne caused by skin contamination.

So with these quick, easy and cheap methods under your belt, it’s time to make cleaning your brushes part of your makeup routine.


How do you clean your brushes? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.

What kind of content would you like to see on this blog in the future? Follow the bird and let me know.


Ay x


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