How To Deep Clean Your Makeup Brushes | Beauty Explained


Hey everyone!

Cleaning our makeup brushes is one of those tasks that we all hate doing but we know that we should. There are a constant flow of ‘How I Clean My Makeup Brushes’ posts & videos flying around and I love seeing how people clean their brushes – but there are so many different ways. Is there a right or wrong way? Are we ruining our brushes? I have done my homework so i’m going to advise you how to clean your makeup brushes in the most effective way without destroying them. As well as making sure my brushes are squeaky clean, I also want them to be completely germ free. I don’t use alcohol on my brushes because my skin is too sensitive and gets irritated by it but this would be good to use otherwise. However, I do use an anti-bacterial hand soap which deep cleans the brushes but is gentle at the same time, after all, you do want to care for your brushes too.

It’s amazing how many people have never cleaned their makeup brushes. It’s recommended that regularly used makeup brushes should be cleaned every two weeks. If you have problem skin or acne, I’d definitely advise that you clean your brushes a little more than average person, you may notice an improvement. When we don’t wash our brushes, bacteria from our skin festers in them and when you use them again, the same thing happens and you just spread the bacteria from the previous time around your face. I feel like the whole cleaning process can get very complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. Let’s get scrubbing.

What you need:

  • Dirty brushes
  • Anti-bacterial hand soap (or baby shampoo/lotion for an even softer finish)
  • Conditioner
  • Dry, clean towel


Step 1:
Start by applying a small amount of anti-bacterial hand soap onto the palm of you hand (I always make sure my hands are clean). Rinse the brush in lukewarm water and then swish it around until it stops producing yucky coloured residue. You could use Olive or Almond Oil for brushes that are heavily embedded with makeup. Try not to get the brushes wet past where the handle seals because this could cause the hairs to fall out or for your brush to snap. Squeeze the access water out.

Beauty blenders and sponges can be cleaned in exactly the same way!


Step 2:
Now that the bristles are perfectly clean, we need to focus on another aspect of thoroughly cleaning your brushes…the handle! You could use the alcohol to clean the handles of the brush with a paper towel. Bacteria often sits here and can transfer to other things. I use the anti-bacterial hand soap on a piece of kitchen towel and then rinse.

Step 3:
Cleaning can be harsh on the brush hairs, so I often use conditioner on mine as the final step. After washing, apply conditioner, I’m using one from Herbal Essences, onto each brush and leave to soak in for around two minutes and then rinse. This keeps them ever so soft.


Step 4:
You should leave your brushes to dry flat on a clean dry towel. Do not stand them up right! This could cause the excess water to seep through to the glue which holds your brush together, causing the hairs to become loose.


And that’s it! Your brushes will now be germ free, squeaky clean and über soft, ready to get messy all over again.


I just thought i’d do a small memo on my favourite makeup brushes, seeing as they’re splashed all over this post. Please comment if you would like me to do a full post dedicated to my favourite brushes! As you can see, I have a lot of Sigma brushes. I splashed out on the Premium Brush Kit a few months ago (watch my review here) and they are by far the best quality brushes I have ever used. They never lose their shape after washing and they’re sooo soft. My favourite Sigma brushes are the Tapered Blending – E40 for blending out eyeshadow and the Powder/Blush – F10 for powder and blush (obviously). I also love the Setting Brush by Real Techniques for blending out my concealer, the Morphe Brushes M439 Deluxe Buffer Brush for foundation and the Morphe Brushes MB5 Deluxe Duo Foundation Brush. I cannot recommend those brushes enough. I wish I had discovered Morphe Brushes before Sigma though – they’re very good quality and half the price. Watch my how to achieve a matte, flawless base video where I use three of these brushes.


Hope you found this blog post helpful! How many of you are now going to run and wash your brushes?

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Clarina helps enthusiastic bloggers develop & stand out online, as well as reviewing popular products, discussing the latest beauty trends and quite honestly anything that takes her fancy. Oh! And she's on YouTube.

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0 comments on “How To Deep Clean Your Makeup Brushes | Beauty Explained”

  1. thegreyeye says:

    Great post, I think it will help me a lot

    1. Clarina says:

      Glad you found it useful! 🙂

  2. It is definitely one of the must-do weekend job for any beauty lover for every now and then and it is also a perfect way to bring a tidied look for the makeup brushes too

    1. Clarina says:

      Yes! A pain of a job but once it’s done I always appreciate it 🙂

  3. A fun tip that I found, is to use those silicon pot holders with the textures on it to scrub the makeup out. It works extremely well of dense brush and cut the cleaning time down.

    1. Clarina says:

      I’ve not heard of those before! I’ve seen the mit from Sigma which looks ridiculous but that’s meant to cut down the time it takes to clean too. I’ll have to take a look 🙂

      1. Yes! This is basically the beauty hack of those crazy expensive mitts from Sigma.

        1. Clarina says:

          Oh right! I’ll have to take a look at those because the ones from sigma are just silly haha.

  4. Amanda Bella says:

    Thank you for reminding me to do this lol. Definitely one of those tasks that needs to be done, but it often avoided. I like how you used conditioner at the ends, I’ve never tried that!

    1. Clarina says:

      Haha it’s so easy to forget isn’t it! I really do hate it. The conditioner really really works. Just a little trick that keeps brushes so soft 🙂

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