The Easiest Ways to Clean Your Makeup Tools

The Easiest Ways to Clean Your Makeup Tools

A makeup kit would not be complete without your clean makeup tools. Ultimately, it's brushes and sponges that give you flawless makeup application that makes you look your best every day.

Now that we know how important makeup tools are, it raises the question: How to clean makeup tools?

Brushes and sponges should always be cleanednot only for hygiene reasons but also to maintain performance. Investing in quality makeup brushes and beauty blenders requires you to also know how to clean and maintain them properly. Continue reading to find out how to clean makeup brushes and sponges, as well as how often you should actually wash them.

Cleaning Makeup Brushes: How Often Should You Do It? 

For brushes used often with liquid formulaslike foundation and concealerthe answer might surprise you: They should be cleaned every week.

In the case of powder blushes and eyeshadows, it is best to wash brushes once every two weeks. (Any procrastinators out there, please make sure to at least do it once a month.)

What about Your Makeup Sponges?

Make sure to clean your beauty blenders and makeup sponges at least every week, just like your brushes. However, if you tend to share your sponge with your BFF (totally not recommended), make sure to wash it after every use for sanitary purposes.

Now that you're up-to-date on the ideal cleaning schedule, let’s discuss the best way to clean makeup brushes and sponges.

How to Clean Makeup Brushes at Home?

Choose Your Cleanser

To begin with, you need to get a good makeup brush cleaner. There are a few options to choose from:

Shampoo—For When You Want Bristles as Soft as Your Hair

If you’re wondering how to clean makeup brushes DIY route, then you’re gonna love this tip. Simply add a tablespoon of mild baby shampoo or a high-quality clarifying shampoo to warm water to make your own makeup brush cleaner.

Dish Soap—For Your Synthetic Brushes

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to clean your concealer, foundation, or bronzer brushes? Emollient-based makeup is incredibly stubborn and hard to remove. In such cases, the regular dishwashing detergent has shown to be effective at breaking down oils and removing all makeup and bacteria.

Bar Soap—For When You’re in a Pinch

Taking a sturdy bar of soap and working it into the bristles will get gunk out of your dirty blush or foundation brushes. You should not rub the brush barrel against the soap harshly because you will loosen the bristles and they may fall out.

Special Brush Cleanser— For When You Have the Budget to Splurge

Although you can certainly clean up your brushes with DIY methods, experts agree that brush-specific formulas serve as the most effective way to clean them without causing long-term damage. You can even find a variety of sprays available for cleaning makeup brushes. Using these cleaners is simple, fast, and convenient

Lather and Swirl

Start by running lukewarm water in the sink. Get your dirty makeup brushes wet. It's important to point the brush downwards as this will prevent water from seeping into the handle and causing the bristles to loosen. Once you have done that, squeeze some cleanser into your hand. Brush the bristles of a brush in your hands to loosen up the debris. 

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As soon as your brush is thoroughly foamy and the cleanser on your hand has begun to change color, it is ready to be rinsed off. Re-rinse your tools until the water runs clear and the brushes are back to their original color.

Make sure you wash some brusheslike stippling brushesthoroughly before you move on because they may have densely packed bristles.

Rinse and Dry

To make sure your tools are clean after rinsing, gently brush them against a microfiber towel or cloth to remove any last bits of makeup or dirt. After that, lay your brushes down on a towel to dry. This will allow excess water to evaporate more easily. 

How to Clean Makeup Sponge at Home

Prepare Your Soap Bath

Put some water and liquid soap in a small bowl or in your sink. To kill bacteria as effectively as possible, boil some water and use that.


After adding the sponge to the mixture, allow it to sit for a few minutes. This way, the makeup will loosen up and be easier to remove.

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After the time is up, squeeze your sponge a few times to allow the soap solution to pass. If you need to give any areas some extra attention, massage soap onto your palms. Afterward, thoroughly rinse with warm water.


Dry off with a clean towel after wringing out excess water. Let the sponge dry naturally, or if you prefer, you can put it to work while it’s damp.

Alternate Tip: You can also choose to microwave your sponge for an effective cleansing by mixing some water and soap in a bowl and submerging the sponge in it. Microwave the bowl for approximately a minute, and then take it out. Let the mix cool before taking out the sponge and drying it. This would result in a nice and clean sponge, and the foundation will bleed into the liquid.

How Often Should You Replace Makeup Brushes and Sponges?

Your brushes should last you a long time as long as they are taken care of. From a hygienic standpoint, it's not necessary to replace them as long as they are regularly cleaned. In reality, you should only replace brushes when their actual hair breaks or falls out. Sponge, on the other hand, should be discarded every three months.

The Bottom Line

The majority of us neglect our makeup brushes and sponges, allowing powder and cream formulas to build up on the bristles for weeks at a time. However, the pros say it's essential to get rid of the gunk every week to prevent bacteria growth, acne, et cetera.

Luckily, with our extensive guide above, you can become a pro at maintaining clean makeup tools in no time.

Have more questions about cleaning your makeup tools? Ask away in the comments section below.