How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes (and How Often You Should Do It)

| Beauty

Every morning, I take out my makeup kit and paint my face before I hit work, the gym, family events or wherever I need to go for the day. I’m Armenian, so I wear makeup to the local grocery store. No joke, makeup is a huge part of my life. I live it, breathe it and can’t live without it.

My makeup brushes are just as essential for me as my underwear. I use them daily. But it wasn’t until recently, after I got pinkeye, that I realized I need to clean my makeup brushes after each use… just like I clean my underwear.

My body is becoming more sensitive to dirt, so I need to be more responsible about what I put on my skin. Makeup pros believe you should clean your brushes every week if you use them daily. But that’s a minimum. Ideally, you would clean your brushes every time you do your makeup.

Makeup brushes hold onto oils, debris and bacteria. Cleaning your makeup tools prevents bacteria buildup. So it’s important for your brushes to be clean. Not only because your application will blend more easily, but also because the last thing you want is a breakout. Trust me: I had it first-hand, and it wasn’t fun.

So what should you use to clean your makeup brushes? When I get the opportunity, I use the makeup brush cleaner pro starter kit from Cinema Secrets. However, if I am home or traveling and I don’t have this product on hand, I use alternatives that are easily accessible. Here are a few DIY solutions you can use at home to do the job.


You can use baby shampoo, regular shampoo or even dish soap to get the job done. Wet the bristles of your makeup brush with lukewarm water. Next, place a tiny drop of the shampoo or dish soap in the palm of your hand. Then gently massage the tips of the bristles in your palm. Rinse the bristles and squeeze out the excess moisture. Make sure to reshape the brush head. (Trust me: I’ve had major issues with brushes when I didn’t reshape them. Sometimes the hair goes all over the place, and I have to throw the brush away.) After you do this, make sure to let the brush dry with the bristles hanging off the edge of the counter. 


Using vinegar can also be a good, easy way to clean your brushes. All you have to do is mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap and 1 cup of hot water in a cup. Place the brushes in the mixture to soak for 10 minutes. After they’re done soaking, rinse each brush with cold water and let it dry overnight. 

Coconut Oil:

Coconut oil is a great for moisturizing, cleaning your hair and cleaning your makeup brushes as well. The oil protects the bristles while nourishing them. All you’ve got to do is follow it up with a rinse using baby shampoo and water. 

Now it’s part of my routine to always keep my brushes clean. I don’t want to get pinkeye again!