How To: Wash Your Make Up Brushes

photo 1 (17) Washing your make up brushes, a fun task? Not really! But an essential task – YES! Regularly washing your make up brushes is one sure way to lessen the amount of bacteria that gets on your face. Think of all the dirt, make up, oil, dust and ick that probably builds up over time on your brushes – looking after your skin means looking after your brushes. Besides, cleaning them carefully will keep your brushes in good condition and working well. There are many different brush cleaning methods which people use, below is the method I am currently using which has come about with a bit of trial and error and recommendations from friends and other beauty addicts.

How often?

I aim to wash my brushes once a week – however it ends up being more like once a fortnight. You can use some form of antibacterial spray made for brushes if you want an in-between washes type of clean. I have a spray which I made up myself – more on that soon.

What do I need?

In your brush cleaning kit you need the following things:

photo 3 (13)

  • A bowl or basin
  • Baby Shampoo (I use Johnson’s)
  • Some paper towels
  • A tea towel or something similar
  • Warm water
  • A cleaning mit (I got mine off ebay, it’s actually suppose to be a small dog brush, but it cost $2 and works a trick!)
  • Antibacterial brush spray ( a diluted mix of Isopropyl alcohol with a drop or two of essence to help with the strong smell all in a mini spray bottle)

Firstly I kind of prep my area because once you start you have bubbles and wet hands and you don’t really want to have to go grab that thing you forgot. I half fill my bowl with warm water, add a few squeezes of baby shampoo and mix. I have my paper towels laid next to me ready for my damp brushes. Sometimes before washing I give my bigger or thicker brushes a quick pre clean with my spray to start breaking down the dirt (I also do this when a brush is particularly dirty).

I give each brush a swirl and a spin in the soapy water, being careful to not immerse the brush in the water any more than need be. Soaking brushes in water or in the wrong type of cleaning solution can weaken the glue and lead to your brush coming apart. I then use my cleaning mit to gently scrub my brushes – the little bumps on the mit get between the hairs and deeper into the centre of the brush given a much more thorough clean. I squeeze the water out of the brush before setting it down flat.

After each brush has gone through this process I then either tip out my water and replace it with fresh, plain warm water or use a running tap to rinse each brush. I gently squeeze the remaining water out of each brush before setting them down on my paper towels to begin the drying part of this process. It’s important that you also ‘reshape’ your brushes at this point. Make sure all the hairs are in their right/normal shape to dry, as they will dry the way you leave them.

I then place my brushes on my window sill – this is where they will stay overnight or in the sun until they are dry. I lay a tea towel down first to soak up the water and lean them hairs facing down. This is important as you don’t want the water and dampness running down into the handle of your brushes effecting any glue. Does one sometimes tip over causing a disastrous domino effect? Yes… but only when I’m placing them on the sill and accidentally knock one over myself. photo 2 (17)

I have seen some really amazing innovations of ways to leave your brushes to dry. Some people lie them flat on a towel in the laundry, others have created ways of hanging brushes with coat hangers. I am lucky that my window has a deep sill and catches the sun. If I wash my brushes at night, most of them apart from the super thick ones (blush brushes, dense foundation brushes) are dry by morning.

Check out this amazing method for drying brushes - its a Benjabella Brush Tree from Ebay - image from my fellow MUO Holly Samantha
Check out this amazing method for drying brushes – its a Benjabella Brush Tree from Ebay – image from my fellow MUO Holly Samantha

As I said at the start this method has come along by reading, asking, trying and seeing what works for me. I recently read up on a method which suggests using baking soda mixed in with your baby shampoo and water which I really like the sound of – I’m going to give it a go next week!

Here are some handy links below with some tips and tricks, let me know your top make up brush washing tips!

Beautylish.com – is washing brushes really that important?

makeup.about.com – clean and de-germ you make up & accessories