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The Biggest Mistake You’re Making When Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

The Biggest Mistake You’re Making When Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

You know that you should do it. Every single day when you look down at those beige brushes and fondly remember a time when they were white – you promise yourself that tomorrow will be the day. Except it never is.

The biggest mistake that people make with cleaning their makeup brushes is not cleaning them enough! You should be cleaning your brushes at a minimum of once a week! Hey, I’m guilty too – but today I’m sharing my super secret formula for quickly cleaning your makeup brushes so we can feel less guilt about spreading bacteria on our faces day in and day out – ew!

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You will need:

-An old towel (preferably not white)

Brush cleaner

Scrubber board or cleaning mat

Tower (optional)


There are half a dozen ways to clean your brushes, but this is what works best for me. I wash my brushes once every three weeks. Experts say you should do it more often (perhaps once every two weeks), but life gets in the way. I generally take all of my brushes, blenders, and kabukis into the guest bathroom and lay them down on a colored towel. In the sink, I mix my brush cleaner with some lukewarm water.

My favorite brush cleaner is one that you can pick up at Target or on Amazon it’s called the Dr. Bronner’s Fair Trade & Organic Castile Liquid Soap. It’s available in multiple scents so pick your favorite (I went with peppermint!) This formula is magic when it comes to makeup. You only need a little to work into your brush, so don’t feel like you need to splurge on the 32 oz just yet. 


I carefully dip each brush individually into the water/cleaner solution and am careful not to go to the handle of the brush. The adhesive lives here and can be damaged if soaked in water. Once I have some solution on my brush, I place my scrubber board on my finger and just paint! Make shape and draw with your brush until it runs clear. 

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I don’t mind using a smaller scrubber board because I feel like I have more control. I have seen others use the Sigma makeup mat and swear by it. It’s a larger size that gives you more flexibility but ultimately does the same job. It’s available here and the finger scrubber board is here

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This is one of the most challenging parts of washing your brushes, because not only do you need to dry them, but you need to shape them. I generally get through an entire section of brushes (i.e. eye makeup brushes) before moving onto the next and then revisit the first section once they are a little dry to properly shape them. 

When it comes to drying, ultimately all you need to do is let the water drip out. I like to place a box on my colored towel and put my washed brushes on that hanging off the edge. Sigma has come up with a miraculous creation that lets you dry and shape your brushes without hassle. I would love to get it, but I think storing that contraption would be more of a hassle. 

That’s it! I hope you try this out next time you visit your brushes. (You know you need to!) I swear by the Dr. Bronner formula, just try placing a little on your beauty blender and running it under the water. You will be amazed!