How to clean your makeup brushes

Why clean your makeup brushes? There are three big reasons for doing so.

  1. Cleaning your makeup brushes improves performance.
  2. Cleaning your makeup brushes prevents bacteria, oil buildup and transfer.
  3. Cleaning them will extend the life of your makeup brushes.Brushes are a big investment, so we should be doing our best to protect them.

Optimally, we should wash our brushes once a week; I think I speak for most of us when I say that usually doesn’t happen. A realistic goal is to wash your brushes at least once a month. Here are the steps of how to clean your makeup brushes.

How to Clean Your Brushes

  1. Use warm water to saturate the brush hairs only. Be sure not to soak your brush as this will ruin it.
  2. Place a pea-sized amount of any mild shampoo, into the palm of your hand and massage the cleanser into the hair. Do this until the cleanser has been completely dispersed among the brush hairs.
  3. Rinse the brush thoroughly until the water runs clear.
  4. Repeat as necessary.
  5. Create a ring with your index finger and thumb and pull the brush through the fingers while applying gentle pressure to remove excess water and maintain the brushes shape.
  6. Place on a towel and lay flat to dry. Never dry your brush in an upright position as this will loosen the glue that binds the brushes and lead to hair loss.

Never place your brushes in a sterilizer because it will permanently damage them.

jane iredale also has a Botanical Brush Cleaner available to protect and sanitize your brushes. You can use it to instantly remove makeup from your brushes.  Spritz a tissue with the Botanical Brush Cleaner and gently clean your brushes in a back and forth motion to remove all the excess makeup.

botanical brush cleanerBotanical Brush Cleaner

  1. Long time user of these brushes I think I have one that is actually 7 years old (it probably needs replacing)! With these proper care instructions your jane iredale brushes will last and still apply your make-up flawlessly!

    1. I have a “handi” that is probably at least 5 years old and has been used at least once a day sometimes more for the entire time. Still works great though it is starting to lose a few hairs occasionally. I love that thing.

  2. She is right about not getting as nice of an application. The brush kind of “skids” on your skin instead of gliding. It is super easy to wash your brushes, especially if you don’t let it build up for months! It just takes a couple of minutes and then, it is like having a brand new brush!

  3. I usually wash my brushes thoroughly once a week with baby shamppoo.However during the week when I have more than one client I use BeautySoClean conditioning brush sanitizer.Its a fast and effective way of cleaning your brushes on the spot.

  4. Hi Jen, I’m so glad you appreciated the tips!    This giveaway is special in that we’re asking our friends to share their photos on Facebook, so unfortunately it is limited to those friends of ours who have a Facebook account. However, please stay tuned for more special giveaways without this same restriction. Thanks for reading!

  5. I use BeautySoClean too! Great for brushes, but they also have wipes for mascaras and lipsticks and a sanitizing mist for pressed powders!

  6. Great blog, Joanna. Cleaning brushes is so important!!! – thanks for reminding us all to do so (with some realistic goals 🙂

  7. Thanks for the tips! Cleaning brushes is very important in maintaining beautiful complection and keeping brushes in perfect shape. Very exiting giveaway too! I entered the photo of my brush collection on FB! Thanks again!    I love the quality of your brushes…

  8. I try to clean my brushes once a month. I usually use my facial soap but didn’t know about the Jane Iredale product and would love to try it.

  9. Hi, what’s the difference between Truly Pure and Botanical Brush Cleaner? can both be used for other brands’ makeup brushes as well?    thanks!

  10. Hi Jocelyn,    The Truly Pure Shampoo & Conditioner is for shampooing your brushes. The Botanical Brush Cleaner sanitizes your brushes in between shampoos and allows you to use your brushes almost immediately after cleaning since it is quick-drying. This is great for cleaning between different users.

  11. Hi! Can you tell me how long you can keep using your brushes before they get too old to use? I’ve had your brushes for over 10 years and they are still in good shape, but am wondering if I do need to replace them. Thanks for your help!

  12. Hi Mignon,    That’s wonderful that you have had the brushes for 10 years and they are still in great shape! If you take good care of them, the hope is that you never have to replace them! Keep up the good work, and wash them on a regular basis to prevent build up and to have them last for many years to come.    Best,  Joanna

  13. Hello,  How long should it take you to rinse the brush thoroughly until the water runs clear? Is 5 minutes too long? This is what I did last night:  Wet the bristles  Put a small amount of shampoo in the palm of my hand and massaged the bristles back and forth into the cleaner until the shampoo was totally soaked up by the brush.  Then I rinsed the brush under warm water for about 5 minutes until there was no more bubbles and the water was completely clear.   Then to dry it I put it upright in a small dixie cup.    What do you think?  Thanks  Michael    And by the way, I use the handi brush.  Posted @ Tuesday, July 10, 2012 4:00 PM

  14. Hi Michael,    It depends on how much makeup is built up on your brushes. If it has been a while since you last cleaned them, that may be why it took a while. When you dry your brushes be sure to lay them flat. If you prop them upright the water will drip back into the binding of the bristles and can damage your brushes.    Good luck!  Joanna

  15. I have Botanical Brush Cleaner. How do I use this to clean my brushes? Do I put a certain amount in water and dip in my brushes or what?

  16. Hi Melody,    The Botanical Brush Cleaners should only be used in between cleanings. Your primary way of cleaning the brushes should be the Truly Pure Shampoo & Conditioner or a mild soap about once a month. To use the Botanical Brush Cleaner spritz a tissue with the cleaner, one or two spritzes should be enough, and then gently rub your brush on the tissue. This will sanitize it. Never spray the brush cleaner directly on the brushes or immerse your brushes in it as the alcohol will dry out the hairs.    Please let me know if you have any other questions :).  Joanna

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