It’s essential to clean makeup brushes for a couple of reasons. First, it helps your skin. Just think of how much product and bacteria build up when you use a brush, bleh! Second, it helps your products apply better. Again, with old product build up the brush, products don’t apply the same way. Since being home more it might not feel as necessary, since you’re probably not wearing makeup as often. But, you should clean your brushes when you do use them so they don’t just sit dirty on your shelf. It can be quite a task and, I’ll admit, I don’t wash my brushes as often as I should. But, I’ve found a couple of products that make it much easier!

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What I Use to Clean Makeup Brushes

How To Clean Makeup Brushes | Caitlin Cosmetologist

How To Clean Makeup Brushes | Caitlin Cosmetologist

How To Clean Makeup Brushes | Caitlin Cosmetologist

Sigma Express Brush Cleaning Mat: I really like that the mat suctions to the sink. This keeps it from moving around when I’m using it. The mat has one side for face brushes and one side for eye brushes, with different textures to really get brushes clean.

EcoTools Makeup Brush Cleansing Shampoo: This shampoo doesn’t have a heavy scent which I prefer. I also like that a little goes a long way.

I also like these wipes when I am traveling or need a quick fix. I know wipes aren’t the best for the environment so I have this spray on my list to try.

Pictured: Tarte Brush


1. Pour a small amount of the brush shampoo into a little dish with water

2. Dip the bristles into shampoo and water mixture

3. Gently swirl the brush on the cleaning mat, following the steps with the textures on the mat as needed – wash, rinse, refine, etc.

4. Repeat until bristles appear clean

5. Squeeze out excess water

6. Lay the brush flat on a towel to dry

I do wash my makeup sponge after each use. To wash it I just use the brush shampoo or regular soap, rub it into the sponge, rinse with water until clean, and then squeeze the excess water out.  I don’t use the mat with my sponge because I don’t want to tear it. I’ve done that before, haha.

I prefer to wash my brushes in the evening so they can dry overnight. Especially if I’ll need them in the morning!

One more tip – avoid soaking the whole brush. That can cause the glue and the handle to break down over time.

See my affordable makeup tools here.

How often do you clean makeup brushes?