How to Deep Clean Your Makeup Brushes

One of the most asked questions I receive is 'How do you clean your brushes?'. My brushes are hard working little soldiers, and I have invested a lot of money building a solid collection. They deserve to be treated well and looked after!


Some of my brushes, hard at work on the set of a commercial photo shoot

I belong to several pro MUA groups on Facebook, and I read a lot of differing brush cleaning techniques. There are so many different soaps, cleaning gloves, drying racks and even a brush 'spa'! In my opinion, quite a lot of these products are on the expensive side. I am going to share my method today, which uses not so pricey equipment to do an absolutely effective job.


I use a silicone cleaning mat that I bought from Amazon which has different textured surfaces to help scub the makeup aout of your brushes. I have also used a small red silicone pet grooming brush which I picked up from the pound shop a few years ago. It fits perfectly in the palm of my hand and is covered with knobbly bits of silicone. This helps me to scrub my brushes clean, like the much more expensive brush gloves, eggs,spa mats etc. Textured silicone oven mitts or gloves can also achieve the same results. Think outside of the box!


I have used Dr Bronners Soap for years to get my brushes squeaky clean!


So step 1 in my brush cleaning process is to squirt a few drops of Dr Bronners Liquid Castille Soap onto my silicone scrubber. I like Dr Bronners because it is organic and all natural, and it gets my brushes super duper clean! I like the Tea Tree version, as tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial agent.


Step 2, I take my dry brush and rub it into the soap, scrubbing back and forth until the makeup in the brush has emulsified with the soap. I continue and do all of the brushes before moving onto the next step.


Rinsing is the third step of my process. I put my scrubber under a running tap and rinse my brushes one by one. Again, I scrub them gently back and forth until the soap rinses away clear. I then gently squeeze and reshape the bristles with a soft microfibre cloth. Take care when rinsing to not get the ferrule (the metal part holding the bristles) or the handle too wet. Never ever submerge your brushes into water completely! The water and/or detergents will degrade the glue which holds the hairs into the brush ferrule and they will die!


The fourth step is to lie them flat on a towel with the bristles hanging over the edge of the table or counter. This allows the air to circulate around them so they dry faster, and the bristles will maintain their shape. Never dry your brushes pointing upwards (like in a cup) because moisture can travel down the ferrule of the brush and weaken the glue which holds the bristles. This is the number one cause of brush shedding and damage. You can use a 'brush tree' or some other brush hanging device, but drying on a flat surface works just fine!


All of my pretties lined up to dry!

I don't use any conditioner on my brushes. Most of my brushes are synthetic bristles, and I find the Dr Bronners is very gentle and doesn't dry the bristles out.


I hope this has been a helpful article! If you have any questions about brush care or any tips or products that you love, please let me know in the comments below! xxx