How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes And Sponges Properly

Let’s be real. Many of us either repeatedly use the same brush for almost every single eyeshadow colour for weeks and months without even washing it, or use the same sponge to blend our foundation and concealer over and over again. If these sound familiar to you, you’re not alone.

There are many reasons why people don’t clean their brushes or sponges frequently. It can be laziness, not having time out of our busy schedules to clean them, forgetfulness or simply because some of us just cannot be bothered to do it. However, do you know that it is extremely important to ensure that you clean them regularly. Why? Let’s find out.

Why is it so important to clean our makeup brushes and sponges regularly?

#1 Bacteria, germs and residue

Photo Credit: BYRDIE

Not washing your brushes is the same as not washing your face. If you are wondering, you can find all the old make-up, oil, sebum and dirt trapped inside an unclean brush. It doesn’t matter how many time you’ve used your brushes and sponges. Be it once or a dozen times, bacteria and germs will build up and stay lurking in there until the day you wash them! Dirt, germs and bacteria will start to multiply over time from the very first time it goes uncleaned. And if you continue to use all these dirty brushes? You’ll get more than just break outs.

#2 Discoloured make-up

Photo Credit: Dead Girl Makeup on Tumblr

Imagine this. You are going for a pink eyeshadow look today, but you are picking up that same brush that you’ve used previously for a smokey black eye shadow look. There is no way the black eye shadow residue wouldn’t show up together with the pink. To avoid mixing your eye shadow colours and to ensure smooth application, be sure to clean your makeup brushes regularly so there wouldn’t be leftover residue from the previous use.

#3 It can cause long term damage to your skin

Photo Credit: Reddit

You may not be able to see it now or in the near future, but in the long run, it will be inevitable. When using an unclean brush or sponge, you are actually applying all of that dirt, oil, sebum and bacteria back onto your skin, which is why your skin can actually get irritated and you can break out from that. Especially for people with sensitive skin, please make sure to clean your brushes and sponges even more regularly, because the tiniest amount of dirt can actually trigger your skin to flare up more easily than others. Brushes that have stiffened can actually damage your skin because of how rough it is. If you are a make-up junkie, you would know the huge difference in brushes with soft bristles and brushes that have hard bristles. It would be like using a toothbrush for make-up application. Skin on our face is extremely delicate, so making sure the bristles of our brushes are as soft as possible is important.

Don’t want to deal with any of those problems? Let’s find out how you can wash your brushes. Here are two ways to get squeaky clean brushes and sponges.

#1 Anti-bacterial dishwashing soap and olive oil on a plate

Using just an anti-bacterial dishwashing soap and olive oil, you can not only remove all the make-up and oil from the brushes, but the anti-bacterial dishwashing soap can also disinfect the brushes. However, using only the dishwashing soap will strip the brushes of its natural oils, which will completely dry out the brushes. So this is where the olive oil comes in to recondition them.

Step 1: Pour an ample amount of the anti-bacterial dishwashing soap on the plate

Photo Credit: eBay


Step 2: Pour a smaller amount of olive oil onto the plate (make sure that they touch each other)

Photo Credit: EAMart


Step 3: Using your dirty brush or sponge, stir in a circular motion on the plate
Step 4: Wipe the brush or sponge back and forth on your palm

Photo Credit: Michelle Phan

Step 5: Leave your brush on a piece of paper towel

Photo Credit: Reddit


Step 6: Do the same for the rest of your dirty brushes or sponges
Step 7: Using warm or room temperature water, rinse your brushes or sponges one at a time in a circular motion against your palm

Photo Credit: Khushi Hamesha

Step 8: Using a paper towel, gently blot out the excess water from the brushes and sponges

Step 9: Dry your brushes (make sure that you dry them facing downwards)

Photo Credit: Beautylish

When drying your brushes, it is important to dry it with the bristles facing downwards. What happens when you dry them the opposite direction is that all the excess water will seep back into the brush and loosen up the glue that is keeping all the brush hairs together. This will cause your brush hairs to fall out very easily and then your brushes will then be ruined.

Another reason why you must not dry your brushes with the brush hairs facing upwards is because dust, bacteria (or even pet fur if you own one) will drop back onto the brush hairs and contaminate your brushes once again.

#2 Using an electric make-up brush cleanser

Now, if you find that it is too much of a hassle to manually wash the brushes, you can always go for the more efficient choice. Simply get an electric make-up brush cleanser! You can find one very easily online. Check out this one on Shopee under S$18.

Photo Credit: allgoodshop.sg via Shopee

If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive method to clean your make-up tools, try out the first method. The method is not only extremely convenient but it’s also the better method if you are looking for a method that can last you for a long term. Some people clean their brushes and sponges really frequently, but some cleansers or devices can be really expensive in the long run. However, if you are more keen on a more efficient method, go ahead with the second.

Make-up brushes should typically be cleaned at least once a week, especially for those that you use around your eyes.

Know someone who needs to clean their make-up tools? Share this post with them now!

📸 Featured Image: Pinterest

While you’re here, check out these posts that might interest you:

👉 ‘Like’ and follow The Female Culture on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram today for the latest entertainment, lifestyle, fashion and beauty news!

Posted by

A lover of music, history, animals, cosmetics & the unorthodox.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.