How Do I Wash My Makeup Brushes? A Few of My Fave Products!

This question is so frequently asked. While there are so many possible answers, there is really no right or wrong way to do it. Well, there are wrong ways, but… 

Just because Suzy Q spends two hours each weekend hand washing and hand drying every single one of her makeup brushes doesn’t mean that that is what you or I need to do. (In fact, most of us simply don’t have time to do that!)

How do I wash my makeup brushes? 

I use a combination of techniques, because not only do I want my makeup brushes to be clean and bacteria free, I also want to prolong each and every brush’s lifespan as much as possible. 

In my life, convenience, efficiency, and time saving are all crucial elements that I seek in whatever I do. One of my favorite, albeit somewhat expensive, must-haves for brush cleaning is my Artis Microfiber Anti-Microbial Treated Cleaning Pad. 

Before I got my hands on this baby, I was using the outside of one of my favorite jackets because it was similar to the material of the Artis microfiber pad, and worked really nicely for removing product residue from my brushes. However, what my jacket wasn’t made of was antimicrobial material, so who knows what I was rubbing into my brushes. Plus, I had to go back afterwards and clean my jacket off every time.

If you would let me, I would rave on and on about these brush cleaning pads. I won’t do that to you, though. What I will say is that you won’t have to wet-wash your brushes as much. In fact, because you won’t have to get them wet as much as you typically do, the lives of your brushes will be extended. The antimicrobial treated microfiber cloth is claimed to have approximately 1 million fibers per square inch to help clean residue off of your brushes. There’s no soap and no scrubbing. It’s a dry pad and it works like no one’s business! 

Now, I understand that Artis is expensive. Your initial pad is going to cost you between $45 and $55, depending on where you buy it. It will come with a removable microfiber pad that covers this rectangular box thingy.  You’ll have to purchase new material pads when they wear down or get filled with product. A set of 4 replacement pads cost $18 on the Artis website, so that’s not bad. Here’s what the pad and rectangular thingy-do looks like from the side:

So, it is an investment, but let me ask: how much are your brushes worth? Can you put a price on prolonging the life of your makeup brushes? 

Another product that I absolutely love is the ecotools Makeup Brush Cleansing Cloths. They’ve been tested by dermatologists and they are also phthalate and paraben free. (And let’s not forget cruelty free!) 

At most stores, you’re going to pay $7 or $8 for a package of 25. I got lucky and found them at Big Lots for $2! I should have grabbed a few more packages at that price. Now, I’m just hoping they will still have them in stock when I need them! 

These cloths are also great for extending the life of your brushes. A quick cleaning with them will not soak the bristles of your brushes, which obviously means less dry time (hardly any dry time at all, in fact), and you don’t have to worry about the bristles of your brushes coming loose from the ferrules as quickly, or even getting the ferrules wet. 

Another inexpensive quick-wash technique I use to wash my brushes? I take a paper towel, add some miscellar water to it, lay it out on a flat surface, and brush my makeup brushes across it. That’s it. This is the technique I used before I ran across the ecotools cleansing cloths. Again, this doesn’t get the bristles soaked, hence cutting down dry time, and, of course, extending the life of your brushes.

When I want to cleanse my brushes thoroughly – remember, the above techniques won’t thoroughly wash your makeup brushes – I love the Artis Brush Cleansing Foam. It dispenses the foam like a mousse, sanitizes my brushes, and leaves my makeup brushes smelling sooooooo good! It’s $25 for 7.1 oz., and although a bit on the pricey end in comparison to other brush cleansing products, it is definitely worth every penny! 

You use the foam just like you would use any other brush cleaner. I dispense the foam into one of my hands, dip one of my brushes into the foam, and work it into the bristles of the brush gently. Obviously, you will have to thoroughly rinse all of the product and foam out of the brush with water, and then set your makeup brushes somewhere to dry safely. Don’t forget to leave your brushes to dry upside down or at least slanted downward so that water doesn’t get up into the ferrules.

Sigma has an awesome brush drying rack. 

It’s going to cost you between $40 and $50, though. 

There are other brush drying racks, like this one, that you can find for less than $5 on ebay, etsy, or trendsgal:

You can get creative, though, and make your own or come up with a way to hang them somewhere around your house. Like this:

Now, it’s your turn. Do you have any clever ways to clean makeup brushes? How do you dry yours? Let me know down below in the comment section. ⏬⏬

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2 thoughts on “How Do I Wash My Makeup Brushes? A Few of My Fave Products!

  1. I just get a bowl of not real hot but enough that I can touch my brushes and baby magic baby wash. I used a rigid edge to dip and rub them against and a bowl of rinse water to swirl them in after cleaning then I lay my brushes over the side of the table. This is mostly for powders. Now if my brushes were for foundations and sticky I would use blue dawn righ under the tap with ridges. This always works for me.


    1. Dawn works great! They use it to clean oil off of the poor birds and other animals when there are oil spills. Not all Dawn dish detergent is antibacterial, but as long as you get the antibacterial kind, you’re killing any germs that have built up in your brushes, too.


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