How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes (Because They Could Probably Use It)

POPSUGAR Photography / Mark Popovich
POPSUGAR Photography | Mark Popovich

We all know that it's bad for us to use dirty makeup brushes on our skin — you do wash your face twice a day for a reason — but can you actually remember the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? Experts say you should wash your makeup brushes once a week, especially if you use them frequently. But if you're guilty of letting this task get away from you (like us), you don't need to run to the store to grab some fancy brush cleaner to get the job done.

We're sharing an easy way to clean your makeup brushes at home using items you already have in your home. This DIY brush cleaner is gentle, yet effective at removing build-up makeup residue from your brushes and conditioning the bristles to keep them soft. Ahead, learn how to wash your makeup brushes at home with soap and olive oil.

The Ingredients You Need For a DIY Brush Cleaning Solution:

  • Olive oil
  • Antibacterial soap
How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes At-Home:
Getty | Ana Maria Serrano

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes At-Home:

Step 1: Mix two parts antibacterial dish soap to one part of the extra-virgin olive oil on a clean plate (don't use paper plate, as the oil will seep through).

Step 2: Grab your first brush and wet it slightly with lukewarm water — making sure the brush stays bristle-side down throughout the entire process. If water gets into the ferrule (the middle tube part that holds everything together) of the brush, it can loosen the glue, causing the bristles to fall out.

Getty | mikroman6

Step 3: Dip the damp brush into the soap mixture and coat it thoroughly. Next, work the mixture into the bristles using the palm of your hand and fingers. Continue until the soapy residue is makeup free.

Step 4: Rinse the brushes under lukewarm water until no soap runs from the bristles.

Step 5: Roll a dish towel like you would a yoga mat, and drape a paper towel over it so that most of the paper towel hangs off. (The paper towel should look like a slide coming down from the dish towel). Next, arrange the brush so the top of the handle sits on top of the towel, pitching the rest of the brush down onto the paper towel. This will allow your brushes to dry on a slant, while keeping moisture away from the ferrule.

Repeat with remaining brushes. Some brushes may take take two washings to get completely clean (like the brushes you use for liquid products), depending on the amount of residue left behind. Allow them to dry overnight, and repeat about once a week.