How to Wash Your Brushes

If you’re reading this, you need to wash your brushes. It’s something we all forget to do, even me. I remembered to wash my own personal brushes yesterday because I was already washing the ones from my kit (which I do after every use). What really works for me is washing one or two at a time, just the really dirty ones right after I use them in the morning. You’ll get the worst ones taken care of first, then you’ll develop the pattern of washing brushes more often. I took a few photos of my brush washing session to show you how to really work the makeup out from your brushes.

Jane Iredale’s Brush Shampoo is what I use, but you can also use Baby Shampoo. Squirt a bit into a glass and fill it halfway with warm water.

Swish the brushes around in the soapy water for a few minutes but don’t soak them, you can get too much water into the brushes which ruins them.
An eyeliner brush, one of my worst offenders. Once they have too much product on them they don’t line evenly. Keep them really clean and you’ll have a perfectly straight line every time.

If I’m using a long-wearing or waterproof formula with my brush, it’s harder to work out with the soap alone. I’ll roll the brush tip into a dab of olive oil to work the formula totally out, then use soap after to wash the oily reside away.

All back to normal!

I rub each brush into my palm until it foams, then I put it under running water while rubbing the brush until it comes clean of makeup and soap. Don’t stand your brushes straight up (or else the water will go into them and they’ll crack), just lay them flat overnight and let them air dry.

…And the water afterward.

Dirty brushes aren’t just filled with makeup, they collect the oils from your skin (and dust from the air) which you put back into your makeup. It’s a really gross cycle. Take a few extra seconds and get your brushes as clean as you’d like your skin to be.


  1. I don't know this is the real way to clean the brushes, until I have read this post. Thanks a lot.

  2. Thanks for the tips. Washing brushes is so gross! Ah! It makes me realize how much makeup and gunk just sits there on it.

  3. I washed them right after I read this. They were really gross.

  4. Thanks – I posted to my Facebook page! I'm paranoid about wetting the bristles all the way, so I'm glad to see that you can give 'em a good soak…

  5. Excellent tips. Thanks for sharing.

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