Friday, September 16th, 2011

Choose or Lose


How often do you clean your makeup brushes?

  • Once a month (28%, 879 Votes)
  • Every 1-2 weeks (27%, 841 Votes)
  • Every week (21%, 671 Votes)
  • After every use (11%, 362 Votes)
  • Every couple of days (11%, 342 Votes)
  • Other - I'll tell you in the comments! (2%, 77 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,172

Feel free to elaborate on your answer in the comment section! :)

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42 thoughts on “How often do you clean your makeup brushes?

  1. I wash my brushes after 1 to 2 uses but this falls under once a week since I don’t use foundation daily. ^_^

  2. Devi

    The only brush that I do possess happens to be a small eyeshadow brush, and I only use it for experimenting [which doesn't happen much between school and crazy siblings] so basically after every use. Otherwise I would have to deal with a dirty brush the next time that I wanted to experiment. >.<

  3. Leslie

    I’ll do a deep clean once a week using clarifying shampoo. Anything that gets dirty really quickly (example: my Coco Beau big fat foundation brush), I’ll just switch out with something else until I can wash it. I’m not very good at doing quick cleanings with MAC brush cleaner after every use. Sometimes I’ll use it on my 208 when it gets gunked up with eyebrow wax and powder.

  4. Sara

    whenever it happens to occur to me to clean my brushes lol. I’m so bad. I wipe them everyday, but just dry on a towel to avoid mixing colors. Past that I’m always too lazy :-P

  5. Carolanne

    I strive for once a week. However, being a student, sometimes I just don’t have time/energy/will to do so haha. BUT that doesn’t mean I continue using dirty brushes. I just put those aside, and pull out a new set of clean brushes since I have so many! Then I end up having a mass cleanup every couple weeks or so. Believe me though, I’m not gross! I’ve acne prone skin, so being so would be death =P

  6. Avatar of Natalie Natalie

    I clean my brushes with a cleanser spray after every use, and deep clean every 2-3 weeks!

  7. Emily

    It depends on the brush, I clean brushes that I use with liquids more often than those I use with powders. Also, those that I use on my face I clean more often than those I use on my eyes.

  8. emi s.

    I picked other – I spray them with a sephora daily brush clear every 1-2 uses, and wipe them off.

    They get shampoo-ed pretty rarely – only once a month or so.

  9. I spot-clean after every use, but I don’t clean all my brushes fully and thoroughly often enough.

  10. Avatar of Janis summerblue

    If it’s a cream or gel product, after every use, otherwise, I strive for once a week, but, at worst, once a month.

  11. Nichole

    Eye brushes daily.
    Face brushes weekly.

  12. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    I wash my liquid foundation brushes more often than I do those that I use for powder products.

    To be honest, I don’t understand the paranoia a lot of people have regarding bacterial growth in brushes. I mean, you don’t wash the actual PRODUCT and most of them seem to last just fine even with the contact from product to brush to skin, back to brush and back to product, etc. In all my years, I’ve only ever had ONE eye shadow (a trio from Estee Lauder) go bad and that, I think, was because “something” got into it during the manufacture as it started to smell quite bad really quickly and the mirror went all funny (maybe something do with the adhesive or the manufacture of the mirror itself).

    • Avatar of Veronica Veronica

      I’m generally in agreement with this sentiment. Product contamination is inevitable unless you clean the brush between every face-to-product swipe – which I largely suspect most of us don’t. There are certain brushes I will clean routinely just because of where they’re applied, but I’m pretty laid back (read: lazy) about it otherwise. Technically, I’m taking more of an infection risk every time I waterline my eyes then when I don’t wash out my blush brush every use.

  13. Ryan

    Im a little shocked by the results… I wash any foundation/powder/concealer brush after every use. Its like… would you use the same q-tip for a week? Maybe its my ocd but Im shocked.

  14. Avatar of T Violet Lee

    I clean creamy type product brushes (foundation, paintpot, fluidline) after each use but powder application brushes only every month or so. I use a dry paper towel to clean off the old color after every use tho’.

    • Sophia

      I do the same thing! My liquid products I like to clean after every use; I feel its more sanitary. For my powders I just clean them once a month. Works for me!

  15. Avatar of Donna Donna

    I clean my brushes after every use & after looking at the results of the poll, I found it hard to believe that I am in the minority.

    I am definitely not a germaphobe but I would never put something on my face that wasn’t clean.

    • Babs

      I also clean my brushes after every use. I average using 6-8 brushes every day — but it is really easy keeping them clean. I use the Beauty Blender cleanser or Johnson’s baby shampoo. I recently bought a bottle of MAC brush cleaner at the suggestion of the MAC sales associate. She told me it was better for the brushes than what I was using. I should have left well enough alone, because I don’t think the brush cleaner does a very good job of cleaning at all. It does not get the brushes sparkly clean, and I won’t use dirty brushes.

  16. I usually do them after every wash – certainly I wash my foundation brush every time I use it. I have multiples of most of my brushes, so I use clean ones every time, apart from my powder brushes.

    This is more because I have acne prone skin and keeping my brushes pristine clean really helps keep my skin clear.

  17. Mara

    I spot clean with Parian Spirit once or twice a week those brushes that I use often to get rid of pigment stain. Otherwise, I do deep cleaning every two weeks with a combination of Dr. Bronner liquid soap and Dawn dishwashing liquid.

    • Mara

      Let me add that I have multiples of brushes that I use specifically for creamy products (foundation, concealers, color correctors, etc.) so I don’t need to clean them after every use.

  18. Avatar of _An_ Lumi

    I wash my face & eye makeup brushes once a week, but I wash my foundation brush after every use since I use liquid foundation.

    I wear light, neutral eyeshadows most of the week. If I experiment or use darker colors, I’d do a wash of those brushes after I use them.

  19. Erin M

    I don’t use brushes for cream products, and I don’t use my brushes daily, so I wash them every week or two.

  20. Nancy

    I never once in my life have ever deep cleaned my brushes. All I do is Spot clean them ever 2 or 3 days I just spray brush cleaner on a tissue and wipe it back and forth. I have never had a break out problem and my brushes hold up great. I shower every morning and apply makeup on a crystal clean face so I don’t see a need to make such a fuss over it. I use a tissue vs a paper towel to spray on because paper towels are so absorbent that they soak up all the cleanser and using a tissue does not so it cleans the brush really well.

  21. Stuff like powder and blush brushes get washed every one or two weeks, for my eyeshadow brushes I just have a bunch of brushes (mostly E.L.F. ones) and after I use one it goes in one cup, the clean ones are in another. Once the clean ones are getting low I wash all the dirty ones. :)

  22. I usually clean my eye brushes after every use with MAC brush cleanser. Especially if I use dark colors. Foundation brush I wash with baby shampoo after every use. And all the brushes go through the complete wash once a week.

    • Babs

      Does the MAC bush cleaner work for you? It just does not do it for me. Esp. the light hair brushes: 168, 2222, 219, 239, 217, 187. I need to clean these with baby shampoo or they look dirty.

  23. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    Oh, man, I’m so lazy, haha. I clean them when I feel like they need it. Generally, if it’s a gel/liquid type material I’m using the brush on, I’ll clean them immediately after use. Powder brushes I tend to be more lenient on. If it’s a very light, loose shade, I’ll generally just tap it out. Darker shadows, I’ll water them down.

  24. Marianthi

    I spot clean my cream brushes (concealer, cream blush) after every use, with diluted MAC cleanser. My Liquid foundation brush gets to get deep cleaned after each use. I am disgusted to use the same, dried-up product again. Plus, I feel that the gunk will interfere with the application next time.
    The eye shadow, powder blush & face powder brushes get deep cleaned every 2 weeks, unless I absolutely need to use them for a different colour, in that case I do a spot clean.

  25. I am terrible with this task. I know i should do them weekly, if not daily, but i have so many brushes that i tend to wait until i have used them all and then do a big wash. I am actually fearful of posting this comment because i should know better! haha

  26. Donna

    I keep track of each brush as I use it, in a separate container. I might reuse a powder brush within the week, but I don’t reuse foundation, liner or shadow brushes. I’m fortunate that I have a lot of duplicate brushes so that I can wait until the weekend to wash them. :)

  27. Irina

    I wash my brushes after every use. I’m a little bit of a germophobe and I can’t imagine washing my brushes… ONCE A MONTH?!?!?!!

  28. I spot clean after every use and deep clean every week or every other week if I don’t use them a lot during the week (i.e. once or twice in that week).

  29. Andrea

    I can’t believe the majority have said once a month. That’s disgusting.

    • Sara

      Why is it disgusting? If you’re only using your brushes on your own face, it shouldn’t be that big a deal. Of course, if you have have acne prone or extremely oily skin, I would think you should do it more often, perhaps even once a week.
      However,I have normal/dry skin, which means no surface oil. If I take a shower in the morning (ie clean skin to begin with) and then put my makeup on right after, how is that dirty? I have had my MAC/Stila brushes for over 10 years and they still look great. I deep clean all of my brushes once a month and that is just fine. I also do not have acne or rarely get pimples.

  30. Liz

    Eyeshadow, liner, and concealer brushes are cleaned after every use. Powder, blush, and bronzer brushes are cleaned every month or so, depending how they feel.

  31. It depends on what I use them for. For anything liquid, I clean after every use. For powder, I clean like once a month. I use some olive oil and some detergent for cleaning them. This cleans really well, and the olive oil hydrates my brushes too. Also, it’s doesn’t cost much. I learned this from a Michelle Phan video.

  32. Danielle

    i spot clean my brushes after every use (with something like sephora`s daily brush cleanser) and i deep clean them with a gentle shampoo maybe every other week, depending on how often i`ve used them (i don`t wear makeup every day) my face brushes are washed more often since i don`t usually wear a lot of eyeshadow & i`m concerned about breakouts.

  33. I clean them with an alcohol based spray cleaner after every use. That way they’re mostly clean and at least disinfected between uses. Once a month or whenever I remember to I’ll deep clean them by wiping them on a towel with olive oil then washing them in shampoo or dish soap.

  34. I only have a very few brushes so I clean them in between color changes, so sometimes they get cleaned multiple times in a single use. I bring my whole brush collection to the sink every week or so.