What are your tips & tricks for washing brushes?

I find it helpful to establish a routine to wash to begin with, e.g. every Sunday. Then it becomes a regular chore and doesn’t get put off until I’m out of brushes! I recommend using a gentler soap for natural hair (avoid alcohol-based cleansers as much as possible, which does dry out brushes over time), like Dr. Bronners Liquid Soap (I dilute it with water).

For synthetic brushes, alcohol-based cleansers can be quite effective without the damage, so for foundation brushes, I will alternate every few washes and use an alcohol-based cleanser but normally find my normal soap + water mix to be sufficient! I like to take similarly-shaped brushes and swirl together, which is way faster than doing one at a time. I lay mine to dry on a towel and then flip them after a few hours.

— Christine
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

20 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

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

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

I can’t stand dirty brushes, so I wash my brushes twice a week. That way, I never have too many to do at once. (Note: I only use synthetic brushes.)

I wet the brush, put a tiny drop of regular Dawn dishwashing liquid in my palm, and swirl the brush in it, always holding it brush side down so soap and water don’t get inside the handle. Then I rinse it off. If it’s a brush I used with foundation, I usually have to do this twice. Once the soap is rinsed out and the brush is clean, I hang it to dry (again, brush side down) from the towel bar on my shower door using a hair elastic. I love seeing my clean brushes lined up down the towel bar!

I’ve been doing this for years and it works great. My brushes are still in perfect condition, even the ones that I’ve been using several times a week for more than seven years.

I recently saw someone use a flour sifter in a sink full of warm water with castille soap in it, then they took a handful of brushes and rubbed them all in the sifter inside the soapy water… genius! and would take so much less time to do.

I saw this too with a YouTuber called Jamie Genevieve she’s from Scotland here in the UK and she’s gone viral with this tip so yesterday I went to my local supermarket a purchased a metal sieve as she uses but am yet to try it out tomorrow so please wish me luck that it works as efficiently!!

Do you condition your natural hair brushes and if so, how? I have noticed some of mine get dry when I wash them.

I condition mine with a silicone-free hair conditioning mist. I spray some into my palm, then swirl the brush in it while they’re still quite wet, then dry them with a towel and put a brush shaping mesh tube to keep the bristles shaped while they dry. This does well for me to prevent the hairs from getting dry and causing breakage. My favorite spray is SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist.

Since I switched to washing brushes with Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, I never felt the need to condition my natural hair brushes.

I don’t thinkk you’d want to condition. It’d make the bristles so slick, kind of defeating the purpose of natural. Also, it’s kind of like built-in build-up.

I have a reminder application on my phone, so I put in a reminder to wash my brushes every other Saturday. I normally wash them with one of the Alori cleansers, and I have one of those racks to hang brushes upside down.

For everyday cleaning, I gently run my brushes across a dry dish scrubbie (the green ones from Scotch at the grocery store).

The dish scrubbie’s texture is very similar to the little canned sponges that are sold for cleaning makeup brushes but far less expensive.

I enjoy feeling like I’ve outsmarted the manufacturers and I think this method, by reducing the frequency of washing with water, extends the life span of my brushes.

For reference, I only have synthetic brushes. I rub them against generic bar soap, use a rubbery cleansing palette/mat to suds up and rinse facing downward, using lukewarm water as to not break up the glue. I hang them brush-down using rubber bands and a tie rack to keep them all in one place, and hang it in my closet to keep it out of the way. Would love to know what other soaps and techniques others use!

Castille soap is definitely the best brush cleanser I have tried, it manages to actually keep my white MAC brushes white and unstained.

Truth be told, I’m quite iffy with my brushes, I only use them once between full washes. I never re-use, never spot clean. I have a set that allows me about 6 days of full make-up. I just use the same brush as for my blush / contour / bronzer to set my face with powder before.

I just soak the brushes in Castille soap diluted with water for 5-10 minutes, swirl them well, than wash them in my hand. I squeeze the water out, re-shape, leave them to dry flat on a microfiber cloth. I have brushes that are 5-6 years old, washed almost every week, look like brand new.

Yes! Dr. Bronners soap cleans like nothing else. I stock up on the bar soap and big liquid bottles, peppermint scent. Set aside a 1/2 hour in the day, and go to town. I bought one of the those brush spinners on amazon to speed drying time, which was also a game changer. In between washes, when I need a fresh brush quick, I have a spray bottle with 91% rubbing alcohol, that I can spritz onto the brush and rub against a paper towel for a few minutes. Comes clean real quick and of course dries super fast. I mainly use synthetic brushes also.

Every Sunday I wash the brushes I’ve used for the week in a Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (lavender, mint, etc.). I’ve got the Sigma glove and mat and I use both – I use a few drops on the glove and a few drops on the mat, swirl the brushes around on the bumps and rinse, lay flat to dry.

Pro tip: Use the small bumps for small brushes, the larger bumps for big brushes.

Pro tip 2: If you have the Sigma glove – for the rinsing, the lined thumb and mitt part are great for getting the excess water out of the bristles and really speeds up drying time. Lay brush in hand and close thumb over it – the lines on both sides work to squeeze out the excess water.

I recently bought Cinema Secrets and LOVE it but I feel like it’s too good to be true? I’m worried about residue and it drying out my natural hair brushes. Anyone familiar with this product?

I am curious about the Cinema Secrets one also… I use the Sephora daily cleaner that doesn’t have any alcohol.

Because I use the same products for one month at a time I don’t fret if I go more than a week between washes. I do make sure they are very thoroughly cleaned at the end of each month as the products are switched out and I will often pull out a new set of brushes that work best with that selection of products. The one thing I do wash every single time I use it is a blending sponge. Most of the time I use Zote soap on my brushes and sponges.

When I worked I cleaned my brushes every Sunday, now that I am retired I only wear makeup once a week, now I clean my brushes once a month. I can use baby shampoo or whatever brush cleaner that I’ve recently picked up. I have a machine that I just started using and it makes it so much faster. I still hang them upside down on a rack overnight to make sure they are completely dry. The next day I put them in my “Brushean” to disinfect them with UV light for five minutes then return them to their home.

I wash mine every Sunday morning and I use a normal shampoo in my ensuite basin to wash the brushes, sometimes twice to make sure I have all the colour out. Then I rinse them well in warm water and gently squeeze the excess water out. I lay them out to dry on a clean facewasher.

I’m a pretty responsible brush owner these days, washing with my brush care soap and drying flat, but back when I had just started buying brushes (Hourglass, Sigma and Laura Mercier) I actually – yes, this is true – just put them in a delicates washing bag and put them through a normal wash cycle in my washing machine. Plenty of Omo detergent, no fabric softener. I cannot believe (now) that they all survived the experience. Repeatedly. A bit of paint stripped off the handles but the brushes themselves came up great!

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!