What's your current cleaning routine for your brushes?

I use Dr. Bronners’ liquid soap — one part soap to two or three parts water (usually more soap for foundation brushes). I usually group brushes by brush head, and then for smaller brushes, I’ll get soap and water on the bristles, swirl in my hand, and gently reshape. I leave them to dry on a microfiber mat (like for dish drying). For larger brush heads, I’ll try to flip them over after a few hours.

— Christine


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Lesley Avatar

I use the liquid Dr Bronner for brushes that I use with powders. I am pretty casual about the dilution ratio. I either work the suds through the brush with my fingers or rub the. rush on one of those plastic cleaning mats. I rinse, blot the brushes with a microfiber towel, and dry them upside down in a rack from Target. I find that the liquid Dr. Bronner does not dissolve foundation or concealer very well and I use the Dr. Bronner bar for foundation and concealer brushes as well as for sponges. I rub them against the bar and squeeze the suds through. The bar is harder to rinse than the liquid so I use the liquid when I can.

Maya Avatar

Right now I use the Hakuhodo soap to clean my fude and the Beauty Blender black soap to clean my synthetic brushes. I then reshape the bristles, remove excess water on my fingers, and leave them to dry on a brush guard flat on top of a cotton pillow case.

Do you have any recommendations for microfiber cloths Christine, especially for cleaning fude between use?

Ana Maria Avatar

I wash my brushes once a week. I have a small brush collection and I wash even the brushes I didn’t used, because I don’t like them to collect dust.

In a jar I pour Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap just to cover the base, I add my brushes and swirls them just in the soap, than add water, than swirl a little more. I leave them to soak for 5-10 minutes, than give them a good wash.

I let them dry on a microfiber cloth that’s more thick and absorbent.

I’ve been washing them like this for years, I have 5+ years old brushes that are still in amazing shape.

ShariP Avatar

I like to use the Sephora brush cleaner bar soap. I think it works better than the Beauty Blender soap. I’ve used Dr Bonners liquid soap and like that too. I usually wet the brush and swirl it on the bar soap then either my hand or a plastic cleaning mat until water runs clean. Then I use a wooden rack which allows the brushes to be upright with bristles down to dry. I try not to let the ferrules soak in water. My brushes still look fantastic after a dozen years and even my new Sonia G brushes do well.

Nikki Avatar

It depends. If there’s not too much product on the brushes, I’ll usually just run them on a dry brush-cleaning sponge. If there’s a lot on the bristles or the sponge needs washed, I swirl the brushes in a Dixie cup partially filled with Maybelline Expert Eyes waterproof eye makeup remover, rinse them under a faucet of cold water, wipe them partially dry on a paper towel, and then lay them out to dry on another paper towel.

brendacr1 Avatar

I bought a make up brush cleaning machine that spins the brushes in soapy water for 10 seconds then above the water to dry again for 10 seconds, then I hang them upside down to dry overnight. Then put them in a UV light machine to disinfect them. I don’t clean my brushes quite as often now as I don’t go out as much during the lockdown.

kjh Avatar

Recently, I’ve used a KB approach, double cleansing. First a liquid, like Parian Spirit, then a bar, like cinema secrets. Scrub mat, yes. Warm rinse. Cool rinse. A few at a time, wrap in a towel and shake down away from the ferrule. I was going to say like a thermometer, but no one knows what a mercury thermometer is, lol. Then I roll other towels to be able to balance the shaped brushes slanting down, without touching the flat towel. It’s tricky, like pick up sticks.

Tine Avatar

I have A LOT of brushes (both personal and in my pro kit). I used to wash them, but after giving it a close look I found it too time consuming for mediocre results.
I now use Cinema Secrets (a little bit goes a loooooong way) to get them perfectly clean with minimal effort.
For my pro kit I will spray them (according to covid care guidelines) with 96% alcohol in between clients to extra disinfect and at the end of the day disinfect all of them once again with 70% alcohol.

HT Avatar

I wear dish-washing gloves when brush cleaning because my hands are so dry from all the hand washing, even before Covid-19. I swirl my brushes against a wet hard soap until it foams and then rinse, and repeat until the foam is totally white and then go for a final rinse. I also “open” the bristles of brushes to make a spot check every now and again just to be sure that I’ve gotten all the way to the root of the brush. I swirl the brushes against a towel and when finished I lay them all to dry on a towel over night.

I’ve tried shampoo and didn’t like it much at all because it wasn’t efficient, then I moved on to dish washing soap which I did enjoy for it’s efficiency – but, a big but – it took such a long time to rinse away, then I tried hard soap and it’s just as efficient as dish washing soap but rinses out much quicker, it cut my washing time in half. I seriously can not recommend it enough!

Jane Avatar

Hand soap, brush cleaner or olive oil gel soap with water after EVERY use. Sometimes for silicone foundation I need a drop of Jojoba oil for my synthetic brushes. Then I either hang them (Sonja G.’s ) or lay them in coton napkin holders (they are handmade envelopes made of a woven coton material that a cousin made to hold her table napkins (I assume to keep them clean from dust). I have two of them and they are just right to hold at least ten brushes. They dry in a day (overnight).

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