How to Clean Your Make-Up Brushes and Sponges

It’s easy to take our make-up brushes and sponges for granted but it’s important to clean them regularly – not just to get rid of excess product, but for hygiene reasons as well. We rely on these tools to make us and our clients look good every day, so it’s crucial to keep them in top condition.

You will need:
A bar of unscented white soap
A new household sponge
Olive oil
Hair conditioner
Baby shampoo or liquid detergent
Rubbing alcohol (for cleaning brush handles)

How to Clean Your Make-Up Brushes

Wet the bristles under lukewarm water and then swirl them on the bar of soap. Make sure you lather the bristles up well. Rinse the bristles clean beneath the water and gently squeeze them out to lose any excess moisture. Lay the brush flat on a paper towel and leave it to dry.

Be careful not to get any water above the metal shaft of the brush because it could rust and lose its bristles.

Alternatively, you could put a little baby shampoo or liquid detergent on a wet household sponge, wet the bristles under lukewarm water and then lather them up on the spong. Rinse the bristles clean, squeeze them out and lay the brush on a paper towel to dry.

In both cases, make sure that when you rinse the bristles out they don’t feel slimy (slimy means there’s still some excess make-up residue in the brush). IYou might have to repeat the lather-and-rinse process a couple of times to make sure the brushes are absolutely clean.

If you’ve got some stubborn brushes that are really blocked up with product, put a little olive oil or eye make-up remover on a paper towel and swirl the brush in it. The oil / make-up remover will break the product residue down. Lather the bristles on the bar of soap or sponge and rinse them clean. Squeeze them out, and lay the brush on a paper towel to dry.

It’s always a good idea to clean your brush handles too. When you’re switching between brushes, make-up residue can transfer easily from handle-to-handle. Just use a drop or two of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel, rub the brush handles, and then lay them back down to dry.

If any of your brushes suffer from stiff bristles (even after you’ve cleaned them), simply put a little hair conditioner in your hands, massage the bristles until they’re flexible again, and then rinse them out.

How to Clean Your Make-Up Sponges

It’s worth remembering that make-up sponges can be safely re-used for three months, but they should be cleaned regularly.

Wet your make-up sponge with water, cover it in soap and roll it until there’s a fine lather. Squeeze the sponge out underneath water until the water runs clear out of the sponge and the sponge feels clean. Finally, lay the sponge on a paper towel to dry. You’ll know it’s fully dry when it has reduced a little in size.

Another tip is to put your make-up sponges inside a net bag, and put these on a gentle cycle in your washing machine. Make sure they dry properly afterwards!

Drying Your Make-up Brushes

Leave your brushes and sponges to dry for 6-8 hrs in a well-ventilated room. Don’t put them back into your make-up bag while they’re still wet because that encourages bacterial nasties.

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