How Often Do You Clean Your Makeup Brushes?

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup Tools

MAC makeup brushes

When I’m not pressed for time, I’ll wipe down the brush heads with a Wet Ones Wipe after each use.


Then, about every other weekend, I’ll clean them more thoroughly with shampoo (I’ve gotten good results with Aussie’s Opposites Attract Protect + Soften; it breaks up dried and caked product fast).

I haven’t cleaned my brushes with shampoo in a couple weeks, though, relying instead on those quickie cleanups with Wet Ones Wipes, but my brush heads are getting pretty gunky (gross!)…

How often do you clean your makeup brushes?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 55 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Zdubb says:

    I recently cleaned my brushes and I was all the way disgusted by the amount of product gooped in between those bristles!
    I haven’t thought about the WetWipes before, but that’d be a quick preventative measure…

    Zdubb´s last blog post..30 Day Challenge

  2. Zara says:

    Every time after use if i’m dealing with wet/creme/moist makeup, but maybe once a week or every two weeks if not.

    Posietint doesn’t need a brush though, so no cleaning either! πŸ™‚ Just got myself a bottle, and so far i’m loving it– it really isn’t to dark for my skin!

    But the application is always a hit or miss for me– I sometimes end up looking like a circus clown, lol. Do you have any application tips for a nice natural flush?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Zara,

      I go slowly and build in layers. I usually do about three dots on one cheek and then blend quickly. Add another (or two) if I’m feeling like more COLOR! Oh, and then I’ll take a step back and if any edges need to blended out I’ll use my fingers. πŸ™‚

  3. lexi says:

    i do it after every 2nd or 3rd use. And I use the MAC brush cleaner. I probably just switch to using my shampoo after i’m done with this bottle.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lexi,

      I like the MAC Cleaner — it works fast and well. It tends to be expensive for me, though, because i go through it really quickly.

  4. Paris B says:

    At least once a week if I have the time. Otherwise, that’s what spare brushes are for πŸ˜‰

    Paris B´s last blog post..Upcoming: YSL Cosmetics Fall/Winter 2009

  5. Vonvon says:

    I clean them whenever I feel like they look and need to be cleaned. I am a lazy person. Or I’ll just use my fingers to apply my eyeshadows and I have a couple extra brushes for blushes and powders. πŸ˜‰

    Vonvon´s last blog post..Estee Lauder TIME ZONE Gift Set And Good Customer Service

  6. Anne says:

    Once a week, I think the longest is two weeks.
    Not unless some of my little cousins played with it and I have to wash it right away.

    Anne´s last blog post..HE is my sunshine & Im gonna shine bright for HIM

  7. Juanita says:

    I just washed mine now in fact, but every 2 weeks with antibacterial Dial Complete. I keep a box of unscented baby wipes on my vanity to keep them clean as I use them.

  8. Catherine says:

    I try to wash all of my brushes every week or so. I tend to wash the eye brushes more often since they dry fine within 5-6 hours. The face brushes take more like 10-12 hours to dry, so I think on average I get to them every 7-10 days. I also clean my concealer brush and paintpot brush after every use (sometimes not in the morning but at night while I’m getting ready for bed).

    Catherine´s last blog post..Life Update – Short Hiatus

  9. ehma says:

    I’ve started to wash mine once a week.

    I don’t always have time to wipe them down after use with a gentle makeup removing wipe when I’m running off to class, so a weekly wash is necessary >_____<

    Fudge’s torture tonic conditioner is a solid conditioner for makeup brushes and keeps them reasonably soft, but the best guarantor for super soft brushes i’ve found is using a smidge of Tigi Catwalk’s Headshot (especially if you leave it in for 10 mins or so)! Makes my loose powder and Kabuki brushes feel brand new!

    Phew, I bet that was waaaay TMI for you!

  10. Karen B says:

    Not as much as I should probably. But I have my regular brushes that I usually us for the same thing so they don’t get cleaned that often. I just cleaned them this weekend though. Go me! πŸ™‚

  11. Julia says:

    Just deep cleaned all my brushes last night (olive oil followed by clarifying shampoo) and it’s definitely time consuming–probably 45 minutes work plus drying time. I like to clean them every week, usually on Saturday night. In between, I use Mac wipes and a clean hand towel.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julia,

      I’ve heard that the olive oil keeps the fibers really supple. I haven’t tried it yet though, as you’re right, it takes a lot of time. I bet your brushes are in great shape, though!

  12. Laurie says:

    I keep MAC brush cleaner in a spray bottle on my vanity. After using certain products, ie fluidline, I spritz and clean. Just a tip for in between washing

  13. Shealyn says:

    My eye brushes are cleaned with a spot spray and wiping excess on a tissue after every couple uses. As for my face brushes…lol, definitely not often enough. I always just end up forgetting and then being mad and just applying concealer, powder and fix+.

  14. Cre says:

    I clean them at least once a week, if not right after I use them. Having extra brushes does help.

  15. Azucar says:

    I truly like to clean my brushes as often as…well, as often as I clean my face! I wash my brushes everyday or at least alternate between brushes and wash them before they touch my face again. I’ve seen my face clear up and have less to “cover up”. The cleaner, the better honey πŸ˜‰

  16. TUPRNUT says:

    I clean them once a week. I use both of the brush cleaners that Sephora makes and I really like them!

  17. Nina1 says:

    all of these people are just amazing with their routines. I think about it more than I actually do it — try to do it once a week.

  18. Marta says:

    Usually once a week . I use the clinique brush cleaners.

  19. gio says:

    I wipe mty brushes down aftetr every use and deep clean them once a week.

    gio´s last blog post..What ingredients are comedogenic?

  20. Rachel says:

    I don’t have a brush set right now, but if I did, I think I would use one of those spray brush cleaners once or twice a week?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rachel,

      They work pretty well. I’ve used the MAC one in the past and I liked it… I tend to go through the stuff really quickly, though.

      What are you currently using to apply your makeup right now? A good set of brushes takes it to a whole new level…

  21. Dao says:

    I wash my brush about every two weeks but it all depends on what I use. If I use lots of liquid stuff, I make sure to wash the brushes after use. Otherwise, my brushes may become playgrounds for bacteria.

    Dao´s last blog post..L’Oréal HiP Color Presso Lip Glosses: Smell Like Cupcakes!

  22. TUPRNUT says:

    I just bought them in April. One is a spray cleaner that is used for light cleaning and the other one is a brush shampoo that I use for deep cleaning (mostly for my foundation & pressed powder brushes). There’s still lots of product left… I think I could get at least 6 months using both.

  23. pouneh says:

    I wash mine after 7 uses, but my foundation brush gets washed more often unless I switch between the regular kind and my beloved 187 πŸ™‚ I use baby shampoo works great πŸ™‚

  24. Kate & Zena says:

    I clean them about once a week, if I remember! Sometimes it’s laid off a week. I use a home-made cleaner I got from some YouTube channel (don’t remember the name). It works very well.

  25. JillyB says:

    I clean my shadow brushes and concealer brush every day, just swishing them in the sink and then on a bar of Ivory soap. But I only clean by bigger brushes, like my blush brush, about once a month. Mainly because while I use lots of different e/s colors, I use basically the same blush colors.

  26. Rachel says:

    Oh man, well, I don’t wear face makeup – so I don’t need a brush for that. So many times that I’ve worn foundation, it’s broken me out. So I steer clear. I usually just wear moisturizer or SPF. For eyes, if I wear eyeshadow that day, I either use my fingertips, or I use these grubby sponge applicators. I never clean those. Groddy, I know. I usually replace them after some time. For lips, I usually wear lip balm, rarely liner.. Lipstick, I usually apply right from the tube. Never use a lip brush. Back to eyes, I definitely think if I bought a gel liner in a pot, I’d need one of those eyeliner brushes.. That would be indispenisble… I’ve been wanting one of those, but lately for now, I’ve just been using pencil, so I never use a brush for that either.

  27. Joyce says:

    I wash with a shampoo after every 2nd or third use generally.

  28. Selena says:

    Baby shampoo every few days when I have the chance. No less than 1ce a week.

  29. Cindyrella says:

    Once a week with anti-bacterial liquid soap.

  30. Tiera says:

    I use Sephora’s Daily Brush Cleaner almost daily for most of my brushes (especially the eyeshadow brushes since those colors tend to change up the most, and my eyeliner brush, to be safe and hygenic).

    When I’m on a job this works well to, as it’s really quick-drying.

    I usually do a shampoo around once a week, depending on use (since I don’t wear makeup everyday).

  31. Solé says:

    I use MAC brush cleanser, and I clean them once every two weeks depending how much I used them. The ones that get the most wear get cleaned on the regular, but the ones I use less often might get cleaned every other cleaning session. I like to keep my makeup bags clean too, so every few weeks I wipe everything down with wipeys so there isn’t multi-colored powder buildup on everything. Gross makeup kits are one of my pet-peeves.

  32. Nicole15 says:

    I have uber sensitive skin that breaks out with the slightest thing. Therefore, each day I spritz my brushes with Sephora’s Anti-bacterial Brush Cleaner before using them just to get the prior day’s color off & to know that bacteria is not lingering before I put the brush to my face. The cleaner dries real fast which I like. Then once a week, i do a deep clean with baby shampoo. My brushes are like brand new each time i use them!

  33. Apple Diva says:

    I clean my brushes twice a week. Since I have a multiple brushes, I can do that. I use the beauty blender cleanser <– that product is top notch.

    Apple Diva´s last blog post..Face Atelier ~ Pro Team ~ Los Angeles IMATS ~ June 20 – 21, 2009

  34. Aisha says:

    I actually really enjoy washing my brushes. I use Ivory soap once a week–I clean them the same way I was taught to clean oil painting brushes. My favorite part is reshaping them so they dry in the right shape πŸ˜›

    They have all kept up very well except one synthetic Shu Uemura brush which is getting the frizzies (the hairs are all going in opposite directions!). I’ve kind of replaced it with an Eco Tools eye shadow brush–so cheap yet soft and never sheds! I still keep the worn-out brush for blending cream shadows. πŸ™‚

    In between, I use an alcohol-based brush cleaner which I pour a little out onto a paper towel and wipe my brushes on. It dries within 10 seconds. πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge