Main content

How to Clean Makeup Brushes at Home

Cleaning makeup brushes is one of those chores that escapes everyone from time to time. But it’s important we take care of our brushes, as they help us get the best performance from our makeup. Due to the buildup of product residue, oil and dirt, our brushes can harbour bacteria. Thankfully, when we’re empowered with the right products and process, cleaning makeup brushes or sponges can be a quick and satisfying experience. So, if you’re wondering how to clean makeup brushes at home and what to clean makeup brushes with, keep reading for our easy 5-step cleaning method.

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

The benefits of cleaning makeup brushes

Quality makeup brush hygiene has a variety of benefits that go beyond the maintenance of the brush to impact other makeup products and even our skin. Let’s explore the benefits of cleaning makeup brushes below:

Maintain good makeup hygiene: cleaning, sanitising and drying your makeup brush regularly helps reduce the spread of germs and viruses to ourselves and others.

Reduce product contamination: many daily beauty products are prone to bacteria buildup. Cleaning makeup brushes and other makeup tools reduces cross contamination, improving both the hygiene and performance of your overall makeup routine.

Extend brush life: maintaining brush hygiene can determine the lifespan of our brush. A regular cleaning process is both convenient and can save you money from brush repurchases.

Maintain makeup colour and vibrance: product buildup on makeup brushes can affect the colour of other makeup products you want to apply. Brush cleaning helps your primer, foundation, and blush work seamlessly together.

Now that we know the benefits of makeup hygiene, let’s learn how often we should clean makeup brushes.

How often should you clean makeup brushes?

When deciding how often to clean your makeup brushes, consider how regularly you use it and which makeup step you use it for. We’ll explain three different yet common examples for cleaning makeup brushes below:

If you’re layering multiple products with the same brush: Between each use

In this case, it may be best to give your brush or sponge a quick clean before using the next product. This way you’re reducing product contamination and maintaining performance.

If you’re using liquid makeup products: Weekly

Wet product buildup on your brush or sponge can quickly dry in your brush if left unclean. Brushes that are being used with wet products should be cleaned more frequently than those being used for powder.

If you’re using it for one powder product: Fortnightly

Here, cleaning your brush every other week should suffice. This is because the brush isn’t affecting any other products and powder buildup can be light and slow.

If you’re using it for eyeshadow: Weekly

Eye brushes like our Petit Crease No13 Precision are used to apply, smudge and line multiple shades, and they should be cleaned once a week.

So, how you’re using your makeup brush can influence how regularly you should clean. No matter what you’re using your brush for, let’s learn what to clean makeup brushes with.

What to clean makeup brushes with

When wondering how to clean makeup brushes, the next question is often around what to clean makeup brushes or sponges with. Thankfully, they can usually be cleaned with household or skincare products you may already have.

To wash your brushes, you can clean by submerging the brush in a mix of water and a natural shampoo, gentle detergent, or specialised brush cleaner.

For sponges, you can clean by submerging the brush in a mix of water and facial cleanser. Our Crème Mousse Confort Face Cleanser is great choice for your skincare routine and to purify your makeup sponge.

Ensure you’re using a gentle formula as products with harsh ingredients can damage your brush or sponge. Lancôme’s range of face cleansers are suitable for a range of skin types and makeup sponges.

How to clean makeup brushes at home

To clarify, there’s a difference between a light clean with a spritz or spray between uses and thoroughly cleaning makeup brushes. Below, we’ll take you through a 5-step process on how to clean makeup brushes at home.

Step 1: Run brushes under water

Rinse your makeup brush or sponge under warm water. When learning how to clean makeup brushes at home, practice pointing the brush down to prevent damage to the handle. You can also give your brush a light squeeze or brush it over your hand to encourage some initial removal.

Step 2: Mix a brush cleaner

Squeeze a small amount of a gentle brush cleaner or cleanser (if washing a makeup sponge) into a bowl of warm water and mix.

Step 3: Remove makeup residue

Place your makeup brush or sponge into the bowl, lightly swirling around the bottom. Be gentle when cleaning makeup brushes – softly pressing or squeezing will help maintain the integrity of the bristles.

Step 4: Remove excess water

Using a towel, gently squeeze your makeup brush or sponge until most of the initial moisture has been removed.

Step 5: Leave to dry

Finally, let your brush dry on a flat surface. A common tip is to let brushes dry with the bristles over the edge of a counter. Although, if you’re using a dual-end brush such as the Sleek Bland No14 Eyeshadow & Eyeliner Brush, resting it completely on a tabletop will suffice. We recommend avoiding drying your makeup brush or sponge on a towel, as it can encourage mildew.

Now that you’ve discovered how to clean makeup brushes, read our guide on how to choose the perfect foundation.


Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device