Written by: Divya

How to Clean Makeup Brushes and Sponges?

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If you have come this far, it is because surely you have ever wondered how to clean makeup brushes at home. That is why, at Beauty Caters, we have created this post, to help you clean your beauty tools.

But don’t worry, you have to know that depending on your beauty routine and how you organize yourself, washing your makeup brushes can be a really easy task! So let’s check how to clean makeup brushes and sponges?

You can also read how to make homemade hair conditioner

Why you should clean makeup brushes?

If you have already invested time in choosing the brushes that give you the best results, it would be very contradictory not to take care of them. If you don’t wash them, besides they will be unusable in a short time, they can cause serious health problems.

Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, dirty makeup brushes can cause acne breakouts and seborrhea in some areas of your face. If makeup residue lodges on your face, it can disrupt the cell renewal process.

Through these tools, viruses such as the flu or cold sores can also be transmitted. A dirty brush can harbor many bacteria, you can cause infections and conjunctivitis.

With all this we do not want to alarm you, because with the simple tricks that we present below, you will avoid all these problems and you will be able to have clean brushes and brushes always ready to use.

how to clean makeup brushes and sponges

5 Ways to clean your makeup brushes at home

I remember how I learned to clean makeup brushes, at first I had a hard time and I must admit that I threw away countless brushes because I didn’t know how to wash them well.

Removing makeup from the bristles is super complicated, chemical cleaners are usually expensive and not long-lasting, and many of them are unfriendly to your brushes and can ruin them, nobody wants ugly and mistreated brushes.
Here are the five ways to clean makeup brushes at home:

1. How to clean make up brush with vinegar and soap?

One of my favorite secrets for cleaning makeup brushes includes a kitchen ingredient that we all have at home (if you don’t have it, don’t worry, it’s very cheap). The best thing is that it doesn’t require a lot of effort, time, or money, that’s why I love it.

Honestly, of all the things I’ve tried, cleaning it this way has been the best of the best.

Ingredients you will need:

  • A glass cup
  • 2 tablespoons of hand soap
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Hot water
  • A small comb


  • Pour the ingredients into the glass
  • Mix all the ingredients perfectly
  • Dip the brushes
  • Let sit in the mixture for 20 minutes
Cleaning makeup brush with vinegar and soap
Cleaning makeup brush with vinegar and soap


  • Take out the brushes one by one
  • Place under running water
  • Brush them with the small comb while the water falls on them
  • Drain and squeeze the brushes carefully
  • Let them dry

You see it? It is the best way to clean your makeup brushes using vinegar, it is very simple, cheap and your brushes will look like new. Try it!

2. How to clean makeup brushes with olive oil and white vinegar?

Olive oil is a fantastic natural product for removing dirt from makeup brushes easily.

Vinegar, meanwhile, is rich in cleaning and antibacterial properties that will keep your brushes clean and free of germs.

Ingredients you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • Kitchen paper towels
  • Warm water, as needed
  • 1 clean towel
Cleaning makeup brushes with olive oil and white vinegar
Cleaning makeup brushes with olive oil and white vinegar


  • DIP the brushes into the oil, one at a time.
  • REMOVE and rub gently on a paper towel to remove dirt and oil residue.
  • DIP the brush into the white vinegar and press down on the bristles to remove more dirt.
  • RINSE the brushes with warm water, drain and let dry -horizontally- on a clean towel.
  • STORE until completely dry.

3. How to clean makeup brushes with sodium bicarbonate?

Baking soda, in addition to being famous for being part of a large number of cleaning remedies, we tell you that it has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, which makes it great for use in beauty, in this case, to clean your brushes make-up and avoid imperfections caused by dirt.

Ingredients you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 glass of water
How to clean makeup brushes with baking powder
How to clean makeup brushes with baking powder


  • POUR the water into a large container -where your brush heads will fit.
  • ADD baking soda.
  • Mix until dissolved.
  • SOAK brushes for 2 hours.
  • REMOVE the brushes and drain and let dry -horizontally- on a clean towel.
  • STORE until completely dry.

Now time to use your clean brushes! Try to repeat this procedure at least every 15 days.

4. How to clean makeup brushes with soap and water?

The oldest and Grandma Way of cleaning makeup brushes is to use soap and water. Yes, something as simple as that. Simply, we have to use soap as neutral as possible, special for brushes, or any other and warm water.

“If you have natural fiber brushes, use mild cleanser, or shampoo to clean them. Since they are delicate and expensive, these brushes will need extra care.”

It is also true that, if it is synthetic hair brushes, we can even use dishwasher soaps that remove much faster and more effectively. But in any case, do it gently.

how to clean makeup brushes with soap
Cleaning makeup brushes with soap


  • Hold the brush under running water to get them wet.
  • Apply the soap and make circles on the palm of your hand. If you wear a cleaning glove with grooves, it will be faster.
  • You can also fill a container with warm water, add the soap, and clean the brushes inside, always use circular movements.
  • Remove excess moisture by drying your makeup brushes. Lay them down on a clean towel and make sure the bristles don’t get deformed.

5. How to clean makeup brushes with oil?

How to clean makeup brushes with oil at home?

Yes, we can use oil to clean makeup brushes. Specially, cleaning with oil works better with brushes for foundations or concealers. We use oil to clean makeup brushes when only soap is not enough.

how to clean makeup brushes with oil
Cleaning makeup brushes with oil at home

We have several options, such as using olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, or similar.

It is best to pour a little of the oil on absorbent kitchen paper, or on a towel (although you have to wash it later).

Now gently make circular movement on the oil holding the bristles downwards.

Once all the residues are gone from the bristles, rinse it with soapy water.

How to wash and dry makeup brushes?

When washing your makeup brushes, whatever product you use for it, you should take into account the following recommendations:

Moisten the brushes well. To do this you can place them in a container with water or directly under the tap. However, if you choose this last option, avoid putting them with the bristles up, as they would open and deform forever.

Do it with the bristles downwards, helping you with your fingers so that the cleaning product penetrates and then, so that they are well rinsed.

Once you have washed your makeup brushes, you should wait for them to dry completely before using them again.

how to dry makeup brushes after cleaning
Drying makeup brushes in a correct way

Do not place them with the bristles facing up. If you do, not only will the weight of the water deform them, but it will also seep into the sleeve, which will deteriorate your brush over time.

Do not support them with the bristles down either, as this will also deform their bristles.

Put your brushes spread out on absorbent paper. If you want to speed up the process, place them in the sun to dry faster.

Clean your makeup brushes frequently to maintain hygiene
Use a clean makeup brush to maintain hygiene

How to clean makeup sponges

Cleaning makeup sponges is not a complicated task, but it should be done regularly to prevent bacteria from penetrating the skin after use. If you notice that your sponge has picked up a lot of color and odor, it’s time to wash it.

Here are three simple techniques to clean your sponges:

1. With liquid soap

In a bowl with cold water add a few drops of soap, you can use the same soap you use for your face or a shower gel, and immerse the makeup sponge. Squeeze and compress gently, working with the soap lather.

Squeezing releases the air inside the sponge allowing the soap to enter and clean the entire surface. Then rinse with plenty of cold water and wipe off excess water with a clean towel. Finally, leave the makeup sponge in a ventilated place until it dries.

2. With bar soap

Antibacterial bar soap is most useful when the makeup sponge has a large stain or for brushes. With a damp sponge, gently rub it against the bar of soap and then work in the lather as you would with liquid soap.

Finally, rinse with cold water, dry with a clean towel and leave the sponge in a ventilated place to dry.

3. The microwave trick

It has become a classic, but you must be careful when applying it.

In a microwave-safe container, pour a little water and a splash of soap. Submerge your sponges and squeeze them gently under the water so that they soak up the soap. Then, put the container in the microwave and set it for one minute.

When you remove the bowl, you will notice that the water has been stained with the makeup residue from your sponges. In the next step, be very careful! When you apply heat, the water will be hot and so will the sponges. Wait a bit before rinsing your beauty blenders with plenty of cold water.

4. How to clean your sponges with baking soda?

If you are one of those who use sponges to apply the makeup base, these should be cleaned and disinfected after each use to avoid the formation of fungi and bacteria that damage your skin.

To make it you only need the following ingredients:

  • Two tablespoons of micellar water
  • Five tablespoons of baking soda
  • Two tablespoons of liquid soap


  • In a container, you should put two to three sponges per wash. Pour the bicarbonate, soap and micellar water, and cover everything with enough hot water.
  • Mix and let it take effect for 15 minutes 
  • Every 5 minutes, rub the sizes against your hands until all traces of makeup are removed.
  • Finally, rinse them with plenty of water and squeeze them gently until all the excess liquid is removed and let them dry in the sun. You can do this every week for better results.

How to clean a makeup sponge with soap?

Time consumption: 15 minutes.

What you need: Water, soap and a bowl.

  • 1. Dampen your Beauty Blender: Hold your Beauty Blender under running water until it swells to full size. Add soap and massage it into the sponge. Squeeze out the water and you are ready for the next step.
  • 2. Warm water: Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and add more soap or shampoo to the bowl. We recommend a baby shampoo or organic shampoo, but most soaps that can be used on the skin or in the hair can be used.
  • 3. Mix soap with water: Mix the shampoo or soap with water and let the makeup sponge soaked well.
  • 4. Wait for 10 minutes: Leave the Beauty Blender in the water for about 10 minutes. The water will change color as the dirt creates sediment in the water. Remember the soapy water should be enough to submerge the entire Beauty Blender. When the sponge is fully soaked it will reach the bottom of the pot, you can squeeze the water out of it.
  • 5. Almost done: To clean the sponge properly, you should hold it under running water, continuously “fill” and “empty” the sponge until the water is clean. I usually add a little more soap, and also massage the last out of the Beauty Blender.

If it is not yet fully clean, repeat the process one more time.

How to dry makeup sponges?

It is a step that we often forget but is very important.

  • Once well rinsed, without traces of soap, they must be drained well, you can use a towel to absorb as much moisture as possible.
  • Let them air dry, one way to do it is to put them in a mesh bag and hang it on a clothesline until you notice that they are completely dry.
  • You can also leave them on a towel on a flat surface or even speed up the process with the help of a dryer. If when we store them they contain some moisture, they can generate mold.
  • Finally, if you notice that your sponge leaves traces or tassels, it is time to change it, it is a small investment that you will notice a lot in the makeup result.

Tips to keep your brushes clean

  • 1. When storing your brushes and makeup brushes you must keep them vertically with the bristles upwards or in special cases.
  • 2. Avoid drying them with a hair dryer.
  • 3. Wet, makeup remover or cotton tissues all work very well in this cleaning process.
  • 4. You can use a clip for documents or hangers with clothes hooks to make them hang during drying.
  • 5. There is also the option of buying a special machine to clean brushes, although they are very expensive.

And you, do you use any of these tips to clean your makeup brushes?

Faq: How to clean makeup brushes and sponges?

How to clean synthetic hair makeup brushes

When you see that the brush you use to apply your makeup base is dirty, the first thing you have to do is pass the hair area with oil or makeup remover oil.
Once you have removed most of the dirt, the second step is to clean the brush with soap and warm water. If you see that there are traces of oil on the brush, pass them through soap and water until it disappears completely.
Finally, let it dry completely on a towel. You may have to wait a day for it to finish drying.

How to clean natural hair makeup brushes

To clean natural hair brushes we do not use oil. Instead use shampoo. Use a mild shampoo, such as baby shampoos. It will make the brushes last longer in good condition and with soft hairs.
The process is the same as the one you followed with the synthetic hair brushes, completely ruling out the oil option. Clean the brush with warm water and a mild shampoo until the dirt is completely removed. Let it dry for a day to rule out whether it is wet or damp.

Final word: how to clean makeup brushes and sponges

At Beauty Caters we care about knowing your opinion, and that is why we would like you to tell us what you think of our advice and if you will take it into account the next time you have to wash your makeup brushes.

Next time when this question comes to your mind- “how to clean makeup brushes and sponges” you have the answer. Use clean beauty accessories for health reason.

Divya Gupta
Divya Gupta

Divya Gupta is a business management and economics professional with a passion for travel and beauty. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management (Tourism & Leisure) from the Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel and a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in Economics from the University of Delhi.
Her business acumen paired with her enthusiasm for new destinations and cosmetics enables her to provide insightful recommendations and reviews.
In addition to her formal studies, Ms. Gupta continually educates herself and stays up-to-date on innovations in the beauty sector as well, allowing her to offer advice on cutting-edge skincare, makeup, and hairstyling techniques.

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