How To: Clean Your Eye Makeup Brushes

Quick Question: When was the last time that you washed your makeup brushes?

(If you pause to think about it, it's been too long!)

This super simple task is easy to neglect but it’s a cleaning task that won't take up your time; you can do it in under five minutes. Add washing your brushes to your beauty routine so your brushes will last longer and you’ll prevent transferring extra bacteria to your face. Read on to find out how to clean up your makeup brushes the right way.

Photo credit: OptomEyesLife


When you use your brushes, excess makeup, oil, dirt, and even bacteria can get trapped in the bristles. So while it might not seem like a big deal, skipping this step can lead to clogged pores and unwanted breakouts on the face, as well as an increased risk of developing eye and eyelid infections, such as styes and conjunctivitis (commonly referred to as "pink eye"). Probably not the glamorous look you were going for.

Not to mention the fact that if you use use the same brush for multiple products, like different colors of eye shadow, you are cross-contaminating your makeup and shades. Given that quality makeup brushes can be expensive, learning how to properly clean them is one of the best ways to protect your investment in the long run.


Luckily, cleaning your makeup brushes is quick and easy. The first step to keeping your brushes clean is picking up a daily brush cleaner (such as Sephora’s Daily Brush Cleaner) to spray on your brushes after each use. When it comes to deep cleaning,"Brushes that are used around the eyes should be cleaned at least twice a month. All others can be washed once a month," says professional makeup artist Bobbi Brown. Get in the habit of gathering up all your makeup brushes to wash at the same time so you don't accidentally forget to clean one.

Here’s the right way to deep clean your makeup brushes…

Photo credit: OptomEyesLife



• A shallow bowl • Gentle clarifying shampoo, baby shampoo, or castile soap (Note: there are specially formulated brush cleaners on the market, but a gentle shampoo or castile soap will work just fine.) • Lukewarm water from the sink • A lint free cloth


1. Begin by running your brushes under lukewarm water, rinsing out all of the residual makeup. Try to focus on the actual bristles while avoiding the part of the brush where handle meets the head, as this can loosen the glue over time.

Photo credit: OptomEyesLife

2. Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and a squirt of shampoo, and gently swirl your brush tip in the water. You can also swirl the brush in the palm of your hand to work up a lather. You’ll see the water change color as the makeup starts coming off the brushes.

Photo credit: OptomEyesLife

3. Rinse the brush tip under running water once again. Repeat steps two and three until the water runs clear from the brush.

Photo credit: OptomEyesLife

4. Blot away any extra water on a clean, lint free cloth.

5. Lay your brushes flat on the cloth to dry thoroughly before using.

Photo credit: OptomEyesLife


Your brushes will need a few hours to dry after a deep cleaning,

so I recommend washing them after you’ve applied your makeup for the day.

And there you have it! Your makeup brushes will be clean and your eyes will be thanking you.

As always, if you think you might've developed an eye infection, visit your local eye care professional.

Share your thoughts in the comment section below for others in the community to read, and connect with OEL on Instagram @OptomEyesLife and #OptomEyesLife.

#Beauty #OcularAesthetics #Cosmetics