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How I Clean my Makeup Tools

I think most people hate cleaning their makeup brushes but I actually love it. I find it strangely therapeutic to rinse the ‘dirt’ away and using a clean makeup brush every day is very satisfying.
I also have crazy pimples so I make sure anything that touches my face has been sanitised beforehand.

I’m often asked how to clean makeup brushes or how get stubborn makeup out of a makeup sponge, so today I’m going to run through the various methods I use to clean my makeup tools.


(My makeup tool collection is pretty basic. I only use makeup brushes and sponges. I don’t have an air brush gun or a palette that I use to mix foundation colours, etc. so I’m only going to take you through how I clean what I have.)

Spot Cleaning

I don’t deep clean my eyeshadow brushes every day. They don’t come into contact with any pimples so I just like to wipe them clean. This works well if you only have a few eyeshadow brushes and want to use multiple colours without them mixing.

What I Use

Micellar water
Cotton pads


It’s rather straight forward. I just pour a few drops of micellar water on a cotton pad and swirl the bristles around gently. You could use eye makeup remover but it will make the bristles oily.


Once the brush is clean, I dry it off on another cotton pad.


Deep Clean – Brushes

I wash the rest of my face brushes and sponges after every use. This includes brushes that were used for powders such as my blush and setting powder brushes. You may think that’s over kill but if I don’t do it I break out horribly.


What I Use

Glass Bowl
Baby Shampoo
Tea tree oil
Warm water
LUSH Ultrabland
Clean, dry towel


I pour some baby shampoo into the bowl, followed by 10 drops of tea tree oil.


I add a bit of warm water – not a lot – and then I stir it with my finger so that the shampoo and tea tree oil mixes well. I don’t like to fill the bowl more than 5cm deep. Prolonged exposure to water inside the ferrule weakens the glue and then the brush will start shedding.


I place the Brushegg on my hand and add a tiny drop of baby shampoo. I dip the dirty brush in the tea tree solution and then swirl it around gently on the Brushegg until it comes clean.


The only reason I use a Brushegg is because you can buy them for £1 (R23) on Amazon.  They do a great job but are quite small. If you want to wash more brushes at the same time, perhaps invest in the new Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette or the Sigma Spa® Express Brush Cleaning Glove.

I rinse the brush under a tap with warm water. It’s important to face the brush downwards so that water doesn’t run into the ferrule.


I then lay the brush flat on a clean towel and leave them to dry out overnight. I place them near the radiator if I need them to dry faster. You can also use a hair dryer if you are in a hurry.

Don’t dry the brushes upright. You really want to avoid getting the ferrule wet.

Deep Clean – Sponges

Using the same soapy ‘formula’ I soak the sponges until they have softened and swollen.


I add a drop of baby shampoo onto the sponge and rub it in GENTLY – makeup sponges are not cheap and they LOVE to break. I dip it into the soapy solution every now and then to dilute the dirt. Once I’m happy that it is clean, I rinse it under running water and squeeze out the excess water before leaving it to dry on the towel.



I was in a hurry once and I put it in the microwave for a few seconds to dry the sponge. It worked OK, until I put it back one last time and it melted from the inside out… so I don’t recommend doing this. It’s better to have more than one sponge so that you can alternate them while the other dries.

Stubborn Makeup

When baby shampoo just isn’t cutting it, I pre-treat the brush or sponge with some Ultrabland. Its oily formula helps breakdown tough makeup.


I put a tiny bit in my palm and run the bristles through it. After that I follow the same ‘deep clean’ steps.



For sponges, I rub the Ultrabland directly onto it and massage it in before rinsing with baby shampoo.

I hoped this post helps you to clean your own makeup tools!


Stay Sparkly!

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