There's something enormously satisfying about cleaning makeup brushes. Watching the residue and colors run through the water until it turns clear and then knowing you're using a soft, fresh brush? *Cue sigh of satisfaction.* And not only is it satisfying — it's important! Investing in the best makeup brush cleaners can ensure that your makeup application process is smooth and seamless, as well as tailored to your skin's needs. And, if you're a little bit lazy and feel that you can't be bothered to clean your brushes regularly, there are tools that make it suuuper easy, so you'll barely have to lift a finger — seriously.
When it comes to keeping your beauty tools free of bacteria, the one question most of us have is: How often should you wash your makeup brushes? Well, it depends on how often you use them — and for what. Anything that you use on your face (think bronzer, blush, and foundation brushes) should be cleaned about once a week. Stick to a couple times a month for the rest of your brushes— like the ones that you use to apply eyeshadow or liner with.
But back to the actual method. Some makeup brush cleaners are quite simple: a soap-like solution that you apply to the brush, wash with water, and voila. A few makeup professionals even suggest using a simple, high-quality bar soap with warm water. You can also find products such as a washboard-like tool that works hard to get all the teensy-tiny particles from the fibers of your brushes. Another cleaning tool spins your brush around in a solution and when it's done, your brush emerges sparkling clean.
Below, we've rounded up a few of the most unique and useful options for getting those makeup brushes back in tip-top shape.
1. A Tiny, Textured Cleansing Mat That Exfoliates Brushes And Removes Particles From Fibers
This five-star-rated tool is ideal for getting the tiny, hard-to-reach nitty gritties out of your beloved brushes. The small, silicone mat features seven different textures that you can gently rub your brushes against to remove oil, dirt, and makeup particles buried deep between the fibers and brush hairs. All you need is a little bit of water and dish soap (though reviewers also recommend using things like olive oil or rubbing alcohol). The backside of the mat even has little suction cups so that the tool can be easily fixed to flat surfaces like your bathroom sink.
2. A Whirring Electric Brush Cleaner That Spins Brushes Until They're Clean
Talk about a tool of the future. This handy little device consists of eight silicone handle tools of varying sizes that you stick your brush handle into, a small plastic bowl that you fill with water (and soap, if you choose to use it), and a battery-powered controller. The electric handle system spins your brush in the bowl to remove dirt, oil, and makeup residue, then once again until it's dry, leaving you with clean, soft, ready-to-use beauty tools.
3. A Sponge Tool That Quickly Removes Makeup From Dirty Brushes
If you're switching between foundations, blushes, bronzers, and eyeshadows during your beauty routine while using the same brush, then this is the cleaning tool for you. You simply wipe your brush against the super-absorbent black sponge between each color, and it absorbs makeup particles, dirt, and oil, leaving your brush clean for the next product. You can use both sides of the sponge, and after a few uses, it can be easily cleaned with warm water and gentle soap.
4. Makeup Brush Cleansing Wipes That Are Super Convenient For Travel
As it turns out, cleansing wipes aren't just for your face! These eco-friendly, plant-based cleansing cloths are great for taking on the road during travel, as they're super convenient to pack or toss in a purse or carry-on. Free of petroleum-based ingredients, parabens, and sulfates, the nature-inspired cloths can wipe your brushes clean of oils, dirt, and excess makeup, leaving them fresh and ready to apply makeup smoothly to your face.
5. A Baby Shampoo That's Ideal For Cleaning Brushes For Those With Sensitive Skin
For those with sensitive skin, it's vital to clean your brushes with something that has a low risk of causing irritation. This could be a simple bar soap like the one you'll find below, or perhaps even better — something made for babies, who have the most sensitive skin of all! This gentle baby shampoo and wash is free of yucky chemicals, fragrances, parabens, and all that stuff that can often cause allergic reactions. Just mix a little with warm water and swish your brushes through said solution for optimum results.
6. A Simple, French Bar Soap That's Infused With Olive Oil
A recent article from Into the Gloss gave readers an inside look at how professional makeup artists clean their brushes, and Tom Pecheux highly recommended using an organic, high-quality bar soap, like this olive oil bar from French institution Savon de Marseille. You can rub the brushes right onto the bar of soap, gently wash with a little warm water, and let them dry overnight.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.