The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Every Makeup Tool in Your Kit

By: | by L'Oréal

The downside: You shelled out a pretty penny for all those brushes and beauty tools. And unfortunately in the year 2018, self-cleaning makeup tools have not risen to the top of technology’s greatest innovations (Sure, flying cars are cool, but a makeup brush that washes itself would be genius.)

The upside, though: If you’ve ever wanted to know how to clean your makeup sponges and brushes properly, we’re breaking it down. Find the ultimate step-by-step guide to cleaning your makeup tools, whether they’re brushes, blenders and anything in between.

How to Clean a Makeup Sponge

1. Wet: Run the sponge under warm water. Make sure it gets fully soaked.

2. Lather: Using a few drops of mild soap or gentle shampoo (we love using baby shampoo for this!), and work any product out of the sponge with your fingers. You may need to repeat this a few times if you haven’t cleaned your sponge in a while.

3. Rinse: Rinse the sponge until the water runs clear. Make sure you squeeze throughout to get all the sud out.

4. Dry: Wring it out and pat dry with a clean towel. Allow the sponge to air dry, or if you prefer to use it damp, go ahead and put it to work.

5. Repeat: Make sure you are cleaning your makeup sponges every few uses or once there is no longer a clean, unused section. Rinsing the sponge with warm water after each use will also help keep the germs away and your sponge in good condition.

6. Check for mold: If your sponge is never left to dry, it may have begun to grow mold. If you suspect this may be the case, cut open the sponge to see if any has grown. If you find mold inside, discard the sponge immediately. If it appears clean and mold-free, you can continue to use the sponge pieces.

Check out this step-by-step below:

How to: Clean Your Makeup Brushes

1. Rinse: Rinse the bristles, always with water streaming down — you want to avoid running water directly into the base of the brush, which can weaken the glue and shorten the lifespan of your brush. This is why bristles begin to fall out.

2. Cleanse: Work a small amount of gentle shampoo (baby shampoo works wonderfully here too) or soap into the bristles. Lather, rinse, and repeat until the water runs clear. If you are having a hard time getting stubborn product out of your brush, massage some coconut oil into the bristles. This will loosen the build up and make cleaning easier.

3. Disinfect: Now that your brushes are clean, it’s time to disinfect. Mix a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar in a shallow bowl. Swoosh the brush around in the bowl for a minute or two (again, trying not to submerge it fully). Rinse with fresh water.

4. Dry: Press a dry towel into the bristles to sop up excess water. Reshape the bristles and lay clean brushes flat on a towel overnight to dry.

5. Repeat: Clean your brushes every other week to keep the germs away from your makeup and off your skin.

Check out this tutorial on exactly how below:


How to: Clean Your Hairbrush

1. Prep: Remove as much hair from the bristles as you can. Using a comb or toothpick can help you grab what your fingers may miss.

2. Soak: Fill a bowl with water and add a few drops of clarifying shampoo. If your brush is plastic, soak it for three to five minutes. If your brush has a fabric head, do not soak it, but dip the bristles in the water a few times. If you don’t have a clarifying shampoo, you can use a solution of vinegar diluted in water.

3. Scrub: To get those bristles good as new, take an unused toothbrush, wet it with the soapy water and give it a good scrub. This is especially important if you have any product buildup on the brush. Rinse with fresh water.

4. Dry: Lay the brush bristle-side down on a towel to allow water to drain out of the base. Leave it to dry overnight.

5. Repeat: Give your brush a bath once a month to prevent product buildup from comprising the quality of your lovely locks.

Here’s an awesome how-to tutorial:


How to: Clean Your Metal Tools

1. Wash: For metal tools like tweezers, eyelash curlers, eyebrow trimmers, cuticle nippers, and nail clippers, wash them down using water and antibacterial soap. Pat dry with a clean towel.

2. Sanitize: Thoroughly wipe down the tool with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball. Allow it to dry for a few moments. If the tool comes in contact with your face, rinse it with water (no need to rinse your nail tools). Pat dry with a clean towel.

3. Repeat: Ideally, these types of beauty tools should at least be washed with soap and water after each use, if not sanitized as well. Aim to give them the full treatment every two weeks. Store your tools in a clean container to safeguard your hard work.

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