Home Beauty Top 5 Hacks to Clean Makeup Items Like a Pro!

Top 5 Hacks to Clean Makeup Items Like a Pro!

By isha.m
1.4K views 3 mins read
clean makeup items

Let’s say it is a busy day with too much work. You are in the middle of the day, and now you cannot really do anything fun or relaxing.

But, guess what? You got “clean makeup items” in your routine today.

So, what to worry about? Because if you are as much into makeup, personal care, organizing, and cleansing as I am, you will simply love it.

This is your cheat meal. More like your cheat task of the day.

Do you know what my special trick is here?

Keep reading to find out!

Blog at a Glance:
To clean your makeup brushes, you can make a solution with lukewarm water and baby shampoo, or lukewarm water, dish soap, and a few drops of olive oil. Rinse and swirl until no residue is left. Air-dry on soft towels.
Use the same solution for sponges and beauty blenders. You can also use normal water and put the sponge dumped in the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Use antibacterial wipes to deep clean your makeup bag. Declutter the damaged and expired items.
Use isopropyl or rubbing alcohol to clean makeup products like lipstick, eyeshadow, and other cream, powder, and liquid products.

Speaking from Experience

Do you know what the most important concern here is?

You have to do it properly.

I believe that I have become a makeup and skincare expert through research and experience. I spent so many hours scrolling through Pinterest and watching YouTube videos.

The reason? I enjoyed learning about all the ins and outs.

And yes, you heard me right. YouTube videos, not reels or shorts. I had been into this stuff for years before our attention span left us. Maybe that is why I got to learn and enjoy doing these with so much patience.

The whole blog will be me speaking from years of experience. Also, the bonus for you is tips and suggestions from the experts of big makeup lines.

What is the Best Way to Clean Your Makeup Brushes?

Are you new to makeup and skincare? Or maybe I am a bit extra conscious about organizing and hygiene, just like I am. Then I am sure that you jumped into this section first.

Because questions like, “What’s the best way to clean makeup brushes DIY?” usually come first.

Here, you will find both the steps and some essential details to keep your lovelies clean and going long-term.

Best Way to Clean Your Makeup Brushes
Best Way to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Why Is It Important to Clean Your Makeup Brushes Regularly?

So obvious!

If you don’t want your skincare deals to backfire, then you must keep your brushes clean. In return, you will save yourself from clogged pores, unwanted breakouts, allergies, and rashes.

Experts like Troy Surratt, Robert Sesnek, and Wendie Miyake suggest more reasons for properly cleaning your makeup brushes in the Vogue article.

Besides, let’s not forget how much you have spent on that both-sided IT cosmetics brush. Or, how much time and effort did you put into finding the right fan brush and angled brush? So, if you want these to last for a long time and get the best application, you must keep your brushes clean.

Also, you cannot expect a proper base when your brushes are already overloaded with makeup residue. And you must know the right way to clean your makeup brushes to save the bristles from overdrying.

Choosing the Best Cleaner for Your Makeup Brushes and Sponges

Here, I present to you the best news. If there is any part of your makeup routine that comes almost as a cost-free option, then this is it. You don’t really need to spend any extra money on cleansing products.

Because you have everything you need to clean your makeup products at home. The most common options are:

  • Dish soap and olive oil
  • Baby shampoo
  • Vinegar and lemon water

Baby shampoo is usually the most recommended option to keep your brushes soft and long-lasting. However, you can definitely save money by going for the other options.

How Do You Properly Clean Your Brushes Using Dish Soap?

Get a bowl of lukewarm water in a bowl or glass. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap in it. To preserve the softness of your pretty bristles, add a few drops of olive oil.

Now comes the most important part. This will be done in three simple steps:

  • Rinse your brushes in lukewarm water.
  • Swirl brushes in the mix.
  • Repeat the process: keep rinsing and swirling until the brush is completely clean.

By following these ways, you can clean your makeup brushes.

Some Additional Information to Know!

  • If you want to use baby shampoo, just mix it with baby shampoo and lukewarm water.
  • Vinegar and lemon water are DIY cleansers to kill germs and bacteria. Make sure to make the mix with the proper consistency. So that the mix does not become too harsh and gets the bristles dry.

How Do You Dry Your Makeup Brushes?

Lastly, to dry your brushes overnight, let them rest and dry on a towel. Do not forget to soak each of your brushes with a towel to remove water.

Tips for Cleaning Makeup Brushes at Home

Now that you know all the steps, here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  • Be gentle. If you are using a not-so-delicate cleanser, then add olive oil to keep the bristles soft.
  • Try to wash brushes with similar amounts of residue together. Well, it’s because your contour brush and fan brush don’t have as much residue as the foundation brush.
  • Most importantly, know the frequency!
    • It is best to wash your foundation brush once a week if you use it regularly. If you use them once in a while, then once every 2 weeks is fine.
    • To save yourself from unwanted eye infections, clean eyeshadow brushes once every two weeks.
    • Finally, come the brushes that have very small residues, like powder brushes or fan brushes you use to highlight. You must clean them once a month.

How to Keep Your Makeup Sponge Clean and Bacteria-Free?

Taking good care of your makeup sponge is crucial for a flawless and healthy beauty routine. Let’s find out why regular sponge cleaning is essential and some simple, yet effective, ways to keep that beauty tool bacteria-free.

How to Keep Your Makeup Sponge Clean
How to Keep Your Makeup Sponge Clean?

Why Is Regular Sponge Cleaning Essential For Your Beauty Routine?

Well, we all know the magic a makeup sponge can work on our faces, giving us that flawless finish we adore.

But here’s the deal – to keep that magic going, you’ve got to keep your makeup sponge squeaky clean. Why? Well, let’s talk about the importance of regular sponge cleaning in your beauty routine.


  1. Let it sit after getting out of the microwave 
  2. Gently squeeze off extra water
  3. Use holders while drying


  1. Do not use a tissue to dry the beauty blender
  2. Do not keep in the microwave longer than 30 seconds
  3. Do not dry in moist places

Simple Ways to Wash and Clean Your Makeup Sponge

First things first, don’t panic; it’s easier than it sounds. Here are some simple and effective ways to keep your makeup sponge in top-notch condition:

  • Good Ol’ Soap and Water: Start with the basics! Wet your sponge, apply a gentle soap, and lather it up. Give it a good squeeze and rinse until the water runs clear. Voila!
  • Baby Shampoo Love: If your sponge is delicate (and we know it probably is), opt for a mild baby shampoo. It’s gentle on the sponge and tough on the makeup residue. Your sponge will thank you.
  • Brush Cleaner Buddy: Got a brush cleaner lying around? Your sponge will love it too! Apply a bit of cleaner, work it into a lather, and rinse. Much like a mini spa day for your makeup sponge.

Using Microwave to Clean Your Makeup Sponge

This is a less time-consuming way to clean your beauty sponges.

  • Put your beauty blenders in a bowl of the cleansing mix as before. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of baby shampoo or dish soap with the water. Add a few drops of olive oil with dish soap to condition the bristles.
  • Heat the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Take the bowl out. Let it rest for a short time and get a bit colder. Now, gently squeeze off the residues.

Proper Ways to Air-Dry Your Sponges to Prevent Mold

It is time to dry your cute little babies.

Proper Ways to Air-Dry Your Sponges to Prevent Mold
Proper Ways to Air-Dry Your Sponges
  • First, squeeze off the extra water with the palm of your hand.
  • Air-dry them at an ideal temperature. Make sure the area is not too hot or humid. This will not let them dry properly and cause bacteria to grow inside.

When Is the Right Time to Replace Your Makeup Sponges?

Last but not least, decluttering is an essential part of cleaning and organizing. I know it hurts to throw away those cute little beauty blenders. But you must know when it is time to say goodbye.

  • Check if there is a small hole growing in your sponge or if it is losing elasticity. If so, let it go.
  • If your sponge stays intact, it is better to replace it with a new one after 3-6 months, depending on your frequency of use.

Safest Way to Clean Your Makeup Bag And Keep It Tidy

Your makeup bags are like a home for the aesthetic touch of your makeup products. You must keep it clean, not just to keep it looking pretty but also to keep your products safe.

The Importance of Maintaining a Clean Makeup Bag

A clean makeup bag saves your expensive products. Want to know how?

  • Extra dirt may get into your makeup products or your brushes if you do not clean the bags regularly.
  • If bacteria grow from dirt and moisture, it will ruin the environment and damage your makeup products.

How to Properly Clean and Sanitize Your Makeup Bag?

  • Dump and Declutter: Start by emptying out your makeup bag. Bid farewell to that half-empty mascara and ancient eyeliner. Decluttering is therapeutic, trust me!
  • Fabric-Friendly Wipe Down: For fabric bags, grab a gentle baby wipe or a damp cloth with a bit of mild soap. Gently wipe the interior and exterior, making sure to get into those nooks and crannies. Let it air dry for a fresh start.
  • Deep Dive in the Wash: If your bag is washable, toss it in the laundry. Use a mesh bag to protect it, and opt for a delicate cycle. This is a game-changer for canvas or cloth bags.

Wipe Clean Method for Simple Bag Cleaning

Grab some antibacterial wipes or soak a soft cloth in a makeup cleanser or rubbing alcohol. Afterward, gently wipe down the exterior and interior of your makeup bag. 

Pay extra attention to those forgotten corners where mystery crumbs and forgotten eyeshadow bits like to hide. A clean sweep can do wonders!

Best Practices for Organizing Your Makeup Bag

If you love to organize your home, then why not organize the makeup bag once in a while? Here are some best practices for organizing makeup bags:

Best Practices for Organizing Your Makeup Bag
Organizing Your Makeup Bag
  • Before organizing, declutter the damaged and expired makeup products.
  • Organize your brushes and sponges in the right chamber. It’s a good idea to get a makeup bag that comes with chambers for brush holders.
  • Keep your beauty blender in the package and store it in a small chamber. Use cotton pads to save them from damage.
  • Wrap cream and liquid items with cotton pads or small socks to save them from damage.

How Often Should You Clean Your Makeup Bag?

Just like your makeup brushes and sponges, your makeup bag needs some love too. Aim for a monthly deep clean and weekly quick check-ins.

But if there’s a makeup mishap inside, don’t wait; tackle it ASAP! A little regular maintenance goes a long way in the world of makeup bags.

How to Properly Clean Makeup Items Like Lipstick, Mascara, and Others?

You need rubbing alcohol and isopropyl for cleaning makeup products like lipsticks, mascara wands, and eyeshadows. Spray bottles make it quite easy to clean makeup products.

How to Properly Clean Makeup Items
How to Properly Clean Makeup Items?

How to Clean Lipstick Without Damaging It?

Lipsticks need tender care. Start by wiping off any visible residue with a tissue. Then, grab a cotton swab dipped in a bit of rubbing alcohol for about 30 seconds. Gently clean the bullet and the cap. Voila! Your lipstick is ready for its close-up.

Safest Way to Clean Your Mascara Wand

It is highly recommended to say bye-bye to your mascara once it starts to get dry.

However, if you want to clean anyway, pour some isopropyl on paper towels and wipe the wand carefully. Let it dry properly before putting it back.

How to Remove Makeup Residue from Your Eyeshadow Palette?

This is a simple and easy 3-step task:

  • First, softly clean the residue over the top layer of the eyeshadow palette.
  • Then spritz rubbing alcohol over the eyeshadow palette carefully.
  • Now keep it in a clean place and let it dry.

How Do You Effectively Clean Your Makeup Sharpener?

If you do not want skin infections, then the liner and lip pencil sharpener must be cleaned regularly. Pour some rubbing alcohol on a tissue or use an antibacterial wipe to wipe off the residue.

Do this each time after using it to make sure it’s pristine and ready to carve out those perfect lines.

Why Is It Important to Regularly Clean Your Concealer and Other Beauty Products?

You may be thinking, What’s the point of cleaning makeup products like concealers that come in intact containers? The dirt is too small. Well, you never know when it grows inside your makeup products.

This is why you should regularly clean the outside of the containers with antibacterial wipes.

All you need to do is spritz rubbing alcohol on the product. Let it sit till it is set.

Establishing an Effective Makeup Cleaning Routine

Now you know all the steps in detail to clean makeup items. Here are some highlights that can really help you get into the routine:

Establishing an Effective Makeup Cleaning Routine
Effective Makeup Cleaning Routine

Why Is Having a Makeup Cleaning Routine Beneficial?

A makeup cleaning routine is part of product care. Let‘s see why:

  • It ensures the hygiene of your brushes and other items. And it saves you from skin damage caused by clogged pores and bacteria buildup.
  • Extends the longevity of your favorite and expensive makeup products

Setting a Schedule: How Often Should You Clean Your Makeup Items?

Depending on the type of item and frequency of use, make sure to follow these below-mentioned tips:

  • Clean your foundation brush and beauty blender once a week.
  • Clean eye brushes once every two weeks.
  • Clean less used brushes, like powder brushes and fan brushes, and makeup products, like lipsticks, eyeshadow, cream, and liquid products, once a month.
  • Clean the makeup bags once a month.

Do not forget to clean any item or product immediately after sharing it with others. Do the same if it gets exposed to dirt or dust.

Tips to Readily Maintain a Clean Makeup Collection

These simple practices are enough to maintain a clean makeup collection:

  • Declutter products immediately after damage or hitting the expiration date. Remember, the moment a product starts smelling different, that’s the end of it.
  • Follow the routine of cleansing.
  • Use makeup holders and organizers. Also, make sure to use a makeup bag with organizer chambers

What Should You Avoid When Cleaning Your Makeup Items?

Besides the Do’s, there are some Don’ts to save your favorite brush collection or makeup products from getting damaged:

  • Avoid using hot water to wash your beauty blenders or brushes
  • Do not ever use any harsh chemicals to make the cleansing solution
  • Massage the bristles softly instead of squeezing them dry

Concluding Words

That’s all regarding how to clean makeup items like a pro.

For me, cleaning makeup items has been such a mood-uplifting and stress-relieving task for years that mere words are hard to express.

In fact, I strongly believe that once you start getting into the routine, you will know it too. I mean, you’ll see yourself doing this on busy days for a few more drops of dopamine to get your productivity back.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to clean makeup brushes at home?

Get a bowl of lukewarm water and mix 1-2 tablespoons of baby shampoo or dish soap. Add a few drops of olive oil with the dish soap. Rinse the brushes in lukewarm water and swirl them in the mix. Keep repeating until they are fully clean.

How to wash makeup brushes with dish soap?

Get a bowl of water and mix 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap. Add a few drops of olive oil to make the mix suitable for the brush. Now swirl and rinse them on repeat till the brushes are completely clean.

Can I use alcohol wipes to clean my makeup?

Yes. You can use alcohol wipes to clean your makeup. It is suggested to use 70% isopropyl alcohol to sanitize makeup products. However, make sure the alcohol wipe is not too dry.

How to wash makeup sponges?

Mix 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap with a few drops of olive oil in a bowl or jar of water. Dump the sponge and warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds. After taking it out, let it get cold, and then gently squeeze the residue off.

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