The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Makeup Tools Without Ruining Them

Whether you’re a makeup enthusiast or professional artist, you’ve probably come across your fair share of makeup cleaning hacks.

From miniature washing machines to elaborate brush spinners and much more, you’ll see everything under the sun.

But how do you separate fact from fiction and gimmicky tricks and tips from actual, effective methods for cleaning and protecting your brushes?

Focusing on building a regular, safe routine for cleaning out your brushes, especially as a professional when you’ll need to do it more frequently, is key.

The reason why your brushes need to be cleaned is that there will be oil and product buildup from use, and this may transfer between clients too. If it’s just you that uses them, then do it once a week.

Ditch the TikTok hacks, YouTube tutorials, and Instagram ads for crazy products, and stick to the following methods to clean your brushes and blenders like a pro:

Shop for cleaning essentials and supplies

You should get your hands on a silicon pad or glove, some warm water, a clean work surface, and keep your supplies set up.

It's important to use soft materials when cleaning your brushes because you don't want to damage the bristles and fibers. You should also get a soft microfiber cloth to help you dry the bristles when you’re done.

Invest in the NEAT Makeup Brush Cleanser

This makeup brush cleanser is an absolute must-have for you. It’s soft, easy to use and all you need is to dip your wet brush into the soap and move it in circular motions to make it lather up.

The gentle formula will keep your bristles from getting damaged, roughening, and works for both natural and synthetic fibers, which is ideal when you're using a wide collection of tools in your daily routine or professional practice.

It’s also gently scented, and the formula is incredibly effective at removing dirt and bacteria and is made of vegetable ingredients, essential oils, and incredibly moisturizing.

The lid of the tin also comes with a small silicone pad that you can use on the go when you don't have your full-sized one around or need to clean quickly.

The formula is also free of colorants and irritants so you can use it safely and without worrying about the effects.

For tougher buildup and grime, use some oil

While mild cleanser and a silicon pad are generally enough for most types of stains and residue, sometimes you might need something stronger.

In that case, a few drops of gentle oil, such as olive oil or even baby oil mixed in with your soap can be a game changer.

You don’t need to douse your bristles in oil—a few drops in either the soap and water mixture, or onto the brush before you soap it up are more than sufficient.

The oil takes it a step further by breaking down the product and acts as a type of double-cleanser—but for your brushes.

It's a must-have product that any professional or makeup enthusiast needs to own because it's going to make your life much easier. You can also carry this easily when you travel!

Don’t use harsh movements and excess pressure

Use circular, gentle movements to clean your brush, rather than firm, intense pressure that will damage the bristles.

A great way is to hold the brush a little further up when you first start and then holding the bristles from the head. This prevents water from seeping in, and the bristles from moving in all directions.

Small, circular movements will help you get deeper into the brush itself, and fully remove any buildup and residue, as well as pigment. Too much pressure may cause your fibers to break and the brush to thin out unnecessarily.

Squeeze out all excess moisture and reform

Be careful not to leave excess moisture behind because that will most definitely ruin the brushes. The other factor to take into consideration is your washing and rinsing method.

Pinch the base of the bristles to make sure that water doesn’t seep through to the metal grip and to the wooden handle. This can lead to your bristles getting loose and damaged, and your brush losing shape.

Another issue with leaving moisture is that you might see mold growth and bacteria accumulation in your brushes, which is not only dangerous but also unhygienic.

Once all the moisture is out of your brushes, reform the shape and put them to dry. Reforming them means bringing them back to their original shape for later use.

Let the brushes dry upside down or off an edge

This is a hack that will change your life. Drying your brushes off a ledge, or hanging them upside down to dry ensures that not only does all the moisture successfully evaporate, but the brush itself retains its form.

The shape, form, and fluff will come back once the brush is dry. Laying them on a flat surface, especially without reforming the shape, could mean your brushes look flatter, denser, and thicker, clumping together as they dry.

This makes it impossible to work with them by the time you’re done. You'll thank yourself for how fluffy and beautiful they turn out and how easy they are to use once they're dry.

Polish your displays and organizers using Novus products

Last but not least, an additional step especially for a professional is to clean and polish your brush displays and organizers.

We recommend using Novus products, including their clean and polish kit which helps get rid of scratches, sanitizes your brush displays, and keeps them looking shiny and new.

We’re bringing you the ultimate range of cleaning supplies and tools, including makeup display cleaning polish,organizers and display cases, and the perfect cleaning and care kits too.

You can handmade professional makeup, brushes to stunning, high-end foundation brush sets, mixing palettes and sponges, and beauty blenders.

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