Cleaning your makeup brushes is one of those mundane tasks that we must all carry out (unless of course you like to spread bacteria across your face). You’d be surprised at how many people I come across who have used the same foundation brush for months or years and NEVER washed it. Sickening isn’t it. For those of you who don’t wash your brushes regularly, let me tell you exactly why it’s a very good idea. When you apply foundation to your face, you are picking up bacteria from your skin, and it’s then left to fester in the brush after use. The next time you go to use it, the same thing happens, except the bacteria that has festered from the time before, it now ALSO on your skin. It’s a vicious circle, that I can assure you, will only ever cause you to break out in spots. Obviously eye brushes are a less of a problem, but it’s still important to do a deep clean (as opposed to a spot clean – cleaning quickly with a makeup brush solution after each use) every few weeks, just to make sure they are bacteria free. I am lucky in the fact I have quite a lot of brushes, so after using one brush, I can then use a different one another day instead of having to be constantly deep cleaning brushes 24/7. If you have problem skin or acne, I’d definitely advise that you clean your brushes a little more than average person, you may notice an improvement. 

  1. Lay out all your dirty brushes ready for cleaning to commence!
  2. Dampen the brush slightly with lukewarm water.
  3. Pump your cleaning product of choice (I often use a mild shampoo but at the moment I’m using a Dove hand wash because it leaves the brushes exceptionally soft, and I like to think that the anti bacterial properties of a hand wash are beneficial in cleaning away all the nastiness.)
  4. Start swirling your brush around on the palm of your hand, occasionally adding a little bit of water to lather up the product and allow the brush to be thoroughly saturated. 
  5. Squeeze out excess product and watch all the foundation drip away into the plug hole!
  6. Repeat if necessary (stubborn dirt or a very dense brush)
  7. Marvel your clean brush (yes, that’s very important…)

*Also, try not to use too much water, we don’t like to waste now do we! It must be a running tap though, as there is no point washing your brushes in a pool of cloudy, dirty water. Just make sure you are turning it off between steps and between brushes*  

I also just thought I would add a little memo about my favourite brushes as a little extra to this blogpost (I will do a separate in depth blog post). As you can see, the green Bdellium tools brushes feature heavily. These are by far my favourite brushes for applying foundation. In particular, I love to use the 957 from the Green Bamboo Foundation Brush Kit (Shown in the photos & sold on Louise and I’s “Louella” shop – get yours HERE) and the 959 which is a rounded top brush. I actually own 3 of the 959 brushes…yes, THREE because I love them so much. (This brush can be found in the Green Bamboo Mineral Kit also available on “LouellaHERE). I can’t recommend them highly enough, I absolutely love them. They buff foundation into the skin like a dream. 

Hope you found this blog post helpful! How many of you are now going to run and wash your brushes?

  • Catherine

    Hi Zoe, I don’t know if you will see my comment, but I was just wondering, how often should I clean my brushes because I have only started using make up since about the end of May begging of June, and I haven’t been using them every day (maybe 3 times a week.) so I was just hoping you could help me out please. Thank Youuuuuuu <3

    • katie

      Hey! I saw your comment and thought I could help! I usually rinse mine through once a week then deep clean every two- three weeks but i use mine everyday, so maybe try three weeks if you don’t use them very often! hope this helps!

  • Robyn Harding

    Hi Zoe!YouTube is the best thing that has ever happened to me and u were the one that inspired me to do it x im so proud of u reaching 9,000,000 subscribers x i wish my channel will get that big.I hope to meet u one day x i will always look up to u! you book is my favorite book and i cant wait to read Girl online on tour x stay beautiful x robyn x ilysm

    • Zuzixixix P

      What’s your YouTube channel!?😊

  • chloe

    Hi Zoe! Im starting to get more into eye make up and I don’t know what brushes would be good quality and affordable for me, could you recommend any that I could use? love you!

  • Arjun

    Useful Tips. Thank you so much.

  • Ganesh Kumar

    Wonderful Article. Thank you so much.

  • Mica


  • erin mills


  • YukFeng Wu

    wow gonna try this thank you zoe!

  • veena hussain

    I have Dove handwash. Will try with that too. Otherwise I use dishwashing detergent and it works perfectly

  • Ellie

    i never knew about Louella!!! also tip: this is what i do too! although i use showergel or if i cant be bothered i use NO7 makeup brush cleanser to cleanse my brushes 1 a week xxx

  • RmzRlz

    That helped a lot! Thnz Zoe! :)

  • Maddie jane

    Do NOT tip your brush upside down when you are cleaning it!! It is SO important not to do that. This is because when you’re running water through the bristles, if you tip the brush upwards the warm water is going to run down through the centre of the brush, to the glue that is holding the bristles together…. and they will start to fall out! When you are washing, always make sure that no water ever gets past the end of the silver part of the brush. Once the glue becomes wet again the bristles will start to move and fall out. I can see in the pictures you are letting the brush get completely soaked but that is how they get damaged very easily. Make sure you put only the end of the brush under the tap when you are washing it on your palm and never hold it horizontally or vertically. ESPECIALLY when the brushes are also drying. Place them with the bristles facing down on a towel and leave them standing upright for a few hours so the water can drip downwards onto the towel instead of into the glue. Just thought I should let you know this, as a makeup-artist told me about a year ago as I was completely unaware! Hope it helps somewhat Zoe! :) xx

  • shaylee stuart

    what are is a good brand of makeup brushes?

    • MáriaLujza IsinLove

      definitely I would suggest Zoeva

      • Amy05_xoxo

        I think the real teniques and zoeva also the mac brushes

    • Meggy Mae

      Lottie London do a good range of brushes which you van buy at superdrug

    • danajauregui

      morphe, sigma, zoeva, ecotools and real techniques

    • Sarah Larkin

      I love studio london makeup brushes. I have blogged about them on my blog :D

  • Kristine Brooks

    So how often should you clean your makeup brushes? Preferably, once a
    week if not more, this will help maintain your brushes lifespan. Wash
    your brushes at night and allow them to dry so they will be ready for
    the next day, or right after your apply your makeup. You just want to
    make sure you allow enough time for them to dry thoroughly before using.

  • Hailey

    This really works. But how often should you clean your brushes? Or how often do you clean your brushes?

  • Loren Mckenna

    Where did you learn this method? It’s very clever and really works.

  • Saiema

    Wow that’s a great way to clean makeup brushes properly!!

  • There is also another method for washing your makeup brushes. I think it works well. Basically, you mix a teaspoon of extra virgin oil and normal soap/dishwashing soap together in a bowl and mix it. Slowly dip your brushes in and swirl around. Rub it onto your hand. Turn the tap on and continue rubbing it onto your hand. Make sure all of the soap and extra virgin oil is gone. That’s how I always wash my brushes. Please check out my blog:
    Thank you so much,

  • Kat Davies

    I have a puck of paintbrush soap that I use, you wet it and swirl the brush then scrub the brush in your hand then rinse it out. I sometimes use a small pump of Dancing Waters antibacterial soap from Bath&Body works, but paint brush cleaner works great. Its strong enough to get all the product out but gentle enough to soften and condition your makeup brushes.

  • Keira Teale


  • Nicole McGrath

    Coming from someone with problem skin I’m defiantly going to try do this more often x

  • Lilly

    I’m defo going to wash my brushes after knowing about all that bacteria thanks zöe I was in Brighton today me and my friend where hoping to see u 😂😂 but we didn’t this is the firs time I have look at his blog it’s amazing really help full congrats on 10,000,000 that’s amazing good luck love if u would reply and give me some types on how to do make up since I’m not very good lol thanks agian x

  • Ama

    I have been washing my brushes wrong! Thak you so much Zoe! xx

  • Really useful :) I use the real techniques cleanser and the pad, works wonders!

  • Stacey Baker

    Super useful!! What would I do without Zoe Sugg?! 💖

  • Thanks for the tips! I love having clean brushes.

  • Ashlie Adams

    I use that method! Xx

  • Cheyanne Aitchison

    I was looking for a fast and clean method, this is what I have been looking for. Thank u xox

  • Sapphire Kaye

    I was researching on how to clean my brushes (without brush cleanser and that glove thingy ect) and saw that you had done a blog post on it. So naturally as I am a massive fan of you I read this post and omg you are a life saver thank you so much! I am kind of a beginner to makeup but you help a ton ♡ xxx

  • When taking care of our brushes is not only important to maintain good hygiene, but also know how to clean to avoid damaging them. Most importantly always wash in pile direction , ie the water goes from the hair base to the tip, and trying to wet the handle as little as possible. If we did in the opposite direction, water would enter inside the brush, and could rot the wood handle and damage the hair fibers.

    Another important aspect to consider is drying. Depending on the density of hair brush, it may take one to two days to dry completely (although there are tools that accelerate this process and specific electric blankets for brushes). During this time, it is necessary that our US HOLD horizontal brushes since otherwise the remaining water could also enter through the handle.

  • MST Rokeya

    This site is all about beauty tips. Your tips are very helpful for people. from this site you can buy beautiful and durable shampoo bowl and get more beauty tips. You should visit this site.

  • beautysorted

    For the best “How to” videos on cleaning brushes, check out We have step by step tutorials on different tricks to cleaning all your favorite makeup brushes.

  • I clean my brushes just like this x

  • Jess
  • Stephanie Michelle Montgomery-

    I use antibacterial dove dish soap. It never hurts my brushes.

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    If someone needs cleaning and maintenance services all through Dubai at best rates . or go through 044276661.

  • Ctl Kthln

    Loving all of ur content. Btw, this site is offering a free Mieoko Kabuki Makeup Brush. This is legit.

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