Brushes: Keeping Them Clean On The Go

Shampooing brushes can take a while, and if it’s not done correctly your brushes are ruined. I know what it is like to do someone’s makeup and have another client minutes later. No schedule of shampooing and drying is getting done no matter how efficient. This isn’t just for makeup artists, you can’t clean your brushes at home constantly. There is an in between time in which you’ll wear some makeup that will leave the brush less than clean. Next time you’re in a situation when you need clean brushes, but don’t have a lot of time or are in between when you shampoo them rely on the tricks below to make it work:

  • Get as much off as possible until you can actually clean them- For example: You need to travel before you can clean the brushes, they’ll be packed tightly together, you were using highlighter and the brush is covered with the glittery powder. Any bump or if it’s knocked over the glitter will be spread. Tap lightly any excess off the brush (as if you were going to apply it) and a quick swirl on a paper towel will reduce the amount coming off by accident. Another time this is important is when using lip brushes, they tend to be covered and saturated with whatever lip product you were applying. Anything that brush hits or touches will leave its mark. Suddenly the base of a few brushes and the countertop have the sticky, mauve lipgloss you were using. Again using a paper towel , you don’t have to go crazy, but a quick wipe will get most of what would have come off. Seems small, and it is, but it makes a difference.
  • Don’t wait-If you got home and just used them everything is at the surface and will be much easier to clean. If you just used it and can immediately clean them, even better. It will buy you some time between shampoos by doing this Don’t wait until things have sunk in, dried, set. That is not what you want. At you earliest convenience get cleaning.
  • Use an antibacterial spray-I’ve seen some alcohol sprays, but I think the best brush cleaning spray that I’ve used so far is Sephora’s Daily Brush Cleaner. It smells good, it works well, very reliable. Whatever you use be gentle with the brushes. Spray enough, but there is no need to have the brush sopping wet. Antibacterial is antibacterial, using half the bottle won’t get it any cleaner. Rub against a towel or paper towel in quick light motions until there is no longer any color coming off. If you used something that did not have any visible color, average in about the time you used on other brushes. DO NOT press too hard, you can add pressure, but pressing the brushes as hard as you can to the surface of whatever you are cleaning on will destroy them. The brush hairs will be rough and out of place, they’ll be frayed and most likely not return to their original form. Once done cleaning all the brushes, usually I’ll gather them, line them up neatly and give the entire thing a spray. I’ll wrap them and put them somewhere safe. You’ll want to keep them away from any dust, heat or moisture.


When it comes to cleaning your brushes it’s really one of those things that you have to be disciplined about. It’s important to be sanitary and it will keep the brushes in a lot better condition. They’ll last longer and look better. Work it into your schedule and before long it will not even be a thought.


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