How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes, Hair, Beauty Tools, and More

If you've been wondering, "How do I clean my makeup and hair brushes," we've got answers for you.

By Jenny Lee May 05, 2024 5:15 PMTags
Shop Makeup-Cleaning ToolsPhoto Courtesy of Getty Images - Carol Yepes

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Confession: I have a tendency to put off doing tasks until the last-minute, until my brain feels like it's going to burst from all the procrastination guilt. The same applies when it comes to makeup — as much as I like to go through the entire choreography from primer to setting spray, I admittedly don't wash my tools frequently enough. While I could (somewhat) get away with it during my high school & college days, in recent years I've noticed that my skin has become ultra-sensitive. Safe to say, I knew I couldn't get away with ignoring my dirty makeup brushes anymore, and I decided it was finally time to learn how to properly clean each of my beauty tools once & for all. But first, there are a few burning questions that need answers.

How Often Should I Clean My Makeup Brushes (& Other Beauty Tools)?

This may stress some people out but according to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should be cleaning your makeup brushes every 7 to 10 days to keep bacteria buildup at a minimum, otherwise you could experience acne, rashes, and muddy makeup application. Of course, this depends on how often you wear makeup and whether you're jumping between different color products. Other beauty tools like gua shas, red light therapy and micro current devices, and tweezers or nail scissors should be sanitized after every use. But don't worry, it's not as time consuming as you might think (especially with our selection of solutions). 

So, after hours of combing through the internet for the best beauty cleaning solutions, I'm here on my little digital soapbox to share my findings. From solutions for your makeup brushes & sponges to your hairbrush, red light therapy mask, NuFACE device & more, I've curated the best problem-solving picks for getting your fave beauty tools squeaky clean. This even includes beauty tools based on material, such as your silicone scrubber, jade roller, or metal tweezers. Every pick is available on Amazon and is backed by tons of positive shopper reviews.

If you're ready to see and feel the difference in your beauty regime, let's get right into it!

How Do I Clean My Makeup Brushes & Sponges?

Norate Makeup Brush Cleaner

This makeup brush cleaner solution has 21,300+ five-star reviews on Amazon and is a top pick among shoppers for its effectiveness in removing crusty residue, grime, and dirt (including buildup that's been there for a long time). According to the brand, the cleanser is suitable for all cosmetic brush fibers and sponges.

According to one shopper, "This stuff is magic." They explained, "I have been trying to clean my make up brushes with stuff I already have in my home and it just wasn't working very well. I saw the great reviews and the great price of this product, ordered it, and could not BELIEVE how well it works. The make up legit melts off the brushes. My brushes have not been this clean since I bought them."

EcoTools Makeup Brush and Sponge Shampoo

If you have super sensitive skin like me, I recommend trying out the EcoTools makeup brush & sponge shampoo. I've used this to clean my makeup brushes & Beautyblender for a few years now, and not only does it get my tools squeaky clean and soft, it also lasts a long time (granted, that may be in part due to me not cleaning my brushes as often as I should). The eco-friendly formula is dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and safe for sensitive skin, according to the brand; plus, it's free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and petroleum-based ingredients.

With over 41,900 five-star reviews on Amazon, this makeup brush cleanser has earned a devoted following in the beauty community. One shopper raved, "I've been skeptical about items that seem like glorified soap but got it as a gift. This cleaned my brushes like nothing else, with just a drop, a few seconds of spreading it around, and literally about 10 seconds of swishing in warm water. It was unbelievable. It took out weeks of caked on 24-hour concealer and foundation and left my brush soft and fluffy like it were brand new. I will always use this (and my brushes will always be clean!)."

Cinema Secrets Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner

If you need to clean your brushes in a pinch, use this quick-drying (and highly-rated) makeup cleaner. It removes dirt, oil, and makeup without the need to rinse and wait for brushes to dry. Once you've dipped your brush into the solution, simply wipe it on a paper towel and watch as all the makeup rubs off. Of course, it's still good to deep cleanse your brush on a regular basis in addition to using this product. 

Minthe Makeup Brush Cleaner Mat - Pack of 2

To maximize the cleaning power of your makeup brush shampoo, pair it with this brush cleaner mat. Made from high-grade, BPA-free silicone, the mat is designed with an array of bumps and grooves that help give each of your brushes a deep clean. Each unit includes two mats, so you'll always have one as a backup or to take with you on your travels.

One Amazon shopper reported, "I was skeptical that this product would work since I don't clean my brush a lot. This helps a lot. I was surprised that my brushes were more clean than ever and now I don't break out as easy. I recommend this to anyone else who deals with daily breakouts from using make up products."

Golikee Makeup Brush Cleaner Mat

Or, check out this three-in-one makeup brush cleaning mat, which is available in seven chic colors. Crafted from soft & durable silicone material, it functions as a storage container, cleaning mat, and drying rack. The mat is designed with four kinds of textures for deep cleaning each of your different brushes, and it can be used to help clean your powder puff and sponges as well.

According to one Amazon shopper, "I am so glad I bought this item. For a while I have been looking for something to wash and dry my makeup and facial brushes and this is it! You can dry your items upside down (hanging ) and upside up ( siting on a flat surface), the portion for cleaning brushes is a great idea. It is also compact in size, I like the fact it is made of silicone because I can disinfect with hot water and reuse it for a long time."

Ricris Premium Makeup Brush Cleaner

If you want to avoid the hassle of scrubbing and swirling your brushes around manually for a deep clean, this genius makeup brush cleaner will do put in the work for you. It cleans and dries your makeup brushes in less than a minute, and it includes eight collars to accommodate a wide range of brush sizes.

One Amazon shopper called this the "Best purchase I've ever made." They wrote, "I was really behind on cleaning my makeup brushes and they looked pretty bad. I saw this product was on sale and decided to try it out. It's SO easy to clean your brushes with this!! It takes just a few minutes and there's no mess or additional towels etc needed and they come out dry so most of your brushes you can use right away. I clean my brushes much more regularly now that I have this!"

How Do I Clean My Hairbrush?

Denman Hairbrush Cleaning Brush

Stray hair, buildup, and dust, oh my! Our hairbrushes tend to get pretty darn dirty over time, and the longer we put off cleaning them, the harder it becomes to clean just by running our fingers through the bristles. That's where this nifty cleaning tool comes in. Use the stiff bristles to remove any hair from your hairbrush, and then use the pointed end for raking out loose hair. Then, use the bristles at the end of the brush to remove dust and fluff.

According to one Amazon shopper, "I was absolutely disgusted with my brush. I use a "tangle teezer" and it was full of dust, product lint and hair. I could only ever get some of the hair out. Just received this gadget and my brush looks brand new. It only took me 5 minutes. This is so helpful. I'd hate to keep replacing brushes due to all the lint and build up and now I don't have to!"

Ship-Shape Comb & Brush Cleaner 2lbs

If your brush requires a little more elbow grease, Ship-Shape has you covered. The solution removes buildup, gels, sprays, dirt & from brushes and combs, all in a matter of minutes. It can also be used to clean sinks, countertops, chairs, stainless steel, and other suitable surfaces, according to the brand.

One Amazon shopper called this "Shockingly effective." They added, 'Used this to clean up elderly shower-averse relatives' combs and brushes that hadn't been cleaned possibly ever. First tried a hot water + Dawn soak and scrubbing which was mildly effective but too much ick stayed behind. The buildup came right off pretty much on its own in a hot bath of this Ship-Shape and everything looks AMAZINGLY clean. Dunked tweezers, scissors, nail clippers, and anything else I could think of in and everything's now remarkably clean. Adding this to the regular cleaning tasks for the household!"

How Do I Clean My Silicone Beauty Tools?

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser

To clean your silicone brushes, sponges, and beauty devices like the PMD Clean, it's best to use a gentle facial cleanser like this bestselling one from La Roche-Posay with 23,800+ five-star reviews from Amazon. Massage the cleanser onto the silicone and in between the bristles, if applicable, until you get a rich lather. After, rinse it all off with warm water.

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How Do I Clean My Jade Roller & Gua Sha Tool?

Method Foaming Hand Soap - Pack of 3

To wash your roller or gua sha tool, it's best to use warm, soapy water — preferably, with a gentle facial cleanser like the one above or a gentle antibacterial soap like this one from Method. Fill a bowl with warm water and soap, and soak the tools for a few minutes to help wash away dirt and buildup.

Utopia Towels Cotton Washcloths Set - Pack of 24

If you want to give your beauty tools a deeper clean (especially if you're noticing some stubborn grime or dirt), use a soft cloth to gently scrub your jade roller or gua sha. This pack of washcloths includes 24 pieces of 100% ringspun cotton that's soft, delicate, and durable.

As one Amazon shopper wrote, "Comparing reviews, I decided on these as an extra Christmas gift for my mom so she could do her face daily without running out of facecloths. I was very pleasantly surprised. These are lovely and soft but not too thick. I didn't want thick ones as they hold so much extra water and don't fold nicely in the closet either. Yes, there are threads that needed to be cut off but not one was sewed badly and the color is holding true after several washes. They even haven't shrunk into strange shapes! I'm mightily impressed."

How Do I Clean My Metal Tweezers, Nail Clippers & More?

Amazon Basics Hydrogen Peroxide Topical Solution

To sanitize your metal beauty tools on a regular basis, it's recommended that you first wash them with hand soap and warm water. After that, you can dip them in either rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide for a deeper clean.

OXO Good Grips Deep Clean Brush Set

To really clean the nooks and crannies of your metal tools, you can use this top-rated deep clean brush set with over 23,600 five-star Amazon reviews. The set includes a large brush and a small brush with wiper blades that are perfect for particularly tight spaces.

How Do I Clean My Red Light Therapy Device?

Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes - Water Based

To clean & maintain your red light therapy masks and devices, clean the surface with a damp, clean cloth or a water-based wipe. These Pampers baby wipes are perfect because they're formulated to be gentle enough for babies' delicate skin and contain no alcohol, fragrances, parabens, or latex.

Amazon Basics 70% Isopropyl Alcohol

If your red light mask or device has some stubborn stains on it, you can gently wipe it down using a dry cleaning cloth with 70% alcohol for a deeper clean. This 32-ounce option has 5,600+ five-star reviews on Amazon, and shoppers love how effective it is at such a great value.

How Do I Clean My NuFACE Device?

Mr.Siga Microfiber Cleaning Cloth - Pack of 12

These lint-free microfiber cloths with 62,700+ five-star Amazon reviews are soft & durable, making them perfect for wiping down your NuFACE device after every treatment (make sure to lightly dampen them first). If you want to sanitize your device more thoroughly, you can opt to use rubbing alcohol on a dry cloth.

If you want to shop more essentials to upgrade your skincare & makeup routines, check out these 45 viral TikTok beauty products you'll wish you bought sooner.