how to clean makeup tools

How to clean your makeup & beauty tools

As women we apply makeup daily but when was last time you cleaned your makeup brushes and tools? I must admit, I very rarely do. But according to the experts we should all be cleaning our beauty tools on a weekly basis to avoid both skin and eye infections from occurring.

If you can’t remember the last time you gave your makeup brushes a little soak, here’s the scoop on how to clean a range of different beauty tools from sponges through to hair straighteners.

how to clean makeup brushes

Make-up Brushes
Probably the one beauty tool we are all guilty of not taking better care of. The experts recommend these should be cleaned weekly. Ideally clean at least 24 hours before use to make sure the bristles are dry.

How to clean:

  • First, wet the brush well with plain, cool water. Try to wet only the bristle part to prevent weakening the adhesive that holds the brush to the handle.
  • Add a blob of mild liquid soap or shampoo (or makeup brush cleaner) to the palm of your hand and swish the brush through the liquid, making sure it gets into the centre of the brush.
  • Rinse the brush with plain water, keeping the handle dry.
  • Gently squeeze the water out of the bristles, keeping them lying as flat as possible. Lay the brushes flat on a towel to air dry, at least overnight before using.

Makeup Sponge

With all grunge we accumulate on our faces such as dirt and oil, its no wonder makeup sponges or gel pads need cleaning weekly too.

How to clean:

  • Run the sponge under a lukewarm running tap, squeezing the water out.
  • Dab the sponge with a mild liquid soap or baby shampoo and gently massage into the sponge.
  • Simply run under the tap to rinse away all residue and soapy water.
  • As sponges are highlyabsorbent, you will need to repeat this method until the sponge is fully clean.
  • Gently squeeze any excess water from the sponge and gently massage with a dry clean towel to gently dry.
  • Leave the sponge overnight to fully air dry before using.

Pencil Sharpener

Eyeliner, eyebrow and lip liner pencils will all need sharpening at some point. But the pencil sharpener is the one beauty tool we forgot about cleaning and is recommended to be cleaned after every use to prevent cross contamination and avoid eye infections.

How to clean:

  • Simply dip an old toothbrush into some rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and carefully get into the edges of the sharpener.
  • Rinse well with cool water and allow to air dry.


We use tweezers for lots of tasks and almost all of them involve contact with body fluids. To prevent the spread of infection, tweezers should be cleaned after every use.

How to clean:

  • Wash the full tweezer with a bit of antibacterial hand soap and warm water.
  • Then, dip the tips in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide or rub with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
  • Allow to air dry on a clean towel.

Eye Lash Curlers
Mascara, eyeliner and bacteria can all coat the surface of your eyelash curler after every use. None of that sounds good for our eye health. So a curler should be cleaned at least weekly or after every use if you have sensitive eyes or any type of eye infection.

How to clean:

  • Dampen a cotton wool pad  with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, then wipe down all the surfaces.
  • Once the cotton wool pad wipes clean. Rinse with cool water because the alcohol may dry out any rubber or plastic components.
  • Allow to air dry on a clean towel.
how to clean hair brush and combs
Photo by Element5 Digital on

Hair brush
Hairbrushes and combs collect plenty of oily dirt, dead skin and hair products as well as strands of hair. If  not cleaned regularly, all of that gunk is transferred back to your hair and can leave it looking dull and flat. Depending on the brush type, follow the steps below.

How to clean:

Remove as much hair as possible from the brush or comb with your fingers or with tweezers.

  • Dampen the brush or comb with warm water and massage in a bit of shampoo. Use your hands to work the shampoo into the bristles or teeth.
  • Fill a sink with warm water and allow the brush and comb to soak for at least fifteen minutes. Do not soak if your hair brush is made from natural boar bristle brushes, cushioned brushes and wooden handled brushes because it can damage parts of the brush.
  • Finally, use an old toothbrush to loosen and residue that might remain.
  • Rinse well with warm water and allow to air dry on a clean towel overnight.

Hair Straighteners/Curling Tongs
One item we probably don’t always think about to clean are our hair straighteners or curling tongs. Over time the build up of hair products on the ceramic plates once heated can bake onto the surface which then can be transferred back into our hair leaving it dull and flat.

How to clean:

  • Unplug the appliance and make sure it is completely cool.
  • Wet a cotton wool pad  with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and go over the sticky surfaces on the plates.
  • Allow it to work for a few minutes. This may require several goes to completely clean the plates from residue build up.
  • Wipe down with a clean, damp cloth and then a soft, dry cloth.

The hair straighteners can also be cleaned by mixing a tablespoon of baking soda with one teaspoon of water. Apply the paste to the sticky areas with a soft cloth and “scrub” lightly. Wipe away the residue with a clean cloth dipped in plain water and then dry with a soft cloth.

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