Thursday, 4 October 2012

Brush Cleaning #2: Spot Cleaning

In this post I talked about my choices of brush cleanser, and how and why I have chosen to decant them.  This post is on spot cleaning my brushes.  Because it doesn't require the use of water it makes it a much quicker method, so it's great if you need to use that brush again quickly (between colours or clients say) and it's also great for keeping on top of all the dirt and bacteria build up of brushes that will still need a deep cleanse (foundation brushes for example).  If you want to know more about the MAC brush cleanser that I use (price, why I decant it etc) do go and check my first brush cleaning post here.

So, first of all I need all my dirty brushes in one place! I seem to have developed a pretty large brush collection over the past couple of years (oops) so I don't store them all together, instead I get a selection that will do the job and put them all in this old (and cracked) Cath Kidston mug which lives in the bathroom which is wear I do my makeup.  Then, once they're in need of a bit of a clean (this tends to be once a week) I bring them all into my room to get down to business!

Because this is spot cleaning if there is one eye brush I'm particularly desperate to use but it's already covered in eye shadow I can get it back to working condition in a matter of minutes (particularly synthetic brushes) which is perfect! 

A selection of brushes all ready for a good old clean!

There are many different ways to spot clean your brushes, and if you'd like me to let you know some of the alternative methods please do let me know and I'll either explain to you personally or write another post.  To save this from being uber long I'm just going to focus on one technique for now.

I use an old towel to clean my brushes on, but you could use kitchen roll (I'd advice against toilet roll as it just isn't strong enough), couch roll if you have it (beauticians etc), an old flannel or muslin cloth, an old t-shirt or a bit of old sheet - you get the drift; it can be anything!  I simply place this on my work surface of choice and get ready for cleaning.

Place your brush on the towel or hold it slightly above, and then spray your cleanser onto the bristles.  You can turn the brush over if it is particularly dirty to ensure you've coated both sides.

Then, simple swirl your brush around on the towel.  Be very gentle with this, you don't want to end up scrubbing away at it, just use soft circular motions or gently sweep it one way and then the other in a line.

You can repeat the process if you need to, simply apply more product and gently wipe it over a clean section of the towel.  At the end of the process you should be able to wipe it over without leaving any makeup residue behind.

Once they're all squeaky clean you can either simply lay them flat on the towel, or place the towel near the edge of the surface and place it so the bristles are sticking just over, this prevents the brush from becoming misshapen as it dries.

Smaller brushes tend to dry in a matter of minutes using this method because they do not become too saturated in cleaning product, and the alcohol evaporates quickly, but do make sure your brushes are completely dry before you either put them back in their home (mug etc) or use them again. 

So there you have it, my spot cleaning process.  If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Next up - the deep clean!!

Happy Brush Cleaning!!


  1. Nice and easy :) think I need to invest in something similiar. It can be a bit of a pain sometimes especially if you're in a rush x

    1. It really is worth it, there's just no point making life hard for yourself when you don't have to...that's just my opinion anyway!


  2. Spot cleaning is perfect for that period in between deep washes :) Thanks for your tips!

    1. My pleasure! It's just nice to give them a bit of a freshen up isn't it?! xxx

  3. I need to remember to buy a bottle of brush cleanser for spot cleaning - especially for the smaller eyeshadow brushes. I tend to only do deep cleaning with baby shampoo and it gets very tedious!

    1. It was so cheep in the travel section of Boots and it's made everything so much easier!! x