I’ll admit it: I’m horribly, HORRIBLY lazy. Chores that I downright hate include changing the bedding (boring), hoovering (takes forever), and, most pressingly, washing my makeup brushes.

Normally, this takes me a good thirty minutes of scrubbing foundation out of bristles, resulting in prune-like hands, mess everywhere and not-quite-clean brushes. HOWEVER, last weekend I discovered a way of washing my makeup brushes with minimal effort and perfect results. Honestly, it’s changed my life…

Now, a disclaimer here: I don’t claim that this will not damage your brushes, nor do I claim  that because it worked for me, it’ll 100% work for you. So no blaming me if this goes tits up, please…

I stuck my brushes IN THE WASHING MACHINE, which is undeniably controversial and probably not advised whatsoever (by both brush and machine manufacturers). I have fairly expensive brushes so this was a bit of a gamble (I kept my fingers crossed it wouldn’t break all of them or make my machine explode), but it worked perfectly and my brushes are legit like new: honestly, they’re the cleanest they’ve been in months.

If you want to try this yourself, here’s what I did…

  1. I put my brushes in loose, but I also chucked in the towels that needed washing to cushion the sound. (All those handles spinning around in the drum? Noisy.) If you’re worried about your brushes being sucked up into the mechanism or something, maybe stick them in a pillowcase or one of those net laundry bags.
  2. Obviously I didn’t use fabric softener, but I used a tiny bit of laundry detergent – waaaaaay less than you’d use for an actual load of laundry. Laundry liquid is fine for your skin (it goes on your clothes, duh) but can be harsh on bristles, so use sparingly.
  3. I put my brushes on a quick wash, and at a really low temperature – I didn’t want them spinning round for ages, or getting so hot the bristles fell out. My brushes were diiiiiiiirty (the foundation one was downright gross), and the quick wash worked just fine.
  4. I didn’t dry them in the dryer, but instead stuck them all on the radiator. Because they’d spun, they were actually fairly dry already – don’t you hate when you wash them and they take hours and hours to dry? – but an hour or two on the heater finished them off.

So: can I wash makeup brushes in the washing machine? Yes. Is it safe to put your makeup brushes in the washing machine? Erm…maybe. The brushes are SO CLEAN that I’ll keep doing this in the future, but if you’re really precious about yours I’d be really careful. Remember: don’t blame me…




  1. Glad it worked for you but that not something I’d do myself. I’ve gotten into the habit of washing what eye brushes I use in the morning that night. And I was my face brushes once a week. I have the Real Techniques brush cleaning pad & it works good.


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