How to Dry Makeup Brushes

How to Dry Makeup Brushes

If you're unsure how to dry makeup brushes properly, you could end up with a bunch of ruined applicators and no way to fix them.

Here's a quick and easy guide on how to handle them and keep them in good condition for as long as possible.

Why Drying is Important

If you're looking for a quick fix, remember you could be seriously damaging your skin and your brushes if you don’t dry them correctly.

For starters, the water left on them can start to breed bacteria. And we all know that bacteria is not something you want anywhere near your face.

Not only that, but the water can also cause damage which will cause them to become brittle and eventually break off.

5 Easy Steps

Here are the five steps you need for drying properly.

Step 1: Gently towel dry

The first step is to towel dry gently. You don't want to rub them too hard, or you could damage the bristles and longevity depends on being able to prevent this. Just pat them gently until semi-dry.

Step 2: Use a hairdryer on a low setting (optional)

You can use a hairdryer on a low setting to speed if you’re looking for a quick shortcut. Just be sure not to hold it too close or you could damage it.

Step 3: Lay them out on a clean towel

Once you've cloth dried (or blow dried) them, lay them flat on a cloth and let them air dry.

Step 4: Reshape them (optional)

Once they are dry, you can softly reshape the bristles if they look a bit distorted. Ensure they're completely dry before you do this, or you could cause damage.

Step 5: Store them in a safe place

Once they are dry and back in their original shape, it's time to store them safely. Ideally, you should store them in a specialized holder - somewhere they won't get squished - which will help extend their lifespan.

How Often Should You Clean Them?

You should give them a thorough wash and rinse at least once a week!

You need to remove any built-up makeup, oil, and bacteria for obvious reasons, and some not so obvious reasons.  Bacteria can cause skin irritation and lead to infection. 

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You can use a proprietary cleaner or shampoo; just be sure to rinse them thoroughly afterward and let them air dry.

How Long Does It Take for Them to Dry?

Different people say different things, but we recommend waiting at least an hour after washing. After you rinse, stand them upside-down to let them dry while you get ready for work. The upside-down position will enable the applicator to drain naturally first.

If they're still wet when you go to bed, use the above method to ensure they're completely dry before using them again. If you handle them too much while they're wet as you could end up damaging them.

Ensure you're not using them on your face to prevent irritation and infection.


There are YouTube tutorials produced that cover exactly this subject so if you are a visual learner, this could be a great resource for you. Simply type your query into the YouTube search engine and a variety of videos will come up for you to choose from.


One great tutorial is by a user called ‘MakeupByTiffanyD.’ In her video, she demonstrates how to clean both natural and synthetic types. She starts by spraying the bristles with a special cleaner and then wiping them on a clean towel. Next, she uses a wire brush to get any remaining makeup out of the bristles. Finally, she rinses with warm water and lays them flat on a towel to dry.

This is just one example of the many helpful videos available on YouTube for performing this task. With a little bit of searching,  you are sure to find a tutorial that works well for you.


As you can see, there are a few ways to handle washing them and we have outlined the most popular methods with steps above. However, feel free to experiment until you find what works best for you.

The key is ensuring they are completely dry after washing before using them again, and the upside of performing the process correctly is that you can prevent broken bristles.

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