How to Clean Every Beauty Tool in Your Arsenal

Not to gross you out, but your beauty tools are a breeding ground for bacteria, product buildup and dead skin cells. We’re talking about everything from your makeup brushes to beauty sponges, and pencil sharpeners to hair brushes. Unhygienic beauty tools are one of the top reasons for acne and irritation. To prevent spreading all that nasty stuff all over yourself, it’s essential that you clean your beauty tools regularly. Doing so will also extend the lifespan of your tools. Keep in mind that you should be cleaning your beauty tools as often as you change your sheets – that means at least once a week!

Here’s how to clean the top 9 most common beauty tools.

Makeup Brushes

There are many ways to clean your brushes, including ready made brush cleaners. But one of the easiest (and cheapest!) ways to do so is by swirling your brush in a concoction of antibacterial soap and olive oil, on the palm of your hand. Next, rinse and squeeze out the water, then lay it flat on a towel to air dry, to avoid damaging the bristles.

Breena Beauty Face Makeup Brush Bundle
from Breena Beauty

Beauty Sponges

Dampen the sponge with some water and massage a dab of antibacterial soap into it. Then, squeeze the sponge under running water until the water runs clear and there are no more soap suds. Ideally you should wash this after every use.

beautyblender POWER POCKET PUFF™
from Sephora

Ultrasonic Brushes

Unscrew the brush head then use antibacterial soap and an old toothbrush to scrub between the bristles. Rinse it well and let it air dry. Clean the handle with antibacterial soap on a damp cloth.

TOUCH BEAUTY 3 in 1 Electrical Facial Cleanser
from Hermo

Eyelash Curler

Use makeup remover to dissolve any leftover mascara on the eyelash curler, then go over it with some rubbing alcohol to disinfect.

shu uemura Eyelash Curler
from shu uemura


Simply dab some rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad and whisk it over the tweezers for happy, hygienic eyebrows. Try to clean it after every use.

Tweezerman Expertweeze Lighted Slant Tweezer
from Sephora

Makeup Pencil Sharpener

Betcha didn’t think a pencil sharpener could breed bacteria! Makeup pencils like eyeliners, brow pencils and lip liners come in contact with bodily fluids and contaminate the sharpener every time it needs to be sharpened. Dip an old toothbrush or cotton swab into some rubbing alcohol and work your way around the sharpener.

Benefit Cosmetics All-Purpose Pencil Sharpener
from Sephora

Hair Brush

There’s some nasty stuff lurking in your hair brushes. First, remove all the hair from the bristles with your fingers or tweezers, then use antibacterial soap and an old toothbrush to get between the bristles.

Aveda Pramāsana Exfoliating Scalp Brush
from Aveda

Hair Curler and Straightener

Hairspray and styling products can build up on the heat plates of your curler and straightener. Make sure the appliance is completely cool, then wipe it down gently with some rubbing alcohol, then a damp cloth.

Dyson Airwrap™ styler Complete
from Dyson

Hair Dryer

Make sure the hair dryer is unplugged, then remove the filter located at the back (might require a screwdriver). Use a dry toothbrush to scrub off any dirt and dust, then reassemble it.

Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer
from Dyson