To prevent contamination, keep brushes that need to be washed separate from all other brushes. I use a small bin that sits near my vanity to store brushes that need washing (shown above).
To spot clean your brushes using a professional cleanser, spray the cleanser onto the bristles and gently swirl your brush on a paper towel until the brush wipes clean. You can also spray or carefully pour (if it's non-spray) the cleanser onto the paper towel instead of directly onto the bristles.
Keep in mind that some brush cleansers can dry out bristles, so aside from researching the right one for you, use your brush cleanser only when necessary and always be as gentle as possible when caring for your brushes. You can also find some great DIY brush cleansers online.
If you're interested in either of the two brush cleansers I'm using, the first one (and my favorite) is the Japonesque Makeup Brush Cleanser, which currently retails for $12.50 (4.25 oz) and $30.00 (16 oz) at Ulta. They also carry the 1 oz travel size for $6.00. It cleans well and never leaves my brushes feeling dry. The second bottle pictured is the MAC Brush Cleanser, which currently retails for $15.00 (7.9 oz). It can be used with water; however, I use it on its own as a spot cleaner and have had no issues.
Two low-cost options are the e.l.f. Studio Daily Brush Cleaner and the Ulta Professional Brush & Sponge Cleaner.
To deep clean your makeup brushes, start by running the bristles under lukewarm water, rinsing away surface residue. Always hold your brushes upside down while washing them and try to avoid allowing any water to come in contact with the ferrule (metal part) and disrupt the glue holding the bristles together.
Next, place a drop of a gentle shampoo, such as baby shampoo, into the palm of your hand. Gently massage and swirl the bristles in your palm, creating a lather.
Again, rinse the bristles under lukewarm water. Be sure to rinse all the shampoo out of the brush and then gently squeeze out the excess water. If the bristles feel dry or stiff, use a small amount of silicone-free conditioner to soften them. Gently massage the conditioner into the bristles and then repeat the rinsing process. Carefully reshape the brush.
Lay your brushes out to dry on a cloth or paper towel. Leave the bristles hanging off your counter's edge for even drying. Allow your brushes to dry for at least 6 to 8 hours.
Your brushes are now ready to go!
Extra Tip: To clean and sanitize brush handles, use a bit of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and wipe over them. And to avoid fading or removing any of their labels or numbers, just be gentle while cleaning them or apply some clear nail top coat over the printing to really maintain it.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.