How to Clean Nail Polish Brushes? A Complete Beginner’s Guide

Searching for methods on how to clean nail polish brushes without ruining the bristles? Go through the article to learn the best ways to do exactly that?

If you are a nail polish lover, you don’t have to be remembered of the importance of nail polish brushes. These play a vital role in helping you get the design right on the nails and not mess up things.

But, you probably have already seen all the clutter it catches after a few uses that are super annoying and ruin the application. 

Let’s check out how to clean nail polish brushes and keep these ready so that whenever you need to apply nail polish, the brushes are ready for use.

How to Clean Nail Polish Brushes

Down below we’ll talk about a step-by-step method for doing a deep clean of the brushes.

how to clean nail polish brushes
how to clean nail polish brushes

Step 1: Dab Alcohol onto a Cotton Pad

First of all, you’ll need to saturate a clean cotton pad in some isopropyl alcohol that’ll help to clean the brushes. You’ll find this alcohol in most grocery stores and it’s super cheap to get. Also, if you don’t have access to cotton pads, you can simply use nail wrap as well.

Once you dab a little bit of alcohol, it’s time to wait for at least a minute to let it soak in. Make sure that it’s not dripping everywhere as you just need to use a small amount.

Step 2: Getting the Brush Handle Cleaned

Now that you have the cotton pad ready, it’s time to get down to the business. In this step, you will take out any sticky residue that sticks on the handle of the brush. For that, you’d need to swipe the cotton pad all the way up and down to get a good clean of the handle.

Don’t rush to clean the bristles using this same motion. Let’s talk about how to clean the bristles in the next step once you are done with the brush handle.

Step 3: Cleaning the Bristles

After cleaning the brush handle, it’s time to progress to the bristles. Start by placing the cotton pad down on a table. Then wipe the bristles back and forth ever so gently. You’ll see the gel slowly transferring on the cotton pad from the brush. 


You should repeat the motion at least 10 times, and that’ll get most of the get out from the bristles. Again, you should be super gentle with the wiping motion, or else it can damage it.

Step 4: Add Clear Nail Gel

In most cases, your nail polish brush will get cleaned by now. However, if there’s a bit of super sticky residue left, you’d have to use a clear nail gel on your brush.

Using a nail gel will soften the sticky old stuff and that way you can work with it easily. Just put a tiny amount of gel on the surface, and you can pick it up using your brush with a swipe.

Step 5: Finishing Up

Once you apply the clear nail gel to the bristles, it’s time to clean it out. Remember, if any of the gel stays on the bristles, it’ll be hard for you to clean it afterward as you’d have to go over the steps again. So, it’s critical to get it off completely in the first palace.

Place a cotton pad on a table and go over the exact method that you used before. That’ll get the gel off of the nail polish brush. And now you should have a clean brush to work with.

However, it’s not the best idea to clean your nail polish brush super often as it can mess up the bristles and make them less durable over time.

Caring for Your Brushes

It’s a great idea to care for your brushes so that you don’t have to deal with all the hassle of cleaning or going for a frequent replacement. Let’s go over a few of the caring tips that you should follow for better maintenance increased lifespan. 

Clean After Each Use

No, you don’t need to deep clean the nail polish brushes after using them every time. But it’s essential to wipe out the gel from the brushes before you actually store these. Otherwise, the bristles will get stiff, and you won’t be able to use them properly the next time. 

So, just use a towel to wipe out the gel from the bristles after you are done using the brush. If you want to get more effectiveness out of it, you can use a lint-free cloth to wipe the brush clean. That way it’ll be ready whenever you want to use it the next time.

Following this method will decrease the cluster buildup on the brushes. And as a result, you won’t have to deal with cleaning them as much.

Store the Brushes Properly

How you store your nail polish brushes can affect their longevity and performance. You always want to be extra careful about it. 

For instance, you must not put the brushes under direct sunlight. It can damage the bristles and the handle, and you don’t want that to happen. Also, as you apply alcohol or chemicals like acetone to your nail polish brush, it’s a good idea to keep these away from UV rays as much as possible.

Just store the bushes in a dry and cool place, and that’ll be all you need to do.

To Wrap Up

These were some of the best techniques on how to clean nail polish brushes without messing up the bristles. As you saw, these are pretty simple methods but works very effectively. Doing one of these basic cleanups will significantly improve your experience with the nail polish application.

Also, make sure to store the brushes properly to make these last a long time. If you’re using the UV rays nearby, make sure that you keep the brush away from it. Otherwise, the gels can make the brush stiff, and you don’t want that to happen.

Writer: Shyran Khan Joy

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