Your makeup brushes are an incredibly important thing. There’s nothing materialistic, shallow, or vain about this statement. It’s a simple fact of the matter — ladies wear make up. Putting it on every morning is a part of their day, and make up brushes get a lot of use. Daily use, in fact. So much so that keeping them clean should really be a huge priority. Maybe you’re better about keeping everything nice and neat, but there are plenty of us who can have trouble remembering to make sure to clean those brushes out on the regular. We’ll talk about some of the best tips for making sure you have the cleanest makeup brushes on the whole block. The real reason you want this, of course, is that a cleaner brush means healthier skin. Dirty brushes can spread and contain all sorts of gross bacteria and germs that we’d just as soon leave off our delicate faces.

1. Use a Mild Shampoo, If You Can. If you don’t have a brush cleansing solution that’s specifically made for cleaning makeup brushes, you can totally make a DIY solution that works with some mild shampoo. Just use some water and a little bit of that mild shampoo to give your brushes a nice cleaning. This solution is good in a pinch, but if you’re really serious about keeping your makeup supplies clean on a regular basis, then you might want to invest in some actual cleaning solution.

2. Buy a Brush Cleaning Solution. Having a makeup brush cleaning solution as a regular part of your arsenal can be the key to keeping your brushes sparkling clean all the time. These products aren’t too expensive, and they’re definitely worth it if you’re giving your makeup brushes very regular use (which you probably are). The DIY shampoo method is great, but these solutions were specifically designed to combat a dirty makeup brush, so they’ll likely work a bit better.

3. Go Oil-Based for Persistent Stains. If you’re really having a tough time with some serious stainage, then you should find yourself an oil-based product. MAC and several other reputable companies make them, and they specify that they’re oil-based. This is what you need to look for. After you’ve applied, rinse it through and out with lukewarm water. Do this a few times. This is for when you really have to bring out the big guns to deal with an incredibly rude stain.

4. Clean Them Regularly. The more often you clean out your brushes, the easier it’ll be to do it when you do. Setting aside 20 minutes to do this every Friday or Saturday will make sure it never takes you more than 20 minutes to do it in the first place.

5. Keep Them OUT OF THE BATHROOM. Many of us make the mistake of storing our makeup brushes in the bathroom, which just so happens to be a breeding ground for bacteria. Keep your brushes out of the bathroom so you can avoid spreading gross germs around on your face.