Our friends at the popular beauty site Popsugar recently explained ten ways in which you’re using your Clarisonic facial cleansing brush incorrectly, including not using enough cleanser or water as part of your scrubbing routine. There were also a few tidbits in there about the proper care of the tool, such as remembering to remove the brush head to clean underneath it and the use of a mild shampoo for getting the head clean and free of built-up bacteria.

Keeping a facial cleansing brush clean is crucial to seeing its benefits; bacteria and face-wash product build-up on the brush head can result in clogged pores, breakouts and allergic reactions. And no one wants that! So follow this guide to keeping your facial brush clean, and reap the benefits of all that deep cleansing.

How to Clean a Brush Head

The good news in all of this is that cleaning the brush head is quite easy. The reason that’s good news leads me right into what you might consider to be bad news: You should be cleaning your brush head every week.

While that may seem more often than you’d like it to be, the weekly cleaning process will take you less than a few minutes. Make it part of your Sunday night ritual! Weekly cleaning can be done by using your fingers to massage the bristles with a small amount of a mild soap, such as baby shampoo or a castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s, diluted with warm water. You don’t even need to take the brush head off the handle!

Deeper cleaning should be done once a month. The process will be similar to the weekly cleaning routine, with the addition of two steps: For a more thorough cleaning, remove the brush head from the handle by unscrewing it and clean it using mild soap applied to a toothbrush, which will help to give the bristles a more thorough cleaning than the weekly finger bath can provide. The deeper cleaning should also involve the brush handle itself. Use a damp cloth and a small amount of mild soap to wipe the space where the brush head attaches to the handle, then wipe the handle itself down as well. Rinse well with warm water; the handle is fully waterproof, so no need to worry about submerging it in water for cleaning purposes.

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How to Dry the Brush Head After Cleaning

After you’ve performed your weekly cleaning, turn the brush head on, place it on a towel and let it run for five seconds to dry. That’s all! See, I told you that the weekly cleaning would take no time at all, really.

After a deeper cleaning, however, you should allow the brush head to air dry overnight, separate of the handle, which will let both parts to dry entirely before you reassemble them.

Proper Storage

Properly storing your facial brush, whether you’re traveling or staying put right at home, will help your brush stay cleaner longer. Depending on which model you have, the brush should either be stored upright in its charger stand or be set facedown with its cap on to protect the bristles.

When taking your brush on the road, be sure to store it in a protective baggie or case so that it is separate of other items in your toiletry kit — you don’t want your hair styling products to end up on your face washing tool, after all!

How Often to Replace the Brush Head

This is the part that might sting a bit: Ideally, you should replace the brush head on your Clarisonic facial brush after every three months of daily use. “Every three months?!?” I can hear you gasp. And that’s fair, because a pack of 4 replacement brush heads will run you about $80. Conveniently, though, those replacement brush heads come in packs of 4 because that’s how many times a year you will need to change them. They really think of everything!

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