Cleaning, Antibacterial Agents and Disinfectants for Face Painting

Face Painter Painting in Claremont, La Verne, Big Bear Lake, San Dimas, Pomona, Upland, MontclairAll good Moms are worried about germs!

But, the reality is, your child has a better chance of getting a cold or virus from the kids they play with in the jumpy, or when standing in line to get cake, than from your face painter!

There just are very few problems with the high quality cosmetics a professional artist uses. In fact, our professional liability insurance is very inexpensive – because there are so rarely any issues to make claims about! Always a good indicator of safety.

Before you hire an artist, I suggest you check that they carry insurance, as they can only get actual face painter's insurance if they are use the more expensive make-ups, MEANT to be used on the skin. NEVER allow craft paint to be used on your skin.

Personally, I take a few extra steps to combat germs for face painting:

  • I try my best not to paint anyone with is not feeling well. I have signage about this in many places, and I always ask.
  • I use two fresh antibacterial wipes – meant for the skin – like Wet Ones (c) for each person I paint. One to clean my hands, one to wipe my brushes on as I paint.
  • Spray about a half teaspoon of plain white vinegar into my dipping water (see more on using vinegar on face paints below).
  • Spray my paints and brushes, every few customers, with plain white vinegar.
  • Once a week I clean everything in my kit.

(NOTE: a "brush cleaner" is not necessarily safe to use on the skin. Read the directions!)

How To Clean A Face Painting Kit

FOR THE BRUSHES: I use a mixture of no-tears baby shampoo and plain white vinegar as the soap.

FOR THE PAINTS: I hold them under running water to soften them up, and clean them off. With hands I have cleaned well with alcohol, I press the paints back into a nice flat space. Afterwards I spray them with vinegar.

Why Vinegar on Face Painting Materials?

Vinegar has been used for literally thousands of years to help sanitize things and heal. This may, or may not, be very scientific, but it has a VERY long track record of being SAFE.

IN A NUTSHELL: I feel better using vinegar to at least help a little bit with keeping my face paints and materials a bit cleaner. Below are research studies that support the good feeling I get when I use vinegar. But, in the end, it just my personal opinion.

Anyone MIGHT have an allergy to vinegar. But, they might have an allergy to ANYTHING I use: the wipes, the paints, the sponges. I always ask, “DO YOU HAVE ANY ALLERGIES?” If yes, I, sadly, just don’t paint them.

I also use vinegar (and baby shampoo) to clean my wash clothes, sponges and table cloths. It helps keep fabric color fast, so it keeps my black items from fading. Also, vinegar is used as an agent to freshen the smell of fabric, carpets and clothing that has become ‘stinky.’ So, my fabrics smell very fresh and clean, and there is less chance that people can have an allergic reaction because of the fragrance from other cleaners.

Vinegar is an antibacterial and an antifungal.

Is Vinegar Safe to Use on the Skin and In Make-up?

My understanding is that many years ago it was an ingredient in face paints and it is used to adjust pH (acidity) in cosmetics. “Cosmetic vinegars, also called toilet vinegars, have been used as a complexion aid for centuries. Vinegar closes pores and preserves or restores the skin's natural acidity (pH balance). Vinegar keeps both oily and dry complexions soft and fresh and can combat the ravages of alkaline soaps and make up.” (see -- scroll down to the section on APPLE CIDER VINEGAR)


It is often suggested as having all kinds of benefits for use on the skin


Bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or even alcohol, so often used on the skin, are not very GOOD for the skin


Vinegar is considered by most to be SAFE to use on the skin. In fact, it often thought to have healing properties.

Vinegar and Healing "Pink Eye"


Heinz Spokesperson

Heinz company spokesperson, Michael Mullen: straight 5 percent solution of vinegar kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses).


The Types of Bacteria Killed by Vinegar


Household Maven Carries On Mother's Tradition

Read about 1/2 way down to the study Good Housekeeping did on Heloise's behalf on using vinegar to kill germs.


Vinegar to Kill Tuberculosis Bacteria

Also, looking to see if any studies came up for using vinegar to kill measles, I found a new sturdy, but it only talks about how it kills TB,


THE MICROBIOLOGY OF CLEANING AND SANITIZING A CUTTING BOARD found vinegar very effective in killing E. coli. Good study from the restaurant industry See text below

Using 1 part 5% white vinegar (H.J. Heinz, PA) combined with 4 parts water

Figure 1 is a graphical illustration of the log10 CFU remaining on the surfaces after each treatment.


Vinegar Kills the Flu Virus in Some Cases


Others Citations and Studies