Best Makeup Brush Cleaners + How To Clean Makeup Brushes Yourself

by Lynnette

Bare Minerals, free stuff, makeup, z1

cleaning-makeup-brushesMost of us don’t think about cleaning our makeup brushes.

I know I didn’t until I started hearing makeup experts talk about how important it is on talk shows and news shows.

Once I was reminded that everyday ‘sweat’ — and other forms of moisture — result in bacteria forming on your makeup brushes, I decided to start cleaning mine on a fairly regular basis.

I mean, it’s not like we ever purposely dab powder and makeup on top of our sweaty faces. But sometimes it just happens. And as soon as you do, the bacteria starts growing. (Eeew!)

Not to mention all of the other things you don’t want gunking up your makeup brushes — like dead skin cells, body oils, dirt, pollution, and old makeup.

Here are some easy ways to clean makeup brushes…


REMINDER: It’s only when you combine moisture with powder (or mineral makeup) that bacteria can grow. That’s one reason why mineral makeup has such a long shelf life — because there’s no water or moisture in it. However, if you mix powder makeup with damp or wet brush bristles, you’re creating a petrie dish for germs and bacteria to grow. So… be sure to clean your makeup brushes thoroughly, and then let your brushes dry completely!


DIY Homemade Makeup Brush Cleaners

If you’re looking for a homemade makeup brush cleaner, you have several options:

#1 Use a small amount of shampoo. Baby shampoo works best because it’s gentle and tends to have fewer harsh chemicals & ingredients in it.

#2 Use any liquid makeup remover that you would typically use on your face.

#3 Use a small amount of vinegar and water. Two parts water to 1 part vinegar works as an effective cleaner.

#4 Use a small amount of dish soap and olive oil. Two parts dish soap to 1-1/2 parts olive oil works best.


Professional Makeup Brush Cleaners

Personally, I prefer to use a makeup brush cleaner that’s formulated specifically for cleaning brushes that are used on your eyes, lips, and face.

My all-time favorite makeup brush cleaner is Bare Minerals brush conditioning shampoo.

I like it for these reasons:

  • It doesn’t suds up, so it’s super easy to rinse out.
  • It only takes a little bit to do the job, so my one small bottle is going to last several years.
  • It’s a conditioning shampoo, so it’s good for the brush bristles — which means they will be softer and last longer, rather than becoming brittle and breaking.


Other good brush cleaners worth trying are:

Sephora Brush Shampoo

elf Daily Brush Cleaner

MAC Brush Cleanser



How To Clean A Makeup Brush

1. Work a very amount of the liquid cleaner into the brush bristles with a very small amount of water.

TIP: Don’t let too much water get deep inside the handle of your makeup brush where glue holds the bristles in place.


2. Have a stream of lukewarm water running in the sink and keep dabbing the brush bristles with water while using your fingers (or the palm of your hand) to work the liquid brush cleaner in. Keep doing this until the water finally looks clear after passing through the brush bristles.

TIP: Don’t use hot water, or you run the risk of loosening the glue that holds the brush bristles in place.


3. Once all of the bristles have been thoroughly cleaned and rinsed, shake the brush several times (outside is best) to remove all of the water from the bristles.

TIP: If possible, shake your makeup brushes outside. You’ll have the most space which will enable you to fling the brush harder.


4. Finally, allow the makeup brush to dry completely (24 hours +) before using it again.

TIP: Place the makeup brush on its side on a paper towel. Propping the brush upright will cause residual water to gather in the end of your brush, weakening the base of your brush and/or loosening the glue from the bristles.


One thing’s for sure…

If you haven’t cleaned your makeup brushes before, you are going to be glad you did.

The amount of gunk that comes out of them will amaze you!




More Great Tips For Cleaning Makeup Brushes

How To Clean Makeup Brushes With Household Items

Tips For Using Dawn Dish Soap To Clean Makeup Brushes

How To Clean All Of Your Makeup Tools

Best Way To Clean Makup Brushes

Cleaning Makeup Brushes Using Olive Oil & Shampoo

See Why Mac Brush Cleanser Is Great For Quick Cleaning

Using Castile Soap To Clean Makeup Brushes