How To: Clean Your Makeup Brushes Like a BOSS

Beauty Lifestyle


So if we were starting a list of all the things I suck at doing regularly…. this would be at the top of the list. Probably top 10 for sure. And I’m all like “GAWD…. Where are all these zits coming from?” … Duh. Nevertheless I still go TOO long in between a good cleaning. It’s soooooooooooo hard, right?! Wrong.

I stumbled upon this amazing, yet completely common knowledge and no brainer, idea when I was cleaning up painting supplies. So I pulled up a recipe for brush cleaner and decided to try it out.

First… here’s the supplies. Your makeup brushes, Dawn dish soap, hair conditioner, and a paint tray. It costs about $0.50 at your local Walmart and can re-used multiple times! Super easy and super cheap!

Next… add a little Dawn, and a little hair conditioner into the bottom of the paint tray. Get your brush wet with lukewarm water and swirl it around in the mixture until it starts absorbing it. Stroke the brush back and forth on the ridged side of the paint tray and allow the dirty soap to run down into the paint tray. Rinse the brush in lukewarm water until the water runs clear.

For certain brushes depending on material, thickness and size, and how dirty it is, you may need to do a second round of soap while working out the dirt.

After your brush is cleaned and rinsed, shape the bristles with your fingers and lay it down flat on a towel to dry. Allow brushes at least 8 hours to dry.

Voila! Amazingly clean, soft makeup brushes!

Here are some other brush cleaning tips:

  • Plan to wash your brushes once a week, or more often if you suffer from acne or very sensitive skin.
  • Never blow-dry or use direct sunlight to dry your brushes, as it can cause permanent damage to your brushes.
  • Fill a shot glass (or something small like that) with rubbing alcohol and swirl your brush in it – it dries VERY fast that way and is disinfected.
  • For heavily soiled brushes that use oil based products like lip brushes and concealer brushes, use olive oil first to break down the oils in the makeup then follow with baby shampoo.
  • A gentle shampoo is better to use than clarifying shampoo if your brushes are natural hair as it doesn’t strip the natural oils from the hair.
  • Take a ramekin full of baby powder (the cornstarch kind) and swirl your brush in it until it’s well coated. Then tap the brush firmly on the edge of the sink until nothing more comes out of the brush. This gets enough of the buildup out of the brushes that following up with alcohol or shampoo is much easier and doesn’t have to be done as often.
  • If you are pressed for time, opt for an alcohol-based cleanser and spray or dampen a paper towel and then sweep the brush against the paper towel until it’s clean.

Happy Cleaning! Xoxo

Shout out below… did you try it? What did you think?! What other tips do you have?

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