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Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes + Makeup Brush Cleaner DIY

Posted by Alexandra C. | Thursday May 24, 201219 comments


I have one very dirty little secret when it comes to my beauty routine: I rarely clean my brushes. It's kind of embarrassing to admit. I'm not sure if this makes a difference but I swear I'm not a dirty gross person you guys, I'm just super lazy when it comes to that sort of thing.

I confess that I know that I should clean my brushes (and I'm sure Mandy will chastise me over and over when she reads this). It doesn't come as a surprise to me that dirty brushes contain bacteria which in turn cause breakouts. Cleaning your brushes will not only help clear skin but it will prolong the life of your brush. Using brushes with caked on powders is also just bad beauty practice! A clean brush is going to make applying blush or powder that much easier and smoother. 

For the most part, all brush cleaning techniques contain the same or similar ingredients: a mild detergent or shampoo and maybe a conditioning ingredient. Although, there are always variations and tips about what "works best". Of course, the only person who can say what works for you, is, well, you. So here's a round up of some of the makeup brush cleansers and cleaning tips we've come across and an easy DIY cleanser for your brushes. 

Cleaning Brush Methods + Tips and Tricks 


1. Dishwashing detergent is a staple in many brush washing methods. It's easy because most likely you will have it on hand and it's inexpensive. It's antibacterial and will definitely strip away any dirt. You can also mix detergent with a shampoo (like the ones I'll talk about below!).  
2. Toe separators can be used to help keep brushes separate from each other while drying. Or, try air drying them brush side down in a jar. 
3. 2-in-1 shampoo is excellent because the shampoo helps to clean away all the yucky stuff but the conditioner helps to soften the brush hairs at the same time. 
4. Baby shampoo is milder than regular shampoos making it perfect for washing brushes. What you want is to get rid of all the old makeup and bacteria but still keep the brush hairs hydrated. Baby shampoo does the trick here!
5. Olive oil is an excellent and handy ingredient to have to condition your brushes after washing them. 
6. If all else fails, a ready made cleanser may be for you. If you're on the go or a busy makeup artist, it might be a good idea to invest in an easy brush cleanser. 
7. Once you've cleaned your brushes, keep them away from all that acne causing bacteria by using a product like Brush Guards

Tip: It is mostly recommended that you wash your brushes once a month! 

DIY Brush Cleanser 
 

This quick recipe is perfect to keep on hand, in a spritzer bottle for cleaning your brushes:
 
1. 1/4 cup alcohol
2. 1 cup distilled water
3. 1tbsp liquid spray-in conditioner 
4. 1/2 tbsp dishwashing liquid 
5. 1/2 tbsp. shampoo (try a baby or mild shampoo) 
Add all elements into a bottle and mix together. 

Are you guys dedicated brush washers? How often do you wash them?
 
(via youtube.com, thekit.ca, bubzbeauty.com)
More by Alexandra C.
More on Eyes, Lips, Face, Makeup Tutorials, DIY

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19 Comments

on September 19, 2012  dicicco  2,598 said:

I just rub my brush against a kleenex every once in a while and if the colours rub off right away it needs a cleaning if you have to push or it doesnt show easily then i usually leave it for another couple of uses. When i do clean my brush's i just use simple old 99% alcohol on a paper towel, mix the brush around, and leave it to dry. the alcohol will disinfect it and it drys really fast.

on July 06, 2012  chick4585  6,565 said:

I clean my brushes whenever they look dirty, or whenever I feel paranoid about germs, lol.
http://hewhocravestherose.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-to-properly-wash-your-makeup.html

on June 24, 2012  smiley_gen  9,584 said:

THANK YOU! I really need to clean them more often!
How neat is that brush guard!

on June 02, 2012  bri @fashionox said:

Excellent DIY Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes tip, thanks for sharing

on June 01, 2012  midnightsun2288  6,053 said:

I also don't clean my brushes enough. I never thought about using baby shampoo, I will definitely try that

on May 30, 2012  kuffs  326 said:

I used to be lazy and buy new brushes (expensive habit). Now I use my daughter's baby shampoo and (I thought I was the only one) use the toe separators to dry them...I also wrap the brush handle with paper towel to soak up any residual water from the cleaning.

on May 26, 2012  jlgoneboatin  2,288 said:


Thank you for this article, I have to admit I probably dont clean mine nearly enough!

on May 26, 2012  farouknabela  3,424 said:

Ugh I totally agree with all the ladies here, I don't have enough time to clean my brushes! First of all, I have so many :P And of course, it is so time consuming! I love the idea of spot treating brushes when you're in a pinch to avoid those nasty and unsightly blemishes. When I do have time to fully deep clean them, I almost always have a bottle of baby shampoo besides my sink. It's very conditioning (and less harsh than alcohol), smells amazing, and is inexpensive. Thanks for sharing this!

on May 25, 2012  GoneBatty  3,196 said:

This couldn't come at a better time! I was just saying today that I needed to clean my brushes!

on May 24, 2012  annmarie  4,246 said:

thanks for the reminder. totally need to do this asap!

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