10 Easy & Cheap Tips to Teach You How to Clean Makeup Brushes

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Cleaning your makeup brushes is essential to remove dirt and bacteria that can cause breakouts and spread germs, and while store bought cleaners work well, they can be pricey. Thankfully, you can learn how to clean makeup brushes naturally with dish soap (we like to wash ours with Damn!), with vinegar, with baby shampoo, with coconut oil, with alcohol, with baking soda...and other natural ingredients you have at home. We've rounded up 10 easy DIY recipes that will teach you how to clean your brushes like a pro!

Whether you own expensive, top-of-the-line makeup brushes or opt for a cheaper alternative like me, it’s VERY important to clean them regularly to remove dirt and bacteria that can cause breakouts and spread germs.

In the past, I’ve always purchased makeup brush cleaners at my local beauty supply outlet (e.l.f. Daily Brush Cleaner is my fave), but they can be quite pricey, especially if you’re cleaning your brushes a few times a week, and since I’m not really a fan of using chemicals on things that come into contact with my skin, I’ve recently been looking for a good DIY makeup brush cleaner.

As it turns out, there are HEAPS of other, less expensive options out there to help keep your makeup brushes in tip-top shape, and today I’m teaching you how to clean makeup brushes with 10 easy (and cheap!) DIY makeup brush cleaners that use ingredients you likely already have lying around your house!

1. Squeaky Clean Brushes! by Michelle Phan

I learned a lot of tips I didn’t know about cleaning a makeup brush in this tutorial, but the most helpful tip was how to dry and store brushes without ruining them. My makeup brushes are constantly falling apart (thank goodness I only buy drugstore brands!), but after Michelle introduced me to The Brush Guard, I finally feel like I can splurge on a set of proper brushes!

The idea of using a simple antibacterial soap is so great because it’s something everyone has on hand (probably right in your kitchen)! Her method is so simple, just using gravity to pull water out and extend the life of your brushes. If you need the basics on how to clean makeup brushes, this tutorial is where to start!

2. How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes in 60 Seconds!!!! by gossmakeupartist

If you don’t have the time to wash and condition your brushes every single day, but want to ensure they are completely sterile at all times, you will LOVE this video. Wayne Goss tells you how to clean to “hospital grade standard” with a common household product.

I completely trust Wayne when it comes to everything related to beauty and I love how FAST my brushes dry when I use his method. He really knows how to dry makeup brushes fast (almost instantly)! Wayne also uses Beauty So Clean to disinfect compacts and powders when using them on multiple people…not a bad idea for your own makeup every so often, particularly if you’re getting over a cold sore or illness.

3. How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes Like a Pro!! by Makeup Geek

This tutorial is filled with 5 great ideas for cleaning makeup brushes using household items. It’s great if you’re wondering how to clean a makeup brush without cleaner. I especially love the hair conditioner idea as one of my blush brushes has a tendency to get too rough for my face!

She uses a white Marseilles soap, but suggests you can use a plain white soap like Dove which most of us have on hand. She also offers tips to clean your Beauty Blender, which will make it last much longer and keep it fresh. I love how she breaks down what you can clean makeup brushes with, and most of it is right in your kitchen!

4. How to Clean Makeup Brushes, Palettes and Lipsticks by chiutips

While the products used in this tutorial are no different from what has been used in the other tutorials I’ve already shared, I love love love her technique for drying brushes, and I never would have thought of cleaning my actual makeup!!

She uses a travel spray bottle, which is a really smart idea because it can fit right in your makeup kit. She also has tips for cleaning your bag and kit, which is another great idea, rather than putting clean brushes into a dirty bag! This is a great idea on how to store makeup brushes properly so they stay nice and clean.

5. How to Instantly Clean Your Makeup Brushes Without Washing, Spraying, or Using Alcohol by gossmakeupartist

We’ve all had a situation where you use a dark eyeshadow and then switch to something lighter only to discover your brush is dirty and muddies up the effect! This is great for doing fast switches. I haven’t personally tried it, but if Wayne likes it, I’m sure you will, too!

While you still need to give your brushes a good clean at least once a week, the Vera Mona Colour Switch Duo is a great way to remove color from your brushes in between washings!

6. How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes by taliajoy18

Yup. Talia knows her stuff. In the tutorial she uses her own homemade makeup remover and Clinique’s Take the Day Off makeup remover. Remember though–just as she says in the video–any remover will do!

I love her technique (I can do this while watching TV!), and since I only use my brushes on myself and don’t feel the need to have them completely sterile 100% of the time, I am totally on board with what she says. RIP Talia!

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Cleaning your makeup brushes is essential to remove dirt and bacteria that can cause breakouts and spread germs, and while store bought cleaners work well, they can be pricey. Thankfully, you can learn how to clean makeup brushes naturally with dish soap (we like to wash ours with Damn!), with vinegar, with baby shampoo, with coconut oil, with alcohol, with baking soda...and other natural ingredients you have at home. We've rounded up 10 easy DIY recipes that will teach you how to clean your brushes like a pro!

And if you’re looking for more beauty-related tips and tricks, please follow our Beauty board where we share all kinds of great ideas!



Gwen
Gwen
Gwen is a 40-something freelance writer and social media consultant who has an unhealthy love for makeup, hair, and fashion. She lives with her husband and 8-year-old daughter in Toronto, Canada and hopes to move to a warmer climate someday. Preferably tomorrow.