Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

What do you use to clean your brushes? Brush cleaner? Baby shampoo?

Temptalia's AnswerI alternate between MAC’s Brush Cleanser and Baby Shampoo.

Thanks to Casti for today’s question! Got a question idea? Submit yours here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

78 thoughts on “What do you use to clean your brushes?

  1. janette

    MAC’s Brush Cleaner

  2. Janet

    A mixture of regular soap, baby shampoo, and lotion…. not the best, I know… Sometimes I use baby oil as well.

  3. kurisu

    Baby shampoo. However, I’m one of those girls who don’t wear makeup that often anymore. As in, I wear makeup maybe 1-3 days a week. Since I generally stick to eye makeup, I only wash my eye brushes. And since I’m a lazy bum, I only wash them maybe once every few weeks, lol! I probably only wear powder or blush/bronzer a few days a month!

    When I do wash my brushes, it’s usually with baby shampoo to deep clean them.

  4. I use Baby Shampoo first and then swirl it around in MAC’s brush cleanser :)

  5. Melanie

    After use, I clean them with Mac’s Brush Cleanser and to deep clean them, I use baby shampoo every other week :)

  6. Paola

    I use MAC’s Brush Cleanser daily and once a week Baby Shampoo.

  7. Jess

    MUFE Brush Cleaner after use and once a month a deep clean with Beauty Blender cleanser

  8. Michelle

    I use Beauty Blender cleanser or baby shampoo.

  9. Hand soap. Sometimes I’ll condition it with conditioner. Purity by Philosophy also works really great as a brush cleanser! That’s what I used today while washing brushes at the store!

  10. For every after use: MAC’s Brush Cleanser.
    For deep cleaning: I used a special cleanser for super sensitive skin. It has no fragrance, no SLS, no strange chemicals, just plain liquid soap. It’s gentler than baby shampoo. The brushes are super clean and somehow moisturized as well. It’s a German brand called Alterra.

  11. Marseille soap, the old unscented traditional bar, several Mac artists recommended this to me and I’ve been using that for years, it works great.
    In between my weekly deep cleansing, I do use MUFE brush cleanser because it dries immediately and works great.

  12. Diana

    Baby shampoo, or Sephora brush cleaner for a quick wipe-down.

  13. Mary

    I use MAC brush cleaner and baby shampoo for a deep clean.

  14. Mena

    Mac Brush Cleanser for spot cleaning and Lush rockstar soap for deep cleaning!

  15. monika-luiza

    baby shampoo! don’t see why I should “invest! in brushcleanser. some on my brushes are now about 5years old and still look and perform very well

  16. Deanna

    MAC brush cleaner, but dispensed into a little spray bottle. The lid on their bottle is awful.

  17. Haya

    mac brush cleanser all the way, but i have a tiny bit of advice……..
    get a tissue, fold it twice, then hold the bottle upside down, without pressing on the bottle….. cause product comes bursting out of the bottle without any pressure.
    Anyways, put a little bit of cleanser on the tissue and stoke ur brush back and forth until u find that it is sparkly clean!!!
    This way, u save sooooo much product while getting ur brushes clean at the same time!!!!!

  18. I live in Australia, and Makeup & Glow (which is based in Queensland) has THE BEST brush cleanser! It’s their own recipe, mainly for a quick-dry on-the-job sanitise, however smells lovely and really cleans my brushes well from thick foundation, mascara and the most pigmented red shades! it’s amazing!

    if you are FROM AUSTRALIA, please check Makeup & Glow out! I highly recommend them! (They’re going to be at the Sydney IMATS this Saturday.

    • Michelle

      Thanks for the heads up Tahnee, I’ll definitely look into that!! 😉 And ohhhh IMATS Sydney, I soooo wanted to go to that….I wish they would have held it in Melbourne instead!! :'(

  19. khiema

    I USE both ElF brush cleaner, which I find very good. and mac brush cleaner

  20. Miss Silver

    Isopropyl alcohol spray, which I use mostly to clean my synthetics, and regular shampoo for the rest of my brushes.

  21. Sarah

    MAC’s brush cleanser for the daily cleaning and baby shampoo for the big cleaning once a month.
    I have to say though, that I wash my foundation brush with baby shampoo after ever use. Brush cleanser just doesn’t cut it for the foundation “left-overs”. 😉

  22. Lea

    I use MAC Brush Cleanser on my eyebrushes and I clean my face brushes with soap. I used to use a deep cleansing hair shampoo, but I don’t see a difference.

  23. Sandy

    Dr. Bronner’s almond liquid soap.

    • MalybooBarbee

      I like the Lavender for my brushes. It makes a nice relaxing experience! lol and it makes my brushes extra soft afterwards!

  24. Alexandra

    i use lush solid shampoo when they are too small to use on my head!!

  25. Jo

    I use Clinique’s brush cleanser for spot cleaning and baby shampoo for deep cleaning.

  26. AnaG.

    Bare Escentuals i.d Quick Change Brush Cleaner for everyday and baby shampoo for more in depth cleaning.

  27. a japanese drugstore oil cleanser

  28. Bahar

    Bare Escentuals Brush Shampoo for deep cleansing and MAC Brush Cleanser for spot cleaning and sometimes for deep cleansing.

  29. Ula

    I’m using the Brush Cleanser by MAC every day and baby shampoo twice a week. 😉

  30. Jessie

    I use MAC’s brush cleanser !! and baby shampoo for deep cleaning :)

  31. I use MAC’s Brush cleaner in between colours or every few days. I properly clean them with baby shampoo and a few drops of tea tree oil (to disinfect) every 2 – 3 weeks.

  32. stephanie

    Dr. Bonner’s unscented Magic Soap.

  33. I use baby shampoo about once a month and a spray brush cleanser from an Brazilian brand like every week or whenever i need to use a different shade and the brush is a little dirty!

  34. Tiffany C.

    i use Antibacterial dish soap and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). The anitbacterial soap gets rid of the germs and bacteria and the olive oil conditions the brushes. I also notice that when i use these two my brushes keep their shape and look as if they were just bought, whereas when i use to use baby shampoo or Philosophy purity made simple they would fray.

  35. Michelle

    Do you know what, Christine? I sooooo wanted to ask this question to you and your readers so I’m glad Casti asked it!! :) I use shampoo and conditioner but I want to know what’s good as an instant spray and wipe type cleaner? MAC seems to be the go so far, but is that super expensive? Also, baby shampoo seems quiet popular with alot of your readers too, can somebody answer me why that is? Is there a new tip/secret that I’ve not heard of that I’m missing out on? Is normal shampoo/conditioner not good enough? ;p

    • Tiffany C.

      when i used to use baby shampoo it was because i figured that if it was gentle enough for a baby then it would be great for my brushes; when i used baby shampoo i didn’t need a conditioner. I don’t use that anymore though, now i use EVOO and Antibacterial soap.

    • Melissa

      Not sure if this will help you but, when I need a brush cleaned immediately, I use Huggies Sensitive Skin Baby Wipes. It leaves no film on the brushes.

  36. Sabrina

    Dr. Bronner’s. :) This stuff is awesome and I use it for so many things.

  37. Tia Patrice

    I used to use Baby Shampoo but realized that some of my goat hair bruses were not coming back as white as they previously were. Also baby shampoo dosent disinfect or condition the bristles. So I did some research and found that olive oil and antibacterial dish liquid works wonders on brushes especislly white hair brushes. The oil breaks the makeup in the brush down and conditions the bristles while the soap disinfects and cleanses.

  38. Can we just use mac’s brush cleanser because I just hate the idea of shampoo on my face!

  39. Dani

    I use a Sephora anti-bacterial brush cleaner spray for a quick cleanup as needed and then baby shampoo when I really want to clean them up.

  40. Abril

    MAC Brush Cleanser!

  41. nunuiviet

    the mac cleanser for brushes

  42. Thincspot

    MACs brush cleaner followed by a wash with baby shampoo.

  43. Rosamaria

    I use MAC brush cleaner for all my brushes except those that I use for foundation. I find I never get all the foundation out of them unless I use baby shampoo.

  44. Natalie

    I swear by Sephora’s brush cleanser. It’s so easy to use! I just put a bit in the palm of my hand and use that with warm water. It smells great and works quickly. I have MAC’s but didn’t like it as much.

  45. B

    MAC’s Brush Cleaner for spot cleaning and baby shampoo for deep cleaning!

  46. May

    Dish soap and a little olive oil

  47. fauxfur

    baby shampoo is formulated for a baby’s skin, not hair, so it will dry out your brushes.
    use normal, conditioning shampoo for your natural hair brushes. brush cleanser to disinfect.

  48. linds

    I use MAC brush cleanser for every day spot cleaning and Paul Mitchell Baby/kids shampoo for a thorough cleaning every 10 days or so…

  49. I just use either my Quo brush shampoo or my Clinique brush cleaning spray. It feels like the shampoo gets them super clean and lasts longer so I prefer it but If I wanna be quick and lazy I use the spray.

  50. Michele

    MAC Brush Clean Cleaner or Beauty So Clean Conditioning Brush Spray daily and either a very general shampoo or gentle all-natural liquid soap weekly. Sometimes I use a little Lancome’s Bi-Facial on my foundation brush to get worst of it off depending on what foundation I’ve been using.

  51. Tricia

    Bath & Body Works hand soap, lol. It’s probably not the best thing to use, but oh well. I don’t have many brushes anyway.

  52. MAC Brush Cleanser for spot-cleansing and regular baby shampoo for deep-cleansing.

  53. Kat

    I use baby shampoo weekly, but I really should pick up a brush cleanser to spot clean them.

  54. Melanie

    A mixture of shampoo, conditioner, alcohol & dish soap.

  55. Melissa

    I alternate between Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo and Herbal Essences Body Envy Shampoo (I used Herbal Essences before switching to Redken’s volumizing shampoo – rather than dumping the remaining amount, I use it to clean my brushes).

  56. Dany

    I use Baby Shampoo.

  57. ilmy

    I use mac brush cleaner too and 1 once a month regular shampoo

  58. Yumi

    olive oil/dish detergent ala michelle phan

  59. Do you use the liquid or the bar soap? Can you share how you use it??? =D

    • This was in response to the Musing on Beauty Marseille soap. I realize now that it is the bar but would still like to know the directions for use.

  60. Dana

    I wash all used brushes once a week with baby shampoo. However, I wash my foundation & concealer brushes daily and just give them a quick wash with my facial cleanser (Cetaphil)

  61. Fudgedrops

    Like many comments here, I use Mac brush cleaners for spot cleaning and baby shampoo for deep cleaning. However, a bottle of Mac brush cleaner costs almost as much as a Mac eyeshadow in my country. I finish a bottle of cleaner in a month and I don’t even put on makeup every other day. It is almost like finishing a Mac eyeshadow in a month. It is simply expensive. I welcome any suggestion that can improve the situation.

  62. Leenie

    I usually use a mild baby shampoo to clean my brushes.

  63. Stephanie

    I use a couple drops of anti-bacterial hand soap, dish washing liquid, & olive oil (to condition).

  64. Ashley D.

    Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.

  65. mylinda

    My standby cleansers (for weekly cleaning and immediate cleansing) are baby shampoo and Woolite. I’ve found that baby shampoo doesn’t completely get all the pigment out of certain brushes so for those (esp the white-haired brushes), Woolite really gets everything off. Think of it like you’re tossing it in the washer (which is what I do with powder puffs and reusable sponges). For brushes that are used on cream or waterproof products, I sometimes use Woolite too or a facial cleansing oil (washes off better than EVOO). For the ones it can’t get off, I bust out the Joy (dish liquid) and then shampoo it to get the hairs soft again.

    I have multiples of every type of brush so I can afford to clean my brushes more often. So far, with all of these items that I use, they have not damaged any of my brushes, expensive or otherwise. I’ve used Clinique and Laura Mercier brush cleaner in the past. But I now prefer the above methods.

  66. Poppy Lou

    In France, we have the “savon de Marseille”, the best and simple way to clean our brush.

  67. nunuiviet

    2 days ago , i tried to clean my brushes with LANEIGE mutli cleanser foam (famous korean brand) and it works so well, my brushes are so clean and well condition , very good!

  68. Catherine

    I use my bf’s cycle cleaner called MUC OFF. This stuff cleans tar off wheels so it can strip make up no problem. It’s environmentally friendly, pink & does an amazing job plus it’s only £7 a litre. I mix a little with IPA, water & liquid conditioner – works like a charm.