MAC Brush Cleanser Review & Photos

MAC Brush Cleanser
MAC Brush Cleanser

Quick Review: MAC Brush Cleanser

MAC Brush Cleanser ($12.00 for 7.9 fl. oz.) is a total go-to for me when it comes to an effective, easy-to-use method to clean my makeup brushes. It works well as a spot cleanser (just spray it on a paper towel and run the brush back and forth, which will draw and pull out whatever is in your brush), because your brush will dry in a few minutes. I also will pour some into a cup and put each brush in it (just a little bit), then rinse with water for a deeper clean.

It would be more convenient if it came with a spray pump, because unless you’re pouring some into a vessel, a spray or two would be plenty without any waste. It takes me about a year to get through an entire bottle, and I’m not at all frugal with it!

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re in the market for a quick-drying brush cleanser that will disinfect and clean your brushes simultaneously, MAC Brush Cleanser is something to consider! It is definitely one of my staples.


About the Reviewer


Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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A year!!!! I should be doing something wrong with mine…It takes me 3 months and being careful!!!
I LOVE this stuff, I had the MUFE one but i prefer MACs (the same but cheaper) but know i use the spray bottle that cames quith the MUFE save a lot of product)

Uh oh. I must be doing something really wrong. Your brush cleaner lasts for about a year? I think I buy about 4 bottles a year 🙁

I know about spot cleaning, but I usually only do that for my white hair brushes, so that they don’t get stained. And my face brushes seem to drink up all the cleaner. Grrrrr…frustrating.

Hey Kesha!

When I use it on my brushes (other than for spot cleaning), I always wet my brush first with water – I wonder if maybe that’s why?

I make a little bath of warm water and cleaner in a small green bowl. About the size of a coffee mug. I do wet them before soaking them in the bowl, but by the time I’m about a two-thirds of the way cleaning my brushes, I need to make another little bath again because the water is dirty/the brush hairs no longer lather. I see from some other comments, I’m not entirely alone but, I would like to start getting the most out of my brush cleaner. It is my most purchased Mac item, next to Bulk Mac Wipes. So, thanks for posting this 🙂

No problem 🙂 I probably do more spot cleaning than anything else with it – so that might be why, too. I tend to use baby shampoo and the like for deep cleanings!

Now, the bulk MAC wipes… yeah, I go through those faster!

I dilute it with water, half and half into a spray bottle. Then I spray my paper towel, or brush head, and wipe it back and forth until it’s clean.

I find diluting it makes it work even better as a spot cleaner then when I used it straight. I’ve had mine for well over a year now, with about 1/4 of the bottle left.

I’ve tried others, and they’ve never been good for spot cleaning, lathering up, or leaving a film on the brush. Yuck. For a deep clean, I’m an olive oil/baby shampoo gal.

I love MAC’s brush cleanser and I always pour it into a spray bottle so it lasts longer. It does say on the back of the bottle to “rinse well” but I never do.

The MAC always confused me, cause on the bottle it says to rinse after using but everyone else seems to use it as a spot cleaner. Anyway, I used this for ages but I found that I actually prefer making my own brush cleaner out of olive oil and dish soap. Sounds crazy, but the dish soap (I use Joy antibacterial orange) and olive oil is amazing on brushes. Disinfects, cleans and the oil stops the soap from stripping them and drying them out.

Mine last for over a year and I gave some to my sister too. I put it in a spray bottle and I usually only use one spray for each spot clean( I hold the brush in front of my fingers, palm side up, and spray. Pick up spray that got on my fingers , then clean., yes I’m super frugal lol)
Do you recommend this for foundation brushes too(109) ? I usually just wash with baby shampoo on those brushes( too thick) maybe I’m just being cheap! Lol

You can definitely use these on your face brushes, too! 🙂 I usually use the Brush Cleanser for spot cleaning and periodic deep cleanings, but for full cleaning, I usually use baby shampoo.

I bought this months ago and i pour a bit into a medicine tablespoon cup (the kind that come with liquid meds) and just swish my brushes in it one by one and then rinse with water. it works… BUT… so does buying a travel-sized Johnson&Johnson baby shampoo. For about 11 bucks less you get the same exact effect. And this is completely safe for your MAC brushes (i did my research beforehand and the gentleness of baby shampoo is perfect for bristles).

wow i really hate this cleaner. i tried it about five years ago when i first really got into makeup. and i hated how it did not lather at all. and it also left my brushes greasy after they dried. i ended up giving it away.

I personally feel the Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner is way better than the MAC brush cleaner. Besides, the MAC brush is suppose to be used with wet brush, so I don’t understand why so many people use it as a spot cleaner for its a brush shampoo.

Hi! Thanks for the review! Is there another comparable brush cleaner that you would recommend, or do you know if the Sephora brand is comparable? Thank you!

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