What do you use to clean your makeup brushes?

Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (I use the baby/unscented kind) in a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of soap to water. I mix it in a small, glass jar, and then I dip each brush (just before the beginning of the ferrules), swirl in the palm of my hand, and then rinse until clear. I have found the key is to work the soap mixture into the bristles before rinsing.

— Christine


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Pearl Avatar

Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap in Lavender and Sigma’s cleaning mitt – I sprinkle the mitt with soap, wet the brushes a little bit and then lather them up on the mitt really well, rinse, squeeze dry with a paper towel or cloth towel, reshape lay flat on paper towels or cloth towels to air dry overnight. I have a drying tower that I use as well for all of the smaller brushes.

Nicole Avatar

I use Neutrogena oil free makeup remover first, then Johnson’s baby shampoo. My brushes have lasted for years and work pretty well so I would say this works for me!

(Also note: I am not a makeup artist; I am the only one who uses my brushes/makeup.)

Linda Avatar

I second the Neutrogena cleanser – it works extremely well even on very dense foundation brushes that love to suck up product deep into the bristles. Makes them “white” again

Anne Avatar

I have a Sephora Collection spray for spot cleaning, and then either use the BeautyBlender solid (just because I’ve been given several) or Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo for deeper cleaning.

Lulle Avatar

For synthetic brushes I use basic bar soap (this is usually what little bar soaps I collect from hotel rooms get used for). For natural brushes I use a brush shampoo from Elf, but I actually don’t like it much and won’t repurchase it when I finally finish it. It makes my brushes a bit rough.

Nati Avatar

I first wash my brushes using either a neutral soap bar or baby shampoo. I used to work the soap on the bristles using the palm of my hand, but now I use the Sigma express glove, which is much more efficient especially for foundation and concealer brushes. I then rinse and if necessary repeat the process (mostly for thick dense brushes). As a final touch, I spray the bristles with The Pro Hygiene anti-bacterial brush cleanser and wipe it on a paper towel. I wash my brushes every other week and in between washes I cleanse them with The pro-hygiene brush cleanser after each use.

Mariella Avatar

Johnson&Johnson baby shampoo. I wet the brush, pour a bit of shampoo into my hand and swirl the brush in my palm. I’ve seen lot of those silicone brush cleaning pads lately, including one made by Sephora that looks almost exactly like their little silicone face cleaning pad, which I’ve had for years. I may give it a try on my denser, dirtier brushes one of these days, though the palm of my hand has been working just fine up to now.

Julia Avatar

I use my face wash – liquid Neutrogena. Since its oil free and a pretty strong cleanser, it does a good job. I might give Dr Bronners another shot though. I hate using up my Neutrogena so fast!

Donna Avatar

Been using Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap for several years, with Cinema Secrets in between big washes. Those both worked well, but lately I’ve been using Sephora’s new Dry Clean daily. Cleans well, dries instantly, and leaves my brushes as soft as can be. Great stuff.

Vanessa Little-Racca Avatar

Curious if the Sephora one is similar to the Cinema Secrets version? I have the CS one & it smells a bit like chemical vanilla and noticed it’s a bit harsh as its damaged my brushes over time. Love the concept though!

Grace Avatar

I make my own cleaner out of baby shampoo, leave in hair conditioner, dish soap, and isopropyl alcohol. I forget the recipe off the top of my head, but you can search pinterest.

This reminds me I need to wash my brushes today!

Nichole Avatar

I also use Dr. Bonner’s infant liquid soap. I premix mine in a bottle with half water. The key for me is using a dog bathing mitt, with the rubber nibs. The mitt has actually made cleaning a much faster and more effective process. Using my hand to clean and rinse my large and dense powder foundation brushes would take forever.

Stacy Avatar

The original, clear Neutragena shampoo. It’s the only thing I’ve tried that really gets all the crud out, without costing too much.

Tracy Avatar

I use da Vinci brush soap–I buy the bar because it’s more economical than the tin–and swirl my brushes in the bar’s storage tupperware with some water and then rinse. I like da Vinci because it contains some oils that keep my brushes soft and help get my brushes super clean without a ton of stronger surfactants.

Lacey Avatar

Dr. Bronner’s bar soap and a cleaning mitt with lots of different textures. I dampen the brush, swirl across the soap, then to the mitt, and repeat as needed. I do want to try the liquid, though!

Nell Avatar

Beauty Blender Solid soap, or the Sephora solid, with lightly brushing around a silicone pad. I leave them soapy for a bit until all are soapy, then rinse. There is a drying tree from Benjabelle which I find helpful. It can be obtained at Amazon, and drys the brushes upside down.

Washing brushes is a chore to me. It needs to be done quickly, and the elements need to be small and take up little storage. Thus the solid soap is very small, and the drying tree breaks down flat. When the drying tree is full of brushes it takes up space, but that’s at night, so by morning most are dry. I will look for Dr Bronners and try that too. Thanks all!

Jenny Avatar

If you love the beauty blender solid, try ZOTE soap. It’s a 100% dupe for BB solid and it’s only $2 a bar. The bars are enormous! You can find it at Walmart and Kmart in the laundry detergent aisle.

Vanessa Little-Racca Avatar

I love the beauty blender solid soap to wash my brushes! Works like a dream although you have to let them dry. For a quick clean, I will use the Clinique spray.

Anime Avatar

WOW how awesome! I use Dr. Bronner’s too! So nice to know that you use this as well — I used to worry that this inexpensive/convenient solution was likely not good for my brushes, but I’ve used so many worse things with the brushes I used to own. I feel like this is the happy medium between using Dial soap and high-end cleansers.

Melissa Avatar

Weird! I was recently trying to find inexpensive ways to clean my small brush collection (Used 1 mac brush cleaner, and 1 Bobbi Brown before…they finished too quickly for my wallet to handle!) Today I used organic chemical free hand wash swirled in with extra virgin olive oil to condition…but I think I’ll look at other’s techniques too!

EmilyTheEngineer Avatar

The travel aspect is the best part of it! I only bought the solid because I was going away (And there was no way I could leave my Beauty Blender at home!!!) and while away, using it instead of the liquid cleanser, I realized that i liked it way way way better!

BeyondtheBath(Stephie) Avatar

Cinema Secrets brush cleaner for quick jobs. For a good, thorough, cleansing I was using Clinique’s brush cleanser and water, but now I find that using actual makeup remover (currently using one from Estee Lauder) seems to work the best.

But don’t sleep on Cinema Secrets, though – I might be switching to them for all my brush cleaning needs.

lisa Avatar

Lilumia, which everyone seems to hate besides me! I use this with a bit of baby shampoo. Wash one cycle, rinse one cycle, done.

Stephanie Avatar

I also use Dr. Bronner’s but a different technique. I put one of those crocheted dishcloths (only used for this) in a bowl with the soap and some water to about 1/2′ deep. I swish the brushes around on the cloth for a few seconds then set aside. I divide the brushes between face and eye and do each group with fresh water and soap. Then I rinse them all individually. I don’t use a foundation brush often, and if I do, I wash it at the time. I also keep 2 sets of brushes and wash every couple of weeks so the process is pretty quick as the brushes aren’t that dirty.

Gillian Avatar

I use either baby shampoo or a conditioning shampoo. I used to use a cheap Dove shampoo but they stopped making it- it cleaned really well and made my brushes so soft! These days I’m trying to use up the big bottle of baby shampoo I bought. It works fine though.

Oh, and I use MAC brush cleanser and an old, dark towel to spot clean. ?

Leah Avatar

For my beauty blender I use Shea Moisture bar soaps. The African Black soap gets it so clean! For regular brushes I do the dish soap and olive oil method for my natural hair brushes, or bar soap if im in a hurry.

Rachel R. Avatar

I recently switched to Cinema Secrets (thanks to Phyrra Nyx), and I wish I had done it sooner. Amazing stuff! I use e.l.f. Studio Brush Shampoo if I need deeper cleaning, such as foundation brushes. Previously, I wasx using bhCosmetics Studio Pro Brush Cleaner for spotcleaning, which is really good, but the Cinema Secrets is better and dries faster.

Cherri M Avatar

I use Zote on my beauty blender and real techniques sponge. I use baby shampoo for my brushes. Find rinsing well to be the real key, especially on large dense brushes. I add a bit of coconut oil into the shampoo before washing my old (20+ years) brushes because they are natural hair.

Katr Avatar

I use a handmade olive oil soap. I’ve never seen such clean brushes with any other soap, plus it has the added bonus of keeping my natural bristle brushes conditioned without processed chemicals.

Kylie5 Avatar

Yes the Pink one
And yes a lot of product wasted
I am looking for a product that I can use for Brushes AND sponges like Beauty Blender

Glenda Avatar

Baby shampoo (store brand works just fine) and if they’re particularly dirty, I’ll add a bit of coconut oil. Works like a dream let dry overnight. Back to business!

Sondra D. Jones Avatar

I use Parian Spirit for cleaning my brushes and I have a Real Techniques makeup brush cleaning palette. It is a cheaper alternative to the Sigma Brush Cleaning pad. The Parian Spirit is awesome because if you use it correctly (emphasis on using it correctly) your brushes dry almost instantly and they are superbly clean.

EmilyTheEngineer Avatar

I’d say what I use the most is Purity by Philosophy. Even though it’s a cleanser, it’s super gentle and I’ve always used it for my brushes and it’s been great. Some of my Wayne Goss brushes that are super expensive (I don’t know about you guys, but I think anything over $20 is pretty expensive) I use alcohol just to be safe, which is what he demonstrates on his YouTube Channel. Other than that, I use the BeautyBlender cleanser for my BeautyBlender. I prefer the solid over the liquid. What about you guys?

Jenny Avatar

If you like beauty blender solid, try ZOTE soap. It’s 100% dupe for the BB solid and it’s only $2 for an enormous bar! You can get it from Walmart, Kmart and many other stores in the laundry detergent aisle.

Lea Avatar

Long-term, alcohol is terrible for non-synthetic brushes and I wouldn’t recommend it. It works for make-up artists and counters to keep clean between clients but it will shorten the brush lifespan by drying out the natural hair. I know proper cleaning is a pain, but it’s that or waiting in my book. Just my two cents and I know that trick is getting more and more popular, but I wouldn’t with nice brushes you invest in.

TwirlyGirly Avatar

It depends whether it’s a natural hair brush or synthetic. I only use synthetic brushes to apply liquid or cream products; those I clean after EVERY use by swishing them around in a old jar into which I have poured about 1/2″ of 91% isopropyl alcohol. It gets out every bit of makeup, kills any bacteria, AND because alcohol evaporates more quickly than water, the brush is always dry and ready to be reused within a few hours. Least expensive and most effective brush cleaner I’ve found! (70% and 50% isopropyl alcohol will not clean brushes as thoroughly as the 91%)

For natural hair brushes (which I only use for powder makeup), after each use I remove any residue on the brush by sweeping it over an old (but clean!) hand towel a few times. Once a week I wash those brushes using real soap (in the U.S., legally only products made through the process of saponification can be labeled “soap,” so “beauty bars,” “cleansing bars,” etc. are *not* soap, and may contain ingredients that might damage or leave an unwanted residue on your brush). I wet the brush under warm running water, sweep it over a bar of soar a few times, work the soap through the brush head with my fingers, rinse, then gently squeeze out the excess water and lay the brush flat to dry on a towel.

Susan Mason Avatar

I use Dr Woods Pure Castile Liquid Soap in Almond. I love the scent of almond, so it makes the “dreaded” deep brush cleaning a little more tolerable! The price is $12.36 for 32oz on Amazon. I use the Real Techniques Brush Cleaning Palette with one to two drops of the soap and it cleans even the dirtiest foundation brush with ease. Rinse it well in the palette and you don’t even get your hands dirty. This is my go to duo and I just keep them under the bathroom sink so that I can clean my foundation and concealer brushes every time I use them!

ShirlJ Avatar

I’m sure you’re all cringing as I say this, but I just use bar soap. I’ve been doing this for about 20 yrs and never had a problem with my brushes nor my skin. I have moderate priced to inexpensive brushes (MAC, E.L.F., Quo, Cargo, Bobbi Brown, Body and Soul, a couple of Kevyn Aucoin) and they’ve survived relatively unscathed. In fact, I only recall throwing out one brush ever and it just fell apart soon after I purchased it (possibly a gift with purchase).

Using lukewarm water I wet the brushes and bar, swirl the brushes on soap, then [gently] in my wet palm. Rinse and repeat until clear. And then I flick them to get rid of most water (never rub) and tip them downwards on a towel so water drains away from ferrule.

I like the Body Shop coconut bar soap at the moment, but any mild unscented or minimally scented soap will do.

There… I feel a weight off my chest after that confession.

Jenny Avatar

I was using Dr. Bronner”s religiously and then I received a sample of the beauty blender solid and fell in love. Since then I’ve discovered ZOTE soap (available at Walmart and Kmart and many other stores in the laundry detergent aisle) It is a 100% dupe for the beauty blender solid. It’s only $2, sometimes less and it’s HUGE!!!

Lou Lou Avatar

I have a specially made towel that picks up all bacteria and dirt. It was designed by a friend that made it for hosptials! I never even have to get them wet, I just brush them back and forth against the towel and I know my brushes are pristine, sanitized and clean.

Charlotte Avatar

I love love love the Bare Minerals quick change spray! It smells good, works really well and means you don’t get moisture up inside the brush’s ferrule. I only ‘deep clean’ my brushes with water and the bare minerals brush conditioning shampoo once a month now. I then hang then in my Benjabelle brush tree.

FitChickGlows Avatar

Lol! I just use the same fragrance free bar soap I use for my hands and body, either The Guelph Soap Co.’s Pure & Natural Soap or Caprina ‘s Fresh Goat Milk Soap. And I just swish my brush in the soft soapy side (usually the bottom side) and use my cute little egg brush cleaner that I got from Ebay for a $1 with free shipping (found out Kathleen Lights uses this too! Lol!) and swish my brushes gently through that before rinsing. Then I gently squeeze out the excess water, then gently towel dry, reshape the bristles and lie them down on a towel or paper towel overnight to dry. Easy peasy. No extra special soap is necessary. And because of my eye sensitivities I prefer to use scentless soaps which are VERY HARD to come by! I have to order mine online! Crazy!! Lol! ?

Charley JB Avatar

I use the MAC Spray cleaner or the Mecca Cosmetica Quick Change Spray for spot cleaning.
And then I use Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo for Deep Cleansing but, admittedly, not as often as I should.
I’m not a Makeup Artist, so I’m the only one that uses my brushes but I know that I should Deep Clean them more often.
I also heard (from Nikkie Tutorials) that the little Bar Soaps, like the ones you get at Hotels, are also very good for Deep Cleaning so I’m gonna give that a try next time too.
A little tip also if you use the Quick Change Sprays as often as I do, when you’re done cleaning your brushes with the spray and are done doing your makeup, is to spray a little Leave In Conditiner on the ends of your brushes.
This just helps to keep them soft, as the Quick Change Sprays often have a very high level of Alcohol in them.
And since a lot of brushes are made from Real Hair, the alcohol can make them brittle over time.
So that’s a good tip to keep them soft and in good condition for much longer

Denise Avatar

I use an unscented, pure, white soap for this. Dial or Ivory with lukewarm water, get your brush completely wet. Once your brush has been saturated, swirl the brush onto the bar of soap until it lathers up nicely. Then, rinse the brush in lukewarm water. Gently squeeze out any excess water from the brush and lay it flat on a clean towel and allow them to air dry for at least 6 to 8 hours.an sponge and wet it once again using lukewarm water. You can use either baby shampoo or dish detergent whichever one you prefer. Wet your brush making sure you saturate the brush completely. I like California baby shampoo. I swish it with a sponge and swirl my brushes. You want to make sure you feel the brush when you are rinsing it to make sure you rinse all the shampoo or detergent out of the brush. If it feels slippery or slimy, continue to rinse until your brush feels clean. Once again, squeeze out the excess water and lay them flat on a clean towel to dry.Then I use almond oil with a clean paper towel and swish it around, not too much oil. Then I rinse really good and lay it down on a clean towel. Let them air dry.

Lea Avatar

Not to belabor the point, but a good rule of thumb with brushes is if you wouldn’t use it on your hair, don’t use it on your brushes!

Judy H. Avatar

I mix a few drops of baby wash (not shampoo) under warm running water into a 3 cup measuring pitcher until it foams a little. It’s a great cleaner and protects my brushes.

Arpita Avatar

I use different cleansers; sometimes mac cleanser( when in a hurry); sometimes the beauty blender solid/ liquid cleanser…. And sometimes i use plain baby shampoo to thoroughly clean my makeup brushes.

Hope Avatar

A HUGE pink bar of laundry soap named Zote. It is a Mexican product that is also sold in America. I buy it at Walmart or Big Lots. It is also sold wherever Hispanic products are sold. It is the best and costs from $1-$2. I use it to clean my brushes and sponges. Does not cause shedding. I am impressed with it’s effectiveness.

Sleepy_Belle Avatar

My favorite brush cleaner is the solid cleaner made by SwirlandSparkle ☆ Works like the solid BB cleanser but smells delicious AND is enviro-friendly and handmade. Not to mention that the creator, Marii, is an absolute sweetheart! ?

Connie Avatar

I use the beauty blender liquid cleanser for my brushes now, because I found out that the solid cleanser is better and faster with the BB. In between, I use Mac brush cleanser, a Mac employee told me once that you just need to put a little on a paper towel, and swirl the brush several times, the brush remain clean and disinfected, almost dry and ready to use, no need to rinse. I really like that option when I want to use the same brush with a lighter color for example, and I don’t have time for a deeper clean up.

Kylie5 Avatar

Today I Shaw good Reviews of Mona Lisa Pink Soap
It is for Artists to clean their brushes Even from dried colours and I have Heard that ist works for makeup brushes aswell
Has anyone tried it ?

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