Homemade Makeup Brush Cleaner

There
are 3 huge reasons for regularly cleaning your makeup brushes. First, professional makeup brushes are an investment,
so you should be doing your best to make them last longer. Second, dirty makeup brushes
become scratchy and don’t perform well. Regular
cleaning keeps your brushes soft, which is especially important if you have
sensitive skin. Lastly, dirty brushes
can transfer bacteria, dirt & debris, oils, dead skin cells and old makeup
from your skin to your makeup products and back again. 

So,
are we all in agreement that it super important to keep our makeup brushes
clean? Great! 

There are tons of great brush cleansers out there. For the
longest time, I swore by Cinema Secrets Professional Brush Cleaner. However, I use a lot of cleaning solution on my brushes, so I was using an entire $13 bottle {plus shipping} per cleaning. Eeek!


After doing some research, I found the very best $2.99 brush cleaner – Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. There is also a natural lavender scented shampoo available. I have been regularly cleaning my makeup {and even Clarisonic} brushes with baby shampoo for over 6 months now and have more than half a bottle left. 

How
to clean your brushes:

Step 1: In a small bowl or glass, combine1
cup warm water
with 1 tablespoon Baby Shampoo


Step 2: Swoosh
one brush at a time around in the mixture to clean.

Step 3: Rinse with water to remove all
traces of soap.  Rinse and repeat until the water runs
clear.  Make sure when you are rinsing to keep the brush hairs pointing
down.

Step 4: Reshape each brush and lay them on a clean paper towel to dry completely before using. Never let your brushes dry standing up in their brush holder, the
water can loosen the glue holding the brush
together over time.

Note:
Ideally, you should wash your brushes once a week, but who has time for that? A
realistic goal is to wash your brushes at least once a month.

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37 Comments

  1. Valerie Griffin
    May 10, 2012 / 1:40 pm

    i need to do this!

  2. Anonymous
    May 10, 2012 / 1:43 pm

    Wowee!! Thanks for the cleaning tip. All these years I would just get new inexpensive brushes vs. expensive good brushes, because I didn't realize they could be cleaned. There is a huge difference in the cheap brushes vs the expensive professional brushes. I now can go back to buying the good brushes because I can clean them. Thanks again!!!

  3. April of A. Liz Adventures
    May 10, 2012 / 2:17 pm

    What a great tip, Christina! I am bad about cleaning my brushes, and I want them to live a long time. I'll be picking up some J&J today.

  4. Shannon Marie
    May 10, 2012 / 3:34 pm

    You honestly just saved me so much money – I had "go to MAC for brush cleaner" on my to-do list. Can't thank you enough! Have a great day. XO

  5. Caitlin
    May 10, 2012 / 3:37 pm

    Great tips!! Thanks, I will be trying this!

  6. Jenn @ West Sac Honey
    May 10, 2012 / 4:28 pm

    I was at target the other day and almost purchased this because I needed to do just this!

  7. Katie
    May 10, 2012 / 5:01 pm

    Probably the most useful post i've seen this week!! Thanks for the tips!! Want to follow each other doll? Let me know!KatieBelle De Jour

  8. Page Twenty-Two
    May 10, 2012 / 5:39 pm

    I use baby shampoo too! Saves so much money in the long run and works just as well! Great post:)

  9. Meg {henninglove}
    May 10, 2012 / 5:51 pm

    so so important to wash your make-up brushes and when i run out of my current cleanser, i will buy the baby shampoo for sure

  10. Leigh Powell Hines (Hines-Sight Blog)
    May 10, 2012 / 6:39 pm

    This is a great tip, and I need to go wash my right now. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Amy {Fresh and Fancy}
    May 10, 2012 / 8:01 pm

    doing this, this weekend – thank you so much for posting this!! haha, I have seriously been thinking every day that i need to do this…but didn't want to buy cleaner πŸ™‚

  12. Brianna Tucker
    May 10, 2012 / 9:59 pm

    so excited about this,… buy buy pricy mac cleaner!

  13. Megan@TwoDelighted
    May 11, 2012 / 1:30 am

    I totally suck at remembering to do this. This reminds me I desperately need to get my Clarisonic base to the electronics fixer place. My cats ate the cord and it died so I haven't been able to use it in a few weeks. Major fail. My skin is terribly unhappy. Great tips honey. πŸ™‚

  14. Virginia Belle
    May 11, 2012 / 1:45 am

    Thanks you so much for sharing this trick! I rarely clean my clarisonic or brushes (mainly because I don't want to use up my pricey cleaners). Johnsons Baby Shampoo is now on my Target list πŸ™‚

  15. Jill @ ACharmedLife
    May 11, 2012 / 1:31 pm

    this is AMAZING! my makeup brushes are seriously struggling right now, so i plan on going home tonight and whipping up this little concoction πŸ™‚ thank you lady!

  16. natasha {schue love}
    May 14, 2012 / 3:37 am

    Oh I just bought this baby wash…what a great idea! I don't clean my brushes NEARLY as often as I should!!

  17. Megan {Tales of an HBS Wife}
    May 14, 2012 / 3:04 pm

    that is a great idea, I'll have to try that!

  18. Jess
    May 15, 2012 / 12:56 am

    Such a good reminder! I try to do this every 2-3 months because dirty brushes can also clog pores and no one wants those breakouts! πŸ™‚

  19. Meagan
    August 24, 2012 / 3:39 am

    Hi! I am currently in a makeup certification class in Dallas so this will be great for when I don't want to spend a lot just on cleaner. However, I was instructed never to lay them down on the towel, but rather hang them up upside down with this particular tool you can get at a craft store. That way, the cleaner doesn't just sit on the side, but it completely drops out. πŸ™‚

  20. Nicole Hoffman
    August 26, 2012 / 5:40 pm

    This only works well for synthetic brushes. Using it on natural hair brushes like the bare minerals brush you have pictured will cut the life of your brush in half. The brush will become rough and the hairs will fall out more rapidly. Think of it as using just shampoo on your own head and never conditioning it how rough and dry your hair would be. Its the same with natural haired brushes. This cheaper shampoo would only work great on synthetic brushes. Yea youre saving money on shampoo but you'll just be buying brushes more often so you're not really saving money in the long run.

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  36. Kim Haggard
    July 19, 2013 / 3:29 am

    I have found that for a very quick fix, you can also swirl your brushes around in baking soda and rub the excess off on an old towel or paper towel. Do it a couple of times to get rid of the oil and excess make-up. It won't take the place of a good washing but it is good if you are in a hurry.

  37. Joanna Shoemaker
    August 15, 2013 / 6:51 am

    What's with all of the postings about "loans"? I don't have anything to do with the cleaning of make-up brushes! Oh well…regarding the cleaning of brushes I've tried a similar cleaning but have used either my own shampoo, Soft Soap (hand soap) and even the blue Dawn. The Dawn works by removing the built up oils. Think of it in the way of how they use it to clean rescued animals from oil spills in the oceans. I do agree that it's important to keep them clean, for the specific reasons you stated. Great posting!!!

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