How I Clean My Makeup Brushes!

I’m not going to lie, I don’t clean my makeup brushes regularly. I’m kind of ashamed to say this, but before today, I can’t remember the last time I cleaned my makeup brushes. I know. Ew. It’s just that I get really lazy and I always put it off. Makeup brush cleaners can be pretty pricey, especially if you’re someone who cleans their brushes regularly, so I thought I would share with you guys my cost effective and super simple way to clean brushes! (When I say “my way” of cleaning brushes, I’m not claiming that I invented this technique, this is just the particular way I choose to clean my brushes… when I actually get around to it)


So to make the brush “shampoo” all you need is dish soap and extra virgin olive oil. The dish soap is to clean and disinfect your brushes and the extra virgin olive oil is meant to re-condition the bristles. I just put the mixture in a styrofoam plate so I could save time by throwing it away once I’m done with it. I usually just eyeball the mixture, but I looked at a bunch of different websites and the ratio that everyone tended to agree on was 2 parts dish soap to 1 part EVOO, if that helps.

I first cleaned the brush sleeves that came with my elf brushes by rinsing them with water, then squirting some hand soap in the sleeves and just scrubbing the inside with my finger until all the dirt and makeup residue came off.



Now on to the brush cleaning!

  1. Run the brush under lukewarm water to rinse off any surface dirt and makeup (It’s very important to use lukewarm water the entire time, not too hot or too cold. Too hot will damage your brushes, too cold won’t clean the brushes and kill bacteria as effectively)
  2. Swirl the brush in the mixture, making sure you get enough of the shampoo on the brush to fully clean it.
  3. Rub the brush on your hand in a circular motion to work the shampoo in. I like doing this over the front of my fingers as opposed to my palm because I feel like the ridges of my fingers act like a washing board and help to really clean the bristles. (For my foundation brush, I found that I needed to repeat this step a couple times, because there was still makeup trapped deep into the bristles)
  4. Rinse the brush under the tap, while swirling it in your palm, just to make sure that everything is being rinsed out.
  5. When you’re done rinsing, squeeze the excess water out. If the water that comes out isn’t clear, keep rinsing and squeezing until the water that runs out is clear. Then gently pat the brush with a paper towel and set aside.
  6. Repeat the steps for however many brushes you have.

AFTER: Squeaky clean ✨

The way you store your brushes while they dry is very important. You shouldn’t store them standing up because water may drip down to the glue holding the bristles together, and will weaken it over time. If you have more expensive makeup brushes, you will probably want to take extra precaution when it comes to this, but since all my brushes were fairly inexpensive, I am not too worried about them falling apart from one wash.

20160523_135533.jpgI placed my Real Techniques brushes in the travel case that they came with, but I stored them upside down instead of right side up. For my elf brushes, I just laid them flat to dry. Some of the larger brushes came with brush sleeves, so I put the brushes in the sleeves to maintain their shape. Like I mentioned, I had cleaned the sleeves prior to cleaning my so I wouldn’t be putting clean brushes back into dirty sleeves LOL.

Anyways, I really enjoyed cleaning my brushes. It felt really therapeutic and made me wonder why I don’t do this more often. Maybe it’ll inspire me to start cleaning my brushes regularly. I hope this was informative, and leave any comments if you have other ways of cleaning your brushes, or have any suggestions, I would love to hear them! Hope you have a great rest of your week 🙂

💖, B