How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes at Home

Let’s face it, makeup brushes can get gross. They get filled with bacteria which really isn’t good on your skin. It’s an easy thing to forget about until your face breaks out and you realize you haven’t cleaned your brushes in quite a while. The whole process can be a little daunting. What products should you use? How can you make sure it doesn’t wreck your brushes? What’s the best way to clean your makeup brushes? Should you buy products or can you use stuff you have at home? Well chickies I’ve got you covered with this tutorial for how to clean your makeup brushes at home.

I’ve been using this process for a few years and have never noticed any damage made to my brushes. My cheap makeup brush cleaner uses 3 simple ingredients that many of us already have at home: water, Dawn dish soap, and vinegar.

It’s a fairly quick process, but you do have to keep in mind that it takes a little while for them to dry – so don’t clean your favourite brush a couple hours before you need to use it. Synthetic brushes, like my MOTD Cosmetics ones, dry quite quickly and I’ll usually clean them in the evening, but if you have natural fibre brushes they take much longer to dry so you’ll probably want to clean them in the morning after you apply your makeup.

How to clean your makeup brushes at home using 2 simple, safe ingredients - Happy Stylish FitHow to clean your makeup brushes at home using 2 simple, safe ingredients - Happy Stylish Fit

Watch the Video

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  • Dirty brushes
  • Dawn dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Hot water
  • 2 glasses or small containers
  • Silicone makeup brush cleaning pad or a textured light coloured tea towel
  • Light coloured tea towel or face cloth

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

  1. Mix 1 cup hot water with 1 tbsp Dawn dish soap and 2 tbsp of white vinegar. You will need to remake this mixture as you clean your brushes and the water gets dirty. When filming this tutorial I changed my water 3 times. Pour hot water into your other glass.
  2. Swirl your dirty brush around in the soap mixture. Swirl it around vigorously enough that you’re moving the fibres around and really getting it clean, but still somewhat gentle so that you are not damaging your lovely brushes. You will see the water slowly change to an icky milky colour to show you that it’s working.
    1. If using a silicone cleaning mat: run you brush over the textured areas on the mat to allow the ridges to really clean between the bristles. Rinse your brush off in the plain hot water glass.
    2. If using a textured towel: rinse your brush off in the plain hot water, then run it back and forth over the textured towel. You will probably have to repeat this process a few times to get the brush nice and clean.
  3. Reshape your brushes and let them dry. I recommend using an elastic band to hold them upside down on a towel drying bar as shown in the video. You could also dry them laying on a towel.

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Special Notes

  • To make your brushes last as long as possible you want to keep the water level below where the metal meets the handle of the brush. I forgot to do it for the pictures, but your brushes will last a lot longer if you make sure to do this each time you clean them.
  • Tap your brush out before swirling it in the rinse glass. This water should stay cleaner a lot longer, but it’ll still get a bit cloudy while you clean all of your brushes.
  • Make sure you leave your brushes to dry upside down, or on their side. If you dry them brush side up the water will leak into the handles causing them to crack over time.

Shop the Brushes

There ya have it, how to clean your makeup brushes at home. This process is easy to do, and is totally safe for your brushes and your skin. If you’re Pinterest obsessed like me make sure you pin this post for future reference. The brush set pictured above is completely vegan from MOTD Cosmetics check out their selection and receive 15% off when you use the coupon code “Jannine”.

xo Jannine

How to clean your makeup brushes at home using a diy makeup brush cleaner.

Learn how to clean your makeup brushes at home using this diy makeup brush cleaner.

By |2018-08-22T20:56:22+00:00April 5th, 2018|Beauty, Beauty Tips, DIY, Stylish, Stylish Tips|9 Comments


  1. Marette @ Floradise August 17, 2016 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    This reminds me I need to clean my brushes this week!

    • Jannine August 20, 2016 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      Happy to help Mareete!
      xo Jannine

  2. […] Related Post: How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes […]

  3. […] is the exact way I clean makeup brushes, and you can find my original post here. Ideally I’d love to do this every month, but realistically I think I’m going on 6 […]

  4. […] Related Post: How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes at Home […]

  5. […] Related Post: How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes at Home […]

  6. Lydia April 6, 2018 at 7:55 am - Reply

    I need one of those cleaning mats!! Awesome tips I will be saving this post to follow next time I clean my brushes!!


  7. Lola April 6, 2018 at 8:18 am - Reply

    This is the most detailed video and notes ever!!! I usually hate cleaning my brushes they never really done out clean or I don’t really understand how to do it lol but this video is a lot more detailed thanks for sharing. I actually just ordered a new set of brushes cause I sort of ruined the handles of my current ones from washing. I didn’t realize I had to keep the water at a certain level lol. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Stacy | Stacy’s Savings April 7, 2018 at 8:02 am - Reply

    I need to be better about cleaning my brushes regularly. Thanks for the recipe!

    ~Stacy |

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