Discover the secrets to keeping your makeup brushes clean and your skin healthy with these 6 sustainable and easy cleaning methods. Learn how to maintain your favourite beauty tools and create a more sustainable beauty routine. Need to clean your makeup brushes?

Tips How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Cleaning vegan makeup brushes is essential for maintaining healthy skin and flawless makeup application. By cleaning your brushes regularly you can prevent the buildup of bacteria, oils, and old makeup residue. 

Six sustainable ways to clean your makeup brushes:

1. Olive Oil and Dish Soap:

To clean your makeup brushes effectively, you can create a gentle but powerful cleansing solution using equal parts olive oil and dish soap. Mix olive oil and dish soap in equal parts and swirl the brush in the mixture.

How to do:

  • Mix the two ingredients thoroughly and swirl the brush in the mixture.
  • Allow the solution to penetrate and dissolve.
  • Rinse the brush with warm water, continuing to swirl and massage the bristles until the water runs clear.
  • Let it dry overnight. This method is effective for brushes used with concealer too.

2. Baby Shampoo:

Your delicate brushes deserve the best care, and baby shampoo is the perfect gentle cleanser for the job. Just as it’s formulated to be mild on a baby's sensitive skin, it’s also soft on your brush bristles.

How to do:

  • Squeeze a small amount of baby shampoo onto your palm.
  • Gently massage the bristles into the shampoo, creating a lather.
  • Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water, ensuring all the shampoo is washed out.
  • Reshape the bristles and lay the brush flat to dry overnight.

finishing brush

3. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Harness the natural disinfecting power of apple cider vinegar to keep your brushes pristine and bacteria-free. If you prefer, white vinegar is also effective for this purpose. This simple solution not only cleans but also sanitizes your brushes.

How to do:

  • Mix two parts of water with one part of apple cider vinegar in a small bowl.
  • Swirl your brush in the solution, ensuring the bristles are fully saturated.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water to remove the vinegar smell and any remaining makeup residue.
  • Lay the brush flat on a clean towel to air dry completely.

4. Solid Brush Cleanser:

Investing in a solid brush cleanser is an eco-friendly and highly effective way to keep different type of brushes in top condition. These solid soaps often come in recyclable or biodegradable containers, making them a sustainable choice for your makeup bag.

How to do:

  • Wet your brush and the solid cleanser.
  • Rub the brush gently over the cleanser, creating a rich lather.
  • Rinse the brush under warm water, continuing to work the cleanser through the bristles.
  • Repeat if necessary until the water runs clear. Dirty makeup brushes may require several rounds of cleaning.
  • Squeeze out excess water and lay the brush flat to dry. This prevents damage to the glue that holds the bristles in place.

5. Baking Soda:

For a natural and effective cleaning solution, look no further than your kitchen pantry. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help remove stubborn makeup buildup from your brushes.

How to do:

  • Combine two tablespoon baking soda and water to form a thick paste.
  • Gently work the paste into the brush bristles using your fingers.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove all traces of the baking soda.
  • Pat dry with a clean towel and lay flat to dry overnight.

6. Castile Soap:

Castile soap is a versatile and natural cleaner made from vegetable oils, making it an excellent choice for gently cleansing your makeup brushes. It’s effective at cutting through grease and grime without being harsh on the bristles.

How to do:

  • Mix a small amount of castile soap with water in a bowl.
  • Swirl your brush in the solution, working the soap into a lather.
  • Rinse the brush under running water until the water runs clear.
  • Squeeze out excess water and reshape the bristles with your fingers.
  • Lay the brush flat to dry, ensuring the bristles are not bent or misshapen.
makeup set


How Often Should Makeup Brushes Be Cleaned?

=> Makeup brushes should ideally be cleaned at least once a week to prevent the buildup of bacteria, oils, and leftover makeup. Knowing how often you should clean them ensures their longevity.

=> If you use your brushes daily or have sensitive or acne-prone skin, it's best to clean them more frequently, perhaps every few days.

=> Regular cleaning not only helps maintain the quality of the brushes but also ensures that you're applying makeup to a clean canvas, reducing the risk of skin issues.

**If your makeup brushes feel stiff after washing, there's no need to fret. Simply apply some conditioner to the bristles, rinse with water, and allow them to dry flat to resolve the issue.

Benefits Of DIY Makeup Brush Cleaners

  • Prevents buildup of product residue and bacteria

  • Maintains the softness and effectiveness of the bristles

  • Leads to a more even and flawless application of makeup

  • Great when using cruelty-free vegan brushes for concealer

  • Helps prevent skin irritation and breakouts

Avoid Cleaning Makeup Brushes

  • Avoid using hot water to clean makeup brushes, as it can damage the bristles and adhesive
  • Do not soak the entire brush, as it can cause the handle to become loose and lead to shedding of the bristles
  • Avoid using harsh cleansers or soaps, as they can irritate your skin when using the brush
  • Do not use excessive force when cleaning the brushes, as it can damage the bristles and affect their shape
  • Avoid drying the brushes in direct sunlight, as it can cause the bristles to become brittle and prone to breaking
powder brush

5 Best Natural Makeup Brush Cleaners

Makeup brushes should be cleaned to ensure they are squeaky clean and free from bacteria. To deep clean your brushes every few weeks, there are a few natural cleaner options that you can use to clean them effectively.

1. Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap:

This popular natural soap is gentle yet effective at cleaning makeup brushes. Made with organic ingredients, it is suitable for all skin types.

2. EcoTools Makeup Brush Cleansing Shampoo:

This gentle and eco-friendly formula is made with plant-based ingredients and is free of parabens, phthalates, and other harsh chemicals.

3. Jane Iredale Botanical Brush Shampoo:

This all-natural formula is infused with grapefruit extract and seaweed to clean and condition makeup brushes without leaving any residue behind. Need to clean your makeup brushes? This product is perfect for ensuring they stay fresh.

4. BareMinerals Well-Cared For Brush Conditioning Shampoo:

This gentle shampoo is specially formulated to clean and condition makeup brushes, leaving them soft and in good condition.

5. Beautyblender Blendercleanser Solid:

This solid cleanser can also be used to clean makeup brushes. It is made with natural ingredients and effectively removes built-up makeup and bacteria from brushes. 

FAQs - How Often Should You Clean

What is the best homemade way to clean makeup brushes?

The best way to clean your synthetic brushes is to make it a part of your regular cleaning routine. Grab some gentle baby shampoo or brush cleaner, wet the bristles, swirl them around in the soap, rinse thoroughly, and let them dry flat.

What is the best way to sanitize makeup brushes?

First things first, run your brushes under warm water to get rid of any excess makeup. Next, pour a small amount of disinfectant onto a clean cloth or sponge and gently swirl your brushes in the solution to ensure all the bristles are covered thoroughly. Let them air dry completely before using them again.

What should I clean makeup brushes with?

You can clean them with either a gentle shampoo or a specially formulated brush cleanser. Some people also use a mild liquid dish soap or baby shampoo to clean their brushes. Make sure to rinse them thoroughly with lukewarm water and reshape the bristles before letting them air dry completely. 

What do makeup artists use to clean brushes?

Makeup artists typically use gentle liquid soap or brush cleaners specifically designed for cleaning makeup brushes. Some may also use rubbing alcohol or a mixture of water and vinegar to sanitize their brushes.

What can I use to disinfect my makeup brushes?

To disinfect your makeup brushes, use a mixture of water and gentle soap (like baby shampoo). Dampen the bristles, swirl in the soapy water, and rinse thoroughly. Alternatively, use a makeup brush cleaning solution or a mix of equal parts water and rubbing alcohol. A UV-C light sanitizing device designed for brushes is also an option.


Cleaning your makeup brushes is essential for maintaining healthy skin and ensuring the longevity of your brushes. Using sustainable methods to clean your brushes is not only better for the environment, but also better for your skin. When it comes to cleaning makeup brushes, using gentle, natural cleansers is key.

Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the bristles of your makeup brushes and irritate your skin. Opt for gentle ingredients like castile soap, olive oil, and vinegar to effectively clean your brushes without causing harm.

Taking the time to regularly clean your brushes will not only give your brushes a longer lifespan, but it will also prevent the build up of dirt, oil, and bacteria that can lead to breakouts and skin irritation.