So if you are considering using rubbing alcohol to clean your makeup tools – don’t. Unless you like replacing makeup brushes on the regular. That is why the makeup brushes featured in this post are a cheap, but serviceable, synthetic bristle set that I only use for stage makeup. I have a separate set of natural bristle makeup brushes for my every day makeup.
Either way, this homemade makeup brush cleaner will work and care for both types of makeup brushes and tools.
How to Make DIY Makeup Brush, Beauty Blender and Sponge Cleaner
The two best ingredients to use to make a makeup brush and blender cleaner are dish washing liquid (plant based or conventional work equally well) and olive oil. Olive oil is also a fantastic makeup remover (since oil is drawn to oil) as well as a moisturizer and conditioner for brush bristles. Dish washing detergent is made to remove cooking oil and grease which makes it the best thing to remove pigment, dirt, and excess olive oil from your makeup tools.
Tip: to keep your makeup brushes cleaner in between liquid washes, use a makeup brush cleaning sponge like this one to remove pigment and powdered products after each use. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)
Olive oil – Olive oil is also a good makeup remover because olive oil help dissolve the oil in your makeup products because oil attracts oil and water attracts water. Olive oil is a fantastic skin moisturizer.
Liquid dish washing detergent
Spoon, whisk, etc.
Very helpful but not necessary: a silicone makeup brush cleaner pad.
Step by step how to Clean Makeup Brushes and Blenders the Easy Way Tutorial
1. Pour equal parts of dish washing liquid and olive oil in a small bowl. Use the spoon/whisk/whatever to completely mix the ingredients together. If you get a weird white emulation, you’re doing it right.
2. Put a brush into your homemade brush cleaner, covering the bristles with your homemade cleaning solution and trying to avoid the metal ferrule (otherwise it can rust, loosen, and the bristles may shed.)
3. Work the solution into the brush bristles with your fingers or on the silicone brush cleaning mat.
4. Rinse the cleaner from the bristles with plain water, trying to avoid the metal as much as possible.
5. Repeat Steps 2 through 4 until the brush bristles are clean and free of makeup.
6. Lay the clean brush on a towel and allow it to air dry.
You can clean beauty blenders and sponges the same way as you cleaned your makeup brushes. I like to dip my sponge or beauty blender in to the makeup cleaning solution, work it through, and them soak in clean water for a bit. After I remember I have stuff soaking in the bathroom sink (truth, I often forget until I see it,) I work the cleaner through the makeup sponge again and rinse it out fully with clean water as many times as needed until it is clean and free of makeup and cleanser.
Looking for more makeup brush, beauty blender, and sponge cleaning and storage ideas? Check out the following options – and more! - below!
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