DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner – Keep Your Cosmetic Tool Free from Grimes

by craftmin | January 12, 2018

Through constant use, makeups tend to accumulate grimes that make them less efficient in what they usually do. For many people, this phenomenon seems normal and is what makes cosmetics a short-lived material. While that may be true, these are also the same people who had not heard of a DIY makeup brush cleaner.

Many people see cosmetics as disposable items that must be replaced every now and then. Makeup brushes specifically are a common victim of this disposable culture which makes their numbers grow significantly in the trash bin.

Longevity of Makeup Brushes

But, while “trashy” these items are, it did not have to be that way. With just a bit of care, even a seemingly overused brush tends to outlive the cosmetics that are used with it.

Not many companies tell you about it, but makeup brushes are not really as disposable as they seem. Like many other tangible items, these brushes are “repairable,” if not something manageable over time. After all, you are not dealing with semi-liquid paint with these brushes but powders that are easily removed when needed.

Not Your Ordinary Means

Yet, of course, having to clean up makeup brushes are not simple as merely shaking the powders off. This might work to a certain extent but is not the ultimate solution to the problem. Oftentimes, it takes the right solution to magnet off the substances that might just clog the brushes which eventually makes them inefficient later on. Hence, they are called “makeup brush cleaner.”

Luckily, makeup brush cleaners are not just exclusive only in the stores. With the right recipe, you could easily come up with your own that is probably as efficient as what would be in the market. Otherwise, these DIY formulas are even better.

Some Amazing DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner Formulas

If you are clueless as to what these recipes are, do not fret. We have you covered.

  1. Phan’s Ultimate Brush Cleaner

    DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner

    DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner | Source:

Combining the disinfecting and the reconditioning powers of both a dishwashing liquid soap and olive oil, this is the ultimate brush cleaner. This formula is, in a sense, wiping your brushes clean including its essential elements but only to restore the latter as needed.

How it works is like this: Imagine you had used a shampoo which promised to remove all the dirt in your hair including the natural oil which keeps it moist. When no hair conditioner is used afterwards, your hairs end up clean but dried and brittle. But when you used a moisturizer, it ends up clean and normal instead after restoring moisture to each strand.

A makeup brush is essential an organic hair. While its required nourishment isn’t necessarily sustained by a living host, it has the right structure to keep its nutrients in it. So, when you frequently clean your brush with this formula, you’re literally keeping it healthy and at its optimal.

Here’s what you need:

  • Dishwashing soap
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Hanger
  • Plate
  • Brush guards
  • Chip clips

Step 1

Pour an ample amount of dishwashing soap onto the plate. Do not pour in too much to prevent unnecessary waste.

Step 2

Add some olive oil to make a mixture of 2 parts dishwashing soap and 1.5 parts olive oil.

DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner | Source:

As simple as this, you have already developed the ultimate hair brush cleaning solution.

Step 3

Take the brush you intend to clean and make a circular motion with it on the mixture. You would know that the formula is already taking effect as soon as you noticed the substances flaking off.

Step 4

Ensure that the rest of the powder from the makeup being removed by wiping the brush back and forth on your hand. Further flakes of pigments along with unseen bacteria should fall off at this point.

Step 5

When done, place the brush on a paper towel to prevent unwanted mess. Your brush will dry off a bit during this point but that is not the purpose for this step.

Step 6

If you have more than one brushes to clean off, simply repeat steps 3 to 5. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.

Step 7

Rinse your brush(es) with warm water. (Note: Not hot water. It will just damage your brush.) Swirl the brush(es) as you rinse them to facilitate the removal of any sticking particles.

Step 8

Just keep on repeating step 7 until all the mess in your brush is removed.

Step 9

Once rinsed, get back to the paper towel to dry out the brush(es).

You may think that the overall procedure is already done when you’ve dried your brushes post-rinsing. That’s only half of it. The rest is about the proper storage and further drying of the brush.

DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner | Source:

As a precaution, never store your freshly cleaned brushes upside-down (bristles facing upward). Natural gravity will just pull any remaining water in the brush and drag them towards the area where the bristle is glued in. Consequently, the hold of the glue will loosen which will make the bristle fall off. Leaving it this way will ultimately ruin your brush in the end.

Instead of that, do it this way:

  1. Cover your brush completely with the right brush guard. Start it off from the brush’s tail-end up to the very bristles.
  2. Take a chip clip and clip the now-sealed makeup brush to the base wire of the hanger. Make sure that the brush’s bristles are pointing to the ground.

Cleaning Regimen for your Kit

  • Foundation brushes attract more bacteria than any other brushes in your makeup kit. This is more so when the brush itself has gone moist.
  • Eyeshadow/powder brushes would require cleaning only after you apply a new color with it.
  • Eyeliner brushes tend to play a role in causing or preventing infection. As a makeup tool that works around the eyes, this brush must be cleaned daily.

  1. Zero Waste DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner

    DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner | Source:

This is pretty much just an alternative from the one we’ve discussed previously. The only difference in this mixture is that, instead of olive oil, we’ll make use of almond oil.

As such, it is not that hard to surmise that how this particular concoction works isn’t too different from the previous.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 tablespoons of liquid soap
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil

Step 1

Pour both the soap and the almond oil onto a plate.

Step 2

Dip and swirl your brush into the mixture to remove unwanted impurities in the brush. Use your hands as needed to remove any remaining residue.

Step 3

Rinse the brush off with *cold* water. You cannot always expect to have a cold water running from your faucet unless you live in a cold area. So, instead of relying on running water, just place the cold water in a cup and soak your brush right in.

Step 4

Let your brush dry by hanging on the air for 24 to 48 hours with the bristles facing downward.

Do note that this particular mixture should work on most makeup brushes. But if you are to work on an overused brush, you have the liberty to adjust the consistency as you see fit. For instance, you can add a bit of soap to make the rinsing process more effective.

Some brushes may require a more frequent and regular cleaning. Others, however, may survive not getting cleansed for 4 to 6 months. Yet, you may want to keep your brushes disinfected in the process by spraying a disinfectant solution on them.

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