Cleaning Makeup Brushes: My Top 3 Ways

Cleaning Makeup Brushes: My Top 3 Ways

Today post is going to be pretty short and sweet. I’m going to show you my top 3 ways for cleaning makeup brushes. I’m always searching for the quickest (and easiest) ways to deep clean my makeup brushes. Not because I’m a time saving whizkid, it’s just sheer laziness motivating me here. So, if you are lazy too, read on — if you can be bothered that is.


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There are three different brush cleaners I use depending on what I have in the house, what I unconsciously reach for and – well that’s it really, no profound reasons here.

CLEANING MAKEUP BRUSHES: MY TOP 3 WAYS

My Top 3 Products For Cleaning Makeup Brushes:

Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

L’Oreal Paris Extraordinary Facial Cleansing Oil 

L’Oreal Skin Perfection Pure Micellar Cleansing Water


Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is the OG for me, I’ve been using this to clean my makeup brushes for as long as I’ve been using them. That’s a lie actually, for the first year (plus) of using makeup brushes I didn’t realise they needed cleaning. 

  1. Wet brush
  2. Dip into shampoo
  3. Agitate in the palm of your hand until bristles look clean
  4. Rinse (if makeup is still coming away with the water start process over)
  5. Ensure shampoo is properly rinsed away
  6. Dry lying down, or hanging upside down if you can. Don’t dry upright as the water will pool into the handle and dissolve the glue holding the bristles, leading to brush shredding. 

Top Tip: I usually turn the brushes a couple of times a day until they’ve dried. Doing this allows the bristles to reset into the correct position better.


I use L’Oreal Paris Extraordinary Facial Cleansing Oil because I have it in the cupboard, but any facial cleansing oil should work just as well.

I tried this assuming that if it was suitable for removing the makeup on my face it should be able to remove built up makeup on my brushes. And it works brilliantly. Using this oil is the easiest way I’ve found of cleaning my brushes; it breaks down the makeup remnants very quickly, doing most of the work itself.

Depending on the oil you use I’d follow the same rules that apply to removing your makeup.

  1. For L’Oreal’s oil I place some in the palm of my hand and rub the dry makeup brush into it
  2. Run under a bit of water
  3. Agitate until clean
  4. Rinse
  5. Ensure oil is properly rinsed away
  6. Allow to dry.

Aagin, I use L’Oreal Skin Perfection Pure Micellar Cleansing Water because I currently have some in the cupboard. As I am slowly going cruelty free once I’ve use these up I’ll be replacing with a different micellar water.

By the same token as above, micellar water removes makeup from your skin and can remove the makeup from your brushes just as easily. For me, this is more of a spot cleaning treatment as you don’t have to drench your brushes in water, meaning they will dry faster.

There are a couple of different ways you could do this, from letting the bristles soak in the micellar water before following the below steps to deep clean, to placing some of the liquid in a spray bottle and spritzing your brushes and giving them a quick rub on a paper towel (basically the same process as you would do with any spot cleaning sprays).

I mostly do an in-between version of the two above as it is quicker than deep cleaning and the brushes dry faster, making it a form of spot cleaning for me. 

  1. Dampen kitchen roll or an old towel with micellar water
  2. Rub bristles into the micellar water
  3. Agitate on towel until clean
  4. Allow to dry.

If I am going to deep clean I’ll use a facial oil as it’s faster and more effective.  

Another great bonus to using a makeup removing oil or micellar water is that there are less products on your to-buy list. Most makeup wearers have one of these makeup removers within their stock already. So instead of having to go out and spend extra money on brush cleaners, just have a look in your cupboard instead.


Extra Tool For Cleaning Makeup Brushes:

Depending on how many brushes I am cleaning I will sometimes use a makeup brush cleaning glove.

With different textures it works as a scrubbing board to aid cleaning. It also prevents your hands from drying out from the constant cleaner, water and scrubbing required.

There are multiple styles of this tool that are available for you to purchase, from the glove (this one here is similar to the one I have), to a mat or a cup style. The cup version gives you the option to dry your brushes upright, whilst I think the design of the cup could be useful in cleaning your makeup brushes, I’d still rather dry my brushes by laying them down, this is because of the brush damaging reasons mentioned above.

How do you clean your making brushes? Was this post helpful?


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16 Comments

  1. February 14, 2018 / 6:26 pm

    Ugh, I’m the worst about cleaning my brushes. I even have one of those gloves, I got mine from a Sigma store… but I’ve only used it once. I keep writing on my to-do list to clean them so thanks for the tips!!!

    • Sarah
      February 15, 2018 / 12:24 am

      Lol, well hopefully they help make it quicker and easier 😊

  2. February 13, 2018 / 5:00 am

    Love this. I bought the dr bronners Castile soap like two years or so ago and I’m still not down to 1/3 of th bottle. All I do is dilute the soap and viola! It works amazing but I love that you use facial cleansing oils too, never thought of using those. 😊
    I’ve had this idea in my drafts for like over a year but haven’t gotten around to it because I need good lighting haha

    • Sarah
      February 13, 2018 / 9:04 pm

      That’s good 😊 I’ve always wondered what those solid soap bars are like for cleaning your brushes, need to get round to trying them.
      I get like that, other times I just think ‘ah whatever, I’ll just take the photos in poor lighting’. Especially as there are so few hours of daylight at the moment 😦

      • February 13, 2018 / 10:41 pm

        Oh it’s actually the liquid soap lol. But I know a few bloggers who use a soap bar from the brand zote? I’m not sure if that’s the name, but they claim it works lol.
        I know. My photos don’t look the same during winter hours and under artificial lighting but I have to make due with that 😔

        • Sarah
          February 13, 2018 / 11:07 pm

          Oh I know lol, I was just blabbering on from that point 🙈 my thought process wanders, even in text 😉

          • February 14, 2018 / 2:40 am

            Oh lmao my bad and me too. I think that’s the reason my comments end up being too long sometimes 😂

          • Sarah
            February 14, 2018 / 2:59 am

            Too long.. no such thing 😊🙄

          • February 14, 2018 / 3:00 am

            🤗❤