How to | Clean Your Makeup Brushes (affordable and easy)

If you own makeup brushes, you know the struggle of forcing yourself to clean them once a week (ish). I had makeup brushes for three years before I ever thought about cleaning them (don’t judge me) because I didn’t know how to go about doing so. Last year, my collection grew, as did my beauty blogger research. Like with many things in the beauty world, there were so many different ways to clean brushes and it was all a bit overwheming and expensive. I wanted to find a simpler method that was budget-friendly. I had been using regular antibacterial hand soap until I found something better when I thought about using dish soap.

I remembered dish soap is used to get oil out of fur and feathers for animals who have been involved in oil spills. I figure if it’s good enough to remove oil, it’s good enough to remove makeup from my brushes. Dish soap really gets deep into the brush and removes the makeup instantaneously! Not a trace of foundation is left behind, even when I’ve waited three weeks before cleaning my brushes (heh…heh).


Dirty brushes
Dish soap (any brand)
Paper towel or hand towel

I group my brushes by foundation/concealer, blush/bronzer/highlighter, and eye shadow/liner. I begin with the heavy duty, and typically more dense brushes used with foundation and concealer. Beginning with clean hands and depending on how big and how dirty the brushes are, I apply either a nickel or quarter-sized amount into the palm of my hands or directly onto the brush. 

I then swirl the brush in the palm of my hand to dispense the product evenly and get the soap as deep into the brush as possible.

Next, I rinse with water and repeat the process with less soap and work the soap through the bristles if I feel they need a little extra attention. 

After they’ve been washed and rinsed twice, I lay the brushes down on the towel to dry. I then move on to the brushes that work the cheek area and use the same method as with the base brushes, adjusting the amount of soap as necessary. These typically only require one round of soap and rinsing. As for the eyes brushes, I typically use a smaller amount of soap and the same method applies. Brushes used with cream shadows or gel liners usually get two, even three, rounds of soap before I deem them clean.

That’s it! All you need is dish soap and a little bit of extra effort for those few pesky brushes to get an affordable deep clean. It’s really simple to gauge how much soap you need and after they’ve been cleaned, leave them to try overnight, either directly on a hand towel (like S), or over the edge of your sink (like C).

Let me know if you’ve just started to use dish soap or you’ve been using it!


– C + S

Check out Cristina’s video on this post over on YouTube (video below)! Be sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe! Leave links to your channels and blogs and we will deffo check them out!