Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner. A simple, natural, and affordable makeup brush cleaner! This brush cleaner can be used daily or weekly to clean makeup brushes and break the cycle of bacteria and breakouts.

Confession: I’ve been making a big beauty mistake and didn’t even know it.

Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner. A simple, natural, and affordable makeup brush cleaner! This brush cleaner can be used daily or weekly to clean makeup brushes and break the cycle of bacteria and breakouts.

Last month, while visiting one of my favorite natural shops (essential oils, herbs, organic makeup–it’s a “crunchy mama” utopia) I overheard the herbalist on duty talking to a fellow customer about breakouts–the little unwanted guests that randomly pop-up on the face. The conversation instantly caught my attention. I quickly and very politely jumped in, “I’m not sure why my skin still breaks out at the most random moments. My diet is super clean, I drink a ton of water and make my own homemade products. Any tips?” The herbalist looked at me and asked a simple, yet skin-changing question, “Do you clean your makeup brushes?”

Lightbulb moment!

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never thought about cleaning my makeup brushes. Big mistake.  As it turns out, cleaning makeup brushes is a pretty important task that can prevent bacteria from spreading on the skin.

Bacteria = breakouts.

Breakouts = makeup brush contamination.

Makeup brush contamination = more breakouts.

It’s a nasty cycle.

My search for the ultimate brush cleaner began.

Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner. A simple, natural, and affordable makeup brush cleaner! This brush cleaner can be used daily or weekly to clean makeup brushes and break the cycle of bacteria and breakouts.

There are a number of store-bought brush cleaner options, and there are also a number of DIY tutorials on Pinterest. Most of the ingredients used in both the store-bought and “homemade” versions are far from natural, in my opinion. I decided to create my own homemade brush cleaner. Take that Pinterest– PS: I still love you! With a few basic ingredients, which I already had on hand for DIY beauty products, I was able to easily whip up a natural solution.

Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner. A simple, natural, and affordable makeup brush cleaner! This brush cleaner can be used daily or weekly to clean makeup brushes and break the cycle of bacteria and breakouts.

The moment of truth came as I dipped my foundation powder brush into the solution. You guys, the resulting liquid was disgusting–oil, dirt, months worth of makeup! To say that I’m now a brush cleaning advocate is an understatement.  Trust me, just try it once–dip your makeup brush in a few simple ingredients–your beauty routine will forever be changed.

Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner. A simple, natural, and affordable makeup brush cleaner! This brush cleaner can be used daily or weekly to clean makeup brushes and break the cycle of bacteria and breakouts.

From what I’ve read, most makeup professionals recommend cleaning brushes daily, particularly the ones used for foundation and blush. Daily feels a bit overwhelming and far from “simple,” so I’m practicing a twice a week system. Baby steps! Some cleaning at this point is much better than no cleaning at all. I’m now going on four weeks of this routine. My makeup brushes are incredibly soft and my skin feels clean. Bottom line: Do it! Clean your brushes. ASAP.

My homemade brush cleaner recipe works for any cleaning schedule since it makes enough solution for soaking sessions (my preferred method of cleaning) or daily spraying. Whichever method you choose, go with something that’s doable for you.

Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner. A simple, natural, and affordable makeup brush cleaner! This brush cleaner can be used daily or weekly to clean makeup brushes and break the cycle of bacteria and breakouts.

Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner. A simple, natural, and affordable makeup brush cleaner! This brush cleaner can be used daily or weekly to clean makeup brushes and break the cycle of bacteria and breakouts.

Happy Cleaning!

I recently added to this post with a tutorial on how to clean makeup brushes with this DIY recipe. Check out the updated post here

Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner
4.34 from 9 votes

Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner

My homemade brush cleaner recipe works for any cleaning schedule since it makes enough solution for soaking sessions (my preferred method of cleaning) or daily spraying. Whichever method you choose, go with something that’s doable for you.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course DIY
Cuisine Cleaning
Servings 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a bottle or mason jar, combine all the ingredients in the order listed (the recipe). Shake the bottle. This solution may be used multiple times to clean brushes. Store the mixture in the fridge.
  • Combine as much of the mixture needed in a bowl. Add your makeup brushes to the mixture. I like to swish the brushes back in forth in the mixture and then let them soak for a few minutes. The mixture will go from clear to a dirty makeup mixture quickly. After a few minutes, remove the brushes, dump the solution, and rinse the brushes under the water.
  • Let the brushes rest on a towel to dry. Repeat weekly or twice a month to keep your brushes clean.

Video

Notes

If you'd prefer to make just enough for a one-time solution, here's what I recommend:
1/8 cup witch hazel
1/2 tsp baby mild castile soap
1/4 cup distilled water
(optional) 1/4 tsp carrier oil, like grapeseed or olive oil 
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

When you introduce water into a product without a preservative you always run the risk of introducing bacteria, so use water-based products quickly.

Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner. A simple, natural, and affordable makeup brush cleaner! This brush cleaner can be used daily or weekly to clean makeup brushes and break the cycle of bacteria and breakouts.

60 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have a few dr.bronners Castillo soaps but not the baby one. Do you think I could use one of those instead like rose or lavender? Also does jojoba oil work as a nourishing oil? Thanks so much! Excited to make this!

  2. Hi – thanks for the great idea; I can’t wait to try! Will you share your method of cleaning the brushes (ex. how long to soak them for, if they should be rinsed with water, etc.)?

    1. Hey Kristen, Thank you. I soak them for about 5 minutes, long enough to get all the makeup out. Then I rinse them until the water runs clear (no more makeup residue is left).

  3. 5 stars
    This works so well!! I’d been using baby shampoo to clean my brushes for years and it was fine. But when I recently switched to a facial oil as a moisturizer, I realized my brushes were picking some of that up and the shampoo wasn’t cleaning it out –leaving a cakey buildup on my brushes that started to cause minor breakouts. After washing with this solution, my brushes feel soft again and cleaner than ever! And I used the rose scented witch hazel which gives them a very light pleasant smell. Thanks for posting this!

  4. Making this for the first time! Super excited! Thanks so much! How long do you think the “shelf” life is for a batch? I can’t wait to make some and send to my friends and mom too 🙂

  5. Hi Kristen, I just found your recipe for make-up brush cleaner, and I’m excited to try it because the one I’ve been using is just synthetic chemicals, UGH! Just wanted to say that The Container Store has a lot of cute bottles, jars, tins, and containers of all sorts! If you’re not fortunate enough to live near a store, they can be ordered online. The inventory gets even better at Christmas. Happy hunting!

  6. I am so excited to have found this recipe!! I have been following your posts for a while, and I never had the chance to try the recipes because it is extremely hard to find most ingredients and they get to be expensive if I order them to be shipped to Italy. I recently found an online alternative to order most ingredients you mention in your diy natural beauty essentials and hopefully in a couple of days I’ll have everything I need to tackle those brushes!! And more!! I am sooo excited!!!!

  7. This recipe is almost an exact match of one I found for DIY makeup remover. I’m pretty thrilled about this because having a dual purpose recipe really makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing!

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