How To| Clean Makeup Brushes Using Hair Products

by West Parsons on January 7, 2013 · 5 comments

in beauty, makeup

Makeup brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria, which is why they need to be cleaned often. This Sigma [+] brush set (comparable to MAC) was purchased 3 years ago on Amazon and it withstands regular cleaning pretty well using the same products I use on my hair. This method can be applied to any brand of brushes.

Shampoo [+] obviously to clean the hair bundle on the brushes
Conditioner [+] helps to preserve the integrity of the bristles and soften them as well
Tea Tree Oil [+] anti-bacterial/fungal

Fill cup with warm water, making sure to fill below where the ferrule of the brushes begin.  Add one drop of tea tree oil and shampoo. Place brushes in the waster and agitate to loosen makeup in brushes.

Add a drop of shampoo on a flat surface. Quickly dip the tip of the brush in the shampoo. Using short strokes, motion the brush left to right as if your are painting. Do this for each brush. This contact cleaning is an additional measure in ridding the makeup deep inside the hair bundle.

Rinse each brush under running warm water until the water runs clear.

Using fresh, warm water, add a pump of conditioner to the water and allow the brushes to sit for 5 minutes.

After conditioning, follow with an additional rinse of cold water. Squeeze excess water from the hair bundle, making sure to also shape the bristles in the form you would like them to dry. Hang at the edge of a surface and allow to air dry.

Do you clean your brushes differently? What products do you use?


AmeeraNakisha January 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm

While I don’t where make up except for lip gloss, people always tell me that your make up is only as good as your brushes. Whenever I get tutorials and think Im going to start wearing make up everyone always tells me, “don’t buy no cheap brushes and make sure you clean them often”. Good info to know!

Debra January 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm

The only small problem I have with this method is that I don’t necessary want the products that I would use in my hair to be on my brushes, which will in turn touch my face. I just use MAC brush cleaner & if I need a deeper cleaning, I use Dr. Bronner’s castille soap. The MAC brush cleaner is good because it also conditions the brushes…whenever I use a soap not made for brushes, it leaves my brushes feeling rough and it makes them shed…tea tree oil seems like a strong oil to use on such delicate fibers.

westNDNbeauty January 25, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Hi Debra, I can understand your concern. Some people actually use Dr. Bronner on their hair, so in all reality, that too could be considered the same. Also the drop of tea tree oil is added to the water and not directly to the brushes; tea tree oil serves as an anti-bacterial element. Conditioning the brushes like you condition your hair also ensures the brushes remain soft. Also, I personally have not experienced any difficulties with this method when it comes the use of the brushes on my skin or the maintenance of the brushes.

Tiyana P. January 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm

So I guess I’m wrong for washing my brushes with mild dish detergent? *sniggle*

This is great! Thanks for sharing!

tdwalton June 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm

informative! thank you