So, let’s talk about makeup brushes and my DIY makeup brush cleaner recipe.

I’ll admit I didn’t even own a makeup brush until last year.  I used to just apply makeup with my fingers because I felt I never wore enough makeup to justify buying fancy tools.  My makeup bag literally consists of four items.  And also, who doesn’t like finger painting?!  

Then I bought a makeup brush last year (notice, singular – I’ve not gotten carried away with myself!). After that, I wondered what on earth I’d been doing all these years.  It’s so much easier!

Do You Need to Clean Makeup Brushes?

The thing about makeup brushes is that whilst they do make applying makeup so much easier, they do need regular cleaning.  This is to help keep your skin clean and healthy.  Without cleaning your brush, you’re just brushing dirt and bacteria around your face.  Which, let’s face it, isn’t so appealing.

I’ve been trying out a few different methods to make a DIY makeup brush cleaner and have decided that this natural makeup brush cleaner recipe is a) by far the simplest and b) by far the best.  When it comes to cleaning makeup brushes, no-one wants to be messing about with lots of different ingredients.  Therefore, I think it’s best to keep it simple.

The main ingredient I use in this recipe is Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap*.  I use this in lots and lots of different ways around my home, and always have a bottle in my bathroom cupboard.   It’s a little on the pricier side of things, but you only ever use it diluted.  Therefore it does work out at incredibly great value.  

The thing about Dr. Bronner’s is that it’s certified organic and made with only pure plant oils, so there are no nasties in it whatsoever.  It’s also incredibly gentle on your best makeup brushes.

DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner Recipe

Here are the steps you need to make this all-natural cleaner.


Small pot

50 ml lukewarm water (approx 2 inches of water)

1 teaspoon of liquid castile soap*

50 ml of white vinegar


Add the liquid castile soap to the lukewarm water and stir to combine. It’s important to use lukewarm water as too hot water may melt the glue that holds the bristles of your makeup brush in place.
Place the bristles in the soapy solution and swirl a few times to loosen the old makeup.
Keep going until the brush looks clean, and then rinse in some clean lukewarm water.
If you want to ensure all the soap has been removed dip your brush bristles in a small jar of white vinegar. White vinegar is amazing at cutting through soap, leaving your brush super clean. Once your brush is dry it won’t smell of vinegar, as vinegar dries without an odour.  Trust me!
Whether you rinse your brush in water or vinegar, next you need to mould the brush back into shape, and then leave to dry on a flannel.
Viola, naturally clean makeup brushes with very little effort!
homemade makeup brush cleaner

Please note, when using this makeup brush cleaner recipe, please don’t leave your brush sitting in water.  You only want your brush to be in the soapy water for as long as it takes to clean your brush.  iIt doesn’t need to steep for any length of time, otherwise, it may damage the metal and/or wooden components of your makeup brush, shortening its lifespan.

natural makeup brush cleaner recipe

ps: check out my guide to zero-waste and plastic free makeup if you are looking to upgrade your makeup supplies.

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