Select Page

I’ve never really heard of anyone loving to clean their makeup brushes…but it’s gotta be done, right?

I’ve got a confession to make: when I was younger, I was incredibly lazy and would buy the cheapest brushes and use them as disposable ones.  Terrible!  Since I’ve started working on minimizing waste, I invested in a set of nice-ish wooden brushes and try to take good care of them.  Of course, this means that I using a natural, homemade makeup brush cleaning recipe.  So far, I’ve had them for over a year and a half and they’re showing no signs of damage.

This process is a 2 stage process that is similar to natural shampoo and apple cider vinegar rinse.  Now those are some pampered brushes!  But it normally only takes me about 10 minutes, so don’t worry!  Afterwards, I’ll show you how to set up your brushes to dry so that you don’t get water accumulating inside the brush handle/where the glue is that holds the bristles in place.  The purpose of that is to help increase the life of your brushes.

Stage 1 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1.5 tablespoons castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s)
  • large glass
  • small shallow dish

Stage 2 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • large glass
  • small shallow dish

 Stage 1 Steps:

1. Mix the warm water and the castile soap in a large glass or cup.

2.  Next, you’ll be transferring a portion of the castile soap mixture into your small shallow dish like in the picture below.  I first pour just enough to cover all the bristles of the biggest couple brushes I have (you don’t want to submerge the brushes further than just the bristles because it can damage them).


3.  Swirl your biggest couple brushes in the solution and use your fingers to get the solution throughout the bristles.  If it’s been a long time since you’ve cleaned your brushes, you may have to dump the water and pour more in to clean them twice.

4.  Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you’ve washed all of your brushes.  As you go through your smaller brushes, you’ll want to pour less water into your small shallow brush.

5.  Set your brushes aside as you mix your next cup of warm water and the white vinegar in another large glass or cup.

6.  Repeat steps 2 through 4 but with your vinegar solution.  You may need to do this twice for heavily used brushes.

7.  As a last step, take each brush individually and rinse it under warm, running water from your faucet.  Work your fingers gently in between the bristles to make sure all the soap and the vinegar is out.


This is how you’ll be drying your brushes to keep the water from collecting where it shouldn’t:



What you’ll need:

  • something cylindrical (I used a rolling pin but a small paper towel roll or even a kitchen towel rolled up would work)
  • kitchen towel

Steps to Dry:

1.  Gently squeeze the water out of the brushes with your towel. You don’t need to do it too much but it helps if they’re not sopping wet.  This is also your opportunity to shape them slightly (you can see I made mine cone-shaped again in the picture).

2.  Drape your kitchen towel over your cylindrical object as seen in the picture.

3.  Position your brushes so that the bristles are sloping downward.  That allows the water to drip out of the brushes and onto your towel, thanks to gravity!

4.  Let dry for 12-24 hours before using.