DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner

Cleaning our makeup brushes every so often is necessary to clear it of the debris from our face that builds up day after day. Every time we use our makeup brush, it collects things like dead skin, bacteria, oil, and anything else off of our face. Gross…

Anyways! If you keep using a dirty brush, over time it can cause acne, clog your pores with gunk, and can even transfer bacteria from the brush to your products like eye shadow or powder foundation. Regularly cleaning your brushes will also give better color application and your brushes will last longer.

This recipe is super easy to make and has just a few ingredients. If you haven’t yet, INVEST IN LIQUID CASTILLE SOAP! Especially if you enjoy DIY projects. Castile soap originated in Spain, and was initially made with olive oil, but now it is made with a variety of vegetable oils depending on the brand you get. One of the most common brand is Dr. Bronners, which is great! I would highly suggest getting a bottle of Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap

or Mountain Rose Herbs castile soap (which is what I like to use). It is so versatile, and should be a staple of any DIY-er’s ingredients cupboard.

B E F O R E   Y O U   B E G I N:

Lemon essential oil is not necessary for the recipe, but lemon EO has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it perfect for preventing bacterial growth and giving the brushes a clean smell[i],[ii]. You can always change up the essential oil if you prefer a different smell. Tea tree would also work well.This recipe will make enough cleanser for cleaning 5-8 medium sized brushes or 10-12 smaller brushes. It is easy to double if you have more!How often should you clean your brushes? The consensus seems to be once a month, but doing it more often than that isn’t a bad thing either! If you can do it once a week or every two weeks, then you are a rock star. I try to clean mine every two weeks.

Y O U   W I L L   N E E D:

-1 TBSP Olive Oil

- 1 TBPS Liquid Castile Soap

- 1 Drop Lemon Essential Oil

D I R E C T I O N S:

In a small bowl, combine lemon essential oil and olive oil. Once the essential oil has been diluted, add in liquid castile soap and mix well.

Dip the tip of your brush in the cleansing solution, and then massage the ends of the brush in your hand under slow running, lukewarm water until it is clean. Gently rub the ends of your brush onto a clean towel and leave it out to air dry..

Pro Tip: You can spritz a little witch hazel

on the end of them as well for added antibacterial benefit

Now your brushes are good to go!


[i] Prabuseenivasan, Seenivasan, et al. “In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Some Plant Essential Oils.” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, BioMed Central, 2006,

[ii] Friedman, M, et al. “Antibacterial Activities of Plant Essential Oils and Their Components against Escherichia Coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Enterica in Apple Juice.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 22 Sept. 2004,