My New Favorite Brush Cleaner + How To Clean & Maintain Your Makeup Brushes

I am horrible when it comes to cleaning my makeup brushes. Not anymore though since I've found the perfect brush cleaner. This stuff is amazing!

I am horrible when it comes to cleaning my makeup brushes. I tend to be lazy and instead of washing them on the regular I  keep grabbing new ones until my entire stash is dirty and I’m forced to wash them. Of course then it’s a long and drawn out task which is not fun at all. Lately I’ve been doing a little better (just a little bit, I’m working on it) and have been trying to clean my tools more regularly. I’ve tried many different brush shampoos and baby shampoo which works well enough but I still had to wash each brush multiple times. I picked up some Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap a few months ago to use as a foot soak and decided to try and use it as a brush cleaner. OMG where have I been?! This stuff is amazing and takes out absolutely everything including them layers of stuck on liquid foundation that I let sit in my brushes for a few weeks. Told y’all I was horrible.

Dr Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap to wash makeup brushes

I started out with a little bottle to test it out and I’m so hooked that I’ve moved on to the big old 32 oz bottle to ensure that I won’t run out too soon. Since the bottle is fairly big I generally just keep refilling the little bottle while keeping the big one stashed away.


As you can see my brushes and sponges are filthy. Disgusting I know. But not for long. To clean them I simply…


Add a few drops of water to the palm of my hand followed by a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap…


Wet my dirty brush a little and then swirl it into the castile soap and water mix. If your brushes are badly soiled like the one above you may need to repeat or use a little more soap.


Rinse thoroughly and make sure that the brush is facing down to avoid water entering the ferrule. This will loosen the glue and cause the bristles to fall out. I had to throw out one my ecoTools brushes during this washing session for that very reason.



Shake out and then gently squeeze out any excess water, and then reshape the brush. Repeat for all brushes. To dry them I roll up a towel to form a hump so that the brushes dry at a angle to further avoid water getting into the ferrules. Like this…


I love the look of squeaky clean brushes!

It is important to deep clean your brushes at least every 10-14 days. However it is just as important to spot clean daily after each use with a fast drying brush cleaner. Simply spray or pour a small amount on a paper towel or directly on the tip of your brush and swirl the brush into the paper towel. This way you keep your brushes free of bacteria build up and keep them from being stained (yes some richly pigmented products do stain your brushes.) It will make your deep cleanings so much easier and your skin will thank you as dirty brushes can cause breakouts, trust me on this one as I’ve experienced it first hand.

Now that I’ve found Dr. Bronner’s I don’t plan to try anything else as I am totally sold. I do plan to try one of the many other selections though, Tea Tree is next on my radar. Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap is all natural and certified organic, bio-degradable and cruelty free making it very gentle on the brushes and will prolong their life. It has many different uses and I personally use it to wash my makeup brushes, as a foot soak, body wash, occasionally to wash my hair and I’ve even washed dishes with it when I ran out of dish soap. A big 32 oz bottle will run you about $15 but it will last a really long time as all you need is a small amount. A 16 oz is about $8 and a 4 oz about $4. A lot of retailers carry it online and if you’re in NYC I buy mine from Ricky’s NYC or my local beauty supply store.

Have you tried Dr. Bronner’s… What do you use it for?

The product(s) in this post was purchased with my own money.  See my Disclosure page for additional information.

12 Responses

  1. I use the Peppermint now as a brush cleaner based on one of your previous posts. I use the Almond scented one (diluted) with a coconut butter based natural cleanser. I found that the Dr. Bronners were a little too drying for my skin alone and diluted. Also, natural cleansers dont produce as much suds, but Dr. Bronners does. Pairing Dr. Bronners with the natural cleanser is a match made in sudsy heaven! LOL

  2. Hey Erica!
    I use the unscented Dr. Bronners to clean my brushes. I love it. I planned to try different ones after I used it up. I will def check into the peppermint one!

  3. Absolutely adore Dr. Bronners to clean my makeup brushes! Actually just washed them all about an hour ago, such a tedious task! I love how quick it is to remove all the grime, I really need to spend longer rinsing them though as they sometimes lather up when I’m drying them!

  4. dang I’ve been washing it with liquid soap that I put in a small cup with water swirl my brushes around then rinse until the water is clear . Imma try dr.bonner never thought to was my makeup sponge just throw it away but imma start washing it too

  5. I was looking for a make up brush cleaner and Im happy I came across this post! I used Dr. Bronners on my skin. I used to shampoo with it, but its a bit too drying for my hair. I have used Dr. Bronners to clean up a small grease fire in my kitchen as well. Its truly an amazing soap lol! Thanks for posting!

  6. Just found your post. It’s really great! I was going to buy a brush cleaner but had Dr. Bronner’s on hand so I was curious if someone used it for makeup brush cleaning. Yay for your post and now I don’t have to make a unneeded purchase. thank you!

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