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Every makeup user should invest in any of these best makeup brush cleaners. Why? Because you must keep your makeup brushes clean, it’s as simple as that! It’s not exactly a secret either. Whether you use your brushes daily or just for occasional touch-ups, you have to keep them clean without dirt and grime built and rooted deep within the bristles. They may look clean but you cannot possibly see the bacteria and germs teaming on your brushes. So, it’s time to clean the brushes that have stayed dirty for too long!

Cleaning Makeup Brushes Is An Essential Step

The easiest step to skip when it comes to using makeup is cleaning the makeup brushes(1) regularly. But it is also the stupidest mistake. Think about it. Makeup brushes are something you use on your skin. Doesn’t that automatically say brushes must be cleaned now and then?

According to makeup artists who use brushes multiple times on different clients a day, you have to clean your brushes at least once a week. Forget a week, do you clean them once a month? I can take a wild guess and answer for you!

cleaning makeup brushes diy


So, let’s make some things crystal clear. Dirty brushes tend to shorten the lifespan of your brushes, work less with time, and cause breakouts on your skin. Hence, it is safe to say that cleaning makeup brushes is as important and necessary as washing your face off makeup before sleeping. Yet, you tend to disregard this essential step.

To emphasize, unless you don’t mind buying new brushes every year, you will continue using the dirty brushes without cleaning them. If the cleaning part hasn’t convinced you yet, here’s another perk. If you do maintain your brushes, you get to keep them longer. Meaning, you don’t have to spend on buying new ones every year!

Makeup Brush Cleaners: Best Of The Best

Cleaning makeup brushes is a matter of hygiene. Plus, you get to keep spots away from your skin. You don’t want to keep your brushes a brooding ground for bacteria and germs that causes breakouts and infection, right? So, to make the first step easier for you, I have formed a list with the best of the best.

Ahead, find a list of the best makeup brush cleaners to dip in or coat your brushes with.

Clinique Makeup Brush Cleaner

Being the best daily makeup brush cleaner, this sanitizing spray is a great pick for everyday use. It cleans your brushes quickly but deeply to keep your makeup brushes in pristine condition every day. Specifically made to use every day, and thanks to its gentle formula, it promises no shedding or breaking.

what to wash makeup brushes with

Price: $14

It has antimicrobial properties and contains cetrimonium chloride that prevents static and maintains sleekness. Plus, it tackles built-up bacteria and grime and refreshes your brush in between washes. All you have to do is spritz the spray right onto the bristles (from both sides) and wipe off dirt and debris with a tissue. Then, let the brushes air dry for a few minutes, and you are ready to use them! It’s as simple as that without any mess!

Makeup For Ever Instant Brush Cleanser

Let’s move to the best instant makeup brush cleaner: Makeup For Ever Instant Brush Cleanser! It gives instant purification to the brushes with just one spritz! The best part about this cleanser is that it’s alcohol-free.

what can you use to clean makeup brushes

Price: $28

So if you are looking for an alcohol-free cleaner to stay away from skin-drying properties, this one’s for you. It has no fragrance either. Just spritz it directly onto your brush, rub in circular motions over tissue to remove debris, and purify your brushes quickly and easily.

Real Technique Brush Cleansing Gel

This dermatologist-tested makeup brush cleaner is not only easy to use but also convenient to purchase. It is one of the best cleaners that prevents your bristles from drying out and removes caked makeup residue, dirt, grime, and oil deep within the bristles with ease.

how to deep clean makeup brushes

Price: $13

This results in the extended lifespan and efficacy of the brushes. Because it’s alcohol-free, it’s gentle yet lathers up nicely. Moreover, the unique formula infuses the hairs of the brushes with lasting moisture for a much softer feel. Two drawbacks users have complained about are it has an unpleasant fragrance and that it’s not suitable for all brushes.

MAC Brush Cleaner

A minimalistic makeup brush cleaner for people on the go. Because, among its other merits, what all of its users love is its ease of use. All you have to do is apply the formula onto a towel or your brush and rub the brush back and forth on the towel until it disinfects brush fibers and conditions them. No-fuss, no mess!

cleaning makeup brushes is an essential step by step

Price: $12.50

This is the best conditioning makeup brush cleaner as it conditions the bristles deeply. Just a tiny amount of this cleanser leaves the brushes clean for safer use and soft for a better blend, just like when you first used them. Your skin will be less likely to get blemishes from bacteria and your brushes will last longer and stay stronger! Wheat protein in the formula does the strengthening work.

Fenty Beauty Dry Brush Cleaning Sponge

This sponge is an effective cleaner for eyeshadow brushes. Unless you have a large number of eyeshadow brushes, trying out new eyeshadow looks with makeup brushes will make your eyeshadow brushes powdery.

what can you use to clean makeup brushes

Price: $18

To remove powder from your tiny brushes, use this sponge. The best part? You can clean them without the need for water!

EcoTools Makeup Brush Cleansing Shampoo

To pick an eco-friendly makeup cleaner, this is your best choice. Besides that appealing factor, the brand offers dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic formula. The shampoo spray is formulated with plant-derived ingredients and without parabens, phthalates, or petroleum.

makeup brush cleaner

Price: $8

All of these make the cleanser ideal for even the most sensitive skin types. This fragrance-free pick cleans your brushes of makeup residue and built-up debris that clog pores to keep your complexion in great shape. Additionally, it’s vegan and cruelty-free.

BeautyBlender BeautyCleanser Solid Pro

You can deep clean both your brushes as well as your sponges with this solid pick from BeautyBlender. Loaded with charcoal to remove excess oils, dirt, and debris, this one exceeds the powerful purifying effect of charcoal by creating a foamy lather that gets deep into the brushes and sponges.

are makeup brush cleaners worth it

Price: $45

Though it’s known to be gentle to soften the brushes —thanks to palm oil, aloe vera, and coconut oil, it efficiently offers protection against germs for up to 24 hours. It also comes with a silicone pad for scrubbing. The only drawback? As it’s basically wet-cleansing, you have to keep your brushes overnight for drying.

Cinema Secrets Pro Cosmetics Professional Brush Cleaner

As it is the best antimicrobial makeup brush cleaner, Cinema Secrets Professional brush cleaner is ideal for acne-prone skin. It’s a 99.99% antimicrobial disinfectant, meaning kills bacteria effectively.

More importantly, it effortlessly removes makeup residue from deep within the brushes, from even long-wearing and waterproof formulas. You get to remove everything —creams, glitters, pigments, and the like. Thankfully, unlike some cleansers, it does its work without leaving a greasy film on the brushes.

best cleaner for makeup brushes

Price: $24

You can rely on this to make your brushes cleaner and healthier as it was developed by a professional artist for TV and films. But it does have a strong vanilla scent. If you don’t mind that, you can go for this cleanser that delivers a surface-level cleanse. It is rinse-free, extremely quick-drying, and can be used to sanitize both natural and synthetic fibers. Now, do you have any doubt as to why this one is a cult favorite?

Bobbi Brown Brush Cleanser

A top-rated cleanser for its long-lasting quality. A little of this concentrated yet gentle liquid formula goes a long way to deeply cleanses and conditions your brushes. Your brushes, even your most luxe brushes, will retain their shape and quality after a rinse with this cleanser.

makeup brush cleaners best

Price: $12

The gentle formula works to cleanse your brushes without leaving the bristles hard. It preserves the life of your brushes, even the ones with delicate fibers. Apply a small amount of the formula to the head of your brush and massage inward with a lukewarm rinse (bristles pointed downwards). Also, let the brushes air dry overnight before using.

Sigma Beauty Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Mat

If you ignore the price tag, the only drawback would be you have to buy a cleansing solution separately. If you do have one with you, apply it to the brushes, and then, gently scrub it clean on the mat.

electric makeup brush cleaners

Price: $ 27

It gets the gunk out of your brushes and washes away every speck of bacteria. Another plus point is that you can pack this compact mat wherever you travel, too.

Stylpro Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer

If you haven’t tried an electronic makeup brush cleaner before, this one is a good start. You may have seen this trend on Instagram as the best makeup brush cleaner machine. Most of its users confirmed its effectiveness.

This popular version from Stylpro has eight induced silicone collars to accommodate all your brushes. And it comes with its cleaning or you can use any liquid cleanser of your choice.

 makeup brush cleaner machine

Price: $20

With its high-tech centrifugal spin technology, you can clean and dry your brushes within 30 seconds! It acts like a washing machine. All you have to do is fill the bowl with warm water and some gentle liquid cleanser, place your brush inside, then, spin it to whip clean every last trace of dirt and makeup residue.

It’s particularly best for cleaning eyeshadow brushes to get rid of all that powder. Some users have complained of it leaving the bristles slightly splayed. But it remains to be the best makeup brush cleaner and dryer!

Luxe Makeup Brush Cleaner

The complete makeup brush cleaner set from Luxe is the real deal and it is the best electric makeup brush cleaner and dryer. With advanced technology, this innovative brush cleaning device guarantees a  fast and easy alternative to conventional brush washing.

In a matter of seconds, your expensive brushes will be left squeaky-clean, deeply conditioned, and swiftly dried! It removes even the stubborn makeup residue that you may have tried countless times to get rid of.

antibacterial makeup brush cleaner

Price: $26

This USB-rechargeable device comes with a lightweight charging dock, glass bowl, and a bowl splash guard ring. It has 3-speed settings to offer a customizable cleansing, eight collars to accommodate different sizes of brush, and is stocked with a full-size bottle of cleaning solution. You can use this electric makeup brush cleaner frequently without being scared of damaging your brushes or your skin. Plus, it is also travel-friendly.

These are a few of the best makeup brush cleaners you can choose for your brushes and sponges. None of these will damage your brushes nor your skin. All that lingering dirt, grime, excess oil, and stubborn makeup residue will be gone and your brushes will be fresh as new ones!

Quick Tips

Before buying a makeup brush cleaner,  remember to choose a formula that is gentle enough to not damage your brushes or your skin. You need to make sure that it does not leave any residue on the brush. Or else, it will lead to more and more dirt on your brushes, which you are trying to avoid here. Also, choose a travel-friendly one to carry around. You don’t know when you have to clean your brushes!

best cleaner for makeup brushes


To conclude on how often should you clean your brushes, depends solely on your usage. But almost all beauty experts recommended cleaning each of your makeup brushes every 8 to 10 days(2). Try as much as possible to not exceed 10 days of continuous usage. You don’t have time for breakouts and infections, right?

To wrap up, it is important to clean your brushes. You cannot use them after one week of leaving them not washed. For this reason, I hope the list above has helped you find your makeup brush cleaner(3) and you will start to clean your brushes every week.