9 Handy Hacks That’ll Make Cleaning Makeup Brushes *Way* Easier

THE WORST JOB. But these tips will make it better, we promise.

Note: Some of these methods might be better used on synthetic makeup brushes than natural hair brushes, which need a little more TLC. Just a heads up. 

Get one of these yokes

They cost about €1.50 in Penneys and will cut the amount of elbow grease you have to put into cleaning your brushes in half. Simply soap up your brush, rub it over the grooves, and watch the dirt flow.

Alternatively, get your hands on some Lego


Those grooves are equally great at getting at the grime. Surely your child/sibling/partner wouldn’t mind donating some to a good cause?

Try this soap

You don’t need to spend $$$ on special brush cleansers or waste your shampoo/face wash. Dr Bronner’s Liquid Soap is revered by makeup addicts – it’s available in health stores and online for about €4 for a big bottle.

Or clean them with micellar water

It makes sense that the thing that takes off your makeup would also be good for cleaning your caked-on brushes, right?

As Irish blogger CherrySue notes, the green-capped Garnier micellar water is particularly good for this job as it contains alcohol, which will speed up the drying process.

Put your beauty sponges in the microwave

Put some Fairy Liquid in a mug, half fill it with water, throw in your beauty sponge, and stick it in the microwave for about a minute – it will be cleaned! Though as per this Cosmopolitan article, you may have to put it through twice to get them truly spotless.

Wipe them with a microfibre cloth before you air dry them

The second most annoying thing about washing your makeup brushes (after the actual scrubbing) is waiting for them to dry. Giving them a little squeeze/wipe with a super absorbent microfibre cloth should get them a lot drier, quicker.

Hang them up using hair ties or elastic bands to hasten the process


Towel racks, wardrobe rails, bedframes, a clothes hanger… any of these things can become brush-drying racks if you truly believe. Wrap the hair tie around the brushes (put them upside down to retain the shape), hook it around the frame, and leave them dry in peace.

Or put your knicker-dryer to work


Perhaps ‘knicker-dryers’ is not their official name, but we’ve never used them for anything else. But as it turns out, they’re ideal for air-drying brushes.

Put them in the washing machine… if you dare

This is another one that cropped up on Reddit recently – one user revealed that she pops her brushes in the wash. Really. She wrote:

I pre-soak them in a soapy solution to start the product breaking down, put them in a pillowcase, tie it shut and wash them all at once on a warm/delicate/no spin cycle. They come out spotless and I haven’t had one fall apart yet.

She said she usually puts them in with a few towels to minimise any potential damage, and isn’t too bothered at the thought of any of them falling apart. HMM.


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