DIY: How to Clean Makeup Brushes

DIY: How to Clean Makeup Brushes


Recently I have discussed my interested in improving my beauty care regimen. I’ve been trying new products like essential oils, serums and creams as well as using higher quality makeup. Yet I fail to remember to do one of the simplest of things: Clean my makeup brushes! It’s one of those things that I don’t think about until I have an unexplained breakout. Then I wonder just how much bacteria my brushes are harnessing. I’m a creature of habit and have found a few brushes that I like more than others so even when I buy a new brush, I often gravitate back to my old, comfortable favorites.

In the past when I have needed to clean them, I’ve added a bit of dish soap to the end then massaged/scrubbed them like paint brushes. Unfortunately, that process has left the bristles a little worse for wear. In a list of “25 Ways to Use Palmolive” I discovered a new (and better) way to clean my brushes without damaging them. The best part is that I had all the necessary items right in my own kitchen!

Items needed to clean your makeup brushes:

Palmolive, clean sponge, paper towels and water. That’s it.

Step 1: Add a few drops of Palmolive to a damp sponge.

Clean your makeup brushes. Step 1 - Add Palmolive to a sponge. - #PalmoliveWM
Clean your makeup brushes. Step 2 - Wet your makeup brush. - #PalmoliveWM  Clean your makeup brushes. Step 3 - Wipe the brush across the soapy sponge. - #PalmoliveWM

Step 2: Wet your makeup brush.

Step 3: Wipe it back and forth across the sponge, rotating it to reach all sides. As you can see from the photo, makeup is already rubbing off onto the sponge.

Clean your makeup brushes. Step 5 - Rinse. - #PalmoliveWM

Step 4: Rinse under warm running water. I used a container so you can see just how much stuff was trapped in that brush!  Yuck.

Step 5: Place on a paper towel to air dry.

Clean your makeup brushes. Step 5 - Air dry. - #PalmoliveWM

Step 6: Repeat with additional brushes. The brush I just demonstrated happens to be my blush brush so you can see just how much was left on the sponge as well as how much went into the rinse water. In case you’re thinking the coloring on the sponge has anything to do with the Palmolive, it doesn’t. As you can see from my second brush (one I use for neutral foundation powder), it’s not the same color as the prior brush – yet equally as dirty.

Clean your makeup brushes. Step 6 - Repeat with other brushes. - #PalmoliveWM

It’s such a simple process, I have decided I’m going to add it to my monthly to-do list so I’m cleaning my brushes more frequently. While a month is still a long time, it’s better than the, oh, once a year that I remember to do it now!

As I mentioned above, I found this tip on the Walmart website. Not only is this a fun list of “25 Ways to Use Palmolive” but it also has a cool sweepstakes running along with it where you can help Palmolive select the next scent. Your vote is your entry into the sweepstakes for a chance to win a Palmolive Kitchen Essentials Basket filled with the following:

Mainstays 10-Piece Cookware Set
Better Homes and Gardens Flatware Set
Better Homes and Gardens 16-Piece Dinnerware Set
Oster 7-Speed Blender
Oster 14-Piece Cutlery Set
Oster Digital Toaster Oven
Mainstays 3-Piece Cookie Sheet Set
Ultra Palmolive Original, 25 oz
Palmolive Antibacterial, 25 oz
Palmolive Soft Touch, Vitamin E, 25 oz

What unique ways do you use Palmolive?

DIY: Clean your makeup brushes with items you already have in your kitchen. - #PalmoliveWM

Nicole Brady

About Nicole Brady

Founder and owner of, Nicole has been involved in social media marketing since 2007. She has partnered with a number of major corporations who utilized her skills to improve their social media outreach and online presence. Nicole has worked closely with brands such as Netflix, Nintendo, Domino's and Disney, has been featured in McDonald's videos as well as Maria Bailey's book "Power Moms". Always a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and mother of two amazing daughters, if you can't find Nicole, she is probably somewhere being an advocate for playing board games.

44 comments on «DIY: How to Clean Makeup Brushes»

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    I don’t wear makeup, but this is great to know if I ever decide to start. Palmolive is so versatile.

  2. Liz Mays says:

    That’s something I definitely don’t do enough of. I can tell from how my blush brush feels that it needs it badly.

  3. I know my brushes need a good cleaning. It’s been on the never ending to-do list! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Jaime says:

    I’m bad about just tossing the brushes and buying new ones, because I can get lazy about cleaning them. There are several great uses for Palmolive!

  5. Amber C. says:

    Great giveaway! I love how you can use Palmolive for so many different things! Speaking of, I REALLY need to clean my makeup brushes!!!

  6. I’m 100% positive that my brushes are absolutely disgusting. Now that I know cleaning is so simple, I have no excuse to NOT do not.

  7. Lisa says:

    This method is way better than mine! Probably gets them cleaner too!

  8. Debra says:

    Gosh, I’m horrible about cleaning my makeup brushes. I usually just throw them away. I should try cleaning them this way though.

  9. Jenn says:

    Mine are soooo dirty. Thanks for the reminder and the tutorial!

  10. brett says:

    i bet the passion fruit smells great while you clean the brushes! such an inexpensive and effective way to clean the brushes.

  11. This is so gross, eh. I hate to think about how dirty my brushes are. Time to get cleaning.

  12. Pam says:

    This is how my daughter cleans her makeup brushes. It works just as well as the expensive brush cleaner.

  13. This is a great idea. My girlfriend is good about cleaning her brushed, but she’s so rough, they don’t last very long.

  14. Great post you reminded me it’s time for my brushes to get cleaned! I do them, every so often but I always forget!

  15. This is a great DIY. It looks like it really works, and it’s so much more affordable than buying some kind of special cleaner that doesn’t do any better of a job.

  16. Courtney says:

    I’m going to try this. I’m TERRIBLE about cleaning my makeup brushes.

  17. Krystal says:

    That is such a smart idea! Thanks for sharing!

  18. I don’t use makeup brushes. I am very simple with my routine. But nice to know this brand of dish soap is good for washing.

  19. I am sure my make up brushes aren’t as clean as they should be. I’ll have to try this way to clean them next time!

  20. This is great to know. Thanks for the info.

  21. One of my buddies is a make up artist and she uses palmolive. She also pointed out that it is important to lay them flat to dry and NEVER put them brush up in a cup to dry. The water will leak into the handle and grow mold.

    1. Nicole says:

      That’s a great tip, Carly! Thanks for sharing!

  22. I never thought about cleaning my makeup brushes. But now I may have to add that to my routine.

  23. I have had cleaning my makeup brushes on my to do list for a week now. I like this technique. I’ll have to try it out with Palmolive.

  24. This is great information. Brush soap is so expensive. I’ll have to try this the next time I wash my make up brushes.

  25. I have a spot cleaning recipe that I use to clean them pretty often but as far as deep cleaning. Yeah I should probably do that right about now. lol

  26. Melinda says:

    It’s been a while. have to get better at cleaning them more often

  27. Laura says:

    Thanks for this tip. I have dress up brushes that I play with that need to be cleaned. I was just going to replace them, but I will give this a try instead!

  28. Christie says:

    I bet mine are gross. I need to get cleaning!

  29. Great tips! I need to clean my ASAP!

  30. I love using my makeup brushes. I can almost guarantee my brushes are in need of a good cleaning.

  31. WOW! How awesome is this? I will get the supplies and get my brushes clean! I hate throwing them away.

  32. I noticed that my blush brush is stained with the brush. Sometimes I don’t even have to dip it! lol I think it’s time for a cleaning.

  33. All of the uses for dish liquid are cool. The list of things you can do clean with it just keeps growing. I just read about bathing your dog with dish soap!

  34. Thanks for sharing! Great to know how to clean make up brushes, this is so important for those that wear makeup…..shared:)

  35. What great tips. If I used makeup brushes I would use these tips for sure.

  36. Thanks for the great tips!
    I tend to use Johnson’s baby shampoo to clean mine!

  37. tina says:

    This is simple and effective way to clean makeup brushes. I’ve been doing it for years! Thanks for the reminder!!

  38. Karen DeGraaf says:


  39. Deanna U says:

    Never really knew how to clean my make up brushes, thanks so much!

  40. Wendi S says:

    Another thing I can clean with Palmolive. Thanks for the tip.

  41. Amy Lovell says:

    WOW! I didnt even know they could be cleaned. I better do mine!

  42. Lee Olson says:

    Great method. I usually leave my brushes to dry for one day. If I clean them at Friday they are perfectly ready at Sunday. Thank you for sharing your cleaning method. Best regards!

  43. sydney says:

    This DIY cleaning tips are easy to follow, thanks for sharing this article.

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