Pin Busters! D-I-Y Makeup Brush Cleaner

I know I don't clean my makeup brushes as often as I should, and it's mostly because I'm lazy, LOL! But it's also because brush cleaner isn't cheap. I've purchased MAC's brush cleaner, and it only lasts for about 3 cleanings if I'm cleaning all of my brushes. I've also used my facial cleanser, but then the brushes have to be rinsed well with water. Without a leave-in product, it takes a long time for the brushes to dry. So when I ran across this pin for a D-I-Y version of a brush cleaner, I thought I'd give it a try.

Pin Busters! D-I-Y Makeup Brush Cleaner - why spend money on expensive brush cleaners when you can make your own for just pennies per ounce? I tested this one and loved the results!
This post contains some affiliate links which were added to make it easier for you to find the items. If you click on the links and make a purchase, it doesn't cost more, but I will receive a small commission. You are free to use the links or not. If you do, I thank you!

I read about it on, but the original recipe came from Koren at EnkoreMakeup. (I should've known - he's fabulous!!)

The original recipe made a lot, so I opted to cut the recipe in half. I didn't want to waste ingredients if I didn't like the way it worked! You can see the original amounts by clicking on the xsparkage link above, and I'll post the amounts I used here:

Makeup Brush Cleaner
1/2 TBSP. clear shampoo

Directions: Mix it all together. That's it!
I mixed mine in a glass measuring cup with a spout
so that it was easy to pour into a container. 

I used a mason jar for my DIY brush cleaner, and a second mason jar to actually clean the brushes!

There are a myriad of ways you can clean your brushes. Here's my method -

1) pour 1/4-1/2 inch (depending upon the size of the brush) of cleaning solution into a glass measuring cup
2) swish the brush around in the solution as needed to remove makeup
3) squeeze out the excess solution with a paper towel
4) dump out the dirty solution, rinse out the measuring cup, and add fresh solution
5) swish the brush again
6) squeeze out the excess solution with  paper towel
7) repeat steps 4-6 as needed until brush is clean
8) squeeze out the excess solution with  paper towel a final time
9) fluff up the brush & lay it on a towel to dry

Here you can see how well the DIY brush cleaner works!

I'll be completely honest. Some of my brushes were really full of makeup and required several solution changes. But even with that, I had a little solution left over. I made another "half batch" so I'd have some on hand for next time.

My brushes before & after using the DIY brush cleaner!
My brushes before & after using the DIY brush cleaner!
My brushes before & after using the DIY brush cleaner!

The verdict: Pin-worthy! This stuff rocks!The brushes were clean, super soft, and most dried within an hour.

I think that I'll be cleaning my brushes more often since this cleaner is so cheap and easy to make. I'm going to keep it in a Mason jar, and have a second Mason jar for cleaning the brushes. I plan to store it under my bathroom sink so that it's handy. If it's handy, I'll use it - if I have to run around all over the place getting stuff together, I'll put it off. There may or may not be some laziness involved.

Just in case you're curious about the specific products I used, here is the rundown:
I chose these products because I already had them or they were on sale. Now that I know that I like this recipe, I plan to make these changes:
  • replace the Ajax with Dawn - nothing cleans like Dawn!
  • replace the White Rain with baby shampoo as Koren recommends
  • add a few drops of an essential oil for fragrance (probably one with antibacterial properties - an added bonus!)
So you can see that it only costs pennies to make this stuff! Why spend $14 on brush cleaner when you can spend it on something more fun?

Have you made your own brush cleaner?

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