Home Made Brush Cleaner / Cleanser


43 reviews

97% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $


1 cup distilled water
1/4 cup alcohol
1/2 tbsp. clear shampoo
1/2 tbsp. dishwashing liquid
1 tbsp. liquid spray-in conditioner


Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

MakeupAlley users always share the most innovative ideas that actually work!
I've been cleaning my brushes with shampoo and water for years now. At times, I do admit, I get a tad bit lazy and neglect to wash them at least weekly - certainly not good for my acne-prone complexion!
Enter the home made brush cleaner.
I am utterly flabbergasted as to how effectively this nifty concoction cleaned my brushes. It may seem melo-dramatic to utilise the word 'flabbergasted', but every last bit of foundation was 'drawn' out from my foundation brush. I used just three short bursts of brush cleaner. Incredible!
My recipe is similar to the one listed here. I did modify it slighty as I can't find rubbing alcohol anywhere. Surgical spirits will have to do.
In place of the dishwashing detergent, I used an aromatic herbal infused shower gel.
I can now gently clean my brushes and look forward to less comestic acne flare-ups.
All in all, it's an excellent, cost-effective way to clean make up brushes.
What's not to love?

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Old link with old reviews and so glad it popped into my search results. I had all items on hand, even spray bottle. I am guilty of nearly never washing my brushes and realized this is really not being responsible with my investment in good brushes and quality make-up. So happy with results. I did note some reviews reposted the recipe but had incorrect measurement of TB marked as tsp.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.


Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm

Hair: Red, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Yipppeeeee! Finally a great product that works and is cheap. LOL, read the instructions (how hard can this be???) and make up a spray bottle to keep in my drawer.
Cleaned my new R and R brushes quickly and they could have been used within a few minutes because they dried so quickly. I also used a creamy leave in conditioner but I used a kitchen whisk to smooth it out in the alcohol before adding any other ingredients. Worked like a charm! No clumps.
Brushes are clean, soft, fluffy and returned to the pristine condition as when brand new. Great stuff!! Bought extra spray bottle and filled it for a stocking stuffer for my daughter.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

I followed a "recipe" from a friend.

90% water
10% alcohol

I make the mixture in a small spray bottle and spray on 2-3 sprays for face brushes and 1-2 sprays for eye brushes. It depends on how big the brush is and how much makeup is on it.
I use to deep clean my brushes every time I used them - it's such a hassle. But this spray is wonderful. It kills the germs, removes most of the makeup and leaves my brushes just as soft as if I were to wash them.

After I spray, I blot the brushes with a tissue, then swirl them around on a washcloth until they're mostly dry and let them rest.
I've never had any negatives AT ALL with this method. My brushes dry so much quicker and I don't have to worry about breakouts.

It's so simple and inexpensive, too! I don't feel the need to try any other method.

15 out of 19 people found this review helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I followed EnKore's recipe and I just love that brush cleanser. I'm using it everyday to clean my brushes between deep clean. I used a homemade shampoo (unscented and especially made for my fine, fragile and hard to manage hair), Infusium 23 and some Sunlight dish soap, plus distillated water and 70% alcool. The smell is not overpowering, it's dirt cheap and very effective.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Tan, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Black

Like many of the other reviewers, I also follow enkoremakeup's recipe from youtube. It works great and it even easily cleans the brushes I use for gel eyeliner! I usually had difficulty cleaning out my gel eyeliners when I had used baby shampoo....maybe its just the eyeliner I use. (It hardens up on my brush after using it)

By the way, don't make the same mistake as I did. I know Koren said not to use lotion/gel leave-in conditioner but I went ahead and did so anyway because I didn't feel like going to the store to go buy some. DON'T!!! I know, I'm silly. It doesn't dissolve and it leaves solid conditioner chunks inside the solution. Good thing I only used a small 60 ml portion of my cleaning solution to test that out.

So... to everyone: use spray leave-in conditioner!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Like most of you gals, I too took to Koren's recipe, although I didn't have any leave in conditioner handy. I followed the same recipe although instead of just shampoo, I put in a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner. I'm really hoping for the same result =) I just cleaned and fluffed my brushes...WIll update as soon as they are nice and dry... (P.S. LOVE Koren!!! ) Gave the packaging 3 because, well, it really depends on what you have lying around right?? ^_^


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I tried MAC brush cleanser back when I was a brush cleansing nube and I had a gift card = only had to shell out a little bit for a product that, yes works well, but there is NO reason to pay that much $$ for an effective brush cleanser!

Fast forward 6 months later = my brush cleansing routine (every few weeks - don't flame me for that, I"m getting better) = Dove Beauty Bar (white). Wet soap, wet brush, brush over soap in circles = see all the product darkening the soap and then rinsing off (REALLY cool to watch - gives me such a feeling of accomplishment) :) Rinse brush several times. Follow w/ a small puddle of Cetaphil in the palm of my hand (I have the regular version, not the oily skin version) or baby shampoo, rub brush in circles, rinse and voila - clean, residue-free MU brushes!

Fast forward a year later and I just found these reviews. I started watching EnKore's videos = a lot of fun :) So, back to brush cleaning. I had all the ingredients in my house except for a leave-in conditioner. Got Aveeno's Leave-In Nourish and Treat for like $6 at Walmart. Made concoction this morning and poured into a cleaned out pump bottle of Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo. My recipe (same as EnKore's I believe per another reviewer:)

1 cup distilled water

1/4 cup alcohol (I just used what I had on hand = 71% rubbing alcohol from Walmart)

1/2 tbsp detergent (Palmolive Ultra Soft Touch - the pink kind w/ is what I had on hand)

1/2 tbsp shampoo (used generic baby no more tears)

1 tbsp. spray liquid leave in conditioner (Aveeno Nourish and Treat)

Here is where I did my own twist - I still did the swirl method on my Dove bar. Then I pumped some of this concoction into the white lid of my jar of Neutrogena Rapid Pads (salicylic acid) container that I had previously cleaned/sanitized to potentially use for something else and then swirled my brushes around in the lid, rinsing and adding more squirts, rinsed until liquid remained clear. I fluffed my brushes and laid flat to dry. Perhaps next time I will skip the Dove part - will see.

Anyway, love that I am now disinfecting as well as cleaning my brushes, which are drying as we speak. Will update w/ post drying results tomorrow, but they look great now...

UPDATE 06-22-11 - OK - was a bit tardy getting back to this review :) This recipe is AWESOME! My brushes are clean, fluffy, soft + disinfected - HG for an effective, simple, inexpensive solution.

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I used EnKoreMakeup's Brush Cleanser from youtube.

(I am in no way endorsed or trying to advertise, I am just a make-up allier and youtuber who wants to help )

It works great, and I used ingredients I have in the house.

1 cup distilled water (or purified bottled water)
1/4 cup alcohol
1/2 tbsp detergent (I used dish washing soap like in the video, just the regular kind)
1/2 regular hair shampoo for normal to oily hair (baby shampoo works great!)
*1 tbsp. spray liquid leave in conditioner (he recommends a Paul Mitchel brand)

mixing jar
12 oz or more empty bottle/container to put solution in
something to stir with (spoon, fork, even a clean makeup brush)

*optional-can skip if necessary

1. Mix ingredients carefully and gently.
2. Pour onto container (use funnel to make it easier).
3. You are ready to go!

Try and clean your brushes at least twice a week if you use them daily, there is MUCH bacteria build up rich can lead to breakouts. If you have some acne no matter which brand of makeup you use, and you don't clean your brushes often, this may clear up your face substantially!

If you are new to brush cleaning, he also has a great brush cleaning tips video which demonstrates how to clean your brushes and a deep clean video (which you should do at least twice a month or so, in addition to your biweekly cleaning).

How to Clean Your Brushes:

Deep Cleaning Your Brushes:

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I use Enkore's version. I love this brush cleanser so much. It's easy to just dip my brushes right in and rinse this off. I let them dry over night and they dry back to being fluffy & soft. This gets everything out and even my foundation brushes have no residue left. I like that this has alcohol in it. I'm acne prone and haven't broken out after cleaning my brushes with this!

Note: I mix mine in a plastic mixing container. It's a clear plastic, has measuring units on the side, and a little hole to pour out liquids. I bought it at Walmart in their kitchen utensil area. It works wonderful because I can make two batches and keep it in this container.


7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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