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DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner Spray: 10-Step How To Guide

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Skye Rhodes

Makeup, one of the most revolutionary products that changed the lives of many people, especially in the 20th century; but cleaning the makeup off the brushes is another story so in this article, we will talk about a DIY makeup brush cleaner spray.

Did you know that it’s been used in different forms for the past 7,000 years?


Eyeshadows have been used by the Egyptians using kohl years ago.

Though it’s been available for so long and eventually spread throughout the world, it only recently (20th century) gained popularity.

The main issue every one of us faces is that it takes too long to clean, that’s why you need to know how to DIY makeup brush cleaner spray.

As we slowly get back to our busy lifestyles, I’d like to let you know an easy method to make your cleaner to clean your makeup brushes.


Step 1: Know Your Face

Skin is the toughest and first barrier between your body and the environment.

It prevents germs from entering your body therefore is the first defense mechanism for you.

Is that it’s the only function?


There are many functions of the skin.

One of its many functions is its ability to retain water, this ability keeps the skin feeling good and healthy

The skin is present all over your body, but the most sensitive part of the skin is your face, therefore, it’s vital to understand and protect your skin depending on your skin type.

Ensure that you determine which skin type is yours and how to best care for it.

You must understand and ensure that you take good care of your face.

Step 2: Know If The Cleaner Is For You

Before we go into the process of making the makeup brush cleaner, it’s essential to understand the type of people it would benefit.

Even though most people use makeup every day, there are still people who rarely use them.

To answer the question, I would say everyone.

Regular Users

Who are the regular users?

Earlier (around 20 years ago) only a select few people, like makeup artists, actors, dancers, used to use makeup regularly.

Now makeup is widely used by every other person.

According to statistics, 41% of Americans between 30 – 59 years and 31% between 18-29 years use it every day.

Interestingly, 35% of Americans more than 60 years use it every day.

Occasional Users

Though makeup has become widely used throughout the world, there are still individuals who use it on occasion.

For example, just for functions or when others compel them to wear it.

Who is this cleaner useful to?

The obvious answer is regular users, well, looks can be deceiving.

Those who regularly spend a lot of time using their brushes don’t have enough time to wash, nor do they let the brushes dry regularly between each use, hence this cleaner is for them.

Those who rarely use makeup, either don’t own them or use it only when the need arises, moreover if you don’t own makeup brushes, you wouldn’t be reading this blog.

If you don’t use it as often, you wouldn’t see a need to immediately wash the brushes after every use, as the brushes don’t seem as dirty.

You may simply flick the brush to get rid of excess makeup and get on with your day.

Will that be healthy?

We rarely realize what all our body has to fight against to keep us healthy, so why don’t we take a single small step towards it?

The Solution

A cleaner spray.

Using a cleaner spray takes only a few minutes, it allows both everyday users and occasional users to prevent transferring dirt and germs each time they use the makeup brushes.

Step 3: The Pros Of Using The Cleaner

Now that we’ve established that the cleaner can be used by everyone using the brushes, let’s talk about its advantages.

One such advantage as already discussed is the usage speed.

Less time consuming

Deep cleaning of brushes requires you to soak them in a container for a few minutes.

Then clean each brush completely and thoroughly until all the makeup residues are removed, this process would take a few hours depending on the number of brushes you have.

The cleaner spray method only takes 1-2 minutes for each brush saving time when you are in a hurry (most people always are).

Ease of use

It just takes 5 easy steps to make the cleaner and 3 easy steps to use it.

It can easily be done by anyone.

Disinfecting ability

The ingredients used in this cleaner helps disinfect the brush.

This prevents the germs present on the brush bristles from coming in contact with your face.

Once the germs start accumulating, they decrease your skin’s defense by overwhelming it, and this can lead to various reactions (acne, eczema) and even systemic infections.

As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”.

The disinfection ability of the cleaner helps prevent germs from overwhelming the defenses of our body.

Easy availability

All the products used in this DIY are easily available online, at a convenience store the drugstore, or even at your own homes.

This easy availability with regards to the supplies and quick, uncomplicated steps required in the making of this cleaner, allows for an ideal, safe way to clean your brushes.

Increase the life of the brushes

Most of us would like to reduce the number of times we buy the same product.

Regular cleaning helps the brush stay free of makeup, it also prevents too much buildup in the long run.

This helps you save some money that you can use in other areas you want to.

Prevents the mixing of colors

While there are so many different types of brushes available you can’t use different brushes for different colors.

That would require you to buy too many brushes and remember which brush you used where.

Regular users use the same brushes every day and when there’s too much buildup of different makeup colors used, the brush when used to apply turns the makeup black.

This prevents the use of the brush after some time until it’s cleaned.

Occasional users on the other hand, only ever use the brushes a few times and might not remember the last color used, unless there is excess makeup on it.

This prevents them from realizing when the makeup colors turn black until they apply it.

The cleanser helps remove excess buildup and the recent colors used, allowing for easy transition between the different colors when required.


All the things used in the making of this product can either be found at home or bought for a low price.

Saving you tons of money that can be utilized elsewhere.

Step 4: The Cons Of Using The Cleaner

Since we have read and understood how we’ll all benefit from the cleaner, let’s discuss the disadvantages of it.

Only a surface cleaner

Though the cleaner helps clean superficial buildup, it doesn’t help with deep cleaning.

So, you can use this cleaner to remove buildup in between regular use, but the actual build-up in between the bristles of the brushes needs deeper cleaning.

For regular users, this might not prove to be as much of a disadvantage.

The use of cleaner spray will prolong the interval between the deep cleaning.

That is instead of cleaning every day (ideally) or every week, they can now deep clean their brushes every month or every 2 months (depending on their use).

For occasional users, however, some might feel that it’s easier to deep clean the brush right away on the same day than have to remember to clean it some other day.

Well, it’s all about perspective.

Since I’m an occasional user, I would like to deep clean the brushes when they get dirty after multiple uses.

It’s preferable to deep clean a fairly clean brush after each use, this saves a lot of time and energy.

Step 5: The Makeup Brushes

Similar to the evolving brands and forms of makeup, makeup brushes have also progressed rapidly.

Mostly more than one brush is used to apply makeup.

They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, some are large while others are small, and they cater to the different roles they play.

One question that might arise regarding this is whether the cleaner can be used for all brushes, or whether it only works for a particular type of brush.

I agree that this question is valid.

But as said above, this cleaner is used for simply disinfecting the brushes between use and not too deep clean.

So it can be used with all types of brushes regardless of the size, shape, or use.

Step 6: The Supplies Needed

Before you make anything, you must ensure you have everything available to make it.

Ingredients needed:

  • Witch hazel
  • Baby shampoo
  • Water
  • The essential oil of your choice (optional)
  • Spray bottle

Step 7: Understanding The Ingredients

Now that we know what ingredients are required to make the cleaner spray, I’ld likes to explain to you why each ingredient is specifically used and any alternative options available.

Instead of blindly using the ingredients listed above, I’d like you to make informed choices on why it’s necessary.

This will help you realize why each ingredient is used specifically.

I believe most people opt out for cheaper alternatives not realizing the damage they do to themselves.

Witch Hazel

It’s a shrub that helps reduce inflammation and irritation.

It also contains tannins that act as antioxidants.

This product acts as a disinfectant and helps reduce the number of bacteria found within the brush.

Using this product can help with acne, burns, inflammatory conditions (psoriasis and eczema).

According to Kristeen Cherney (Healthline), the only downside is that it’s not enough alone for eczema and that the benefits help only with pure forms of witch hazel.

The alternative to using witch hazel is a spirit or rubbing alcohol.

Though it’s easy to use, it’s found to aggravate the irritation and inflammation present.

Baby Shampoo

This ingredient is used to provide conditioning of the brushes.

Conditioning prevents the drying of bristles of the brushes, this also helps maintain the shape and dexterity of the brushes.

Therefore, it also allows for smooth contact of the brush bristles with the skin’s surface.


The basic ingredient in the cleaner.

It helps dilute the witch hazel and acts as a vehicle for the effects of witch hazel.

Essential oil

This is usually used for aromatherapy, however, it’s an optional ingredient.

There are controversies about its effects on the skin so use it at your discretion.

Spray bottle

Any spray bottle can be used to make this cleaner.

Just make sure that you clean it well and disinfect it before use.

Step 8: The Steps For Making The Cleaner

Now that you have all the ingredients together and understand why you need them, let’s start making the makeup brush cleaner spray.

Ensure the spray bottle is clean, dry, and sterile

The spray bottle needs to be sterile to prevent bacteria from accumulating within the bottle.

This reduces the efficacy of the cleaner we make and prevents bacteria from inside the spray bottle accumulating within the brush bristles.

To ensure this, you can use a disinfectant to clean the bottle inside out before allowing it to dry, this simple step beforehand allows for a safer disinfection process.

Fill it with water for two-third of the bottle

The water in the bottom acts as a diluting factor for the pure witch hazel (or alcohol) that is to be added.

This step averts most of the adverse effects that might occur while retaining the benefits of the witch hazel.

Some people want to be on the safer side by using distilled water, and though distilled water may be used, it’s not compulsory in making the cleaner.

Fill the rest (one-third) with Witch Hazel

The witch hazel is used as a disinfectant.

This is the main ingredient in this cleaner and is very important that you use it.

Rubbing alcohol may be used but as discussed earlier may lead to side effects.

Therefore need to be used at your discretion.

Add a few drops of baby shampoo

Many people might think this step is unnecessary.

Yet, this step is essential as it helps keep the brushes moisturized, and keeping the brushes moisturized is important to improve the life of the brushes.

It also prevents brushes from becoming dry and irritating the skin.

Add a few drops of any essential oil (optional)

This step is optional yet, it’s a wonderful way to add fragrance.

The beneficial effects on the skin aren’t properly understood, so you can use it if you want to.

Step 9: The Method Of Using The Cleaner

Now that you’ve made your makeup brush cleaner spray, aren’t you wondering how you’ll use it?

Let me tell you the 3 simple steps in using it.

Spread a clean tissue on the surface

Ensure that the surface is clean and flat, this step seems simple but it helps prevent contamination with neighboring makeup products or used makeup brushes.

Cotton pads can be used instead of tissues, I would suggest using a disposable surface for the brushes as this ensures no cross-contamination has occurred.

It also saves the hassle of cleaning towels or clothes once they are dirty.

Spray the cleaner on the tissue

Ensure that the sprayed amount is enough to soak a bottle cap like a round area on the tissue.

This will provide for proper space for the next step.

Swirl the brush on the paper

Ensure that the brush is swirled in a circular pattern on the area sprayed with the cleaner.

The circular pattern allows all sides of the brush to be disinfected, then you can tap on the clean area of the tissue with your brush to make sure all the superficial makeup has been removed.

If any residual makeup is present, repeat the step until it’s clean.

As we’ve seen above, brushes come in various sizes, the smaller brushes take a shorter time to be cleaned.

The larger brushes may take a longer duration, but any brushes can be superficially cleaned with the brush cleaner spray.

Step 10: The Frequency Of Using The Cleaner

Finally, now that you know how to make the DIY deep cleaner spray and how to use it, let’s discuss how often to use it.

This schedule is not set in stone.

It depends on how often you use makeup and how much time you allocate to it.

Since the cleaner spray is easy to use, it would be ideal to have a tissue of a cotton pad while you do your makeup.

Immediately after you finish applying the makeup with the brush, clean your brush than an there.

This will only take a few minutes and would allow you to have a cleaner brush at hand if you had to switch between different colors.

While most are familiar and might have discovered a method to address the issue of switching colors, this helps ensure that every time the brush touches your face, it’s disinfected as well.

If for any reason you forgot to use the cleaner spray in between switching of colors, it’s not a big deal.

Ensure that you don’t forget to deep clean your brushes regularly.

For regular users, this could mean once a month or once in 2 months.

For occasional users it’s a matter of how often you used it in a month, this could range from once in 2 months to once every 6 months.

Realize which schedule you want to follow and stick to it religiously, to avoid adverse effects due to makeup.

Final Thoughts

The first step towards every new venture is the decision to start.

Using all the information provided regarding your skin (especially your face), your brushes and makeup, as well as the ingredients and it’s used in the cleaner, I hope you’ve decided to try out this makeup brush cleaner spray.

I would say that the brush cleaner spray aims to make our makeup experience more valuable as it increases the switching between different colors.

DIY makeup brush cleaner spray encourages us to be more creative with our makeup without worrying about getting germs transferred to our face or the frequency of deep cleaning required to reuse the brushes.

Once you incorporate it into your makeup routines, it will soon become an unconscious act rather than a chore.

The lockdowns have confined people to stay inside homes, yet haven’t prevented anyone from getting creative.

You could try different ways of applying makeup and rediscover yourself worry-free.

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