Tip: The Cheapest Brush Cleaner I have ever used (and its effective too!)

by Paris B on · 56 comments

in Brushes etc.,Cheap and Good?,Tips

brush cleaner soap Tip: The Cheapest Brush Cleaner I have ever used (and its effective too!)

A while ago, reader Joy left a reply to another reader about how she was taught in makeup school, a cheap and effective way to clean her makeup brushes (Have I mentioned how I love it when you all chip in to help each other? I start picking up gems and tips too! icon wink Tip: The Cheapest Brush Cleaner I have ever used (and its effective too!) ) It was effective, and importantly, did not break the bank. Makeup artists go through a lot of brushes each time so it would be costly to use a brush cleaner or detergent all the time. Here’s her comment :

Another cheaper way to clean your brush faster and more effectively. Try the bar soap from Marks and Spencer or Dove. Wet the brush and glide it over the bar soap till it is soapy and rinse off. Then leave to dry on a towel. *Use only the 2 bar soaps mentioned as any normal one will leave your brushes dry

I found what she said very intriguing. Soap! I never thought of that! Incidentally, I had run out of my Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, So the next time I was out and about, I wandered down the soap aisle of the supermarket and came away with a bar of Dove soap. I opted for Dove because its (a) cheap and (b) cheap icon razz Tip: The Cheapest Brush Cleaner I have ever used (and its effective too!) It was just slightly over RM2 so its fine if it didn’t work out. By contast, the small J&J shampoo is about RM6! So expensive! LOL!! icon razz Tip: The Cheapest Brush Cleaner I have ever used (and its effective too!)

But I have to say, Joy’s onto something because it does work a treat!

I bought the regular original White Dove mositurizing soap bar. Here’s a picture of the box. I don’t know if it looks the same everywhere in the world, but I went for the original because I didn’t want my brushes smelling of cucumber or what-have-you.

brush cleaner soap2 Tip: The Cheapest Brush Cleaner I have ever used (and its effective too!)

The smell is, a strong powdery scent that is quite typically Dove. If you have ever used the soap bar or its body wash, you’ll know how it smells.

So how I used it is simple:-

  • Wet the brushes and the soap bar.
  • Brush the surface of the soap bar a few times until the bristles gets soapy. It’ll lather up a little.
  • Brush on my palm to dislodge the colour.
  • Rinse

I found that it cleaned most brushes quite well, in particular if you use it for powder products. The brushes get clean quite easily. If your white bristle brushes are stained like in the picture above, then it doesn’t get it clean 100% but it gets the worst of it out. The only thing that can get it 100% white again is the Daiso detergent but I dislike that for natural hair. I’m not overly fussed as you might be able to tell, so long as its clean icon smile Tip: The Cheapest Brush Cleaner I have ever used (and its effective too!)

For cream or liquid products, it can take longer and a bit of massaging of the bristles to get the residue out. So, for brushes that have very stubborn cream or liquid stuck on the bristles, a separate cleaner/detergent may be better. Dense brushes get clean quite well too. I was surprised that a dense kabuki type brush that I use for cheek stains/cream blush got clean quite easily. It was the concealer and foundation brushes that took the most work.

Does it dry out my brush bristles? Surprisingly, Joy was right. It doesn’t. I used this about 3-4 times to be sure and the natural hair bristles still feel quite nice. When it dries, its quite soft and the smell of the soap lingers a bit which is fine by me.

When I’m done washing my brushes, I just rinse the bar of soap, place it on a piece of sponge or in a soap dish until I need to use it again. I reckon a full bar could last a really long while. For the price I pay for a small bottle of J&J baby shampoo, I could get 3 bars of Dove soap. Talk about being economical!

So there we have it. Dove bar soap – the cheapest brush cleaner I have ever come across, that works without killing my brushes. Its cheap and effective and my brushes feel quite fine icon biggrin Tip: The Cheapest Brush Cleaner I have ever used (and its effective too!)

If you choose to try this, do share if it works for you too icon biggrin Tip: The Cheapest Brush Cleaner I have ever used (and its effective too!)

Paris B

Note: As per Joy’s comment, other soaps may dry out your brushes so she recommends only using either the Dove bar soap or the bar soap from Marks & Spencer (which I’m not familiar with)

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[ 56 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Michou June 26, 2012 at 8:44 am

I find that moisturizing soaps work really well (like Dove and Johnson&Johnson baby shampoo), however they aren’t technically anti-bacterial so I don’t use them for my brushes since they don’t get out the germs that might cause infection or break outs. I didn’t even realize until a friend pointed out that Dove is a “beauty bar” and can’t be labeled as soap because it doesn’t have enough bacteria fighting ability. As much as I hate to splurge on brush cleanser, I still do to make sure I’m not risking an eye infection, haha.

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I take your point Michou :) However, I am personally a bit non committal about anything that proclaims to be “anti-bacterial” because I do not believe that regular soaps are any worse than an anti-bacterial soap or cleaners. Still, I only ever use my makeup brushes for myself and I keep them in the open for ease of access. Personally, I believe that regular cleaning of brushes, with any medium, is sufficient to keep it clean and breakouts or infections at bay :)

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Fiona Loh June 26, 2012 at 8:55 am

Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I’m suing J&J baby shampoo too :P. And I thought RM6 for the smallest bottle is cheap, this is even more cheaper LOL.

Thanks again.
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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Haha yeah, I thought J&J was cheap too till I saw this soap bar and I was like “WHOA! Now THAT is cheap!” LOL! :D

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Fiona Loh June 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm

OMG. Typo. I meant I’m “using”…not suing ahahahaha. Gosh. Sorry sorry
Fiona Loh recently blogged…Fabulous Finds – Malaysia’s Very Own Beauty Box ReviewMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm

HAHA! I did initially wonder why you were suing J&J ;) Maybe you have a law suit on your mind? ;)

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Sharon June 26, 2012 at 9:12 am

I’m actually using my shower cream to wash my brushes aka J&J PH5.5 Original Shower Cream. I don’t really like the almond honey or the other flavour as the smell is just not for me. Prefer something which is flavour free. Also the fact that I’m not one that likes perfume much.

It doesn’t dry out my brushes. Brushes that uses powder or liquid or cream makeup, just comes off easily with it. :D And cheap too. No need to buy a separate detergent to wash my brushes!

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Thanks for sharing, Sharon! Its great to know that your shower cream works just as well – if it can wash off dirt without drying out your skin, its probably good enough for washing brushes :)

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Cindy Tong June 26, 2012 at 11:26 pm

me too using my PH 5.5 shower cream and dilute it in the water and soak my brush for few minutes and rinse it off…but I wud reli wan to know which type of brusk cleanser than will not make my brush dry yet can kill all the bacterial..

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Applegal June 26, 2012 at 9:30 am

This sounds fantastic! What a great tip!! =) Will try it out when my J&J runs out too!

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Hope you’ll like this Applegal! J&J is great but once you see the savings, its like “Move over J&J!” LOL

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Hanny
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

Well, I found out that if you want white bristles, the Daiso one is a no-go because it makes them bristles YELLOW. Also, if you are using J&J, the blue one from the original line works best!
Hanny recently blogged…FOTD: Inspired by Pixiwoo’s Cheryl Cole (From the Queen’s Jubilee Concert) and an Assassin’s Creed Character–Sofia SartorMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Ah thanks for the Daiso tip. I only ever use it for my synthetic kabuki brushes or foundation brushes since it totally kills natural hair brushes after a while. I always used the yellow J&J shampoo. Didn’t even notice it came in different colours :P

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Michelle Beh June 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

Wow!! Never know that soap can be that effective! And it’s CHEAP!! Gonna try it soon!

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Me neither! :D Such a great idea and so easy on the pocket!

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Michelle Beh June 27, 2012 at 10:36 am

Thanks for this info Paris B!!

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Megan
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 10:53 am

I have to try this, such a brilliant idea!

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Hope it’ll work for you Megan! How are you settling in Melbourne?

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Jan S June 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

oooh, thanks for sharing. Who would have known? I love dove bar soap for facial cleansing too, does not leave a tight and dry feeling.

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I haven’t used the Dove soap for face yet, but before I took it to my brushes, I had a quick shower with it and it didn’t feel dry on my skin so I figured, it’d be alright for the brushes :D I love how cheap it is!

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Renata June 26, 2012 at 11:22 am

I’ve tried this and I think it’s ok, but not so effective. I like Effaclar cleansing bar for dry skin by La Roche Posay, but I can’t find it on their website. Maybe it’s not available for all countries. :/ I hope you have a chance to try it. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Sadly, La Roche Posay isn’t available here at all :( If I have a chance, I’ll take a look at their soap bar. Its part of the reason I decided to go with Dove because I realised its quite easily available almost everywhere :)

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Efrain
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 11:25 am

I feel a little ridiculous I use my facial cleaner and a shampoo to clean my two brushes, so tomorrow I’m going to buy a bar of Dove. Thanks Paris and Joy, you make my life easier ;)

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Aww glad to have helped out, Efrain! I hope you like it (your wallet should! ;) )

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plue
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 11:30 am

coincidentally i read from a blogger in SG that she’s using makeup store’s brush cleansing soap lol, i guess i’ll just pick the cheaper version, using Dove!

but sometimes i hate soap for it’s messiness, if you don’t dry it properly, it’ll get all mushy and gooey >.<
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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Ah that’s a coincidence! Sadly, Make Up Store isn’t available here anymore but Dove is quite easily found even at the smallest “kedai runcit” hehe… ;) My suggestion for storing soap : Keep it away from water, drain it on a piece of sponge and let it air dry then keep it in a soap dish. It doesn’t get mushy this way. When I keep it in the shower it does, but since this is for my brushes, it stays out of the shower and its alright :)

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Joy Chong
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 11:57 am

The bar soap will last for very very very long. I usually wash up to 50 brushes at a time depending on how often a job or how big a job but they really last forever. It gets everything nice and clean, especially for large face powder brushes.

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Thanks to your tip, I don’t dread washing brushes as much. Had to be a bit economical with the baby shampoo last few washes because I keep forgetting to buy when I was out and it was on its last legs!

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Jyoan June 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Gonna get a dove soap later! Thanks for the post!

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

You’re welcome Jyoan! Let us know how it goes yeah? :)

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gio June 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I had never thought of using bar soap to clean my brushes. What a great idea! I will definitely give it a go, thanks for posting.
gio recently blogged…Product Review: NYC Ultra Last Lipwear in Fragile PinkMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm

You’re most welcome, Gio! Like you, I’m having that “Why didn’t I think of it earlier?!” moment hehe

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MisSmall June 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I gotta say, I’m really surprised that the soap doesn’t dry out the bristles. Good tip! Also shows that you’re doing a really good job here, providing a platform for your readers to interact with each other too. So kudos to both you and Joy! :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I know right? I was surprised about the non drying bit too. But then Joy did say to only use either of the 2 brands mentioned :) Thanks MisSmall – I do love it when readers interact. It gives me the warm fuzzies ;)

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Joy Chong
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I have tried other brands like Simple face wash cleansing bar and many more gentle soap bars but it dried out my brushes so I tossed it right away. Which is why I find using only those two brands are the safest.

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Sze Ling June 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm

It’s surprising that the soap didn’t dry out the bristles. Definitely going to try this out when I’m done with my current brush cleanser. :)
Sze Ling recently blogged…Green Tea CupcakesMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Ah yep! I was just as surprised as you are ;) But only use the 2 mentioned – can’t vouch for other brands although I think any moisturizing soap may work. Still, I’m not taking chances :)

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Bugs June 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I’ve been using facial soap from GWP to wash my loose powder or pressed powder sponge. They are sitting there collecting dust anyway and it’s a waste to throw them out. And since they are sponge, I think they don’t mind whether the soap is drying or not… ^_^

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Good idea! Sponges are fine and the drier the better right? Haha

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melchewvin June 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I just use shampoo it does the trick too !!

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I did too, till I realized that it was expensive shampoo! Lol

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Denise
Twitter:
June 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Thank you for this awesome tip! I use J&J for my natural haired brushes and anti-bacterial hand wash or dishwashing soap (it lifts the stains like woah!) on my synthetic ones. Maybe I should “borrow” one of my dad’s Dove men+care bars. I don’t mind the masculine scent anyway :)
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Paris B
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Teehee… I’m just really amused you’re lifting your dad’s dove bar! Just make sure he doesn’t catch you ;)

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milktea June 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

Will grab a copy (oops, I meant) bar of Dove soap with my copy of Her World July! hehehe! ;)

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Haha! Best thing is, the soap is so terribly easy to find!

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milktea June 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm

how about a tip on the cheapest brush guard? you just need a plastic bag, scissors and sticky tape. I made one this morning…;D

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 2, 2012 at 11:44 am

That’s a good tip! Do you know, I’ve never used a brush guard before? I picked up a pack recently to see what the fuss is about but haven’t gotten down to trying it out :)

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Memoiselle
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Thank you Paris for this tips! This really helps :)
Because of your article I bought the Dove soap and tried to clean my brush. It works :) Thank youuu

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Yay!! So happy that it worked for you. It’s super cheap too! :D

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trah June 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I have a confession to make. I’ve been deep cleansing all of my synthetic brushes with anti-bacterial liquid gel dish soap + olive oil and it didn’t cause any irritation on my skin. It was kind of hard to get the anti-bacterial sort dish gel soap though that I even thought about adding a drop of dettol in the solution if I can’t find any.

I use wet tissue to spot clean my foundation brush daily.

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 2, 2012 at 11:56 am

Its good to know that it works for you Trah :) I have read about using dish washing liquid for brushes but I personally am a bit afraid too because I’m afraid it’d spoil my brushes. As it is, my hands can’t even tolerate dishwashing liquid so I use gloves :D But I guess a gentle one may work.

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beaty June 29, 2012 at 10:21 am

gonna try this! Thanks for sharing!

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Hope it works for you!

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juan
Twitter:
June 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

catching up on your posts as I have been extremely bz. i love this post because i was always embarassed to say that all these while, i had always been using the lux bar soap to cleanse my brushes and make up sponges. yes, it works brilliantly! and so clean!!

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm

No need to be embarrassed, Juan! We all have our little secret tips and tricks! ;) Glad to know that Lux does the job for you. After Joy said to just stick with the 2 soap brands she mentioned, I decided not to be too adventurous :)

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B September 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Just wanted to share.
I prefer scented moisturizing bar soap, it make my brush smells nice while applying on my face. For synthetic hair, which I usually use it with cream, foundation and concealer, I clean it with dishwashing soap first then the scented one.
I also mix cheap water-base eye makeup remover with unused toner 1:1 and keep it in a spray bottle for a quick cleaning. I big clean just once a week. I have been cleaning my brushes like this for a long time and my brushes still in good condition. I try to not damage the glue by soaking.
I have oily sensitive skin and used to breakout a lot but after avoid hand-touching my face and using brush for everything (cleaning it regularly), I hardly breakout anymore.

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