6 Ways to Clean Your Makeup Brushes That Don't Involve a Sink

A Product Collage of Several Skin Products that Clean Your Makeup Brushes
Design by Julie Bang.

Washing our makeup brushes is like eating healthy and exercising. We know we're supposed to do it often, but sometimes, slacking off just sounds like a more alluring option. That's because cleaning our brushes is a TASK—we run them under the sink, massage in some soap, keep scrubbing until the water runs clear, then let them dry overnight. It's an occasion we practically need to set a calendar reminder for. But since makeup brushes need to be cleaned and sterilized frequently, why is it so daunting? 

Good news—it doesn't have to be. With all of the different quick and effective cleansers available, cleaning your brushes is as easy as spritzing, wiping, or even placing in a miniature washing machine (more on that later). Keep scrolling to find out how to make your brush care routine a breeze!

Dry Clean Instant Dry Brush Cleaner Spray Sephora $14.00

Dry shampoo for your brushes? Yep, it exists. All you need to do is spritz on a few short bursts directly onto your brushes, then swirl it on a tissue or paper towel to rub off the excess product.

Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner $25.00

Cinema Secrets is a cult-fave brand in the industry, and for good reason. Often used backstage, this brush cleaner can be poured into the accompanying tin, and afterward, you can swirl your brush around the liquid before dabbing off the excess product on a cloth. When you're done, reshape the brush and let it air dry. 

Eco Tools Makeup Brush Cleansing Cloths $6.00

Just like a makeup-removing wipe serves as a quick and efficient way to wash your face, makeup removing cloths for brushes are an insanely easy way to remove germs, debris, and caked-on powders. 

Lilumia Makeup Brush Cleaning Machine $120.00

Think of this as a mini washing machine for your brushes. Just insert your brushes, let the makeup brush cleaning machine do it's work, and come back to cleaner, better-performing tools. 

It Cosmetics Brush Bath Purifying Brush Cleaner $20.00

Infused with lavender and citrus extract, this cleansing spray will leave your brushes squeaky-clean and fresh-smelling. It dries fast, too, so you can spritz, wipe, and forget about it.

Sephora Collection Color Switch By Vera Mona Brush Cleaner $18.00

Working with a couple of different eye or lip colors at once? Dip your brush into this dry sponge that removes color in a flash so you can continue using the same brush while you swap colors quickly. Just remember to clean out the sponge every so often to remove the excess pigment. 

MAKE UP FOR EVER Instant Brush Cleanser $23.00

Ideal for synthetic fiber and natural hair, this brush cleanser needs no water to thoroughly clean makeup brushes. Simply spray each brush and massage cleanser in by using a towel or tissue and watch makeup residue disappear.

Beauty Blender
Beauty Blender Instaclean Waterless Sponge and Brush Cleaning Spray $16.00

This waterless cleaner from Beauty Blender removes all residue without any rinsing needed. Spray the brushes or Beauty Blender sponge, saturate the brush entirely, and wipe the makeup off in a towel.

e.l.f Cosmetics Brush Cleanser Wipe $5.00

This pack of 10 wipes is perfect for travel, as it helps clean makeup brushes daily without needing any water or liquid cleanser. Massage brushes into the wipes and then lay flat to dry, you can dispose of the wipe when you're finished.

Eminence Organics
Eminence Organics Natural Brush Cleanser $18.00

Perfect for sensitive skin, this all natural brush cleanser removes stubborn makeup with an uplifting scent of coconut.

NYX cosmetics
NYX Cosmetics On the Spot Makeup Brush Cleaner $10.00

Keep your brushes soft and squeaky clean with this makeup brush cleanser, by cleaning them weekly to rid them of all stubborn makeup residue. Spray, wipe, and repeat until they're sparkling clean.

Artis Brush Cleaning Pad $49.00

This brush cleaning pad is perfect to use instead of a towel as it's slightly more sturdy and compact. It contains a microfibre cloth that helps to grab any kind of makeup residue from the brush without damaging the bristles. The cloth fibers also contain an anti-microbial barrier to keep your brushes clean and germ free.

Clinique Makeup Brush Cleanser $19.00

This fragrance free makeup brush cleanser helps remove all makeup from brushes without compromising the integrity of the brush hairs. Use a few times per week to keep your makeup brushes in the best shape.

Dior Backstage Brush Cleanser $20.00

This waterless brush cleanser from Dior ensures brushes stay clean and like new when used regularly.

Jane Iredale
Jane Iredale Botanical Brush Cleaner $20.00

This cleanser is packed full of grapefruit oil and seaweed extracts, along with quick-drying alcohol and witch hazel. Remove oil, dirt, and makeup from brushes in seconds thoroughly leaving your brushes clean and fluffy.

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