This Product Cleans My Makeup Brushes Better Than Anything Else—And It's Only $1

Zote Laundry Bar Soap

Michelle Rostamian 

Confession: I find washing my makeup brushes really therapeutic. For some, the act is nothing more than a daunting task, a chore you know is necessary (for the sake of your skin) yet you put off for days—or weeks—on end. But for me, there's nothing more satisfying than seeing foundation residue trickle out of my Beautyblender, or last week's smoky eye rinsed off my blending brushes. The thing is, a lot of us shy away from cleaning our beauty tools because replenishing cleansers can be expensive and annoying. However, I've been using one product to clean my beauty sponges and makeup brushes since 2017, and it undoubtedly has the power to convert any anti-brush cleaning beauty lover. Below, find everything you need to know about Zote's Laundry Bar Soap ($1) and why it's earned Holy Grail status in my beauty repertoire.


  • Affordable
  • Long-lasting
  • Makes brushes and sponges look brand new post-cleaning


  • Can be hard to find in some places

Bottom Line:

The Zote Laundry Bar Soap truly makes me excited to wash my beauty tools. Not only is it effective at renewing filthy brushes and sponges, but it does so at an affordable price point.

Zote Laundry Bar Soap


BEST FOR: Cleaning makeup brushes and sponges


POTENTIAL ALLERGENS: Contains coconut oil


ABOUT THE BRAND: Zote is a brand of Mexican laundry soap touted for its ability to remove greased, hard-to-remove stains on clothing.

  • Full Ingredient List: Here
Zote laundry bar soap
Zote Laundry Bar Soap $1.00

About My Skin: Dry and somewhat sensitive

To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to clean my brushes with a laundry soap. My skin is already extremely parched—wouldn't a soap dry it out even more? was something I kept asking myself. Plus, when it comes to testing out even new skincare products, my skin errs on the side of being sensitive—couldn't cleaning my tools with a soap cause me to breakout? I was desperate to find a product that would revive my beauty tools and not break the bank, so I decided to take the risk. My theory? If this laundry soap is tough enough to get out grease stains from clothing, it'll be tough enough to make my Beautyblender look brand spankin' new.

How to Use:

Pre-Zote, my method for washing my makeup brushes was a two-step process. I'd loosen up caked on product with olive oil, then follow with a traditional brush cleaner. Zote eliminates the former, making the process of cleaning my stash of 50+ brushes an under 20-minute affair. I simply swirl my brushes on the soap and continuously squeeze the tips of the bristles, being mindful not to get the ferrule (the part where the brush meets the handle) wet. Then, once the water runs clear, which usually happens in a few seconds, my brushes are clean.

For more stubborn stains, I like using Sigma Beauty's Spa Brush Cleaning Mat ($35)—a silicone mat that attaches to my sink bowl and has multiple textures that deeply cleans each and every bristle.

Morphe E54
Michelle Rostamian 

The Results: Squeaky clean tools

Never have I been more excited than when I laid eyes on my ultra-clean sparkling white beauty sponge that was once mauled in foundation stains. After using Zote, my makeup brushes are nixed of bacteria and makeup, my beauty sponges are back to their original color, and my wallet is dent-free. And, because the soap is being rinsed out thoroughly from my brushes and sponges, my skin never has direct contact with it—thus, no breakouts or negative reactions.

Beauty sponge
Michelle Rostamian

The Value: Worth it, and then some

In terms of price, there are makeup brush cleansers all across the board. And while drugstore options exist, I haven't been able to find one whose effectiveness hasn't been compromised for price. When it comes to the pricier ones, I usually run out of them after two to three washing sessions because I own many brushes and sponges. That being said, a bar soap that's significantly more effective than its drugstore counterpart yet more affordable than the pricier variety is a total win.

Similar Products: You have options

Dove White Beauty Bar: While this is also a bar soap, it contains milder cleansers and is more suited for shadow brushes than heavily-stained tools.

Beautyblender Blendercleanser Solid: Similar in concept, this solid bar cleanser is travel-friendly and effective, but more expensive than Zote.

Our Verdict: Pick it up, stat

If you're looking for an effective, affordable method to clean your makeup brushes, you've found it in this bar soap. Gone are the days of procrastinating washing your makeup brushes—you'll be shockingly satisfied to see all that comes out of your tools.

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