Cleaning Your Brushes Suck But This Makes it Easier

Hello friends,

So like my incredibly wordy title you should be able to gather that I’m fairly gross and avoid cleaning my brushes. Ag, nee sies man! I used to use baby shampoo once upon a time until one of the MAC assistants talked my mom into getting their brush cleaner. What they didn’t know was that 1) my mom probably only owns 1 ginormous bronzer brush and an eyeshadow brush and that 2) she’s the easiest person to sell add-ons to. So it landed up with me. Elated, I used it sometimes but never felt it did a satisfactory job and back in her bathroom cupboard it went.

Recently, I was perusing Pinterest for design inspiration and somehow DIY brush cleaner found it’s way into my search bar. Shit. My bad. Here’s a super quick spot clean solution DIY for ladies who, like me are darn lazy. I changed the original one a bit by adding in the tea tree just to make sure it was super clean.


Gather your tools: You’ll need some vinegar, dishwashing liquid, water, a squirt bottle and tea tree oil. The one I used is from the Body Shop R65 but I also bought a giant one from Clicks for around R150+/-. If you want a more gentle smell you can use a bit of rose water or lavender as they are also natural antibacterials.

There’s no fancy method here. I poured a half a teaspoon of vinegar, 5 drops of dishwashing liquid and 10 drops of tea tree into the bottle and topped it up with water. Give it a good shake and you’re ready to go. The amount of dishwasher is up to you but you really do need a tiny bit. Same applies for the tea tree/other antibacterial oil in your brush cleanser, because well, you’re a grown up and you do what you want.

To show you how well it works, here’s my tester on a shockingly gross blush brush:


This was only one squirt onto a cotton pad and swirled around for a sec. For spot cleans, I prefer using an nasty old brown towel (it was brown when I bought it but I also don’t like to see how much product makes it’s way onto my face) and then spraying the brush and the towel and swishing them together.

Spot cleans are great but you still have to give your brushes a good clean. (NOTE TO SELF)

Cheerio chaps




  1. […] Today I’m talking about the cult Brush Cleanser from MAC. We often get asked on twitter how we clean our brushes and I think it’s fair to say we all have very different feelings towards our make up brushes and how we clean it. The MAC Brush Cleanser, R170 has gained a lot of cult mention: some love it, some hate it, some can’t live without it. I’m not going to say that I’m lazy when it comes to cleaning my brushes because y’all should know that by now after I wrote about the aforementioned laziness in our DIY Brush Cleanser post, here. […]

  2. Are your brushes still soft afterwards? Do they have a funny smell because of the vinegar??

    1. Hi there, they still feel perfectly soft. I’ve used it on my most prized brush and it feels as soft as it did the day I got it. As long as when you’re doing a big brush clean make sure you rinse them out properly they’ll be fine. There’s also such a tiny amount of vinegar that the smell gets diluted and then hidden by the tea tree oil. There’s no offensive smell at all. When I do full brush cleans now I make a more concentrated version and only add a tablespoon of water of this exact recipe so I can really lather my brushes properly too. It works really well :)

      1. Interesting! Thanks for replying!

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