Can I use dish soap to clean makeup brushes?

by:Suprabeauty     2023-07-11

Can I Use Dish Soap to Clean Makeup Brushes?


Makeup brushes are an essential tool for flawless makeup application. However, regular use can leave them clogged with makeup residue, oils, and bacteria, making them less effective and even causing breakouts. To maintain their quality, it's crucial to clean makeup brushes regularly. Many people wonder if they can use readily available dish soap to clean their brushes effectively. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using dish soap for cleaning makeup brushes and provide you with some expert tips to ensure that your brushes stay clean and durable.

1. Understanding the Pros and Cons of Dish Soap:

Before deciding whether dish soap is suitable for cleaning makeup brushes, it's crucial to understand its pros and cons.

1.1. The Pros:

One of the advantages of dish soap is its ability to cut through grease and remove oil-based products effectively. This quality makes it well-suited for cleaning makeup brushes that often accumulate oily makeup products such as foundation, concealer, and cream-based blushes.

Moreover, dish soaps are readily available in most households, making them a convenient option for quick brush cleaning sessions. They are also relatively inexpensive compared to specialized makeup brush cleaners, saving you money in the long run.

1.2. The Cons:

While dish soap may be effective in removing makeup residue, it can be harsh on delicate makeup brush bristles. Most dish soaps contain strong detergents that can strip natural oils from the bristles, leading to dryness, brittleness, and even breakage over time.

Additionally, some dish soaps may leave a residue on the brushes, causing them to lose their softness and impairing their performance. Furthermore, dish soaps are not specifically formulated to eliminate bacteria, which can be a concern, as makeup brushes are known to harbor bacteria that may lead to skin irritations and infections.

2. Expert Tips for Cleaning Makeup Brushes:

Now that we are aware of the pros and cons of using dish soap let's dive into some expert tips for effectively cleaning your makeup brushes:

2.1. Use a Gentle Brush Cleanser:

While dish soap may be effective in removing heavy makeup residues, it's recommended to invest in a gentle brush cleanser that is specially formulated to clean and condition the bristles. These cleansers are typically milder and less harsh on the bristles, providing a thorough yet gentle cleaning experience.

2.2. Dilute the Dish Soap:

If you choose to use dish soap for cleaning your brushes, dilute it with water before using it. This will reduce its potency and make it less harsh on the bristles. Remember, a little dish soap goes a long way, so use a tiny amount to avoid excessive detergent buildup.

2.3. Soak and Swirl:

To clean your brushes effectively, soak the bristles in warm soapy water for a few minutes. Then gently swirl the brushes in the palm of your hand, working up a lather to remove the makeup residue. Be careful not to submerge the brushes fully, as this can loosen the adhesive that holds the bristles together.

2.4. Rinse Thoroughly:

After cleaning the brushes, rinse them under warm running water until no suds are left. Make sure to rinse out all soap residues to prevent any irritations when you use the brushes on your skin. Gently squeeze out excess water and pat the bristles dry with a clean towel.

2.5. Reshape and Dry:

Lastly, reshape the bristles of the brushes while they are still damp. Place them on a towel or drying rack with the bristles slightly elevated to allow air circulation. Avoid drying them vertically or placing them near a heat source, as this can damage the bristles. Allow the brushes to dry completely before storing or using them.


In conclusion, while using dish soap to clean your makeup brushes can be a convenient option due to its availability and effectiveness in removing heavy makeup residues, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks. Dish soap can be harsh on brush bristles, leading to dryness and breakage over time. It may also leave behind residue and does not effectively eliminate bacteria. To ensure the longevity and hygiene of your brushes, investing in a gentle brush cleanser designed for this purpose is recommended. Following expert tips, such as diluting the dish soap, soaking and swirling, thorough rinsing, and proper drying, will help you maintain clean and durable brushes.

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