can you clean makeup brushes with alcohol

by:Suprabeauty     2023-08-07


1. Why Cleaning Makeup Brushes is Important

2. The Pros and Cons of Cleaning Makeup Brushes with Alcohol

3. Step-by-Step Guide: Cleaning Makeup Brushes with Alcohol

4. Alternative Methods for Cleaning Makeup Brushes

5. Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Makeup Brushes

Why Cleaning Makeup Brushes is Important

Makeup brushes are an essential tool in every beauty enthusiast's collection. They help in achieving flawless makeup application and blending, but often we neglect the importance of keeping them clean. Just like our skin, makeup brushes accumulate dirt, oil, bacteria, and product buildup over time. Regular cleaning not only ensures better makeup application but also prevents breakouts and maintains the longevity of the brushes.

The Pros and Cons of Cleaning Makeup Brushes with Alcohol

Using alcohol to clean makeup brushes has become increasingly popular due to its disinfecting properties. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before making it a regular practice.


1. Disinfectant: Alcohol effectively kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses that may have accumulated on the brushes, reducing the risk of breakouts or infections.

2. Quick-drying: Alcohol evaporates quickly, allowing brushes to dry faster than traditional cleaning methods.

3. Affordable: Compared to some commercial brush cleansers, alcohol is a cost-effective option that is readily available.

4. Convenient: Alcohol can be easily found at local drugstores, making it a convenient choice for on-the-go individuals.


1. Drying Effect: Alcohol has a drying effect on brush bristles, which may lead to brittleness or damage over time. This is especially true for brushes made of natural fibers.

2. Harshness: Continuous use of alcohol can strip away natural oils from the bristles, making them stiff and less effective during application.

3. Brush Shedding: Alcohol can break down the glue that holds the bristles together, resulting in shedding.

4. Color Fading: Some brushes have dyed bristles, and alcohol can cause the color to fade or bleed.

Step-by-Step Guide: Cleaning Makeup Brushes with Alcohol

1. Gather your supplies: You will need a small bowl, isopropyl alcohol (70% or higher concentration), and paper towels.

2. Pour alcohol into the bowl: Fill the bowl with enough alcohol to fully submerge the bristles of the brush.

3. Swirl and soak: Gently swirl the brush in the alcohol, ensuring that all bristles come into contact with the solution. Let the brushes soak for about 10 minutes. This will help dissolve any makeup residue and kill bacteria.

4. Rinse with lukewarm water: After soaking, rinse the brushes under lukewarm water to remove the alcohol and any leftover residue. Be careful not to let water touch the base of the brushes as it may loosen the glue.

5. Squeeze excess water: Gently squeeze the bristles with your fingers, removing as much water as possible.

6. Reshape and dry: Reshape the brush gently with your fingers and lay it flat on a clean paper towel to absorb any remaining moisture. Ensure that the brushes are placed in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Allow them to dry completely before storing or using them again.

Alternative Methods for Cleaning Makeup Brushes

If using alcohol doesn't suit your preferences or if you're concerned about the potential negative effects, there are alternative methods to consider:

1. Liquid soap and water: Use a gentle liquid soap, such as baby shampoo or a mild cleanser. Create a mixture of soap and water in a bowl and swirl the brushes in it. Rinse thoroughly and follow the same drying steps as mentioned before.

2. Brush cleansers: There are various brush cleansers available in the market specifically designed for cleaning makeup brushes. These cleansers have the added benefit of conditioning the bristles. Follow the instructions on the packaging for best results.

3. Olive oil and dish soap: Mix equal parts of olive oil and dish soap in a shallow bowl or plate. Swirl the brushes in the mixture, rinse with water, and dry as usual. This method is particularly effective for removing tough product buildup.

Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Makeup Brushes

1. Clean brushes regularly: Aim to clean your brushes at least once a month to prevent bacteria buildup and maintain their performance.

2. Be gentle: Avoid excessive force or rubbing when cleaning your brushes as it can cause damage to the bristles.

3. Store them properly: Keep your brushes upright or flat in a well-ventilated area to ensure they dry completely after cleaning.

4. Avoid sharing brushes: Sharing brushes can lead to the transfer of bacteria and infections. Keep your brushes for personal use only.

5. Replace when necessary: Pay attention to the condition of your brushes. If they are shedding excessively, misshapen, or have an unpleasant smell even after cleaning, it may be time to invest in new ones.

In conclusion, cleaning your makeup brushes is essential for maintaining their performance, preventing breakouts, and ensuring hygienic makeup application. While alcohol can be a suitable option, it is important to weigh its pros and cons and consider alternative methods if needed. By following the step-by-step guide and implementing good brush care practices, you can extend the lifespan of your brushes and enjoy flawless makeup application for years to come.

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