can you use dawn to clean makeup brushes

by:Suprabeauty     2023-08-11

Using Dawn to Clean Makeup Brushes: A Deep Dive into an Unconventional Method


Makeup brushes are essential tools for flawless application and creating stunning looks. Over time, these brushes accumulate dirt, oil, and residual makeup, making them a breeding ground for bacteria. Properly cleaning makeup brushes is crucial to maintain their functionality and prevent skin issues. While there are various commercial brush cleansers available in the market, some beauty enthusiasts swear by using Dawn dish soap as an effective alternative. In this article, we will delve into the process of using Dawn to clean makeup brushes, exploring its efficiency, potential benefits, and considerations.

I. Understanding Dawn Dish Soap

Dawn dish soap is a well-known household product primarily used for dishwashing. Its formula is designed to cut grease and remove stubborn stains, making it a powerful degreaser. The key ingredients in Dawn include water, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and methylisothiazolinone. These ingredients work together to create a potent cleaning agent that breaks down oils and grime.

II. Benefits of Using Dawn to Clean Makeup Brushes

1. Cost-Effective Solution:

One of the primary advantages of using Dawn dish soap to clean makeup brushes is its affordability. As compared to specialized brush cleansers, Dawn is considerably cheaper, making it a cost-effective option for regular brush maintenance.

2. Effective Makeup Removal:

Dawn's grease-cutting properties make it highly efficient in removing makeup residues from bristles. Whether it's foundation, eyeshadow, or stubborn waterproof mascara, Dawn effectively breaks down the makeup particles, allowing for a thorough cleaning.

3. Anti-Bacterial Properties:

The accumulation of dirt, oil, and bacteria on makeup brushes can lead to skin irritations, breakouts, and infections. Dawn dish soap, known for its powerful degreasing properties, also helps eliminate bacteria on the brushes, reducing the risk of these issues.

4. Suitable for Most Brush Materials:

Makeup brushes come in various materials, including synthetic fibers, natural hair, and blends. Dawn is generally safe to use on most brush types, including those with synthetic bristles, without causing damage or deterioration.

5. Easily Accessible:

Finding Dawn dish soap is relatively easy as it is readily available in most supermarkets, beauty supply stores, and even online. With its widespread availability, makeup enthusiasts can conveniently experiment with this alternative cleaning method.

III. Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Makeup Brushes with Dawn Dish Soap

1. Gather Your Supplies:

Before beginning the cleaning process, ensure that you have the following items ready:

- A large bowl or sink

- Dawn dish soap (preferably the original blue formula)

- Warm water

- Clean towel or paper towels

- Brush cleaning mat or glove (optional)

2. Wet the Brushes:

Start by rinsing your makeup brushes under lukewarm water, ensuring that the water flows in the same direction as the bristles. Avoid submerging the entire brush, as it can weaken the glue holding the bristles in place.

3. Create a Cleaning Solution:

Fill the bowl or sink with warm water and add a few drops of Dawn dish soap. Swirl the water gently to create a soapy mixture. Aim for a ratio of approximately one part dish soap to four parts water.

4. Cleanse the Brushes:

Taking one brush at a time, gently swirl it in the soapy mixture. Focus on the bristles, ensuring that they are fully coated, but be careful not to immerse the brush handle or ferrule. For better results, you can also use a brush cleaning mat or glove to further work the soap into the bristles.

5. Rinse Thoroughly:

Once the brushes are adequately cleansed, rinse them under running water again. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear, indicating the removal of all soap residues and makeup particles.

6. Gently Squeeze Out Excess Water:

Gently squeeze the bristles of each brush to remove excess water. Be cautious not to pull on the bristles, as it may damage their shape or loosen them from the ferrule.

7. Reshape and Dry:

Reshape the brushes to their original form by gently patting them against a clean towel or paper towels. Afterward, lay them flat on a dry towel or hang them upside down to dry, ensuring that the bristles are not in contact with any surfaces.


While using Dawn dish soap to clean makeup brushes might not be the conventional method, it has gained popularity due to its effectiveness and affordability. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can effectively remove makeup residues, bacteria, and other impurities from your brushes, extending their lifespan and promoting better skin health. However, it's important to note that individual experiences may vary based on the brush type and personal preferences. Experimenting with different methods is key to finding the best cleaning routine for your makeup brushes.

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