Is it OK to wash makeup brushes with dish soap?

by:Suprabeauty     2023-06-29


Makeup brushes are an important tool for any makeup routine, but they require regular cleaning to avoid the buildup of bacteria and dirt. Many people wonder whether it's OK to wash them using household dish soap. In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of this method and examine some alternatives that you can use to keep your brushes clean and hygienic.

Why Wash Your Makeup Brushes?

Before we dive into the topic of washing your makeup brushes with dish soap, let's first discuss why you should wash your brushes in the first place. There are three main reasons for regularly cleaning your brushes:

1. Preventing Bacterial Buildup

Makeup brushes can accumulate bacteria over time due to the oils, sweat, and dead skin cells that are present on your skin. Bacteria can cause acne breakouts, allergies, and even infections. As a result, it's essential to keep your brushes clean to prevent the buildup of dangerous bacteria.

2. Preserving Brush Quality

Frequent use of makeup brushes can lead to wear and tear, causing bristles to fall out or become misshapen. By cleaning your brushes regularly, you help to maintain their quality, ensuring that they last longer and remain effective.

3. Preventing Makeup Mix-Ups

Using a dirty brush can cause your makeup to appear splotchy or unflattering. By washing your brushes regularly, you ensure that they are free from residual makeup that can mix with the new color you are applying.

Washing Makeup Brushes with Dish Soap: Pros and Cons

Now that we've discussed the importance of washing your brushes let's explore the pros and cons of washing them with dish soap.


1. Cost-effective

Using dish soap to clean your makeup brushes is a cost-effective method that doesn't require any additional investment. Compared to purchasing expensive brush cleaners, dish soap is a cheaper alternative.

2. Effective Cleaning

Dish soap can effectively remove oil, dirt, and makeup residue from your brushes, making them clean and hygienic.


1. Harsh on Brushes

Dish soap is known to be harsh on natural bristles, leading to increased wear and tear. Over time, this may cause the bristles to become dry and brittle, leading to shedding.

2. Residual Soap

Dish soap can leave behind a residual layer on the bristles, which can result in sudsing when the brush comes in contact with water, making it difficult to rinse out the soap.

3. Drying Time

Dish soap can take longer to rinse out compared to gentler brush cleaners, making it more difficult to dry your brushes properly.

Alternative Methods for Cleaning Your Brushes

If you're apprehensive about using dish soap to clean your brushes, there are several other methods that you can try.

1. Brush Cleansers and Shampoos

Beauty retailers sell a range of brush cleansers, shampoos, and conditioners specifically designed for makeup brushes. They're usually gentle on the bristles, and some are formulated with antibacterial ingredients to ensure that your brushes remain hygienic.

2. Oil-based Cleansers

Using an oil-based cleanser is an effective way to remove stubborn makeup and dirt from your brushes. After cleansing, simply rinse your brushes with water and dry them using a clean towel.

3. Alcohol-based Cleansers

If you're looking for a more thorough clean, using an alcohol-based cleanser can disinfect your brushes and remove any residual dirt or bacteria. However, it's essential to use a gentle formula that won't damage your brushes.

4. Natural Cleansers

For those looking for natural cleaning alternatives, a blend of olive oil and Castile soap can be effective in removing dirt, oil, and makeup residue. Other natural ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice can also be used to clean brushes gently.


While washing your makeup brushes with dish soap can be an effective cleaning method, there are several downsides that can damage your brushes over time. However, there are several alternatives that you can use, whether you're looking for gentler options or natural solutions. Ultimately, whatever method you choose, regularly cleaning your makeup brushes is essential for maintaining their quality and ensuring that they remain clean and hygienic for continued use.

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