beauty · Hacks

How I Clean My Brushes (A Cheap and Easy Way)

Lets face it, as great of a feeling it is to use clean makeup brushes, and the satisfaction of having clean brushes; no one actually likes to clean their brushes. (And if you do, theres probably something really wrong with you, no offence!)


I am always seeing on social media the Sigma brush cleaning mat, but seriously I am NOT paying $39.00 plus tax and shipping for a piece of rubber to clean my brushes (no matter how amazing it works.) I have also seen many DIY variations of the brush cleaning mat on Pinterest but I have yet to actually test them out. So I thought long and hard and came up with the idea to check AliExpress. While I will not purchase makeup off there because of the quality, the fact that they are fake and most importantly you don’t know what is in their products. (However I did make the mistake once and ordered what I though were Lime Crime Velveteens… trust me they were not and they stained my skin would not come off, ugh)

But back to the cleaning mat, I had found one on AliExpress for very cheap, like I’m talking about $2.00 with free shipping. While it took roughly a month to arrive from China I am not disappointed with it at all for the price I paid.

The mat itself is similar to any brush cleansing mat, as it is made from silicone and features a side for cleansing and a side of rinsing. Personally I find that the “rinsing” side works better to remove makeup off smaller brushes as the ridges are close together and gets the tighter formation of the bristles. But the cleansing side works really well for the larger brushes that have looser bristles on it.

If you’re looking for a cheaper way to clean your brushes and don’t mind waiting the time for shipping I would definitely recommend this to you, and you can pick up your own here


As for washing brushes my process is to put a little bit of baby shampoo (I use whatever I am currently using on my son) on the side I will be using for my brushes. Once it’s on I will wet my brushes and rub it over the mat until it comes out clean. (Depending on how dirty my brushes are I might have to do this 2 times)

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I love how inexpensive this method of cleaning my brushes is and how safe it is for my skin, because I mean if it’s safe enough to use on a baby’s bottom it’s clearly safe enough for my face. Not to mention it leaves my brushes smelling fantastic.

I also figured I should leave a couple tips when it comes to cleaning your brushes because there are a lot of ways that your brushes can come out clean, but also ruined.

  1. Do not get the whole brush wet. If you get the glue on the bristles wet it can be worn down and start to lose its hold, making them fall out
  2. When drying your brushes place upside down so the water can run out and not into the brushes, again for the same reason as number 1. I usually roll up a towel and place them handle on the rolled section so the water can run down, or I hang on my towel rack with elastics as shown
  3. Wash your brushes frequently, there is nothing worse than getting a breakout from not washing your brushes enough. They are basically a bacteria breeding zone from all the dirt and oil they pick up off your face.
  4.  Brushes can take hours to dry so my advice is to wash after you apply your makeup for the day, or even before you go to bed so they have plenty of time before you need to use them again.
  5. You should also spot clean between uses, for that Sephora offers a daily brush cleanser, or I also use baby wipes to get the product off.

  • Stephanie Ehmke

    Such a helpful post! I bought a knock off sigma mat on AliExpress and it was the best thing I’ve been able to find on there! Makes cleaning my brushes super easy!

    -Stephanie ||