You Clean Your Brushes with What? – Anthony’s Brush Routine

I’ve tried it all; soap bars, shampoo, dishwashing liquid, face cleanser, heck, even actual brush cleansing solution. Nothing really kept my brushes cleaner than what I’m going to share with you now. In saying though, you’ll probably be like “Anthony, what the fuck?”

Keep reading to see what I use to keep all my brushes and sponges free from makeup and dirt.


My secret ingredient for brush cleansing, is literally hot tap water, a silicone brush cleansing device (the one with all the grooves) and…

HOUSEHOLD LAUNDRY DETEGENT

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I’ve tried using powder as well, and it works just fine. I would suggest dissolving in warm water, before adding it to more water, as the powder particles can get a bit annoying after a while. I don’t deal with that shit though, so I use liquid instead. Plus, this one here smells absolutely divine.

Yes, you read right. I remember one time, I got makeup all over my clothes, and I tried everything to get it off, and the only thing that remove the makeup from my stained clothing was laundry detergent, so I decided, why not use them on my makeup brushes as well?

Keep in mind that washing liquids of all types have a pH higher than 7; in chemistry terms, these agents are referred to as alkaline. When mixing an alkaline with an acid, you can neutralize the two agents to (hopefully) produce a neutral pH rated substance.

With this in mind, I always wash my brushes and sponges with a laundry detergent, and follow with a quick wash using a sub acid cleanser for extra precaution.

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I don’t measure the quantity of liquid to water. I literally pour and guess the amounts each time, depending on the amount of brushes or sponges I am washing. For reference though, I usually try follow the recommended 1 cap-full of detergent to 5L of water guideline, as I would usually with my clothes.

Sitting at the bathtub, with my laundry detergent and hot water ready, I prepare all my makeup tools to the side, ready for washing them all.

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I actually love the design aspect of the Pony Effect brushes being magnetic and able to hang upside down for perfect drying.

I find that washing your tools with just soapy water and your bare hands can prove to be difficult, so I picked up a cheap brush egg with grooves built in, to allow my brushes to be thoroughly scrubbed down and free from makeup, dirt and impurities.

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I’m pretty sure I got this for $3 somewhere in Perth, but I could be mistaken. This gadget has been sitting in my bathroom for so long now, I forget the exact price I purchased it for.
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See the grooves it has? There are straight indents perfect for your larger brushes like foundation and powders, and tiny cylindrical indents perfect for your smaller brushes like brows and shadows.

From here on out, it’s as simple as dipping the brush in the water, giving it a quick swish around and scrubbing the living daylights of them all, to ensure they’re clean. With the laundry detergent mix though, I’m spending no more than 30 seconds per brush, so cleaning does not take long at all.

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To be completely honest, this picture was taken after cleaning only 4 brushes. My fingers get darn pruney very easily.

For verification, I put to the test my most stubborn brushes to clean against this laundry detergent mix.

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This is the Stippling Brush from Etude House. One of my favorite brushes for applying blush and shading.

I use this brush practically everyday to add blush to my cheeks, and blend out my contour. Sometimes, I’ll even dive right in with foundation if I want to be a little bit extra, or have a lot of time on my hands. My last cleanse with this brush, using a brush cleansing solution from a Western brand (I can’t remember which, but DB sounds familiar) left all my tools stained and not properly cleaned. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to see how it fairs against laundry detergent.

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Directly after washing with the laundry detergent.

Though it”s not pristine white, most of the color did come off very quickly, and the water was practically clear giving the brush a rinse after a 15 second scrub. I guess, with brushes used for powder products, they clean almost immediately.

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Honesty, my brushes tend to get dirtier than this. Unfortunately for me, this flat foundation brush was one of the more “cleaner” ones.

Next up is foundation. I use the Pony Effect Flat Foundation Brush virtually for all liquid products. Foundation, concealer on wider areas of the face, contour, liquid highlight. EVERYTHING. So in saying that, this brush was filthy prior to cleansing. Again putting the laundry detergent to the test, I wanted to see how liquid makeup fairs against it.

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A tad longer than powders I must say, but overall, 40 seconds on a liquid makeup brush isn’t too bad either. Again, this photo was taken directly after cleansing with laundry detergent.

Clean. Not a single drama at all with laundry detergent. Had I used a specific branded brush cleanser, I’d probably be sitting at the bathtub for a good 10 minutes just on ONE foundation brush. Don’t even get me started on how shampoo and dish washing liquid works on them.

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Etude House makes a good spooly brush in my opinion. As shown here, I like to bend my spooly on an angle for easier usage. Most brushes would snap, but this Etude House one hasn’t thus far.

How about a spooly? Such a weird brush to clean. Whenever I do my brows, I always use a wax to sculpt my brows, either powder or liquid to fill in, and then a coat of brow mascara to change the hair colors. With each step, I use my spooly to brush out the brow hairs into place, and to also blend the makeup. That said, this brush used every day, get’s a lot of gunk on the bristles.

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I might have scrubbed too hard, a chunk came off at the top.

Not even 10 seconds, and the brush was clean. What else can I say, other than not to scrub this brush too hard as the bristles might fall off like mine. Oops.

NOW FOR THE REAL TEST

Brushes are easy to clean, but how about sponges? They’re the real devils when it comes to makeup tool washing. Again, just like the brushes, I’ve never actually had any good luck using everything else. Even specific brush cleansing solutions. The beauty sponges always stay dirty, and cushions don’t ever return to it’s former white color.

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Too Cool For School marshmallow puff, since the original beauty blender isn’t available here from my knowledge. Speaking of which, I need a new sponge. Any recommendations?

Beauty sponges are one of the most daunting to wash; they absorb all the water and end up not even cleaning the makeup off properly. Even when you scrub and squish the living daylights out of them, they always remain dirty. How does laundry detergent fair though?

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See the cracks? I definitely need a new sponge. Somebody help me!

I forgot my sponge was this shade of pink. Wow. That’s all I can say.

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My arch nemesis – The cushions

“Yeah, but sponges are more easier to clean than cushions are.”

That’s very true. I’ve gone and seen many reviews on cushion cleansing, and virtually every single one I saw, nobody could get their cushions looking half decent no matter what they tried.

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I mean, at least the cushion is white…

The liquid definitely made the cushion white again, which is definitely a relief, and the cushion itself is clean for sure. However, as the image shows, the Etude House band is stained from the foundation, and I wasn’t able to remove it at all. Nonetheless, this is by far the most cleanest I’ve ever got a cushion to, so I’m pretty darn happy.

After cleansing with laundry detergent, I go in for a second cleanse with face wash, and then lay all my brushes and sponges out on some kitchen paper to dry. Except for the Pony Effect brushes. I hang them upside down.

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You can tell, most of my brushes are Etude House. They don’t shed at all when you wash them, and they stay feeling soft as ever, so why spend money on brushes when I rarely use them to begin with?
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The handy magnetic design means water can’t get to the base of the brush, dissolving the glue that keeps the bristles in place. Nonetheless, the fluffier brushes like the powder brushes and the blending eye brushes all shed like crazy, which defeats the purpose I guess.

After all the hard work, and probably 30 minutes in the bathroom, would I recommend using laundry detergent as a cleaning agent for your makeup brushes?

Well, it all depends. Of course looking at it from a skincare perspective, I’m sure we can all agree that laundry ANYTHING should never come in contact with our skin. However, the results do speak very loudly, and I guess, my answer is somewhere on the fence.

Until I can find a good makeup brush cleanser, I guess I’m sticking with Fab.


If you enjoyed this post, then don’t forget to like it, subscribe to my blog for future updates, and share with your friends and family. Do you have any secrets when it comes to cleaning your brushes? Maybe you’ve seen other methods that might be better than laundry detergent. Don’t forget to share ideas, or any feedback through the comments down below, or through my SNS.

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