My Favorite Makeup Brush Cleaner (That I’ve Been Using for 2 Years) is Just $4.99 on Amazon!

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using silicone makeup brush cleaner at sink

Get flawless makeup with this cleaning mat! 

Whether you’re a makeup connoisseur or a fresh-faced newbie, you should be using a makeup brush cleaner pretty frequently. I’m going to show you the easiest way to clean your brushes, why you should, and how often you should be doing it – and it’ll only cost you a few bucks!

makeup brushes and black silicone mat laying on stripe towel in bathroom

Why do I need a makeup brush cleaner?

Makeup brushes not only pick up makeup, but also house dead skin cells, bacteria, and oils after each use. Using a makeup brush cleaner is crucial to keep your face (and your makeup) more sanitary.

If you’ve ever wondered why your makeup looks blotchy and streaky, it’s likely because your brushes need a good cleaning. And if you’re not normally prone to breakouts but for some reason can’t kick the one on your cheek, it could also be due to letting your brushes go too long without a good cleaning.

close up of hand holding makeup brush over sink

How often should I clean my makeup brushes?

To get the most out of your brushes, you should clean them at least once a month. If you wear makeup often, then consider washing them about every 1-2 weeks. The less frequently you wear makeup, the longer you can go between cleanings, just keep in mind the more you clean them, the longer the bristles will last.

My favorite silicone mat makeup brush cleaner is JUST $4.99 on Amazon!

hand holding a black silicone makeup brush cleaner mat

I’m by no means a makeup professional and I definitely don’t use a makeup brush cleaner often enough. I’m embarrassed to say that I normally wait until my makeup starts to look a little blotchy and imperfect before I consider taking the time to use my makeup brush cleaner. (Hopefully, my dermatologist isn’t reading this…😬)

In fact, up until a few years ago, I didn’t even know that you were supposed to wash them. Gross, I know. 🤦‍♀️ Instead, I always replaced them when they got really bad.

Once I learned that I should actually be cleaning my makeup brushes, I looked for an easy way to clean them up and I knew this little guy was it!

woman holding pop socket silicone mat and makeup brushes

I was immediately drawn to this silicone makeup brush cleaner mat because it’s easy to hold in my hands by placing the suction cup between fingers (about the size of a large pop socket) or it can be placed in the sink for hands-free cleaning.

hand holding pop socket on black silicone mat

And yes, the suction cup actually works and doesn’t slide around! Plus, it comes in 4 different colors and it’s made of silicone, which means it’s antimicrobial and safe for my face. 🙌

hands cleaning makeup brush on black silicone mat over bathroom sink

In addition to the brush cleaning mat, you’ll also need some sort of soap that will gently clean your brushes. Since my makeup brushes touch my face (which is sensitive to a lot of things), I knew the best solution to pair it with would be a high-quality & safe cleaner. Of course, high quality doesn’t need to mean high-priced!

hand holding black silicone mat with bottle of makeup brush cleaner

My pick: Ecotools Makeup Brush Cleaner Cleansing ShampooJUST $6.99 on Amazon!

This shampoo is made specifically for makeup brushes, is totally safe for weekly use, and even recommended for use with a brush cleaning mat – a match made in makeup heaven! It’s also dermatologist-tested, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and free of parabens, phthalates, and petroleum-based ingredients.

hands holding makeup brush cleaner squirting it on black silicone cleaning mat

To clean, simply squirt some of the shampoos onto the silicone makeup brush cleaner mat, wet with a little water, and move your brush into circular motions on the half that says “brush cleaning pad”. Keep in mind that a little of this makeup brush shampoo goes a long way, so you’ll get a ton of cleanings out of this bottle.

I normally repeat the whole process until the suds and water are white/clear and no more tint of the makeup remains when I rinse my brush on the other half of the silicone makeup brush mat.

makeup brushes and black silicone mat on stripe towel on bathroom counter

When you’re done, don’t forget to lay your brushes flat to dry by laying them on a towel with the bristle side hanging off the edge so air can circulate all around your brush for a quicker dry. This will also help preserve the glue that holds all of your brushes together, resulting in a brush that will last much longer, too!

Here’s another silicone makeup brush cleaner that I tried (and was a total fail):

blue silicone makeup brush mat under running faucet

I had heard raving reviews about this larger silicone mat makeup brush cleaner and since it’s pretty cheap, I thought I’d give it a try. I guess I thought since it was larger, stuck to my sink, and had more areas for cleaning it would be even quicker and easier to get the tasks done…


After the first use, I was so disappointed! First, the suction cups on the back of this mat are much, much smaller. They stuck to a dry sink just fine, but the moment you introduce some water and any type of movement when cleaning your brushes, it’s a slippery slope, literally!

Plus, having to use one hand to hold it in place, I only have one hand for cleaning so my brushes weren’t getting any cleaner any faster. Lesson learned to stick with what works!

black silicone mat and makeup brush under running faucet in bathroom sink

By trying out another highly-rated product, I know that I’ve found the perfect tool to clean all of my makeup brushes! I’ve had this thing for going on two years now, and even after many cleanings and being tossed around under the bathroom sink, it still looks brand new!

Don’t want to spend $4.99 on your makeup brush cleaner?

hand holding two silicone makeup brush cleaning mitts

While I haven’t tried it myself, many of our readers are raving about the silicone makeup brush cleaner you can find at the Dollar Tree!

You can grab a mint green, purple, or pink makeup brush cleaning mitt for just a buck, and essentially it does the same exact thing! Buy it online in bulk (minimum of 24 for $24) and they’ll make great goody bag stuffers, girl’s night party favors, or even plan ahead for Christmas and put them in stockings. For just a buck, you definitely can’t go wrong!

Don’t miss these ultimate beauty hacks!

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 22

  1. CJ

    I recently got similar ones at DollarTree

    • Gscribble

      Me too, and there were 2 in a pack!

      • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

        Nice score for sure! Thanks for sharing!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh cool! Thanks, CJ! I’ll have to look for them at my store!

  2. brightstar79

    I clean my brushes every day with isopropyl alcohol. Super fast cleaning and drying.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh cool! Thanks for letting us know what has been working best for your brushes!

    • Kate+4

      Only issue w/that is it destroys the bristles of natural brushes. Just like it wld ur hair

    • Sharon

      Going to try this. Thanks for suggesting. Does anyone know if you can put on top rack of dishwasher to clean?

  3. SamShops

    I saw these at the Dollar Tree over the weekend

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks! We’ll be sure to check for them in our stores too!

  4. acgold

    You can use baby shampoo to clean the brushes also.

    • Emily

      I use suave clarifying shampoo (the kind that’s like $1 a bottle) to clean my makeup brushes 🙂

  5. everest716

    Sharing my hack: Dawn dish soap is highly effective in cleaning my make-up brushes quickly! Cuts right through the oil and make-up and gets them spotless!

    • Serena

      I’m also a fan of using Dawn dish soap. Bonus since it’s already in my house… one less product I need to buy!

  6. everest716

    Oops forgot to mention I use the Sigma glove w/ Dawn dish washing liquid. It has all the grooves and swirls – does the same thing as the silicone mat.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thank you!

  7. Angela

    The ones at my dollar tree were not by the makeup but by the washcloths/body cleaning stuff. They are packaged as/called face scrubbers. They are in a 2 pack with a popsocket type knob but I’m not sure it’s a suction cup. Worth $1 though for sure!

    • Sara

      Awesome, thanks so much for sharing that info with us, Angela!

  8. Erin

    I soak my brushes for about 20 minutes in hot water mixed with a tablespoon of Dawn & white vinegar.

    • Sara

      Just be careful soaking brushes, Erin, that can break down the glue over time and not make your brushes last as long. (I learned this from all the home projects and painting I did and not even from loving makeup haha!) Thanks for sharing your tip though, enjoy your weekend. 🙂

  9. Kate+4

    I’ve been using the hair brushes that are for short coarser hair. My neighbor who is black always has one in his bk pkt to comb his hair. I looked at it one day & started using it to clean my oil paint brushes & glaze brushes.

  10. acgold

    I use Dawn and a great silicone mat from Elf. I even clean the hard to clean, expensive “toothbrush” foundation brushes. It takes at least a day to dry because of the densely packed “hairs”. They come out perfect, like new. I also bought a round white plastic paintbrush holder in the Dollar Tree craft section to stand all of them up to dry!

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