Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pinterest Test: Make-up Brush Cleaner

For a few years I cleaned my makeup brushes with baby wipes. It worked "okay" but it never quite got the job done - not to mention it was expensive and sometimes the wipes would dry out before I finished the box! The brushes never quite got as clean as I wanted them, either.

It has been over a year since my brushes last got cleaned. Recently, every time I use my brushes all I can think about is the make-up build up and bacteria that must be caked on those bristles. That was my red flag. Time for a cleaning!

Pinterest, the almighty DIY life saver, has a multitude of make-up brush cleaner recipes. I grabbed one and decided to give it a shot. This "recipe" consists of two easy ingredients: water and vinegar. It was simple, easy and pretty quick. I definitely recommend giving it a try! (As a busy, loan-plagued college student "simply," "easy," and "quick" are always on my radar.)

I filled the bottom of a mason jar with enough hot water to cover the biggest brushes and stirred in the recommended 1 tbsp of vinegar by using brushes as a instrument. Then I let them sit for 15 minutes...because as a newbie to the DIY make-up brush cleaning world, I irrationally panic at the idea of 20 minutes, as if leaving them in longer might melt them away or cause climate change to increase at 4x the rate - something extreme like that. (Anxiety Girl superhero problems)
All tons of make-up sediment at the bottom. That used to touch my face?

And after rinsing them out (with hot and cold water as per the instructions)....

They're brand new again!

The dirtiest brushes - the ones I used the most since the last cleaning and my concealer brushes - took the longest to clean. After the first 15 minutes they still were not thoroughly clear, so I put them in for another 15 and upped the vinegar concentration from 1tbsp to 2tbsp, where I had such a large quantity of water in the base of the mason jar. This had to be repeated a few times, where the makeup was so caked on - who knew a year+ of make-up could leave residue! But with each soak-rinse-repeat session, the brushes were cleaner and cleaner. I'm so excited to use my cleaned brushes!

I'd recommend doing a wash of the brushes every week or every few weeks if you use make-up on a daily basis, just because of bacteria and how quickly the bristles get coated.

Definitely keeping this trick in my back pocket. I hope you give it a try, too. Let me know if you do - or if you try another method - and tell me how it works out!

Edit: Tried this again this weekend with one minor tweak, so I wanted to share! This works a whole lot better when the brushes have any excess residue cleared off before hand. I took a towel (I'm sure a paper towel would work too, I'm just an eco-nut) and worked my brushes in circles along the surface, just as I would when applying make up to my face. A ton of powder and gunk came off before soaking them this way! It really decreased my number of washing rounds.

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