How to Clean Makeup Brushes: Best Tips From TikTok


  • Over the past few years, several different ways to clean makeup brushes have gone viral on TikTok.
  • Almost all of these methods involve everyday household items.
  • Based on my research, there is one clear winner when it comes to cleaning your brushes properly.

TikTok is an especially useful app when it comes to beauty hacks, as both professional and amateur makeup artists post tutorials on how to do everything from blushes to layers of skincare products properly. Recently, there has been a rise in videos on how to properly clean makeup brushes. In fact, the hashtag #cleaningmakeupbrushes has only been used 61.9 million times.

These breaches required very few supplies on my part; I can find most of them around my house. My methodology was simple: Try to clean your makeup brushes with as much gunk as possible. I tested five popular hacks I found on TikTok. Before starting, I checked in with makeup artist and esthetician Renée Louise to find out what to avoid so I wouldn’t accidentally smear my tools for the sake of this experiment.

“Alcohol can be very drying to makeup brushes,” she warned. “They can become dry and frizzy and also loosen the glue that attaches the bristles to the brush handle.” Fortunately, none of the most popular hacks involved alcohol, so I cleaned up. That’s what I learned.