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Rubbing Alcohol as Brush Cleaner?

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I just watched and he uses 99% alcohol to clean his brushes. i only have 70% in my house, would that work as well? im running out of my traditional brush cleaner and i was hoping i wouldn't have to buy any more. 

To clean or to disinfect? To clean I wouldn't recommend alcohol since it's very drying (especially if you're brushes are made of either natural fibers like bamboo or animal fibers like sable) and it won't necessarily harm synthetic brushes other than it might affect the color.

The BEST (IMO) and inexpensive method is simply to use an artists brush cleaner like Mona Lisa's Pink Soap. A small amount not only cleans the brush but conditions it.

I use alcohol (and 70% is fine) to disinfect but not to clean.

Jul 30, 2011

Soma S.

I agree w/ Yasmin alcohol is way too drying, and you can have breakage w/ your brush hairs if you use a strong concentration of it.. If you want something more gentle - use Dr. Bronners soap in tea tree for brush cleansing. If you're looking to disinfect and spot cleaning, I prefer MAC's brush cleanser.

Jul 30, 2011

Shelly T.

I've seen that video. I don't believe Wayne at all on this one, tbh. *Cleaning* with 99% alcohol?! I don't think so. I'll stick with brush cleanser (spot cleaning) or baby shampoo (deep cleaning).

Jul 30, 2011

Jalaina S.

The best/cheap way I've found to clean brushes is to use olive oil and antibacterial dish soap.

I use the olive oil for the deep cleaning of my brushes, for my personal brushes once or twice a week and with my client brushes after each client. 

Jamie D.

Jul 31, 2011

Jamie D.

I agree with Wayne about using alcohol to clean between models because it dries fast and kills everything, but for personal use I use palmolive. Even when I get home from shoots I shampoo them with palmolive.

Yeah I was a bit skeptical. I mean like, rubbing alcohol and strip paint, I wouldn't want it on a brush to clean it! Okay, thank you so much everyone! 

Aug 02, 2011

Chevon H.

if you're using the brushes on ONLY yourself, then use whatever you want....but if you're using them on clients...the HAVE to be disinfected. spot cleaning them or using shampoo will NOT kill harmfull bacteria. it won't kill the herpes virus and it won't kill the bacteria that causes pinkeye...the last thing you want is for a client to get something nasty because you didn't properly sanitize your brushes. if you feel like the alcohol is too drying on your brushes, when you get home from a job, just deep clean them with a combo of olive oil and antibacterial soap...that way you can make sure they won't dry out...the oilve oil will keep them softer longer

Aug 04, 2011

Anna W.

You need to recognize that there's a difference between cleaning and disinfecting.

If you're cleaning the brushes, you need to use something gentle that will condition the fibers to make sure your brushes stay in great condition. You can use artist soap, brush cleaner, baby shampoo--all sorts of mild cleansers. You clean the brushes to remove all traces of makeup and dirt.

If you're sanitizing/disinfecting the brush, the main goal is to kill all the bacteria they have picked up. The fastest way to do that is with an alcohol solution. Over 70% solution is the most effective. All you need to do is quickly dip or spray the head, then wipe on a clean towel. Alcohol evaporates quickly, so your brush will be dry and ready quickly. This method of sanitation is used by MUAs and at makeup counters to quickly prepare a brush for a new client.

If your brushes are for your personal use, regular cleaning with only occasional sanitizing is recommended. If you are using brushes on multiple people, sanitizing after each use is required.  

I totally agree with Anna W. What Wayne is stating is not cleaning, it's disinfecting. You can't clean a brush that way because it will ruin the brush in the long run. I like him but some of his videos and "advice" is questionable and this is one of those videos where he's just absolutely wrong.

Using 99% doesn't necessarily mean it'll disinfect better than 70%. The difference is not as much as you think. Like SPF for example, if you use a higher SPF like using 100 compared to 30 it doesn't mean it'll protect you 70 time better. Hand sanitizers like purell & GermX contain 62-63% of alcohol to effectively kill germs.  

Aug 05, 2011

Shelly T.

@Anna and @Yasmin: The title of Wayne's video is "How To CLEAN Your Makeup Brushes", though, and he refers to cleaning (not disinfecting) in the description box. So, really, the title of the video is misleading, yeah?

Meanwhile, I've tried the olive oil method of deep cleaning, did so when I first started taking makeup application and brush maintenance more seriously (about a year ago). I don't like it. I didn't use a ton of the stuff, but I ended up having to wash some of my brushes again after that because of residue. I've not used that method since.

Aug 05, 2011

Anna W.

Shelly, I didn't click through, just put in my thoughts on the OP's question. If that's the title of his video, it's extremely misleading. I was just stating that there are methods to clean and methods to disinfect, but that they weren't the same thing.

And I'm not a fan of the olive oil deep clean, either. I would rather use a conditioning cleanser--usually a gentle face wash. In a classic twist, I do use olive oil to remove stubborn eye makeup.

I again have to agree with Anna. 

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