Month: July 2015

Brush Washing 101 – How To Clean A Makeup Brush in 20 Seconds or Less

Hello Lovelies,

Thank you for tolerating my prolonged absence. I’ve been suffering from Blogger’s Block and for a long, long, L-O-N-G time nothing has tempted me to add to the noise that is the world of beauty blogging.

Image via here.

I’m still not sure if I’m ready to be back on the blog at full blast just yet so I might just be Gone Girl instead of Shop Girl for a little while longer but I recently got talking with some of my fellow beauty blogger friends about brush washing and they wanted me to share how I clean my brushes so here I am – Brush Washing 101, at your service.

Now, I used to spend at least 20 minutes trying to wash a single makeup brush coated in liquid foundation with every shampoo, soap, face cleanser in my bathroom, but the method I use now has changed my life forever and I hope this tutorial helps those of you too who are still struggling with your dirty brush demons.

This technique takes me only a few seconds per brush and it literally takes mere minutes to do a handful since it’s very effective and easy.

I never thought I would say this but I actually enjoy brush washing now and you can too!


  • DAISO Brand Detergent for Puff & Sponge (RM5.30/ gst inclusive)
  • A DAISO Silicone Vegetable Scrubbing Mat (RM5.30/ gst inclusive)
  • Any Dirty Makeup Brush
  • Hair Tying Elastics (standard soft and stretchy type)
A Match made in Brush Washing Heaven

A match made in Brush Washing Heaven – DAISO Vegetable Scrubbing Mat & Detergent for Puff & Sponge. My advice is to stock up on this duo…FOREVER!!!

I have gushed about the DAISO Puff & Sponge Detergent previously in this post if you would like to read my original product review.

Note that the product I’m using today is the DAISO Puff & Sponge Detergent.

There is another product at DAISO called the DAISO Brush Cleaning Detergent but it is not the same and does not do the job quite as well.

There is also another product on the DAISO shelves called a Woman Detergent (!) and it looks eerily similar to my beloved Puff & Sponge Detergent.

I have no idea if the Woman Detergent cleans brushes but I suppose it works on, ahem…women lol

Let me know if you know how that one works!


Wet The Brush

Run the water down the bristles but away from the brush ferrule (the metal part of your brush).

Wetting the hairs too much inside the ferrule reduces the lifespan of a brush as it can soften and loosen the glue that holds the bristles in place. Overexposure to water can also cause rusting of the metal so avoid.

Wet the brush

Wet the brush


Add The Detergent

Next, add a generous drop of DAISO Puff & Sponge Detergent to your wet brush bristles. Spread it on and rub it into the bristles with your fingertips if you wish.

Daiso Puff & Sponge Cleanser

Daiso Puff & Sponge Cleanser

A little squirt will do

A little squirt or two does the trick and a bottle of this lasts me months of almost daily washes.

I then wet the silicone mat and occasionally might add a generous drop of the detergent to the mat too when I’m feeling enthusiastic.

 STEP 3:

Scrub Away In Circles

Brush the bristles against the mat in a circular motion to dislodge the makeup and grime from the brush. You don’t have to use a lot of strength – just steady but gentle circular motions against the little bumps along the mat will yield good results.

I do this away from the tap not under it, for economy. It saves needing to add more detergent.

wirl the brush across the vegetable mat in a circular motion

Swirl the bristles of the brush against the vegetable mat in a circular motion

If there is too much cosmetic grime building up on the mat as I scrub, I just rinse the mat in between scrubs – not the brush because then I have to reapply more detergent and that can be wasteful. (I’m stingy, I know!)

Rinsing both the mat and the brush under the tap during the scrubbing process wastes a lot of detergent but if you’re feeling generous, by all means go ahead.

I repeat the scrubbing until there is no longer any visible makeup on the mat or the brush but the detergent is so effective that it practically melts away all the cosmetic gunk in seconds. It’s amazing! This Daiso detergent powers through both dry and liquid makeup gunk like a boss.


A Final Rinse-Off

When I no longer see any makeup grime on the mat or the brush, I give the two a final scrub and rinse together under the tap like so…

The Final Rinse Off

The Final Rinse Off under running water to remove all traces of makeup and detergent from the brush


Wring Out Excess Water

I always keep the brush with bristles facing down where possible

I always keep the brush with bristles facing down where possible to release water away from the ferrule

A Final Squeeze to get rid of excess water

A Final Squeeze to rid of excess water


Hang It Out To Dry On A Rail – Any Rail!

Seriously, you don’t need to invest in a fancy brush hanging mechanism…or even sticky tape.

The fact is, any towel rail, anywhere in the world will do!

This changed my brush drying life and I first saw the method on the Street Love Blog. You can read more about the origins of this ingenious method in Fiona’s post and she has a link there in her post to the brilliant girl who she first saw do it on Instagram. Thank you so much for sharing, Fiona. I love this method above all others too!

The best part is there are suitable rails literally everywhere so I can wash my brushes at home and in hotel rooms too.

This hair elastic method is the bee’s knees!

Hanging out to Dry

Hanging out my darling to dry in the bathroom.

For skinnier brushes, you just loop the elastic around a few more times as necessary.


So easy and versatile that it works for any size of brush and you can line several up in a row just like this.

Side View

Side View

And, as you can see, the silicone mat is so handy it has a hook that lets it hangs there to dry on the rail right alongside the brushes.

I love it so much and it’s so affordable that I often buy this along with the DAISO Puff & Sponge Detergent as a gift bundle for my family and friends.

It Hangs!

It hangs!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and it was useful to you in some way!

I change up the method slightly for makeup sponges and still haven’t found a great way to dry my sponges hygienically but yes, the detergent works just as well on makeup sponges too.

With sponges, instead of the mat, I use my fingers to do the scrubbing. I find the mat a little harsh on the sponges.

Do you use a similar method to the one I’ve shown here or do you do something completely different.

I’d love to hear all about your brush washing and drying techniques too!

Disclaimer: I personally love and use the DAISO Puff & Sponge Detergent almost daily. I use it on all the brushes that rotate through my life. It’s a cheap cleanser that works for me but I know some of you own some prized artisan brushes and it may not sit well with you to use anything but a Bobbi Brown/ MAC/ Sephora etc brush detergent. To each their own and my tutorial does come with this disclaimer – consider my materials and technique at your own risk. All images and commentary in this post except where indicated are by me. Please do not use without a credit link back to this blog. The products in this post were purchased by me and I am not affiliated in any way with DAISO.]