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It’s been more than 50 days since the start of Circuit Breaker. For some of us, we haven’t been applying makeup at all so our makeup brushes are clean… or are they?

Well, chances are while your makeup brushes aren’t tainted by makeup, they’ve been literally collecting dust from un-use on your vanity table.


The circuit breaker may have put a pause on your daily beat, and if your brushes need a good cleaning before normal-ish life resumes (brushes should be cleaned weekly, and washed monthly!), here’s a guide to cleaning them quickly so your brushes are as good as new.

Fastest method to clean makeup brushes: Using a towel

If your brushes are only slightly dirty and you just want to get the pigment out of them. Or perhaps they’ve been stored in a cabinet with little exposure to dust, here’s a fast method for you. All you need is a brush cleaner, a towel, and a minute of your time for each brush! Plus, this method ensures the brush dries faster for almost immediate use, making this method a great choice for their weekly clean.

What you’ll need

  • A clean spare towel (preferably in a lighter colour so you can ensure your brush is clean), or a few pieces of paper towel stacked together
  • Brush cleaner

Steps to cleaning brushes with a towel

  • Dispense a few drops of the brush cleaner onto the towel, and swirl your brush firmly onto the spot. You should start to see the pigment appear on the towel.
  • On a clean spot of the towel, firmly swirl your brush. This will dry and simultaneously remove leftover pigment in the brush.
  • Repeat this process on clean areas of the towel until no pigment can be seen.

Tip: try not to rub your brush too hard, as this can cause bristle damage and change the brush’s original shape.

Try: Daiso Brush Cleaner

Brush Cleaning Guide Daiso Brush Cleaner

Popular amongst the beauty community, the Daiso Brush Cleaner is often sold out because of its budget-friendliness and effectiveness. Try it out for yourself at home and join its legion of fans!

SGD5.40 on Shopee or in Daiso stores when they’re open.

Try: Etude House makeup brush cleaner

How To Clean Makeup Brushes Dust Etude House

Have a ton of brushes to wash? Buy a larger bottle of cleaner, like this one from beloved Korean cosmetic brand Etude House, that’ll sustain you for longer and save you money in the long run.

Retails on Shopee for SGD14.90.

Cleanest method to clean makeup brushes: Using a cleaning mat

Want a deeper clean for squeaky clean brushes? Although this cleaning method is more time-consuming, it ensures your brush is clean, therefore minimising dreaded breakouts.

If you don’t have a silicone cleaning mat for brushes, not to worry: YouTuber Joan Kim shows how she cleans her brushes with something we probably all have lying around – a rice scooper!

What you’ll need

  • Cleansing mat or a spare rice scooper
  • Brush cleaner
  • Towel

Steps to cleaning brushes with a mat

  • Wet your dirty brush.
  • Dispense a few drops of your cleanser onto your clean cleansing mat or rice scooper.
  • Gently swirl the brush onto the cleansing mat or rice scooper. The grooves will work up a lather to clean the brush, while removing any dirt or bacteria built up in the brush
  • Squeeze out the excess water, and prop it against a rolled up towel to ensure the leftover water drains out of the brush.

Try: Brush cleaning duo

Brush Cleaning Guide Shopee Cleaning Duo

This affordable one has dual usage to maximise space and your money: use the dry sponge inside to quickly clean your brush of colour when you want to switch eyeshadow shades while doing makeup, or use the grooved end on the flip side when you want to deep clean your brushes. Plus, its small size makes it portable so you can have clean brushes anywhere!

Available on Shopee for SGD6.68.

Try: Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Mat

Sigma Brush Cleaning Mat

For a durable, high quality version, try this cleaning mat from Sigma Beauty. It is larger than the previous recommendation and has different textures for a deep cleanse.

Its black colour also make it easy for you to see if there’s still makeup residue in your brushes.

SGD45 from Sephora.

Simplest method to clean makeup brushes: Using your hands

Don’t have any of the above items? Here’s a super budget-friendly option that only uses detergent and your hands!

What you’ll need

  • Detergent
  • Spare plate
  • Optional: Olive oil

Steps to cleaning brushes with hands

  • Dispense detergent onto your plate. Add a little olive oil to the plate, which will condition the bristles and prevent them from drying out.
  • Dip the dirty brush into the mixture and swirl onto clean hands. The makeup residue should start to seep out after a while.
  • Rinse under clean running water.
  • Repeat until the water from the brush runs clear.

Bonus tip: how to clean beauty sponges with hands

Now that you’ve gotten brush cleaning down, tackle cleaning your Beauty Blender (or any other makeup sponges) with these easy steps. While Beauty Blender claims it’s tailor-made cleanser is the most effective, the cost can add up over time, especially if you’re a loyal fan to the makeup sponge. Here’s a more budget-friendly option to try.

What you’ll need:

  • Gentle soap (bar, or liquid)
  • Running water


  • Run the dirty sponge under running water, and allow them to expand and fill with water.
  • Dispense a few drops of liquid soap onto the sponge, or rub a clean bar of soap against it.
  • Press and squeeze the sponge until the makeup oozes out.
  • Repeat steps one to three until the water coming out of the sponge runs clean.
  • Squeeze out the excess water and set aside in an airy area to dry.

Blendercleanser® Solid® Lavender Sponge & Brush Cleanser

Brush Cleaning Guide Beauty Blender Cleanser

Beauty Blender’s two product cleaning system for their iconic sponge features a silicone mat for deep cleaning, and a solid cleanser that can be used for brushes too.

Retails for SGD30 on Sephora.

Instaclean Waterless Sponge and Brush Cleansing Spray

Brush Cleaning Guide Instaclean Spot Cleaner

If you have sensitive skin, you may find the need to clean your brushes more frequently. Cut down on cleaning time with Beauty Blender’s spot cleaning spray that instantly refreshes and cleans your sponges and brushes without any downtime.

SGD26 on Sephora.