Cheap and awesome: How to wash your brushes with Daiso detergent

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How to cite: Wong M. Cheap and awesome: How to wash your brushes with Daiso detergent. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. March 26, 2014. Accessed April 22, 2024.

Daiso is a Japanese variety store that’s been quietly expanding in Australia over the past year. It’s the largest of Japan’s “100 yen” chains, and while 100 yen is technically about $1.05, everything in Daiso Australia retails at $2.80, which is still somehow an amazing bargain. I can never leave without picking a few things up.

One of the cult products at Daiso is their brush cleanser, which is officially called “Detergent for Puff and Sponge”. It is THE most efficient and cost-effective brush cleanser I’ve ever used, and doesn’t require any faffing around with bottles of alcohol and baby shampoo. It’s even gotten out what I thought was a permanent stain in my foundation brush, in less than a minute. If you’re not sold already, here’s a little demonstration of how I use it.

First, we have to round up the nasty brushes. I’ve got my Real Techniques face brushes here: the Contour Brush (used with contouring powder), Expert Face Brush (used with liquid foundation and BB creams) and Detailer Brush (used with cream concealer).

I know of a few different ways that people use this detergent, but here’s my method.

1. Pour lukewarm water into a glass – enough to stay below the ferrule when the brush is standing head down.

2. Add about 5 drops of the detergent. I’ve never felt the need to use more! It’s pretty powerful stuff.

3. Put the brush in and gently draw circles in the bottom of the glass while counting quickly to twenty. By then, the water is usually murky and opaque, without needing much elbow grease or rough handling.

4. Dump the water, rinse the brush under the tap briefly.

5. Repeat first 4 steps until the detergent mixture stays mostly clear. I’ve never had to repeat more than four times, which takes less than 2 minutes.

Here’s what the process looks like:

Contour Brush: I’ve found that powder runs away from brushes in Daiso’s cleaner like it can’t wait to hop off. The first rinse looks like weak milk tea, the second is pretty much clear and the brush is spotless.

Expert Face Brush: This one takes a bit longer, since the brush is so dense and clogged up with oily foundation (and it’s only 2 weeks’ worth!). Even though the brush looks pretty damn clean after two rinses, more product comes out in the third go, though the fourth rinse isn’t even cloudy.

Detailer Brush: Since this brush is tiny, it only takes 2 goes to get everything out.

The one downside to this cleaner I’ve discovered so far is that it’s pretty rubbish at washing gel eyeliner, which unfortunately is what I need to wash most. Soaking the brushes in waterproof eye make-up remover first, then using dilute detergent works pretty well.

I am ridiculously impressed by how thoroughly this $2.80 product washes my brushes! If we ungenerously estimate 15 drops per mL, at 80 mL per bottle, and 3 rinses per brush, that’s about 3.5 cents per cleaned brush (and we’re being super thorough in our cleaning here). This is now my HG brush cleanser and I’ve squirreled away a few backups – it seems to be popular amongst other people too, since it’s often sold out!

What’s your favourite el cheapo HG? Enable me in the comments below!

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29 thoughts on “Cheap and awesome: How to wash your brushes with Daiso detergent”

    • I went nuts in Harajuku’s Daiso when I was there – mostly buying food, but still! They have so many products that haven’t made it to Australia yet. I’m regretting not buying more!

    • It’s not a bad way to use up random shampoo – I just hate having to mix it with alcohol and warm water and stir to get rid of the clumps, and it takes me forever to rinse out the foam!

    • The product will (it’s made for sponges after all!) but I don’t think just swirling it around will do the trick – maybe dip it in and squeeze it a few times.

    • I’ve used it for my beauty blender dupe and it works great. I just put a few drops of detergent right on the damp sponge then squeeze it so it gets all foamy and gently rub the more stained areas. Then I squeeze it under running water until the water runs clear.

    • So handy! There used to be a Daiso section in the Asian supermarket right next to my regular train station, but they got rid of it to set up a couple of dedicated Daiso stores nearby – my wallet is super grateful!

  1. I buy heaps of this stuff for Sophie from Born to Buy but have yet to buy it for myself.. hmm will have to try this!

  2. What section of the store is it found in? With makeup, with soaps/detergents, or with things like shampoo lotion and handsoap? There’s quite a few Daiso Japans in the California Bay Area but I’m not sure if we get the same products in.

    • It really depends on the store! At all the Sydney ones I’ve found them in the beauty section near the false eyelashes, but I’ve heard that in Melbourne there’s one where it’s in the cleaning aisle…

  3. I really want this and I’ve heard a lot of good reviews about this but I’ve looked all over 2 different daiso stores near San francisco and they don’t have it. Know any stores that stock it for sure?

  4. Hi! daiso sells great paper for blotting an oily t-zone. There are a few different sizes and kinds. Some are powdered but I like the unpowdered papers. They’re super duper cheap and I keep a bigger box styled version in my bathroom and a pretty and small cardboard wallet type presentation in my make up bag that I take out. They work very well and don’t seem to displace any make up. Lots of higher end versions are available but they can be ridiculously costly. These Daiso ones are about AU $3 a packet. I also buy Daiso hand wipes that are fragrance free and alcohol free, and their shower caps are good too for when I don’t want to get my hair wet.


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