How to clean makeup sponges

Here we’ll share tips on how to clean beauty blenders and get them bacteria free.

Updated 24 June 2019

makeup sponges in varying colours

Did you know that your make-up sponge doesn't just absorb foundation but also harbours more bacteria than you'd care to imagine? This means that it’s important to understand the best way to go about cleaning your beauty blender. Here we’ll share a step-by-step method for how to clean makeup sponge-based applicators, as well as tips for items that you could use instead of a sponge!

A quick hack for cleaning your beauty blender is to place it in soapy water and pop it in the microwave for one minute! Take care when removing it as boiling water can scald.

How to make an easy DIY makeup sponge cleaner

To make your own beauty sponge cleaner you need just two simple ingredients:

  • Antibacterial washing- up liquid
  • Olive oil

Using these ingredients follow the below steps to create the perfect homemade cleaner to clean your makeup sponge.

  1. Mix two-parts washing-up liquid with one-part olive oil.
  2. Swirl them together until the two are fully mixed.
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How do you clean your beauty blender and brushes?

When it comes to understanding how to clean foundation sponge-based applicators there are some easy steps for you to follow. To clean your makeup sponge:

  1. Dampen the sponge with lukewarm water.
  2. Squeeze out any excess water from the sponge as it should only be damp.
  3. Massage your homemade cleaner into the sponge until it is fully absorbed.
  4. Rinse under lukewarm water.
  5. As the sponge is highly absorbent, you may need to repeat steps two to four until the water runs clear.
  6. Leave to air dry.
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When should you replace your makeup sponge?

Now you know how to clean your makeup sponge, it’s important to know when to replace them.

  • Make-up sponges should be replaced every two to three months as they are highly absorbent, and even after thorough cleaning they can still harbour bacteria.

Here are some alternatives you could try next time you need to replace your make-up blender.

  • Your finger. It may seem obvious, but your hands are so easy to clean and don’t need replacing, making them the most sustainable tool you can use. They’re also free!
  • Oval brushes. These are soft with fine bristles and so are perfect for blending.

Now you have a step-by-step guide for cleaning your beauty blender. We hope you now understand how to clean your makeup sponge, as well as when to bin it and replace it with alternative products.

Key Steps

  • Create a homemade makeup sponge cleaner using antibacterial washing-up liquid and olive oil.
  • Run your make-up sponges under lukewarm water before cleaning.
  • Gently massage your homemade cleaner into the sponge.
  • Always air-dry your sponges to prevent damaging them.
  • Replace your sponges every 2–3 months.
Originally published 31 March 2019