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How to clean makeup sponges

From olive oil hacks to microwave tricks, discover the best ways to clean beauty blenders, makeup sponges, and brushes to ensure they remain bacteria-free.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

colourful makeup sponges

Key steps

  • Create a homemade makeup sponge and brush cleaner using antibacterial washing-up liquid and olive oil.

  • Run your makeup sponges under lukewarm water before massaging in the homemade cleaner.

  • For brushes, mix straight into the neat solution of your homemade cleaner.

  • Always air-dry your sponges and brushes to prevent damaging them.

Beauty blenders, sponges and brushes are versatile makeup items. Not only do they make your foundation last longer, they facilitate the application of face cream and primer for a better makeup finish, and even coverage. But, if not washed, they’re the perfect harbour for bacteria. The last thing you want is for your beauty applicators to give you a breakout of spots. Discover below how to clean makeup sponges and brushes, and how often you should wash your beauty blender and brush.  

Make sure you wash your beauty blenders once a week and replace them every three months.

How often should I wash my beauty blender and makeup brushes?

It’s common to underestimate the answer to this question. However, if a reusable makeup sponge or brush is part of your daily routine, then you should wash it at least once a week. Ideally, they should be replaced every three to four months of use. If you are prone to spot breakouts, then it’s best to wash your makeup sponge, blender and brush after every use.

What to use to wash makeup brushes, sponges and blenders: DIY cleaner

When it comes to deciding what to use to wash makeup brushes, sponges and blenders, it’s easy to get lost with so many products out there. But here’s a homemade recipe that will ensure your makeup applicators are restored after each use. All you need is these two ingredients:

  • Antibacterial washing-up liquid

  • Olive oil

The Poll

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Mix two-parts washing-up liquid with one-part olive oil. Swirl them together until the two ingredients are fully mixed.

This solution can be used on both of our methods below, for cleaning makeup sponges and beauty blenders. Keep on reading to find out how to wash your makeup sponge with your DIY makeup sponge cleaner.

How to wash makeup sponges and brushes: Method 1

Don’t just simply try washing them with soap and cold water from the tap. You’ll find that if you do this, hardly any foundation and grease will come off your beauty blender. Here is an easy step-by-step guide on how to clean your beauty blender:

  1. Dampen the sponge with lukewarm water.

  2. Squeeze out any excess water.

  3. Massage your homemade cleaner into the sponge until the blender has fully absorbed the mixture.

  4. Rinse under lukewarm water.

  5. Repeat the above steps two or three times until the water runs clear after rinsing the sponge.

  6. Leave it to air-dry.

For your makeup brushes:

  1. Before washing, mix the brush straight into the neat solution of your homemade cleaner.

  2. Rinse under lukewarm water.

  3. Repeat the above steps two or three times until the water runs clear after rinsing the sponge.

  4. Leave it to air-dry.

How to wash beauty blenders (but not brushes): Method 2

If you’re wondering how to clean your beauty blenders and brushes quickly and effectively, we’ve got the answer:

  1. Place your beauty blender in soapy water and pop it in the microwave for one minute.

  2. Wait for the hot water to cool before picking up the sponge. Rinse it all off with running tap water.

  3. Alternatively, another tip on how to wash your beauty blender is to leave it soaking in soapy water overnight.

  4. Wash the soap out properly so that when you use the blender again, it won’t cause skin irritation.

With these two methods and your own DIY makeup sponge cleaner, you can be sure that your beauty blenders will be free from bacteria. Remember, stick to Method 1 for your makeup brushes, which may not be suitable for the microwave. For more tips on how to clean makeup stains, keep on reading Cleanipedia.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Originally published