How to Clean Makeup Sponges

Time-Efficient and Affordable Ways to Clean Makeup Sponges

How to Clean Makeup Sponges

So while I was going through my daily scroll through Amazon this morning, I couldn't help but notice how many makeup removal products there are and how they are all targeted towards only makeup brushes. There were also only gel products meant for your face. I felt like makeup sponges were being heavily neglected, which is not great because sponges are the most likely home for gross bacteria compared to other makeup tools that are left unclean.

Leaving your sponge unclean can cause a whole lot of problems. Here's just a few out of the many things that happen after neglecting your makeup sponge:


The most important thing to take away from this post is that dirty brushes and sponges can lead to breakouts. Dabbing a dirt and bacteria-infested sponge all over your face can cause an overload of microbes that your skin isn't used to handling. That can trigger your skin to try and control the overloaded layer by reacting to it with a rash, or blistering, or skin eruptions. And do you know what that means? Yes my dear readers, that means breakouts galore! If you're noticing bumps popping up in the same spots that you use your brushes and sponges, it's time to reevaluate your cleanliness.

Viral Infections:

Reapplying your own dirt and oils with your filthy brushes already upsets your skin enough. Sharing cosmetics and brushes with others makes this situation even worse. Sharing your brush with anyone else complicates the issue by introducing their normal microbes onto your skin, which may not tolerate the "foreign" microbes well, causing a reaction. This reaction can be as small as a breakout or as intense as catching an infection like pink eye or herpes. That is why sharing any bodily product in general tends to be just a huge no no.


Very simple. When you don't wash your brushes, they can accumulate bacteria, dust, and dirt. You reapply the microbes that live on your skin each time you use your unwashed makeup brushes. The problems can come when the brush you are using provides a moist, warm environment and becomes a petri dish that help the microbes breed faster in the hairs of the brush. These microbe colonies can then get out of hand. Allowing dirty brushes to become breeding grounds for gross bacteria sounds pretty yucky if I say so myself.

I did however find this product which is a super cute washing machine style product that cleans makeup sponges.

Click here to check it out

This was the only product I could find though that was targeted to help clean our makeup sponges. So I went ahead to look into affordable, time efficient ways to clean these pesky sponges.

Here's what I found:

Way #1: The Traditional Soap Method

  1. Step 1: Place your dirty makeup sponge under warm water and give it a good squeeze to rinse out excess makeup.
  2. Step 2: Wet your bar of soap and rub it in your hands until it produces a soapy lather.
  3. Step 3: Rub your blender along the soap, making sure to soap up every part of the sponge.
  4. Step 4: Squeeze the blender to make sure the cleanser has effectively made its way through the center.
  5. Step 5: Squeeze and rinse until sponge is clean.
  6. Step 6: Set out to dry.

Way #2: The Microwave Method

  1. Step 1: Fill a cup with soapy water.
  2. Step 2: Clean your sponge and then put it in the cup of water.
  3. Step 3: Squeeze it until it's fully-saturated.
  4. Step 4: Heat the cup for one minute in the microwave.
  5. Step 5: Let it sit for five minutes until water cools, then squeeze it out.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT forget the soapy water step, otherwise you'll end up with this:

ALSO! Microwaving water for a minute will boil it. WAIT for it to cool down before taking it out, otherwise you will get burned.

Those are my tips for cleaning! It is best to clean your sponges at least one a week or once every two weeks. Don't keep those sponges forever though, as they are best to be only used for about 2-3 months maximum.

Storing is just as important as cleaning so keep an eye out for a post from me about how to properly store your sponges so they don't get so gross as quickly.

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Heather Clark
Heather Clark
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Heather Clark

Heather is a film student and model living in the midwest. She loves anything entertainment and art related.

See all posts by Heather Clark