While you may be rinsing your makeup sponge after use (hopefully), you’re only getting rid of the top layer of makeup. Hate to break it to you, but there’s probably something vile that is trapped inside (bacteria & germs—yuck!) and hiding in the inner crevices of your blender. And, if you’re getting acne on your cheeks, the truth is, your dirty tools or phones are to blame!
But fret not, ahead, we suggest using any three of these techniques to clean out your make sponge or beauty blender, without taking too much of your time.
1. Cleaning your makeup sponges with soap
Whether you prefer to use a liquid cleanser or a bar of soap is up to you, but both methods will give you the same squeaky-clean result.
- Step 1: Wet your sponge. Squeeze your blending sponge under running water until it expands and is completely soaked.
- Step 2: Add the cleanser. If you’re using a liquid cleanser, squirt the soap directly onto the sponge and begin massaging, pressing, and pushing it into the palm of your wet hand. If you’re using a bar soap, rub the sponge back and forth against the bar while applying pressure to build up a lather.
- Step 3: Rinse. Once the soapy suds have turned into a makeup-y mess, you’re ready to rinse. Squeeze the sponge underneath clean water until the water runs clear, then set it aside to dry.
2. Cleaning your makeup sponges with soak-ing technique
Soak your sponge in liquid cleanser, then follow with a gentle scrub with bar soap to remove every last bit of gunky residue.
- Step 1: Soak. Squirt a few drops of liquid cleanser into a small bowl with warm water, submerging the dirty sponge into the soapy solution. Let it soak for a few minutes before moving to step 2.
- Step 2: Scrub. Work your sponge into the soap bar, paying special attention to the areas with deep stains. Once you have a lather going, use your fingers to massage the soap deeper into the sponge.
- Step 3: Rinse. Once the sponge starts oozing old makeup, run it under clean water to rinse. Give it a couple of squeezes to wash out all the soap. Set aside to dry.
3. Cleaning your makeup sponges with microwave
“Microwaving the sponge in soapy water is essentially like a supercharged version of putting it in your washing machine, which uses hot water and soap to cleanse fabrics,” says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. “The microwave energy will also likely kill any microorganisms that may be growing on the sponge.”
- Step 1: Make a soapy water mixture. First, mix a few squirts of a mild soap (dish soap or baby shampoo will work) with water in a microwave-safe cup. You can eyeball it when it comes to measurements—just make sure there’s enough soapy solution to cover the sponge fully.
- Step 2: Wet the sponge. Give the sponge a few squeezes in the water to pre-wet it, then fully submerge it in the cup.
- Step 3: Zap it. Microwave the cup for about a minute, waiting at least 30 seconds for the cup to cool before grabbing it from the microwave. The soapy water will have transformed into liquid makeup residue, and your gross sponge will look just like new.
- Step 4: Wring it out. Once the water cools, rinse and wring out the sponge under running water, then set it aside to dry.