How to clean makeup sponges is easy… right?
Eh, it depends.
If you’ve googled “how to clean your makeup sponge” recently, you’d see so many different suggestions for cleaning them—from bar soap to baby shampoo to dish detergent, PLUS hacks that include heating your makeup sponge up in the microwave. But which one is actually the best?
While product is important, how to clean a beauty blender properly also depends on your technique more than you think. Here’s how I wash my makeup sponges and get them from looking nasty to soft and clean again.
Just while we’re here—you know why you need to wash your beauty blender, right? Just like makeup brushes, makeup sponges accumulate a lot of crap on them. Old makeup, skin oils, bacteria
I’ve tried all the ‘life hack’ products – bar soaps, hand soap, and baby shampoo, but after trying just one thing the Daiso Puff & Sponge Detergent* is literally the only thing able to get everything 100% clean. You can see these sponges are absolutely COVERED in foundation, and one still has some translucent powder on it. Just wait till you see the after photo!
How to Clean a Makeup Sponge
Step One: Pre-Soak
First off, it’s important to soak your sponges before washing them. It softens up any of that grimy build-up so it’s easier to wash away, using up less of your chosen makeup sponge cleaner. I like to use a clean container or my sink for this—I just fill it up with the hottest water that I can handle, and let the sponges soak in there as I get started. How to clean your beauty blender starts with the right prep!
The reason why I prefer doing this over putting a beauty blender in the microwave is safety. When you put a beauty blender in the microwave, it gets SERIOUSLY hot all the way through. And even when you think it’s cooled down enough to squeeze, the water in the middle is still practically boiling—I’ve nearly burned myself a few times by doing this, and trust me it’s not fun!
This IS a good technique for sanitizing your sponge, and I think it’s a good idea to do it once a month to really zap bacteria, but I’m not a fan of doing it every single time I wash my makeup sponges.
Step Two: Get Foamy
When my sponge is totally soaked, I add a few drops of makeup sponge cleaner and massage the sponge to foam it up. Yes, there are a lot of tips about using baby shampoo, dish soap, and even leftover bar soap. I mean, yes, all those things are going to work (I used to use baby shampoo), but there’s just something about the Daiso Puff and Sponge Cleaner that gets my makeup sponges clean in a way that the others don’t. And don’t be put off by the small bottle size—it somehow gets all my sponges cleaner, with less product.
Step Three: Rinse and Repeat
After foaming up your sponge and massaging out as much makeup as possible, rinse it well and repeat if necessary. I’ve never needed to wash a makeup sponge more than twice with this stuff—and I remember washing them used to be such a chore when I used other cleansers.
Another thing that I love about it is how quickly it dissolves makeup on sponges—using anything else literally takes FOREVER. Another thing that’s great about this is that it does actually disinfect the sponge, preventing mold spores from taking hold. I know of SO many people who have had their sponges go moldy, and I 100% believe using this on the reg helps prevent that! I also really appreciate how no fragrance has been added—I didn’t really like how other products would leave everything scented.
Step Four: Dry
Now that you’ve rinsed any leftover soap and makeup out of your sponge, put it in a well aired place to dry. I got some spiral egg cups to use as sponge holders that I put my sponges in while drying, but a paper towel on your windowsill works just as well as a drying spot. I do like keeping whichever sponge I’m using at the time in the cup holder though—it ensures it dries every time after using, which is so important for preventing any mold and mildew build up.
After all those cleansing tips, here’s how my sponges looked after I washed them.
So honestly… If that before & after doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. I think it’s worth mentioning that the two pink sponges in the photo had been stained & dirty for months. And no, I wasn’t using them while they were that filthy! They were some cheapies I had purchased that turned out to be really poor quality—way too hard to use on the face, even when dampened down. So I put them in a drawer and put off cleaning them for ages until I thought to write up this post on how to clean a makeup sponge!
What brush/sponge cleanser do you use at the moment?