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How to Deep Clean Beauty Blenders and Remove Bacteria

Updated
If your beauty blender isn’t making you feel beautiful, it might be time to clean it.

Makeup can make a person feel powerful, beautiful, and confident. But if you don’t keep your makeup tools clean, you can end up with patchy foundation or bad breakouts.

Beauty blenders are a popular makeup tool. They make it easy to apply foundation for a smooth and flawless finish. But if you don’t keep it clean, you can end up spreading dirt, oil, and bacteria across your skin.

We’ll show you five easy methods for how to clean your beauty blender and makeup sponges at home.

How to Clean a Beauty Blender in 10 Minutes

Soak your makeup sponge in water until it absorbs it. Apply soap to your hand and gently massage the makeup sponge into it, repeating on all sides. Continue until the sponge is clean. Rinse the beauty blender under water until it runs clear, then squeeze out all excess water. Air dry on an absorbent towel overnight.


How Often Should You Clean a Beauty Blender?

We recommend cleaning your beauty blender every week, especially if you use it every day. If you don’t use it every day, aim to clean it every seven uses.

If you need motivation, here’s a gross fact. If you don’t keep it clean, makeup sponges harbor harmful bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli (1). In one study, beauty blenders were the most unhygienic of all makeup tools. This included mascara, lip gloss, and more.

Beauty blenders had the highest rate of fungi, with almost 60 percent of used beauty blenders containing this. Not only is this quite a horrifying thought, but this can lead to acne breakouts and other inflammatory skin conditions.

So if you feel you are suffering breakout after breakout — it might be that your beauty blender needs a clean.

How To Clean Beauty Blender

Now that you know the importance of cleaning your makeup products let’s get into how to wash beauty blenders and makeup sponges. We have five different methods to share, depending on what cleaning product you want to use. But all of these methods are straightforward and quick.

  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

Genius Hack

Pop your beauty blender into a sock, tie it tight, and put it in the washing machine with your next load of laundry.

1. With Soap and Water

The first method is nice and easy. Soap and water will do the trick! You can use bar soap or dish soap, whatever you prefer. Bar soap is more gentle, so if you already have sensitive skin, this would be the better option.

  1. Soak the sponge: Saturate the sponge in warm water so that it absorbs a lot of it. You will notice the sponge gets larger.
  2. Apply soap: If you’re using bar soap, keep the sponge and soap running under water as you do this. Scrub the sponge against the bar of soap, repeating on all sides. You will see the soap suds up against the sponge, which is a good sign. Continue until the sponge is visibly clean. If you’re using dish soap or hand soap, apply it directly to the beauty blender. Massage the soap in with your hands, rubbing until the sponge is visibly clean. You may need to repeat this a few times and top up it up with running water before the job is done.
  3. Rinse and squeeze: Run the beauty blender under water again, squeezing to remove excess water, soap, and dirt. Continue until the water runs clear.
  4. Dry overnight: Squeeze all excess water out. Lay the sponge on a towel overnight. Only use it again once it’s thoroughly dry.

If you’re looking for the best soap for this method, try pure castile bar soap. It’s gentle, moisturizing, and comes in pleasant scents.

2. By Soaking In Cleaning Solution

The next option is to soak the sponge in a cleaning solution made specifically for cleaning makeup tools.

A few trusted options include:

Once you choose a product, read the instructions before following our steps. In general, this will be the cleaning method:

  1. Soak the sponge: Saturate the beauty blender, letting it absorb water until it’s visibly larger.
  2. Apply the cleanser to your hand: Apply the cleanser directly into your hand. Scrub the sponge into the cleanser, lathering it up. Make sure to rotate the sponge, so that you clean all of the sides. Continue doing this until the sponge is clean. Apply more of the cleaning solution and repeat if necessary.
  3. Rinse and squeeze: Rinse the beauty blender out under the tap and squeeze. Remove all soap residue and dirt. Continue doing this until the water runs clear. If you need to repeat step two, go for it.
  4. Dry overnight: Squeeze the sponge until all excess water is removed. Lay it on a towel to dry thoroughly overnight.

Top Tip

If you use your beauty blender every day, do this cleaning regime immediately after applying your makeup. This gives you around 24 hours for it to dry before you need to use it again. This will ensure it’s 100 percent dry for you.

3. In the Microwave

Here’s a cool cleaning hack for you. Do you know how to wash makeup sponges in the microwave? We’re here to show you.

  1. Prepare: Start by pouring some water into a microwave-safe cup. Add a few drops of gentle liquid soap. Ensure the sponge fits in the cup and can be completely submerged in the water.
  2. Microwave: Pop the cup with the beauty blender in the microwave for 60 seconds. Leave it to cool for a few minutes before taking it out. When you take it out, the water will be dirty, but the sponge should be clean.
  3. Rinse: Rinse the sponge under cold water. If the water doesn’t run clear, repeat the above steps.
  4. Dry: Once the makeup sponge is clean, squeeze out all excess water. Let it dry overnight on a towel.

This method is quick, easy, and it can even disinfect your beauty blender.

4. With Silicone Mitt

There are some pretty funky cleaning gadgets on the market. You may have heard of a silicone mitt that works well at cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges. You wear it over your hand and massage your beauty blender into it. It’s excellent at getting a deeper clean but also saves your hand from coming into contact with cleansers. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll appreciate this.

  1. Read the manual: Before getting started, read the manual that comes with your mitt. It will explain what each area of the mitt is for. Usually, there’s a washing area, rinsing area, and refined areas for achieving a deeper clean.
  2. Soak the sponge: Saturate the sponge with water until it’s absorbed water and is visibly larger.
  3. Apply cleanser: Put the mitt on your hand. With your other hand, apply the cleanser of choice. You might use soap, dish liquid, or a specific makeup cleanser.
  4. Massage makeup sponge: Massage your makeup sponge into the chosen area of the mitt. You may want to opt for each area in the order of wash, refine, and rinse. Apply more water and cleanser if necessary. Massage the sponge gently until it’s clean.
  5. Rinse and squeeze: Run the sponge under water and massage it into the rinse area of the mitt until the water runs clear. Squeeze it well to ensure that you’re removing all of the dirt, oil, cleanser, and water.
  6. Dry: Once the sponge is clean, squeeze out excess water and lay it on a towel to dry overnight.

5. With Cleansing Oil

If you wear oil-based makeup or have oily skin, a cleansing oil will work wonders at cleaning your beauty blender. Oil breaks down oil, so this is a great choice.

Here are some cleansing oils that you might love:

  1. Massage oil: Without wetting your makeup sponge, massage a few drops of oil into the sponge. Use your fingers to rub it in. You’ll notice the makeup coming off. Continue until you’ve removed as much makeup as possible.
  2. Clean sponge: Using any of the above methods, you’ll now have to wash the sponge without oil. This will give your sponge a deep clean once you’ve removed stubborn makeup stains.

When Should I Throw Away My Beauty Blender?

We recommend throwing away your makeup sponges and replacing them 2-3 times a year. Replacing them every 4-6 months is crucial for your skin. As mentioned, beauty blenders harbor a lot of nasty bacteria. You don’t want to spread that around your skin every day.

If you’ve not replaced yours in the last six months, don’t bother cleaning it. Toss it and buy new ones.

Tips For Caring For Beauty Blenders

If you want to see your beauty blender get to the six-month mark, you should do some essential things regularly to maintain it.

  1. Clean weekly: Clean your beauty blender every week. If you’re going to be doing it this often, use a gentle cleanser, such as a bar of natural soap.
  2. Clean it gently: Don’t vigorously rub, scrub, or pull the beauty blender. Be very gentle when cleaning it. Even when you’re squeezing out excess water, don’t push too hard. You could end up tearing the sponge.
  3. Dry it thoroughly: It’s crucial that you dry the sponges thoroughly. Otherwise, they could end up growing mold and mildew. To ensure that the sponge is dry, leave it in a well-ventilated spot on an absorbent towel.
  4. Keep it in a case: You can get handy affordable beauty blender cases for adequate storage. Putting your beauty blender in a case prevents it from absorbing liquid and other makeup in your makeup bag. It keeps it clean and minimizes the chance of wear and tear.

FAQs

How Do You Clean a Beauty Blender When Switching Products?

For example, if you need to clean your beauty blender between using a foundation and a cream blush, you can’t get it wet. It would take too long to dry. While you can use a different blender or a different side of your current blender, there is one cleaning hack you can try.

There are cleaning sprays that don’t saturate your sponge but do enough to clean it up between products. For instance, the BlenderCleanser liquid cleans your sponge and protects against 99.7 percent of harmful germs.

However, the best method is to have one sponge for foundation, one for blush, and so on!

Should I Clean My Beauty Blender With Hot or Cold Water?

Use warm water. Cold water won’t be as effective or gentle on the sponge. Hot water will be too hot on your hands as you’re cleaning.

Deep Clean

If you want to sanitize your beauty blender, pour some boiling water into a cup and submerge your beauty blender in the water for a few minutes.

How Do You Dry a Beauty Blender After Washing It?

Gently squeeze out all the excess water. Lay it on an absorbent towel in a well-ventilated area overnight. Don’t use it again until it’s 100 percent dry.

How Do You Keep a Beauty Blender From Molding?

Don’t store it in an enclosed dark space until it’s 100 percent dry. Always air dry it in a well-ventilated spot. If you do need to travel with it before it’s dry, put it in a breathable case.

If you notice your beauty blender is moldy, replace it immediately.

Why is My Beauty Blender Not Expanding?

Some people like to dampen their beauty blender before applying their makeup, as this can leave a smoother finish. If you dampen yours and it’s not expanding, it’s probably because it’s a knock-off beauty blender. The foam might not be as high-quality. It’s not a game-changer, though. Wash and use it as normal. Next time, if you want one that expands, opt for a different brand when you are replacing your current makeup sponge. We suggest Real Techniques — these sponges are highly rated with self-cleaning foam technology.


Better Blender

When you take the time to study how to clean makeup sponges properly, you’ll have much better skincare and makeup routine. Not only will it allow your makeup to look smoother, but you’ll also get rid of harmful bacteria within the sponge.

Make sure to clean your beauty blender every week or every seven uses. Dry it thoroughly and never store it while it’s still damp. Last but not least, keep it in a specialized case to protect it in your makeup bag.

Clean your blender with these DIY methods and enjoy feeling flawless once again!

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!