How To Clean Makeup Sponges: 5 Most Effective And Easy Ways

by Gorgeousgirl Staff, Updated July 15, 2022
How To Clean Makeup Sponges: 5 Most Effective And Easy Ways

Have you ever bordered about the need to clean your makeup sponge or how to clean makeup sponges? Or are you one who does not see the need to clean makeup sponge regularly or at all?

Getting and keeping that good look goes beyond the acquisition of your essential makeup bag or makeup tools and applying them. Looking your best as always also involves having an excellent knowledge of how to wash makeup sponges or beauty blender. Here in this article, I present 5 most effective and easy ways to clean blending sponge without having to break the bank or a sweat.

1) What Is a Makeup Sponge?

makeup sponges
Whatever the purpose of your beauty treatment as long as it involves the application of foundation, cream blush, tinted moisturizer, light contour, powder, mascara and more you would need one form or shape of makeup sponge or the other. So, a makeup sponge refers to the tool you use in applying your makeup on your face. So, you should know how to clean makeup sponges.

Makeup tools come in different shape and sizes and made from polyurethane (PU) which is non-latex or latex (SBR) foam product. It depends on individual choice which of the two to use but the latex product is a bit springier in nature. The non-latex product comes softer and a lot easier to use in applying your makeup. And that’s why it is of grave importance to understand how to clean your makeup sponge.

2) Why Clean a Makeup Blending Sponge?

cleaning of makeup sponge
The how to clean a makeup sponge is as important as the why but let’s understand the why before we talk about the how. No doubt, for the average user, you apply your makeup at least one in a whole day of activities. For the more avid user, you tend to touch up like two to three times in a single day of activity. But for those whose looks a keen to them maybe due to the nature of the job or just plain obsessed with their looks they could go as much as four times or more in a single day.

One of the implications of more regular usage of makeup sponges would be that you end up with a dirty sponge. A dirty sponge could mean you have a mixture of makeup in different colors from your previous application activities. Regular usage of your makeup sponge could result in clogging the sponge and making it less effective. And don’t forget also that makeup blenders do pick up bacteria and other oils and chemicals you spray on your hair and face. Hence it becomes necessary to know how to clean makeup sponges. Here are some of the things that could happen to you when you use a dirty sponge:

A. Bacteria build-up

B. Breakouts

C. Skin Irritations or Allergy.

D. Clogged Pores

Before we move on can I share a secret? Do you know washing your makeup sponge and makeup brushes can save you from likely skin breakouts caused by bacteria build-up, yes that’s what the experts say. Besides, regular washing of makeup blenders has the potential to make your skin look glowing, healthier and brighter.

Related: How To Apply Makeup Like Pro? Get Best Makeup Tips From Makeup Artist

3) When Should You Clean Your Makeup Sponge?

when sponge is dirty
Now, since you could end up with a dirty sponge due to regular application of makeup let’s consider how often you should clean your makeup sponge. It’s quite funny but we sometimes do our best to look good and get caught up with all the razzmatazz around us and then neglect the tools that help us look our best.

No, not to worry it’s not a big issue as we’re going to take some easy steps to get the job done efficiently. But for now, just understand that it’s in your best interest to wash your makeup blender daily if you are an avid or heavy user. But for light to a rare user then maybe twice a week should work. One last thing, I will recommend replacing your makeup sponge after using for three months as it should have started wearing out or become less effective.

So, how about let’s take you through some simple ways on how to clean makeup sponges next.

4) 5 Most Effective And Easy Ways To Clean Your Makeup Sponge

liquid soap and shampoo

A. Using Liquid Soap And Gentle Shampoo

On how to wash makeup sponges, using a mild liquid soap such as your dish soap or gentle shampoo in cleaning your makeup sponge could be very helpful in removing debris and makeup build-up.


i. Apply warm water on the makeup blender till it is dampened

ii. Apply few drops of liquid soap or shampoo on your palm

iii. Place the makeup sponge on palm then keep rubbing the sponge and the dish soap as if to massage the sponge between your palms.

iv. Rinse the reusable sponge under warm water to remove the soap or shampoo.

v. Repeat the process till the water from the sponge becomes clear not colored.

vi. Wrinkle out water from the sponge to make it damp

vii. Allow to air dry overnight before returning to makeup bag to avoid further dirt.

B. Using Bar Soap

Of course, you know bar soap is more of a solid soap or cleaning agent and works slightly differently from the dish soap on how to clean a makeup sponge. I will recommend unscented soap for the job as there is no need for the fragrance on your makeup sponge.


i. Dampen your sponge with a little water

ii. Run your bar soap under water.

iii. Apply proportionate amount to your wet palm to create soapy situation

iv. Place the sponge between palms and massage the lather into it thoroughly.

v. Rinse the sponge of the lather.

vi. Repeat the process till the water from sponge is clear

vii. Squeeze out water and air-dry overnight.

C. Deep Clean In Warm Water

clean of makeup sponge with warm water
One vital way on how to clean blending sponge is by deep cleaning them. Even if you wash your beauty blenders daily you still need to deep clean for better results. Surface washing most times do not remove the residues entirely.


i. Get a separate bowl for each makeup sponge.

ii. Dip in warm water for a few minutes and the wriggle.

iii. Dip into the water several times till it’s clear.

iv. Run under warm water from the tap a couple of times to help push out the residue of makeup products.

v. Squeeze and allow to dry overnight.

D. The Brush Method

On how to clean makeup sponges, sometimes you try to remove sticky or oily makeup build-up on the sponge by gently dusting the sponge with little or no effect. Well, you can achieve a better result by using an old makeup brush or a baby toothbrush with soft bristles. So, to know how to clean blending sponge to this:


i. Ensure your brush has no residue or bacteria presence by sterilizing.

ii. Apply little pressure by bringing the brush and the sponge into contact.

iii. Carry out the process from right to left repeatedly.

iv. You could also adopt the clockwise and anti-clockwise motion to eliminate dirt.

v. Check for improvement to determine when its okay.

vi. Remember the sponge has a delicate fabric so tread with caution. The above method works best for light to avid users, not heavy makeup users.

E. Heat Sterilization Method

heat sterilization method for makeup
How to clean your makeup sponge does not end with cleaning daily. Sometimes even with all the above exercises bacteria build-up still manages to occur. So in a case where you are not yet ready to let go of the sponge try heat sterilization. Heat sterilization also used to remove ingrown pimples.


i. Pour about 1-inch water into a microwave bowl

ii. Dip the sponge into the center of the bowl to get soaked.

iii. Allow to microwave for 30 seconds.

iv. Observe the sponge while in the microwave.

v. It could inflate a bit or smoke-out a bit but if it grows bigger than normal size stops it immediately.

vi. Allow to cool off

vii. Use a clean towel to dampen.

viii. Allow to air dry overnight.

ix. You should still wash the sponge using any of the above methods to remove makeup as this process helps kill bacteria not remove makeup.

x. Use this procedure at least once a month, more if you notice acne breakout of a foul odor from the sponge.

It is not enough to know how to clean makeup sponges but how to preserve makeup sponge as well. I will recommend your store your makeup sponge in a well-ventilated place to such as a mesh bag. Do not store in plastic makeup bag, drawer or medicine cabinet to avoid bacteria infestation or growth.

“Hope you find the post helpful and we are excited to hear what you think of it!”

By Gorgeousgirl Staff

At GorgeousGirl, our staff is a collection of highly skilled cosmetologists, estheticians, and higher education professionals. Our personnel works together to satisfy your fancies.