How to Clean Makeup Sponges [Detailed Guide]


If it seems like your skin is breaking out every time you’re using your beauty sponge, you’re probably wondering how to take care of your beauty sponges. So, what’s the deal? How often should you be cleaning your sponge or beauty blender? And is there a better way to do it than just using soap and water? To answer all these questions, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide on how to clean makeup sponges, so keep reading!

How to Clean Makeup Sponges? [4 Methods]

It’s important to clean your makeup sponges regularly, as they can easily become contaminated with bacteria and harm your skin.

Here are a few methods for cleaning them:

1. Using a Soap

This is the most common way to clean a makeup sponge. While soap is a little harder on the skin, it’s also the most powerful way of cleaning the buildup off your makeup sponge. Whether you use bar soap, liquid soap, or a makeup sponge cleanser, all of them will give you the spic-and-span sponge. Here’s how you do it:

  • Wet Your Sponge

Wet it under warm running water until completely soaked. While doing this, squeeze it a few times, so some of the dirt can come out.

  • Add the Soap

Squeeze a small amount of soap on top of the sponge, and start working it in with your fingers. If you’re using bar soap, rub the sponge against the bar from every side. Then, rub it all over your hands in circular motions to create lather and wash the beauty blender. You can also use an old toothbrush for this step if you want to make sure every nook and cranny is clean.

  • Rinse It Off

Once you’ve got a good lather going, rinse the sponge thoroughly with warm water. And I mean, thoroughly—make sure to get all the soap off, as residue can cause skin irritation.

  • Repeat if Necessary

If your sponge still looks dirty after rinsing it off, repeat the steps until it’s clean.

2. Using a Silicone Pad

If you want to clean your makeup sponge with soap, but your hands aren’t enough, a silicone pad is a good option. The silicone pad has a ribbed texture that can help deep clean the sponge, and you can buy it cheaply from most drugstores or online. Here’s what you should do with it:

  • Wet the Sponge And the Pad

Soak both the sponge and the silicone pad in warm water.

  • Add Soap

You know the drill for cleaning makeup sponges: put a small amount of liquid cleaner on the sponge, or rub it against the soap bar. Lather the beauty blender with soap, and make sure its whole surface is saturated.

  • Rub the Sponge on the Pad

With circular motions, rub the sponge against the pad. This will help remove all the makeup and dirt. Just be careful not to push the sponge hard into the ribbed texture, as this can cause it to tear down.

  • Rinse It Off

After you’re sure there’s no makeup residue left, rinse the sponge until the water runs clear. Don’t forget to rinse your silicone pad too.

3. In a Microwave

This is a less common way to clean a beauty blender, but it can be very effective, as the microwave heat can kill any germs and mildew growing on the sponge. Here are the steps:

  • Prepare a Soaking Solution

Fill a bowl or cup with warm water and liquid soap or face cleanser, and soak the sponge for a few minutes to soften any built-up makeup or dirt. Or, if you’re more on the natural side, and you don’t mind the smell—add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water instead of soap. The vinegar will help kill any bacteria on the sponge, making it the best way to clean makeup brushes and sponges.

  • Microwave It

Place the bowl in the microwave and microwave for one minute. This will help sanitize the sponge. After the minute ends, wait for at least 30 seconds until the cup and the liquid cool down.

  • Rinse It Off

Take the sponge out of the bowl and rinse it off with warm water. Make sure to get rid of all the soap or vinegar, as residue can cause acne and skin infections.

4. In a Washing Machine

If you’re feeling lazy or you have a lot of sponges to clean, you can throw them all in the washing machine. Here’s how to clean beauty blender products in the washing machine:

  • Separate the Sponges

Just as you do with your clothes, separate the dirty sponges from the clean ones before washing, as you don’t want your clean ones absorbing soap residue.

  • Soak the Sponges

Fill a container or a bowl with warm water and add liquid soap, face cleanser, or even mild dish soap. Let the dirty sponges soak in the solution for a few minutes, making the cleaning of the beauty blender easier.

  • Wash Them

Put the mucky sponges in the washing machine and wash them on a gentle cycle with cold water and no spin. If you’re afraid they might get ruined, put them in a pillowcase and zip it up, or put them in a clean sock that you’ll tie at the opening with a headband.

DID YOU KNOW: Apart from keeping them clean, properly storing your makeup sponges is an important part of their maintenance as well. If you travel a lot, get yourself a good travel makeup bag to store your makeup and sponges appropriately.

Drying Your Sponge

There are many ways on how to clean a makeup sponge, but if you’re looking for a more thorough clean, the methods above should do the trick! However, the last and most important step for all of the different ways of cleaning is drying the sponge. There are a few different ways to dry your makeup sponges. You can either air-dry them or use a hair dryer.

  • Air drying is the most common way to dry makeup sponges. After you wash your makeup sponge, all you have to do is place them on top of the fabric or a paper towel and let them air-dry. To speed up the drying, you can also put them in the sun. It usually takes about 12 hours for them to dry completely.
  • Drying your makeup sponges with a hair dryer is another option—just don’t use the hot setting, and don’t hold the hair dryer too close to the sponge, or it will melt.
DID YOU KNOW: Beauty sponges are hydrophilic, which means they absorb water, and wetting them before makeup application can reduce makeup absorption.

Key Takeaways

The most common ways of cleaning makeup sponges are with soap, a silicone pad, in the microwave and in the washing machine.
Clean your sponges regularly to get rid of any formed bacteria, in order to decrease skin irritation and breakouts.
One of the crucial steps of cleaning the beauty blender, sponges, and brushes is to dry them completely before using them.
The most optimal time to clean your makeup sponges is once a week.
Depending on how much you use it, and how well you care for it, a beauty blender can last anywhere from 3 to 6 months.

How Often Should You Wash Makeup Sponges?

Makeup sponges are often included in professional makeup sets, as they’re a great way to apply foundation, blush, and other cosmetics. However, it’s important to keep them clean so that you don’t spread bacteria around your face. There are a few different ways to clean your makeup sponges, and the best way depends on how often you’re using them. Ideally, you should clean your sponges after every use, but we know nobody has time for that. Therefore, the most optimal time to wash your makeup sponges and free them of bacteria is once a week. However, if you use them every day, and your skin breaks out regularly, create a routine for cleaning makeup brushes and sponges every night. Moreover, if you’re a makeup artist, it’s a must to clean the makeup sponge after every use.

DID YOU KNOW: To avoid skin irritations and keep the formula fresh and the surface uncontaminated, it’s really important to properly organize and store your makeup, brushes, and sponges. After each use, makeup sponges should be stored in separate, clean containers.

When to Replace a Makeup Sponge?

If you’re thinking your makeup sponge is on its last legs, It’s time for a checkup. Depending on how well you clean the makeup sponge, it can last anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Think of it like a calendar—when the seasons change, it’s time to change your sponge as well. However, this depends on how often you use them and how well you clean them. If you use them every day, they may only last a month or two, but if you only use them once a week, they may last for six months or more.

It’s important to replace your makeup sponge when it starts to look dirty or worn out, as the dirt and bacteria on the sponge can cause breakouts and other skin problems. So, if you’re not sure whether it’s time to replace or wash your makeup sponge, just take a look at it—if it doesn’t look clean enough or it’s starting to fall apart, it’s time for a new one.


Properly cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges is essential for keeping your skin healthy and free of bacteria. The best way to clean them is by using a gentle shampoo or soap, lukewarm water, and circular motions, making sure to rinse off and dry your sponge completely before you use it again. Never use hot water, and never put them in the dishwasher! For the best way to clean makeup brushes and sponges, make sure you clean them at least once a week. Happy blending!


How do you dry a makeup sponge?

The best way to dry a makeup sponge is by laying it flat on a towel and letting it air-dry. You can also put it in the sun to help speed up the drying process. Don’t use a hair dryer on high settings to dry your makeup sponge, as this can damage it.

What is the easiest way to clean a makeup brush and sponge?

The best way to clean makeup sponges and brushes is by using a gentle soap and warm water. Soak the brush or sponge in the soapy water for a few minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. Gently squeeze out any excess moisture, and lay it flat to dry. Make sure the brush or sponge is completely dry before using it again.

Can you clean makeup sponges with dish soap?

Of course, you can clean a beauty blender or makeup sponge with dish soap, but you should use a mild one, and not abrasive. After soaping, rinse it off with warm water and squeeze out any excess moisture.

How do you disinfect a face sponge?

To disinfect a face sponge, you can use a small amount of dish soap, or soak it in vinegar solution. You can also disinfect your sponge by microwaving it for about 20 seconds, just be sure to let it cool down before using it again.

Should you wash your makeup sponge after each use?

You don’t need to wash your makeup sponge after each use, but you should definitely give it a good washing every once in a while. How to clean makeup sponges and how often depends on how often you use them and how dirty they get, but once a week is generally a good rule of thumb.


My eyes rarely take a break from staring at my laptop's screen—I am Big Brother, scanning the web for news and information worth sharing. Full transparency—a substantial chunk of my screentime is also dedicated to watching TV shows, but balance is key, right? Writing is how I choose to share my findings with the world while keeping my love of language and creativity alive.

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