5 Easy Ways to Clean Your Makeup Sponges

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Wednesday October 19, 2022

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While no one needs makeup, using it is a great way to express your creativity and personal style. Makeup sponges are a great way to get a smooth application, but they can get caked with old makeup and bacteria over time. Thankfully, there are ways for how to clean makeup sponges without damaging them. Here are five easy cleaning methods. 

  1. Washing Machine 

Most makeup sponges are safe to go in the washing machine. 

To clean them this way, first place them in a lingerie bag or net and wash them on a gentle cycle with mild detergent. 

You can either air dry them by hanging the bag up or removing the sponges to dry them separately.

  1. Soap and Water

A simple yet effective method, soap and warm water are effective at cleaning your sponges. 

You can use any soap safe for the skin, including bar soap. If your face is sensitive, you should consider using a gentle or fragrance-free option. 

To clean your sponges, place them under running water until they expand to their full size. Create a lather by working liquid soap into them or rubbing them against a soap bar. 

Massage the soap into the sponge before rinsing it thoroughly under running water. While rinsing, squeeze the sponge to ensure no soap remains. 

  1. Microwave

Huge disclaimer: if you microwave your sponges without the proper steps, they will create a disastrous mess. However, this method is an excellent way to remove bacteria quickly. 

First, take a microwaveable bowl or mug and mix a few pumps of mild soap (no specific measurements are needed). Wet the sponges with running water before placing them in the mixture. 

Put the mug or cup into the microwave and turn it on for a minute. Let the dish cool before removing it. Microwaving the mixture draws out the makeup, leaving a clean sponge behind. Rinse any excess soap off the sponge with running water and set aside to air dry. 

  1. Soaking

An excellent way to break up stubborn, stuck-on makeup is to soak your brushes. 

Create a bath for your sponges in a small bowl or sink by combining warm water with soap. To kill bacteria, you can use boiling water. 

Place your sponges in the bath and let them soak for at least a few minutes. This should soften the makeup enough for you to remove it. 

Once you remove the excess makeup, you can squish the sponge in the bath to incorporate the soap throughout, scrubbing at any areas with remaining makeup. Once it’s clean, rinse the sponge in clean water, repeatedly squeezing it to get the soap out. 

Pat with a cloth before letting the sponge air dry. 

  1. Olive Oil 

Olive oil works as a great cleansing agent for sponges when combined with dish soap. Mix a two-to-one ratio of olive oil and dish soap before massaging it onto a dry makeup sponge. 

Let it soak in the remaining mixture for a few minutes before removing and rinsing under running water, squeezing the remaining soap. 

Pat the excess water off before setting the sponges out to air dry. 

When to Clean Your Makeup Sponges

You should rinse your sponges after every use and wash them every week if you regularly use them. 

If you don’t use them often, it’s good to clean them before every planned use. 

Keeping Your Sponges Clean

Cleaning your makeup sponges is a necessary step that keeps them sanitary and lets them last longer. 

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