Easy ways to make your go-to makeup sponge look good as new.

By Melanie Rud Chadwick
Updated April 10, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
Getty Images/beautyblender.com

OK, let’s get personal: When was the last time you cleaned your Beauty Blender? If you’re anything like us, the answer is probably “can’t remember” and “never.” We get it—even if you have the best intentions, cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges often falls by the wayside. But it’s a super important step you really shouldn’t make a habit of skipping.

First, there’s the matter of hygiene. A grimy Beauty Blender can be a veritable breeding ground for all kinds of germs and bacteria, which are then transferred onto your skin every time you use it. Not to mention that a dirty sponge simply won’t work as well; when it’s covered in layers of old foundation, the color of any products you’re using can be affected. The good news? Getting your makeup sponge to look brand new doesn’t have to be a complicated or time-consuming process. Here is everything you need to know about how to clean a Beauty Blender quickly and effectively.

The Quickest Way to Clean Your Beauty Blender

When time is of the essence (and really, when isn’t it?), the best way to clean a Beauty Blender fast is to rub it against a textured surface, says New York City makeup artist and beauty expert Neil Scibelli, who likes using the Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Mat ($32; amazon.com). The rubbery nubs on the silicone mat help to loosen dirt and caked-on makeup faster than using your hands alone. To use, first wet your makeup sponge thoroughly. Next, apply the soap of your choice (more on that in a minute) directly to the sponge, then gently rub or bounce it across the mat for a few seconds until you start to see the makeup coming off. Rinse thoroughly, gently squeeze out any excess water, and let it dry completely.

RELATED: 11 Steps to Better Skin

Another option? The convenient Beautyblender Keep it Clean kit ($20; sephora.com) features a similarly textured pad that you can slip over the palm of your hand, along with the brand’s liquid and solid cleansers.

How to Clean Your Beauty Blender With Soap

It’s going to take more than regular old H2O to get your makeup sponge squeaky clean. In other words, you’re going to need some soap. Scibelli recommends the brand’s two cleansers, the Blendercleanser Solid ($16; sephora.com) and Liquid Blendercleanser ($18; sephora.com). “They work like magic and remove all traces of makeup off the Beauty Blender,” he says.

To use the solid, first wet your makeup sponge thoroughly, then rub the solid soap directly onto the sponge, working it into a lather. Once you start to see that lather turn colors (the makeup coming off the sponge), rinse thoroughly. Take a look at your Beauty Blender—if it still looks a little stained, you can repeat the process, since the formula is so gentle that you can even use it daily without doing any damage to your sponge.

If you prefer to go the liquid route, you can wet the sponge and squirt some of the cleanser directly onto it, following the same method as you would with the solid soap. Or, if you’re sponge is extra gunked-up, give it a little bubble bath. Fill up a cup with water and a few drops of the soap and let the sponge soak in there for a minute or two. Then gently massage a little more of the cleanser in with your hand before giving it a final rinse.

If you’re not going to opt for of the brand’s dedicated cleansers, Scibelli suggests a mild shampoo, such as Johnson’s Baby Shampoo ($6; amazon.com). Another good option? A gentle, multi-tasking liquid cleanser, like Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap ($17; amazon.com).

How to Clean a Beauty Blender With a Microwave

Just like running dishes through the dishwasher or throwing your clothes in the washing machine, nuking your makeup sponge is a fast and easy way to get it clean with minimal effort. Not to mention that the heat from the microwave is a great way to sanitize it and kill off any germs and bacteria. Just be sure to follow these steps so that you don’t end up melting your beloved Beauty Blender.

First, add a few drops of a liquid soap (the gentle options we mentioned before work well here) to a cup of water (make sure the cup is microwave-safe, please!). You want there to be enough of the mixture to cover the sponge completely. Wet the sponge under running water, then pop it into the cup. Microwave for 60 seconds and be sure to let it cool before taking it out. That soapy water will now be all kinds of colors and your Beauty Blender should look brand new. Once that now-dirty water cools off, remove the sponge, give it another rinse under running water and let dry completely.

How to Clean a Beauty Blender With Oil

The concept of double cleansing is extremely popular when it comes to skincare and the same principles apply when you’re thinking about cleaning your Beauty Blender. The basic principle: Oil breaks down oil. So, when you’re wearing a full face of makeup, using a cleansing oil first can help dissolve the oils in that makeup more effectively. Same goes for a makeup sponge, so consider this a choice cleansing technique for especially makeup-laden sponges.

Start with a dry sponge and massage a few drops of oil (coconut oil is one good option) into the sponge until the makeup starts to come off. Follow that with one of the soap options we mentioned earlier—this is the second part of the double cleanse, which will not only remove any remaining traces of makeup, but also help rinse off the oily residue.

Be Gentle With Your Beauty Blender

In theory, you should be cleaning your makeup sponge after each use (hey, it’s good to set goals), so you want to be sure you know how to clean a Beauty Blender without ruining it. The key is to avoid any kind of aggressive cleansers and to treat your Beauty Blender with some extra TLC. Don’t rub or scrub too vigorously and squeeze it gently whenever you’re wringing it out. And when it comes time to dry, be sure you’re letting it dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated area. Ideally, prop it up so that air can circulate freely around it to ensure that you’re not left with any damp spots.

Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Beauty Blender

Above all, keep in mind that while regularly cleaning your sponge will help extend its longevity, these sponges aren’t meant to last forever. The brand suggests replacing yours after three months of use. But, now that you know how to clean a Beauty Blender, you can feel confident that it will be in the best shape possible for those three months.

RELATED: These Are the 6 Best Anti-Aging Products, According to Thousands of Reviews