How to clean makeup sponges

Mrs Hinch reveals her makeup removal routine



Makeup sponges are undoubtedly a revolutionary invention. But they can also be very dirty and are one of the leading ways bacteria can get onto your face. Anyone who owns and uses makeup sponges knows how dirty they can get very quickly. And since they go straight onto your skin, cleaning them is one of the most important and best things you can do for your skincare routine. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

How to clean makeup sponges

The key to cleaning a makeup sponge is ensuring you use enough friction that you actually get a good clean, but not so much that you damage the delicate product.

The first method is to use a bar of soap.

To do this, squeeze your makeup sponge under running water until it’s completely soaked and expands in size.

Using any bar of soap, rub the sponge back and forth against the bar while applying pressure to build up a lather and make sure the soap penetrates the surface.

READ MORE: Cleaning hacks: The huge mistake you’ve been making while cleaning

How to clean makeup sponges

© Getty
How to clean makeup sponges

a hand holding an egg: Makeup sponges

© Getty
Makeup sponges

Once the soapy foam has turned into a bubbly foundation-colour, rinse the sponge under clean running water until the water eventually runs clean.

Olive oil and dish soap

For this method, mix a two-to-one parts ratio of washing up liquid and olive oil and massage it into a dry makeup sponge.

Once the makeup sponge has soaked up the mixture, run it under running water.

a woman standing in front of a stove: Woman looking in a microwave

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Woman looking in a microwave

Squeeze and keep on rinsing the sponge until eventually, the water runs clear.

Microwave the sponge

Yes, it does sound strange to put a makeup sponge in the microwave for a clean, but it definitely works and it’s a genius hack.

First, mix a few drops of mild washing up liquid, or baby shampoo will work too, with water in a microwave-safe cup.


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Make sure there’s enough of a lathered solution to fully submerge the sponge.

Give the makeup applicant a big squeeze inside the water, then microwave the cup for about one minute.

Wait at least 30 seconds for the cup to cool down before grabbing it from the microwave, or you risk burning your hands.

The soapy water will transform into a weird makeup concoction, and your once-filthy sponge will look as though you just pulled it out of the packet.

Once the water is cool enough for you to take the cup, grab it from the microwave.

Rinse off your sponge and wring it out under clean running water.

Although this step is a great and quick way to clean a makeup sponge, be careful never to microwave a dry sponge.

If it’s a beauty blender, this advice is extra important as beauty blenders have been proven to melt.