How To Clean Your Makeup Sponges So They Last Longer

Do you know how long your makeup sponge is supposed to last? I know I didn’t. Most of the professional advice that I found says that makeup sponges are only meant to last 1-6 months depending on the type of sponge, the amount of usage, and the care it gets.

If you have a good makeup sponge like a BeautyBlender, Real Techniques, or Sonia Kashuk they will last you longer than a cheap no-name sponge from the dollar store. No matter what brand of makeup sponge you use, if you're a heavy user it will wear out faster than if you’re a lighter user. Who knew?


What with everyone trying to save money in every area possible you may be tempted to hold onto that makeup sponge a little longer. I know I am, especially because I don’t use it every day.

There is one way to keep your makeup sponge in the best condition possible.

dirty and clean makeup sponges lying down on bathroom counter.
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One way is to regularly clean it. Yep, it’s that simple.


Why you need to clean your makeup sponge

Using a clean makeup sponge is just a must-have for me. I just can’t imagine putting a dirty, old, smelly makeup sponge on my face. Makeup sponges are porous by nature so not only do they suck up the makeup we apply with them and also all of the dirt, oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria that is on our face.

When you don’t clean your makeup sponge all of those lovely things then get transferred back to your skin every single time you apply your makeup. That can lead to skin issues such as rashes and breakouts. Plus, all of that grime makes your makeup sponge less effective and shortens its life span.

It’s best to clean your makeup sponge after every use but we all know for most of us (my hand is raised) that isn’t practical. So a good alternative is to wash your makeup sponge every 3-7 days. I personally wash my makeup sponge at least once a week but if time allows I will wash it twice a week. 



How to clean your makeup sponge

Cleaning your makeup sponge is pretty easy. There are a couple of ways I do it depending on how deep a clean I’m trying to do.

Here’s my deep cleaning process


What I use
  • A gentle foaming cleanser
  • A cheap bar of soap
  • Bowl of warm water
  • Clean towel

Yep, I use just four things to clean my makeup sponges.



My deep cleaning process 
  1. Rinse out the sponge in warm water, this gets rid of a lot of the makeup
  2. Fill up the bowl with warm water and let the sponge sit in the water for about 10-15 minutes (less time if the water gets really dirty or cloudy looking quickly)
  3. After it’s soaked, take the wet sponge and lather it up with the bar of soap. Gently massage the lather into the sponge while continually rinsing it
  4. Repeat step 3 as needed until water runs clean
  5. Fully rinse all of the soap from the sponge then set it out to air dry on the towel. I typically let mine dry overnight


Here’s my quick clean process for my makeup sponges

What I use 
  • A cheap bar of soap
  • Clean towel

The process

  1. Rinse out the sponge in warm water to get rid of a lot of the makeup
  2. Take the wet sponge and lather it up with the bar of soap. Gently massage the lather into the sponge while continually rinsing it
  3. Repeat step 2 as needed until water starts to run clean
  4. Fully rinse all of the soap from the sponge then set it out to air dry on the towel. I typically let it dry overnight

 

When to toss your makeup sponge

There are a few obvious signs to know when it’s time for you to toss out your makeup sponge and start using a new one. Take a look at your makeup sponge and see if it has any or all of the following
  • Nicks and or tears
  • Stains that you just can’t remove no matter how long or how much you clean it
  • It doesn’t regain it shape after being cleaned
  • It smells (hopefully it hasn’t gotten to this point)



Additional makeup sponge tips

Don’t microwave your makeup sponge

I’ve been seeing a lot of blog posts and videos on social media saying that you can disinfect your makeup sponges by microwaving them.

In this article from Mind Beauty Green a makeup artist shares how she microwaved hers and it was set on fire. She doesn’t recommend it and I have no intentions of trying it because I don’t want to burn my house down.

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