How To Clean Makeup Sponges: Makeup Sponges Absorb Product

How To Clean Makeup Sponges: Makeup Sponges Absorb Product

Anyone who has ever used a makeup sponge knows just how much product they can take in. A dry, fresh, or new makeup sponge is an even bigger culprit. They are literal sponges, after all, and they have plenty of room to soak up all of your best makeup products. 

(Be mad if you must, but they have plenty of great qualities, too.)

After all, once you get the product to your face, the makeup does all of the heavy lifting. They help apply it smoothly to your face. They make you look great. They keep your hands clean. They allow you to expertly blend your makeup. And so much more. 

But like any good relationship, even with your makeup sponge, You can’t expect it to do all the work all of the time with nothing in return. And all they ask of you is a thorough cleaning every now and then. 

Besides, doing so will help them work at an optimum level. Remember to give your makeup sponges a good scrub every now and then to keep them working at their best.

Why You Should Clean Your Sponge

Without proper care, makeup sponges can get just plain icky. Think about what they do -- they’re touching your face over and over again. If you haven’t properly cleaned it, that means there is plenty of bacteria and germs galore. Even if you have cleaned it, there are bacterial germs that live within the skin. 

Do you wash before using it? Do you touch anything else while doing your makeup? No matter how careful you are, germs will be transferred to your makeup sponge. Besides, you’re wetting it on a regular basis, adding makeup, and starting the whole germ process all over again.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as to why you should clean your makeup sponge. 

How To Clean Your Sponges

Like any sponge, a simple soap-and-water mixture is where it’s at. You can even opt for a special cleaner that’s designed for makeup brushes, but this isn’t a necessity. 

Start With Gentle Soaps 

Any gentle soap will do. If you have it on hand, use liquid baby soap or any gentle version that’s light on dyes and fragrance. This will your sponges stay cleaner, longer, and keep them from losing their quality. 

Turn your water to warm and start the soaking process. Chances are that your sponges are covered in product. You may even be surprised at how quickly the water will muck up and turn dirty. 

You may have to complete this process several times over before you can get a clean sponge. Just remember that it will all be worth it in the end!

Start Squeezing Out Residue 

Next, it’s time to add in your soap and start squeezing. Work the material and really lather in your soap. This will help loosen the makeup, even parts that are deep into the sponge’s interior. Soap and squeeze, soap and squeeze over and over until you can see the product leaving the sponge.

Don’t worry, you aren’t the first person to do this, and for it to take several rounds. Keep on going, and it will clean up eventually, we swear.

How Clean is Clean Enough?

Chances are that your sponge won’t return to its exact color, especially if it was white. Makeup naturally stains fabrics, especially when it’s stuck on it for months at a time. This is ok. However, it can make it hard to know when your sponge is clean.

Rinse and Repeat 

Our best advice is to do it the old-fashioned way. Soap and rinse, then check the water that comes out. Once you think it’s clean, submerge the sponge into a bowl of water and squeeze it a few times. 

Keep repeating these steps until all you see are clear air bubbles. That’s when you know the sponge is truly clean and can be freed from this process. 

You also want to make sure that you’ve gotten out all of the soap. Soap particles can dive deep into the sponge and cause the material to break down as it hardens. Or, it could actually leave soap residue on your face. 

You might think “Hey at least it’s clean!” But it could also cause your skin to itch, become red, or just sit uncomfortably.

In any case, rinse until the sponge is completely clean, then squeeze out the excess. Just as you normally would. 

Leave it to Dry … or Don’t

Sponges are a unique breed in that they don’t have to be dry for use. In fact, most of the time, they aren’t. So it’s ok to clean your sponge right before you’re ready to use it. It might even make for a great start to your day, starting the morning with a freshly cleaned makeup sponge.

Or, you can clean whenever it fits your schedule. There is no wait time after doing so, however, so it’s easy to keep your makeup sponge at all times. That also means there are no excuses for a crusty, product-filled sponge, either. 

Whatever you do, don’t use heat to dry the sponge. Continue to squeeze out the extra moisture and then allow it to dry. 

You should be able to get it back to a usable consistency with this method. In contrast, heat drying could melt the sponge or break down the material, seriously lowering the lifespan it has to offer.

What’s The Lifespan of a Makeup Sponge?

There is much debate as to how long you should use a makeup sponge. Everyone has different preferences as to the look and feel of their makeup sponge. That means different replacement intervals. 

Typically, makeup sponges will last from three to six months, depending on how well you take care of it. For instance, our award-winning Multi-Tasker 4-in-1 makeup brush packs all your essential applicators in one easy tool. 

[product handle="multi-tasker"]

One tip to consider is to base your makeup tools by season. Once the weather changes, give your sponge an update. Need a refill? Get two fresh sponge applicators for your Multi-Tasker brush. 

[product handle="multi-tasker-sponge-refill-1"]

How long your makeup sponge lasts will also depend on how often you wear makeup…or even how much makeup you wear. Those who are occasional wearers can keep a sponge far longer than the average person. 

What Works Best With Sponges?

A makeup sponge can be used for many different types of makeup. Most notably and most often, it’s used for liquid foundations. The liquid is dotted onto the sponge, then you dab it onto the face for even, smooth coverage. 

This can be done with the foundation, concealer, contouring colors, or even blush and bronzer. 

Makeup sponges are ideal for blending as well. Because they offer a subtle touch on the skin, you can blend colors together for a more natural look. 

But this isn’t their only use. You can use makeup sponges to add primer, for cleansing, or really for anything you don’t want to use a traditional brush for. There’s no end to what you can do with makeup sponges. You’re only limited by your own creativity … and your willingness to keep them clean. 

It’s worth noting that makeup sponges heavily absorb liquid foundation, so beware if you’re a first-time user. It might take a few rounds, but you’ll get used to it. 

Why Cleaning Is Good for the Face

Just like cleansing your actual skin can help your skin thrive, the same is true for cleaning your makeup sponge. A clean sponge is a happy sponge, and it will allow for a healthier surface. That means a product that supports clean pores, avoids blemishes, and allows your skin to thrive. 

In addition, makeup sponges that are freshly cleaned will also help you put your best face forward. Why? Cleaned sponges create a pattern of smooth, supple skin. Don’t look cakey or thickly veiled, but rather that your skin is smooth and ready to take on the day.

A clean sponge can help in this quest. And it can make a world of difference. 

Don’t Skimp On Regular Cleaning

A makeup sponge will soap up your foundation. It’s supposed to. After all, it’s a sponge, is it not? But don’t let this shy away from using them to apply your makeup. Sponges can be a great way to keep your hands clean, while applying a flawless look to your face. 

This is one of the easiest steps you can make to improve your daily hygiene routine and create a fresh surface on which you can apply your makeup. The world is your oyster. All you have to do is regularly clean your makeup sponges for a simple way to start with fresh makeup daily.

It can also improve your overall appearance. Smooth skin and makeup application are where it’s at. And luckily, it’s something you can achieve on the daily. 

Don’t get caught up in a routine of crusty or matted sponges that can’t do the job. Opt for a clean makeup sponge every time for a flawless look and feel and all the confidence to go with it. 

To learn more about proper makeup cleaning guidelines, don’t forget to take our Quiz and join the #alleyooptroop. 



Face and body sponges: beauty aids or potential microbiological reservoir? | NCBI 

Dirty makeup sponges harbor dangerous bacteria | Medical News Today

How to Get Makeup Out of Clothes: 8 Genius Solutions | Glamour 

Sunsational Sunsational Duo Lip Goals Stack the Odds Refillable 11th Hour


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