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How to clean your makeup sponges properly

Time to give those beauty blenders a little TLC

Written by Liv Grady

February 18, 2021

makeup sponges

If your makeup sponges or beauty blenders are looking a little tired, there is no need to throw them in the bin just yet. Let’s get real for a minute, when was the last time you actually cleaned your sponge? Makeup brushes, yeah we clean them fairly often, but dirty sponges get thrown away or stuffed in the back of your drawer as a ‘back up blender’.

There is a number of reasons that cleaning your sponges is important, not only for hygiene, but also to improve application.

Why should you clean your makeup sponges?

A build up of foundation means that your sponge is less porous, making it harder to blend your makeup. Not only that, but a dirty sponge can harbour bacteria, which can cause spots and breakouts.

Finding the time to clean your brushes and sponges can often be difficult, especially if you use them every day and need to give them a few hours to dry off. Lockdown is the perfect opportunity to do this, whilst also giving your skin a much-needed break from all the product you usually apply.

It is crucial to let your sponges dry properly after cleaning because otherwise they can go mouldy. What’s worse that a dirty makeup sponge? A mouldy one. Make sure you leave it in a ventilated area and don’t put it back into a drawer or zipped cosmetics bag until you are 100% sure it is completely dry.

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cleaning makeup sponge

Cleaning techniques for your makeup sponges

  1. Soap and water
  2. Leave to soak
  3. Washing machine

1. Soap and Water

Seems simple right? That’s because it is. This easy and cheap method of cleaning your sponges is gonna get them looking fresh in no time. Wet your sponge under warm running water and add liquid soap or rub the sponge against the bar. You can buy speciality sponge and makeup brush cleanser, but many experts swear by washing up liquid. Keep the tap running and keep squeezing the soapy water out of your sponge until the water runs clear and you are no longer seeing foundation residue or bubbles.

2. Leave to soak

If your sponges are looking really grimy, as in you can’t tell what colour it was originally supposed to be, then a soak might be the best method. (Celebrity Makeup artist Kathy Jeung swears by it.) Run a sink full of water or use a small washing up bowl and mix in some water and liquid soap (dish soap works for this method too). If you wan’t to really blast out the bacteria, boil some water and leave it to cool for 5 minutes before putting your sponge in. Leave it to soak for 15 to 20 minutes, the soap solution will break down the makeup from the fibres of the sponge. When it is time to take it out, give the sponge some squeezes until the water runs clear. Then give it a rinse under warm water to remove excess soap.

3. Put it in the washing machine

If you are a Hincher, you have probably seen this hack before, but it’s a foolproof method to getting the cleanest makeup sponges ever. Take an old sock (stay with us here, sounds weird we know), pop your beauty blenders inside and then fasten the top of the sock with a bobble. Throw your bobbled up sock into the machine with the rest of your washing and voila.

Missguided Beauty

In case you didn’t already know, we came out with our first ever beauty range last month. With hundreds of products from foundation to eyebrow pens available, there is something to help you create any look. Oh and did we mention that every product in the line is vegan and cruelty free?