How to Clean (and sanitize!) Your Beauty Blenders

Dirty Beauty Blenders. Not something any of us should use on our face. Dirty Beauty Blenders (or any brand of makeup application sponge) not only don't apply your makeup as well as clean ones, they are vectors for spreading old makeup, dead skin cells, oil and billions of bacteria living in that stew of goo in your sponge. Bounce that hot zone all over your delicate flower face and you run the very real risk of breakouts and possible skin infections. Now I don't know about you, but that sounds nasty. And not like anything I want anywhere my face! And I'm willing to bet that you feel the same way. 

Washing Beauty Blenders is a pain in the ass. I get it. But it needs to be done and 'tis best it were done well, don't you agree? Today, I'm going to share with you just how I clean and sanitize my Beauty Blenders so that they are safe for my skin and give me the best makeup application possible.


Just look at those dirty birdies. Foundation, concealer, all of the rest happily residing in the many, many little nooks and crannies of my sponges. EWW! It all needs to go. Now!


Artsy fartsy lighting alert! Toss those manky sponges into a microwave safe  - I'll explain why, later - vessel of your choice. Mmm... Coffee...


With what do I cleanse my Beauty Blenders? Dawn dish washing liquid. It breaks down oil and silicone, helps the spongy cells to release their goopy load of gross and leaves them sparkling clean and virtually stain free.


Everyone into the pool! Nice warm water and a generous dollop of dish liquid. Plenty of swish and squeeze. Now comes time to soak. I like to let them float for a few hours. If you have to take off, just leave them treading water while you are at school or work or getting on with the rest of your day. After they soak, (check the bottom of the bowl and see all of the makeup that has come free of your sponges, it's eye opening) more squeezing to get the rest of the makeup out of the sponges. If there is still residue, I like to add a couple of extra drops of detergent to stubborn spots and gently but firmly work them clean.


Time to rinserinserinse! Rinse and squeeze until the water runs clear of soapy bubbles. Squeeze them out well and set them on a clean surface to dry.

About once a week or every five washings or so, I like to sanitize my Beauty Blenders to help kill any residual nasties that may be lurking in the deep recesses of my sponges.

Rinse the bowl in which your sponges were washed and soaked and add about an inch or so of water and drop in your saturated, now clean Beauty Blenders.


Pop the container into your microwave.


And cook on high for about a minute and forty seconds.


Beep! Fresh, hot, sanitized Beauty Blenders, ready. Grab a pot holder! Remember, the bowl and contents will be hot.


Transfer carefully to the counter and set it in a safe place, out of reach of kiddos and pets.


Allow the water and sponges to cool until they are safe to handle. Squeeze out the water and set your sponges on a clean surface to dry.


And there you have it. Sparkling clean Beauty Blenders, all ready for a healthy, flawless application of foundation and concealer, once again.

Don't have a microwave? An alternate way to sanitize your sponge is to pour some 91% rubbing alcohol into a small bowl, saturate the sponge, squeeze it out and set it on a clean surface to dry. As the sponge dries, the alcohol scent will dissipate. Just never, ever use bleach! Trust me on this. Bleach will destroy your Beauty Blenders. I learned that one the hard way.

Gentle reader, how do you clean your Beauty Blenders/makeup sponges? Any good tips you can pass along? Anything I should try? Please share.



60 comments

  1. GREAT tips!!! I microwave my dish washing sponges it makes sense to do this for facial sponges! Also - "everyone in the pool" made me laugh out loud!

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  2. This is very interesting!! Never heard of popping them in the microwave!

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  3. I'm a total fan of the microwave! Well, for anything safe to put in there, lol. Usually I use Dr Bronners soap but I'll use dish soap occasionally on sponges. Never on my brushes though. For them it's DB or some leftover gentle facial cleanser.

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  4. Microwaving is good for kitchen sponges, too! I've only used Dr a Bronners on my BB, but that doesn't remove the stains.

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  5. Can't I just give you mine so you can demonstrate in person? Pretty please?

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  6. I'm going to try this! My sponges look naasty

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  7. Nice! Never would've thought to use the microwave.

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  8. I use the Real Techniques sponge and to clean it I just squirt some unscented Dr Bronner's soap on it, work it into a good lather for a good 2-3 minutes, rinse thoroughly, and lay it on a clean, dry wash cloth until it's dry. I don't have skin issues beyond the very minor hormonal breakouts I get once a month, so I've never felt the need to go beyond what I already do. :-)

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  9. Very helpful to see and know! I actually own a beauty blender and must try this method now. Bookmarking it.

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  10. I am so trying this once I get electricity back! So the MW doesn't make the BB fall apart sooner? just checking

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  11. Great tips. I never tried the microwave thingie 'tho.

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  12. Mine are so stained I definitely need to try this!

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  13. Microwaving my Beauty Blenders hasn't had any negative effect on them that I am aware of and I do it, frequently. :)

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  14. I never thought to use Dawn. I just found one in a travel case that needs washing and sanitizing so I'll definitely use your method of Dawn and the micro.

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  15. I use my Bath and Body hand wash. I have never let it sit in soapy water though. This I shall try! :) Thank you!

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  16. Wow! This is first time I have EVER seen them look like new. That's part of why I never use them: the staining. If I try them, I'll definitely be using your cleaning technique.

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  17. Great tips! I'll try this method when i'm out of beautyblender cleanser.

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  18. I love Dawn. I figured if it was effective and gentle enough to clean oiled waterfowl after tanker crashes, it should do the trick on my Beauty Blenders. The micro, I do it for my dish sponges, so why not my face ones, too? Heh! Heh!

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  19. You're welcome. I fell into that one... I was washing my Beauty Blenders and had to leave them in the water and go do other things and when I came back, the foundation had soaked out and was at the bottom of the bowl and I was like, "Yeah!"

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  20. I figured that if it works for dish sponges, it should work for makeup sponges, too.

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  21. Yep. That is why I tried it with Beauty Blenders. Heh! Heh! I've never tried Dr. Bronner's for sponges.

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  22. Microwave rules! I love Dawn for my sponges. Wait until you see what I clean my brushes with...

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  23. Thank you. That is what I thought, too.

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  24. Yay! Yeah... Stains. No bueno! LOL I can't have stained sponges. I just... Can't and this method keeps them nice and clean looking.

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  25. I am a sick, sad woman and have to sanitize and I figured if it works for dish sponges...

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  26. It's good. My sponges have never been cleaner and happier.

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  27. THANK YOU! I seriously needed this! I have a beauty blender and I had no idea how to wash it... I just rubbed brush shampoo all over it squished it under the tap for a while haha, but it totally looked like I didn't even clean anything off it! I'm definitely doing this.

    Thanks for linking up to Best of Beauty! xo
    Olive & Ivy

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  28. Ooh, great tips! I clean mine with Dr. Bronner's but have never sanitized. So going to do this when I give them their next bath!

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  29. Huh? Wash your makeup brushes once a week? Never happens in my house. I don't use liquid foundation so I don't use this sponge but yeah that's an easier thing I might do more often. Literally once or twice a year I think hmmmmm I should wash my brushes. Just did them yesterday. So you keep track. I'll let you know when it happens again. If I remember! Hehehe

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  30. Wow I do use Dawn for cleaning them, but never thought about using the microwave! Thanks so much for the tips and I will def. use this due to my daily use of a beauty blender! Thanks for linking this up for Best of the Blogosphere:)

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  31. Definitely pinning this! As yeah so long overdue to clean mine. Thank you for linking up with the #bestoftheblogosphere

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  32. I'm so glad that it was helpful to you. Thank you for stopping and and reading. I am so glad to link up and appreciate the opportunity.

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  33. Girl, I am going to be writing an article, soon on makeup brush cleaning and I am going to call you out! /jk I clean my makeup brushes after every use. I am sick and obsessed like that. LOL

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  34. Yay! It's so good for them. Thank you for reading!

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  35. Thanks for the opportunity! I microwave my other sponges, why not my beauty sponges, too?

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  36. Bring it on girlfriend! Hahaha. After every use? I'm sorry that's insane. You better not come to my house then! Xoxoxo

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  37. I'll get you, my pretty. And your little brushes, too! Ahhaahahahah! But really... No judgement. I just like to share what works for me. :D

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  38. I know! We are just teasing each other. It's all good! You know I love you!!!

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  39. This is a brilliant idea!! I micro my kitchen sponge, but honestly never thought to do it with a makeup sponge. I tend to not use my RT sponges because they always "feel" dirty. I know they are clean, but you just never know. Definitely going to try! The graphic is perfect too, pinned!! Thanks for linking up with us in the Best of the Blogosphere. Can't wait to see what you share with us next week! <3

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  40. I am nutty about having very clean beauty tools... The sanitizing has to happen and the micro is the easiest way!


    Reply three months late. I thought I had replied to you then when I embedded my tweet, saw it wasn't so. I suck. lol

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  41. So now that I just officially bought me one of these, I had to come back and relearn your technique!

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  42. It works.😀I am obsessive about cleaning my sponges. 😂

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  43. Crazy! That is EXACTLY how I clean mine. Nobody told me but I figured since I do clean my brushes with dawn I would also do my sponges that way. I have OCD and hate stains. I first started using dawn after I saw all the animals being cleaned safely with it after one of the oil spills way back when. I have always micro'd my dish sponges for as long as I can remember (I do them a bit differently than I do my BB tho), so naturally I did these too. Great minds they say think alike ;)

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