How to Clean a Beauty Blender (Without Damaging It in the Process)

Ah, the Beauty Blender. Ever since the bouncy pink makeup sponge entered our lives well over a decade ago, it’s been a steady constant in our beauty routines. The signature teardrop-shaped sponge reaches every corner and curve of your face, and true to its name, it blends your makeup to the smoothest finish.

Given its widespread popularity, there is still a surprising amount of confusion around how to use and care for the sponge. For starters, you always want to wet your Beauty Blender before every use; this will cause it to double in size and soften in texture so that you get the best results.

Next, there’s caring for your Beauty Blender. A sponge, by design, is made to soak up and hold onto moisture. Without proper hygiene practices, your Beauty Blender can quickly become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria (which is then transferred to your face whenever you use it). If you’re prone to breaking out or have easily irritated skin, this can cause breakouts.

Luckily, keeping your makeup sponge clean isn’t as complicated as you might think. We’ll walk you through the quickest and easiest ways to keep your Beauty Blender fresher, longer.

The Daily Method

We know what you’re thinking: Who has the time to wash their makeup sponge every day? Considering that you have to wet your sponge before using it anyway, you’re already halfway there. To give your sponge a quick clean, all you have to do is run it over a bar of soap (opt for something mild like the Dove Beauty Bar or Beauty Blender’s own solid cleanser) and work it into a light later. Then, rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear and repeat as needed.

If you need a slightly deeper clean (let’s say, for a well-loved sponge), you’ll follow most of the same steps outlined above but with a textured silicone makeup pad or mitt. Once you’ve applied soap to the surface of your sponge, you’ll rub it over the silicone pad. The grooved ridges and nubs will help to dislodge any makeup from the nooks and crannies of your sponge without causing unnecessary damage to it. Rinse clean and voila!

The Double Cleanse Method

Just like double-cleansing your face, using an oil-based cleanser with a water-based one can be highly effective in removing leftover makeup from your sponge.

To do this, plop your sponge into a small bowl of water and add one pump of cleansing oil to help loosen up any makeup and stubborn stains. After a few minutes of soaking, use your regular cleanser to work the sponge into a foamy lather before rinsing any residue clean.

The Soak Method

Speaking of soaking, the longer you soak, the cleaner your sponge. If you’re dealing with stubborn stains or want to wash multiple sponges at once, this is the most efficient way to clean.

To start, wet your dirty sponges and work in a few drops of liquid cleanser before placing them into a bowl of warm water. Let them soak for a couple hours, making sure that they’re completely submerged.

Next, run the sponges over your solid cleanser of choice (option to break out the silicone mat here, if you’d like) and gently work it into a lather before rinsing thoroughly with clean water.

Give the sponges a good squeeze or two to remove as much excess moisture as possible and set them aside to dry.

The Microwave Method

Skip this one if you can. This was a popular method that made its rounds on the Internet a couple years back but is ill-advised, as it can damage your sponge over time. (However, if you do decide to go this route, make sure your sponge is completely submerged in soapy water and set the microwave timer for no longer than 60 seconds, while keeping a close eye on it.)

Some Additional Tips

Once you’ve cleaned your Beauty Blender, the most important thing to do is keep it in a well-ventilated area so that it can dry fully before you use it again. Ideally, you want to prop it up so there aren’t any damp spots. (Brb, adding one of those cute little sponge stands to our cart.)

Whatever you do, please don’t toss your sponge into a Ziploc bag or makeup pouch while it’s still damp. This can trap in the moisture and cause it to grow moldy.

H2: A Final Word

Makeup sponges aren’t meant to last forever. Some telltale signs that your sponge is past its expiration date? Tears or rips in the surface, deep, lingering stains that won’t come out no matter how much you soak or wash it, any funky odor, or when it loses its signature bounce and shape.

With better care, your sponge will last longer and perform better, but you should still keep an eye out for those signs and swap in a fresh blender every three to four months (especially if you use yours daily).

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...