How to Clean a Makeup Sponge

By Hilary White

An invaluable tool in your beauty arsenal, a makeup sponge helps you apply your tinted moisturizer, BB cream or foundation in sheer layers for a more even, flawless-looking complexion. Forgetting to clean your sponge regularly could have the opposite effect, resulting in uneven makeup application or spreading germs and bacteria that causes breakouts. Keep this handy blending tool clean and ready to use.

Woman having makeup applied
credit: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
Wash your makeup sponge after several uses.

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Step 1

Know when to clean your sponge. Your makeup sponge should be rinsed with warm water after each use and thoroughly cleansed after each few uses to prevent the spread of germs. Many sponges feature several sides that you can rotate to ensure a clean side is available for each application. Wash your sponge when there is no longer a clean section for application.

Step 2

Use a mild soap or shampoo to wash your sponge. There are also cleansers especially formulated for cleaning makeup sponges. An anti-bacterial liquid cleanser will help keep germs at bay.

Step 3

Wet the sponge with warm water. Apply a few drops of cleanser and lather gently using your fingers. Alternatively, fill a small bowl with water and cleanser and dunk your sponge in, gently squeezing several times to release built-up makeup, oil and bacteria.

Step 4

Rinse the sponge under running water until it runs clear. Squeeze out any excess moisture and pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel.

Step 5

Use the sponge immediately to apply your makeup if you prefer to use it damp. Otherwise, air-dry on a clean surface.

Step 6

Replace makeup sponges as necessary. Even clean sponges can lose their shape and deteriorate over time, so makeup sponges that you use regularly should be replaced every month or when they begin to show wear and tear.