How Often Should You Really Be Cleaning Your Makeup Sponges?

Without a doubt, your makeup tools are one of the prime reasons you might be getting an acne breakout. If you aren't cleaning your beauty tools often, they could become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria — and when this bacteria is introduced to your face, it can cause irritation. Celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli tells InStyle, "Keeping your tools as clean as possible minimizes the risk of bacteria causing breakouts and keeps the sponge itself cleaner from harboring bacteria." One of the tools that can be the dirtiest is the makeup sponge.


Because makeup sponges are absorbent, it's easy for these tools to grow bacteria due to absorbed moisture. On top of the absorbed moisture, makeup sponges can hold leftover makeup and dead skin cells. Depending on where you store your makeup sponge, they can collect dust. With so many things that your makeup sponge can absorb, it's essential to clean them often. While no one has the time to constantly clean their makeup sponge, washing them will make a difference on your skin.

When you need to wash your beauty sponge

In a perfect world, you should wash your makeup sponge after each use. However, most people would agree that it's not practical to clean your sponge every time you use it. Dermatologist Geeta Yadav, the founder of Skin Science Dermatology, tells Cosmopolitan, "Ideally, you'd wash all of your makeup tools every single day, but I know this is unrealistic. Make it a Sunday-night activity so that you can start your week off fresh." If once a week is too much for you, you can extend your wash by another week. However, you want to ensure to never go longer than every other week before washing your makeup sponge.


While cleaning your makeup sponge is essential for keeping your skin clean, you also need to know when to replace your makeup sponge. Goat Cosmetics recommends checking your beauty sponge every three to six months to determine if it's time to purchase a new one. If you clean your makeup sponge often, you'll find that your makeup sponge will last you closer to six months rather than three. Once your makeup sponge loses its bounce and shape, even after a deep cleaning, you'll want to toss it out. 

How to wash your beauty sponge

Even though cleaning your makeup sponge once a week sounds daunting, it's much easier than you might think. Beauty Blender recommends following their easy three-step method for giving your makeup sponge a good cleanse. Start by wetting your makeup sponge in lukewarm water. Let your makeup sponge soak up most of the water before applying a sponge cleaner on top. There are specially made sponge cleaners, or you can opt for dish soap. Swirl your makeup sponge until it lathers. Squeeze your sponge and repeat the previous steps. Rinse your sponge under the warm water and squeeze out the excess until the water runs clear. Leave your makeup sponge out to dry, and you are all set.


If you want an even easier method for cleaning your makeup sponge, you only need a mug and a microwave. Beauty Crew explains how by just filling up a mug with water, you can instantly clean your makeup sponge. Start by filling a microwave-safe mug until it is three-quarters full. Add a little dishwashing liquid to the mug before dropping in your makeup sponge. Turn the microwave on for one minute and let the mug soak in the microwave for another minute after it's finished. Repeat these steps for another round with clean water. After the second round, rinse your makeup sponge by putting the entire mug under cold water until it cools down.