This is how to clean a Beautyblender or make-up sponge properly

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Amber Voller
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Heard about the BeautyBlender microwave hack? Or washing it with coconut oil or baby shampoo? We’ve got the lowdown on the sponge-cleaning tips that really work.

Thought you’d been neglecting your make-up brushes with a once-in-a-blue-moon clean? Spare a thought for your BeautyBlenders and make-up sponges. Due to the fact they’re porous and designed to be used damp, they can be a breeding ground for bacteria if you don’t look after them properly. In short? We should be cleaning them after every use or, at the very least, weekly. 

If the idea of a cleaning session every Sunday is enough to make you want to bin sponges forever, don’t panic. From putting them in the microwave to the make-up artist-approved BeautyBlender Liquid BlenderCleanser and other cheaper alternatives, there are countless cleaning hacks that’ll take you no time. Here, we reveal the best.

What’s the best way to deep clean a BeautyBlender or make-up sponge?

Like washing your ordinary make-up brushes, there are various techniques for cleaning your BeautyBlender or make-up sponge. If you’re in a fix, baby shampoo will do the trick. Just massage in and keep squeezing so it disperses throughout then rinse with warm water until it runs clear. But if you really want to protect your precious tools, it’s worth investing in a targeted cleaner that’ll save you repeat buying sponges in the long run. 

For a deep clean (that we should be doing every week), the brains behind the brand recommend their own BeautyBlender Cleanser Solid, £15 - as does Lisa Potter-Dixon, Head Makeup Artist and National Brow Artist for Benefit Cosmetics.

Just massage your sponge into the bar, working it into a lather. Then bounce it against the accompanying pink silicone pad with the butterfly facing out. The raised area will help dislodge any stubborn grime. Gently squeeze your sponge and rinse to remove excess cleanser and water. Despite the name, Obsession by Revolution Sanitising Solid Brush Cleaner, £8, works brilliantly on sponges, too. 

If you prefer the idea of a liquid, go for BeautyBlender Liquid Blendercleanser, £16.

Beautyblender BlenderCleanser Solid Sponge and Brush Cleanser

BeautyBlender BlenderCleanser Solid The Ultimate Makeup Sponge and Brush Cleanser


BeautyBlender Liquid BlenderCleanser


Can you clean your BeautyBlender or make-up sponge in a microwave?

As beauty hacks go, this might just be the most bizarre we’ve heard but, honestly, it works. Reddit users and BeautyBlender buffs swear by the trick that involves submerging your sponge in a cup of water and washing up liquid or antibacterial hand soap. You can add coconut oil or olive oil, too, for extra softening. Simply microwave it for 60 seconds then squeeze out the excess water (beware, it’ll be hot). 

It’s the same method health officials recommend for cleaning kitchen sponges with the heat from the microwave zapping germs. Don’t expect your sponge to look totally flawless - it can disinfect it but not necessarily remove stains. Still, if you’re in a rush - it’s an effective, low-faff technique. 

How can I clean my BeautyBlender or make-up sponge quickly in between uses?

Remember we advised you to clean your sponge after every use? While nobody’s got time for an intensive wash daily - sink and all - there are some easy ways to clean your sponge pronto. A mist of BeautyBlender Instaclean, £15, works like a dry shampoo for your tools, giving it a freshen up on the spot - no rinsing required. 

EcoTools Makeup Brush Cleansing Cloths, £6.99, are a speedy temporary fix, too. Just wipe one over to blitz excess grime. 

BeautyBlender Instaclean Waterless Sponge and Brush Cleansing Spray

BeautyBlender InstaClean Waterless Sponge and Brush Cleansing Spray


EcoTools Makeup Brush Cleansing Cloths

EcoTools Makeup Brush Cleansing Cloths


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How should I care for my BeautyBlender or make-up sponge on the go?

Looking after your BeautyBlender or make-up sponge doesn’t just mean giving it a good bath now and then. If you really want to keep spot-causing bacteria at bay, you need to re-think how you store it, too. Instead of slinging it into your make-up bag straight away, always leave it to air dry a little first to avoid bacterial growth and mould. Then stash it in a mesh bag or targeted case that’ll keep it ventilated. 

BeautyBlender Blender Defender Silicone Case, £10, fits two damp sponges, or check out Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge with Case, £6.99, that works in a similar way. 

The official word from BeautyBlender HQ is to replace your sponge every three months - even if you’re looking after it properly - for the best, most flawless results. 

Beautyblender Blender Defender Protective Case

BeautyBlender Blender Defender Protective Case


Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge with Case


Main image: Courtesy of brands