How to Clean Your Makeup Sponge or Beauty Blender; Microwave Tip Included

Cleaning your makeup sponge or beauty blender has proven to be a necessary way to maintain cosmetic hygiene. 

In a recent study, makeup sponges or beauty blenders were shown to harbor different kinds of bacteria, such as E. coli and Staph, because makeup users often leave their sponges damp after use. Dampness, unfortunately, can invite a number of harmful bacteria. 

So what can you do as a beauty enthusiast? One thing we highly recommend is to get a better makeup applicator, one that does not soak up a lot of wet substances. 

But if you already have a makeup sponge that you still want to use, here are some ways you can clean it!




Materials Needed:


2 cups of warm filtered water

2 tablespoons of mild soap or 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid

Dry clean face towel 

Hair dryer

Clean storage


Step 1: Prepare a solution of mild soap and warm filtered water in a medium-sized bowl. If you want to use dishwashing liquid, make sure to pour a small amount into warm water. One (1) teaspoon will do.


Step 2: Preliminarily wash your beauty blender by running it through water—preferably filtered water—and squeezing the sponge as much as you can. Keep doing this until the squeezed-out water appears somewhat clear.


Step 3: Soak your makeup sponge in the solution of mild soap and warm filtered water for a short while. After letting it sit for a bit, squeeze your makeup sponge multiple times while inside the solution. Keep repeating until you’re satisfied.


Step 4: Get a clean face towel and pat your makeup sponge dry. Make sure you squeeze out all the water it absorbed! 


Step 5: To ensure complete dryness, blow dry your makeup sponge all around until you’re satisfied.


Step 6: Store your makeup sponge somewhere clean.




The microwave method of cleaning your makeup sponge might seem like a recent trend. But in truth, this technique has been around since 2013, and it was thanks to a redditor who posted the tip on r/MakeupAddiction. The redditor found an article on WebMD that was originally published way back in 2007, and in the article was a study that showed microwaves can kill the germs in kitchen sponges. 


A new study shows zapping sponges and plastic scrubbing pads in the microwave can kill bacteria, such as E. coli, that can cause illness,” the article said. A total of four minutes in the microwave was all that was needed to kill all the bacteria, the study found. 


The redditor, whose account is now defunct, shared that they first clean their makeup sponge with soap and water, after which they microwave the sponge on a microwave-safe plate for two minutes.


“[I] add more water if I need to, and put in for an additional [two],” the redditor said. “Be careful, it gets really hot, so I let it cool down in the microwave before squeezing it out and putting it away.”


Years later—in 2018 to be exact—this method of cleaning makeup sponges was picked up by a Twitter user named Julianna Asouzu (@TheLifeOfCoko).


Unfortunately, not everyone was successful in trying this out.


Not following the instructions, many Twitter users met a similar fate. Their makeup sponges melted in the microwave because they did not add water

There is, however, a way to avoid this tragedy, and we’re here to show you how.

Materials Needed:


Microwave-friendly container


Mild soap


Step 1: Prepare a solution of mild soap and warm filtered water in the microwave-friendly container of your choice.


Step 2: Carry your makeup sponge under running water; better if filtered. Squeeze your makeup sponge as water streams through it to remove excess product and dirt.


Step 3: Place your makeup sponge in the solution, and put it in the microwave for one (1) minute.


Step 4: Let it cool for thirty (30) seconds.


Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you reach four (4) minutes in total to ensure that most of the bacteria has been killed. You may change the water every minute if you want to.


And voila! Your makeup sponge is clean.  


Have you tried using a microwave to clean your makeup sponge? Drop us a message on our Facebook page at or share your experience with your fellow beauty enthusiasts at LIVE & GLOW. We’re excited to hear from you!