How to Clean a Beauty Blender

Beauty blenders have become a makeup bag staple for creating a flawless, airbrushed look. The soft, spongy applicators make blending liquid and cream products easy. However, like any makeup brush, beauty blenders need proper cleaning to keep them hygienic and functioning at their best. Learning how to clean a beauty blender is essential for both the quality of your makeup application and avoiding germs.

With some simple cleaning steps and the right products, keeping beauty blenders fresh is easy. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to clean beauty blenders to extend their life and performance.

Why It’s Important to Clean Beauty Blenders

Cleaning beauty blenders regularly is crucial for several reasons:

  • Prevent buildup – Makeup, oil, and dead skin cells can build up quickly in the dense, porous material of beauty blenders. Regular cleaning prevents caking and maintains the integrity of the sponge.
  • Avoid breakouts – Dirty applicators harbor bacteria, which can lead to acne breakouts and skin irritation.
  • Improve application – Clean tools allow for smooth, even blending rather than dragging across the skin.
  • Prolong lifespan – With proper care, a quality beauty blender can last 4-6 months. Cleaning removes debris that breaks down the material over time.
  • Prevent color transfer – Cleaning after each use prevents makeup shades from bleeding into each other, keeping your applications true to color.

Developing consistent cleansing habits ensures your beauty blenders are ready to make your makeup look flawless every time.

How Often to Clean Beauty Blenders

Experts recommend cleaning your beauty blender every 1-2 uses. This frequency keeps bacteria from accumulating and provides the best makeup application.

Here are some guidelines on cleaning frequency:

  • Clean after every use if you use multiple makeup products. The oils and colors will mix together in the sponge.
  • Clean every other use if you only use one makeup product, like foundation or concealer.
  • Clean weekly if you use it infrequently.
  • Replace monthly to every other month for best results.

Get in a routine of cleaning beauty blenders directly after using them to remove pigment and oils before they set in. Having a regular schedule makes the habit easy.

Cleaning Methods and Products

You have a few options when it comes to the best way to clean a beauty blender. The key is using a method that cleans deep into the dense, porous material. Here are some effective methods and the products needed:

Soap and Water

One of the simplest ways to clean a beauty blender is with soap and water. This economical method works well for lightly used sponges.

You will need:

  • Mild soap or cleanser
  • Water
  • Optional: old toothbrush


  1. Wet the beauty blender under warm running water and massage a small amount of soap or cleanser into the material. Avoid harsh soaps that may be drying.
  2. Gently squeeze and massage the sponge to release makeup and oils. Focus on areas like the pointed tip where makeup accumulates.
  3. For a deeper clean, use an old toothbrush and gently brush the surface and tip. Take care not to be too rough.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with warm water until the water runs clear.
  5. Squeeze out excess water and allow to air dry completely before next use.

Makeup Cleanser

Makeup removers and cleansers specifically formulated for brushes and sponges can provide a deeper clean.

You will need:

  • Makeup brush cleanser


  1. Apply a quarter-sized amount of the brush or sponge cleanser to the beauty blender.
  2. Massage the product all over the surface, kneading it into the material.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with warm water until the water runs clear.
  4. Squeeze out excess water and allow to dry fully before using again. Make sure no residual cleanser remains.

Look for cleansers that contain disinfectants and ingredients to break up makeup, oil, and debris. Cleansers specially formulated for makeup tools are gentler than regular soaps.

Cleansing Mitts or Towelettes

For on-the-go cleaning, wet cleansing mitts provide a quick clean.

You will need:

  • Pack of disposable cleansing mitts or reusable silicone scrubber
  • Small towel


  1. Dampen the cleansing mitt or silicone scrubber with warm water. Micellar water also works well.
  2. Gently wipe down the entire surface of the beauty blender.
  3. Rinse the sponge under running water.
  4. Pat dry with a clean towel. Allow to fully dry.

Cleansing mitts lift dirt and bacteria from the surface. The silicone scrubbers provide slight exfoliation to remove buildup.

Micellar Water

The no-rinse micellar water many people use to remove facial makeup also works to clean beauty blenders.

You will need:

  • Micellar cleansing water
  • Small towel


  1. Pour a small amount of micellar water onto the beauty blender.
  2. Gently massage over the surface to dissolve makeup and oils.
  3. Use a clean towel or tissue to blot excess dirty liquid until the sponge looks clean.
  4. Allow to air dry fully before the next use.

The micelles in the water lift away impurities without damaging the sponge. This provides a gentler clean for delicate or ripped blenders.

Cleansing Sprays

There are cleansing sprays made specifically for cleaning makeup brushes and sponges on the go.

You will need:

  • Brush/sponge cleaning spray


  1. Spray the cleansing solution generously over the entire beauty blender.
  2. Gently wipe the surface using a clean tissue or towel to lift dirt and makeup.
  3. Repeat until the sponge looks clean.
  4. Allow to fully air dry before using again.

Look for sprays containing alcohol to help disinfect and water to rinse away residue. Check ingredients as some formulas may be too harsh for certain blender materials.

Deep Cleaning Methods

For a more thorough periodic deep clean, you can use stronger methods occasionally. Here are some options:

  • Dish soap – Use a small amount of dish soap with warm water and massage it deeply into the sponge. Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed.
  • Exfoliating scrub – Gently rub an exfoliating face or body scrub onto the beauty blender. The grains help slough off clingy buildup.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Soak the sponge for 5-10 minutes in a dilution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Rubbing alcohol – Saturate the beauty blender with undiluted 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol and let sit 10 minutes. Rinse with clean water.
  • Lemon juice – Squeeze lemon juice over the sponge and sit 10 minutes before rinsing. The acidity helps break up oil and disinfect.
  • Baking soda – Make a paste of baking soda and water. Gently rub onto the sponge and let sit briefly before rinsing.

Deep clean monthly or whenever sponges seem especially dirty. Harsher products can damage material over time with frequent use.

Tips for Cleaning Beauty Blenders

Keep these tips in mind as you clean beauty blenders:

  • Always start by rinsing with water to wet the sponge before cleansing. This prevents dragging dry makeup across the surface.
  • Target textured areas and the pointed tip where makeup sticks. Gently massage cleanser into these areas.
  • Do a “color check” by squeezing the sponge after rinsing to make sure all traces of color have been removed.
  • Avoid harsh scrubbing, soaps, or water temperatures that may damage the delicate material.
  • Squeeze out excess water and allow the sponge to air dry completely before using to prevent mold.
  • Never put beauty blenders in the washing machine or dishwasher, as this can destroy their shape.
  • Replace beauty blenders every few months when the material starts to break down.

Regular, gentle cleaning removes debris but keeps the blender intact for flawless application.

Storing Beauty Blenders Between Uses

Proper storage between uses also helps keep beauty blenders clean and hygienic. Here are some storage tips:

  • Store completely dry blenders in a clean, dry place like a makeup drawer or sealed container.
  • Do not store wet or damp blenders, as bacteria and mold can develop.
  • Keep blenders in an open, ventilated container for airflow if not fully dried.
  • Store in clean makeup bags or containers rather than loose where they can pick up dirt and germs.
  • Designate a separate clean bag or bin just for clean blenders only.
  • Do not touch the sponge directly with hands to apply product. Use the back of your hand or a brush instead.

Keeping blenders dry and contained maintains cleanliness between deep cleanings. Replace immediately if any mold develops.

Signs It’s Time to Replace a Beauty Blender

With regular cleaning, beauty blenders can last around 3-6 months. Here are signs it’s time to retire your sponge and replace it:

  • The material feels stiff, dried out, or misshapen
  • The surface feels rough or causes dragging during application
  • It retains stains and buildup even after cleaning
  • You notice increased acne breakouts when using
  • It develops rips, tears, or holes
  • The color becomes faded
  • It has an odd smell after washing
  • You’ve had it longer than 4-6 months

Purchasing 2-3 blenders and rotating them extends individual lifespan. Replace immediately at any signs of deterioration.

Choosing the Right Beauty Blender

All beauty blenders require regular cleaning. However, some materials and shapes make maintenance easier. Keep these tips in mind when selecting blenders:

  • Pure sponges – Natural sponges are gentler and more resistant to bacteria. Avoid blenders containing latex.
  • Round or teardrop shape – Compared to wedges, rounded shapes are easier to fully submerge and clean.
  • Smooth surface – Textured blenders trap more debris. Smoother is better for easy cleaning.
  • Size – Mini and medium blenders are easier to handle for cleaning compared to oversized jumbo sponges.
  • Firmness – Very soft, squishy sponges tear more easily. Opt for moderate density.

Quality makeup sponges designed for longevity make cleaning simpler.

How to Clean a Beauty Blender Frequently Asked Questions

Cleaning beauty blenders properly is important for getting the most use out of them. Here are answers to some common questions about how to clean makeup sponges:

How often should you clean your beauty blender?

Experts recommend cleaning your beauty blenders every 1 to 2 uses. Cleaning them frequently prevents buildup of makeup, oils, and bacteria.

What is the best way to clean a beauty blender?

Soap and water work well for a basic clean. For a deeper clean, use brush cleanser, cleansing mitts, micellar water, or disinfecting sprays designed for makeup tools. Avoid harsh household cleansers.

Can I put a beauty blender in the washing machine?

Never put beauty blenders in the washing machine or dishwasher. The agitation and heat can destroy the delicate material. Always handwash.

How do I deep clean a beauty blender?

For periodic deep cleaning, use exfoliating scrubs, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, or rubbing alcohol. Limit deep cleansing to 1-2 times per month maximum.

How do I get makeup stains out of a beauty blender?

Gently massage soap, cleansing oil, or micellar water into stained areas. Baking soda or hydrogen peroxide soaks also help lift stubborn makeup stains. Avoid abrasive scouring.

What is the best way to dry a beauty blender?

Always let beauty blenders air dry completely before storing or using them. Do not store damp sponges as they can breed bacteria.

How can I store beauty blenders to keep them clean?

Store completely dry beauty blenders in a clean, enclosed container. Never tightly seal wet or damp sponges. Keep them separate from dirty brushes and applicators.

How long do beauty blenders last?

With proper cleaning and care, most quality beauty blenders last around 3 to 6 months before needing replacement. Replace immediately if the material is damaged.


Regularly cleaning beauty blenders is an essential part of maintaining the quality of your makeup application. By removing buildup, oils and bacteria, cleaning extends the lifespan of the sponges.

Use a frequent cleansing routine along with periodic deep cleaning for best results. Allow blenders to completely air dry and store properly between uses. Replace beauty blenders every few months or at the first sign of deterioration.

With the right techniques and products, keeping these makeup bag staples fresh and hygienic is simple. Investing a little time into proper care ensures flawless, streak-free blending for all your beauty looks.