Your make up sponge has likely been to a fair few places with you, and seen some sights. Once we have found a good make up sponge, it is hard to imagine ever using anything else! The best sponge will smooth on your foundation without brush strokes or lines, and leave you with a perfect finish. When you are using it every day, you may not think about washing it – but keeping your equipment clean is actually very important. Let’s have a look into the ins and outs of how to clean a makeup sponge.
Why clean your make up sponge?
Because your make up equipment is so often in contact with your face, it is important to keep it all clean or you can run the risk of transferring bacteria to your skin, which can cause skin problems such as pimples, acne and skin irritation.
Another good reason is that keeping your sponges and brushes dry and clean will prevent any old, dried on make up from transferring to the new application and ruining your look.
Different types of make-up sponge
Not all sponges are created equal, and there are a great many different types of sponge, made from different materials, for different purposes.
Your basic foam sponge is probably the thing that you started out with, and this is one of the most well known types. These are often triangle shaped, and can cause lines and unevenness due to their shape and texture.
The powder puff is a bit like the ones you may have seen in your grandma’s bathroom, but much more sophisticated. They come in a variety of fabrics, from cotton to satin, and are used for powder applications.
You can find latex based sponges, which are generally wedge shaped, are ideal for smoothing on liquid foundation and concealer. These are great because the tend not to absorb the product as much as other sponges, making them easier to wash.
How to clean your make up sponge
A. Cleaning with liquid soap:
- Run your sponge under lukewarm water, then squeeze out the excess.
- Place a small amount of mild shampoo into your hand, then roll the sponge between your palms.
- Rub the liquid completely into the sponge, until it has absorbed it all.
- Run the sponge under the tap again, squeezing it until the water runs clear.
- Repeat this process until the water running from the sponge is completely clear.
- Squeeze out the excess water with your hands, then lay the sponge in a towel and squeeze again.
- Lay the sponge on a dry towel and leave it overnight to completely dry and shrink back to its original size.
B. Cleaning with solid soap:
- Run the sponge under lukewarm water.
- Take a bar of mild, unscented soap and run it under the tap to moisten it.
- Run the soap between your hands to create a lather, then rub this lather into the sponge.
- Rub the sponge between your hands until it has absorbed all the lather, then rinse it thoroughly under the tap.
- Squeeze the water and bubbles from the sponge, until the water runs clear.
- You should repeat these steps until the water you rinse the sponge with runs consistently clear. Make sure you rinse all the soap out of the sponge.
- Squeeze out the excess water, then lay your sponge on a dry towel and let it air dry. You will know it is completely dry when it has shrunk back to its original size.
Dos and Don’t of cleaning make up sponges
- DO If you have a sponge that is super stained, you can soak it in warm soapy water for half an hour.
- DO For an easier clean, simply place your sponges into a mesh bag and rinse them out in your washing machine.
- DO Store your make up sponges in a well ventilated space, to prevent dampness and mildew issues.
- DO Keep make up sponges in a soap dish on the bathroom counter. This will allow light (that can kill bacteria) to reach it and keep it clean.
- DON’T store your sponges in a drawer, a cupboard or a sealed bag, as this can allow bacteria to breed.
- DON’T keep your sponge in your make up bag with everything else, as it can absorb make up or germs.
- DON’T wash your sponges on a hot washing machine cycle, as the heat can damage them.
- DON’T forget to wash. You should clean your sponge at least once a week, and if your skin is sensitive and you often get spots, you should wash your sponge after every use.
Make up sponges are a great way of applying make up that looks smooth and natural. Keeping these sponges and brushes clean is vital for their health and longevity – and for the health of your skin too.