Written by Grove Collaborative

How to clean your beauty blenders & makeup brushes.

Last Updated: December 26, 2021


Not sure how to clean makeup brushes? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for 4 easy steps to get your brushes and sponges super clean.

After a full day with a face full of makeup, cleaning your brushes is probably the last thing on your mind. But it shouldn’t be! The brushes and blenders you use every day to look and feel your best put up with your worst. You know – oily skin, bacteria, and other impurities that can clog your pores if left unchecked. Yuck!


So that means you gotta clean up before you power down for the day. Not sure how to clean makeup brushes? Well, you’ve come to the right place.


Here at Grove, we want you to look and feel your best – and that’s only possible if you have the right tools and know how to take care of them.

Makeup brushes hold more bacteria than you think

In the Journal of Applied Microbiology, it was reported that as much as 70 –90% of makeup brushes tested exhibited high levels of bacteria including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus.


Unsurprisingly, using dirty makeup brushes can also cause cystic acne – and no one wants that! The facts are in - and you definitely want to clean up your act.


But it doesn’t have to be stressful! Read on for more tips on how to clean up your brushes so bacteria doesn’t harm your fresh face.

Grove Tip

Sharing is not caring


To keep your brushes cleaner longer, don’t share them with anyone. It might seem fun to do makeovers or help a friend in a pinch, but you’re probably only helping them (and yourself) to a fresh case of breakouts and skin irritation. Not a cute look.


To read more health tips about makeup brushes and other topics, check the American Academy of Dermatology’s advice.

4 easy steps to clean your makeup brushes and sponges

It’s not too hard to find the right ingredients to clean up your brushes and sponges. All you need is a light soap or baby shampoo with clean ingredients and lukewarm water. Here are some more optional products you might want to have on hand when cleaning beauty blenders and brushes.



For brushes, don’t soak the whole brush head – that would dissolve the glue adhesive holding the fibers together. Instead, follow our 4 simple steps below or watch this video.




Here’s how to clean makeup blending sponges and brushes quickly:


  1. Rinse the tip of the brush or the whole sponge to get leftover makeup off.
  2. Work in gentle or clarifying brush shampoo before rinsing again
  3. Repeat this process until your sponges and brushes brush away clean on a paper towel.
  4. Squeeze out the moisture and let your sponges or brushes hang out unobstructed off the side of your counter (because no one likes flat, crusty brushes).

Grove tip: We love this light brush shampoo by ecotools for your next brush-cleaning spree.

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Did you know U.S. companies make 76 million pounds of plastic every day, but only 9% of plastic is recycled. At Grove, we think it's time to stop making plastic. Today, we're plastic neutral. By 2025, we'll be 100% plastic-free! Plus, everything sold at Grove is nontoxic, sustainable, and cruelty-free.


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Wash your makeup brushes every 7–10 days

Of course, these figures are on average.


So, if you wear thicker layers of makeup on a regular basis, you may have to wash them more often than that.


And on the flip side, if you really only do full makeup for special occasions, you can probably get away with more time in between washes.


At the end of the day, you know your habits and body best – so monitor yourself and learn how good a clean brush feels on your face. You will likely also notice that your makeup glides on cleaner and crisper without gunk and old product residue getting in the way.

How often should you clean beauty blenders and makeup sponges?

Sponges should be cleaned after each use – and that’s largely due to the porous quality of these little buggers.


They’re handy and fun to use, but they do hold a lot of gunk in and on them. So give them a good rinse, lather with the above-mentioned soap, squeeze, and set them out to air dry.


Otherwise, they’ll become a breeding ground for even more – yes, you guessed it: bacteria – to take root.


And while you’re at it, upgrading your makeup blending sponge to an eco-friendly option helps your face and the planet. Check out this biodegradable makeup sponge by ecotools to start upping your makeup game.

Grove Tip

Can you clean makeup sponges in the microwave?


One alternative method for cleaning sponges involves submerging them in dish soap and water and microwaving them for 1 minute. (You can clean a dish sponge this way too!)


Some people swear by this method, even though it sounds admittedly a bit outlandish. For more about sponge cleaning methods, watch this:


Shop for make up tools from Grove.

Are you contributing to the plastic crisis?

Grove orders have removed 3.7 million pounds of plastic from waterways since January 2020.

U.S. companies make 76 million pounds of plastic every day, but only 9% of plastic is recycled. At Grove, we think it's time to stop making plastic. How are your shopping habits contributing to the Earth's plastic pollution?


Peach Not Plastic is removing plastic from personal care with innovative hair, face, and body care. Try it and help us continue to remove plastic from our oceans!

Shop plastic-free Peach skincare

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