There’s a beauty hack that’s been circulating the internet for the past couple years when it comes to cleaning makeup sponges that I’ve been dying to try. Several people have shared their success with cleaning makeup sponges in the microwave, removing all built up makeup residue and getting a squeaky clean appearance. I’ll admit: I’m the worst about cleaning my sponges. I let the makeup collect for weeks before finally trying to squeeze it all out with soap and water (do as I say and not as I do, people!). So I decided to try it out using a Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge that was in dire need of a wash.
Here’s how it’s supposed to work: fill a microwave-safe mug with soap and water, plop your sponge in, and microwave it on high for about a minute. Let it cool, then rinse and squeeze. Then, you can repeat the process if your sponge isn’t completely clean yet.
If you try this, please be smart about it. Realize that even if the surface of the sponge has cooled off, there’s still probably hot water soaked up inside. I definitely almost burned my hand while squeezing out the soapy water.
On the first go around, a lot of makeup came out of my sponge, but I could tell there was still a lot of residue soaked up inside. I ended up repeating the process once. This was the final result— you can see that I got a lot of the makeup off, though there’s still some staining toward the very top of the sponge that was being stubborn. Pretty dramatic results nonetheless, but I’m not quite sure I’d actually recommend this method.
Honestly, I felt that this method completely ruined my sponge. Granted, I’ve been using this particular sponge for about six months and it was time to be replaced anyway— but check out those new rips on the surface in the before/after! Those weren’t there beforehand, and appeared as I was rinsing and squeezing after it came out of the microwave. I wasn’t being any more rough than if I were washing the sponge using my normal method of brush shampoo and water, so there’s no reason besides the heat that I could think would cause this.
On top of that, the sponge became completely misshapen and wouldn’t bounce back to it’s normal teardrop shape. Once I squeezed all the water and soap out, it completely lost its ability to reshape itself. Even after drying for hours, it was lumpy and lost all bounce factor.
I can’t say whether or not this would have happened on a newer sponge, or even a more expensive sponge like the original beautyblender. But I, for one, am not in the business of wasting money trying to test theories on my beauty tools. Plus, I don’t think it really saved all that much time. It doesn’t take a long time for me to clean my sponges with brush shampoo or the beautyblender solid cleanser to begin with… I just always forget!
So honestly, I’d skip this particular beauty hack and do it the right way… and often!