The Quick and Dirty Guide to Cleaning Every Beauty Tool You Own

Hey all! After writing up my Daiso Detergent for Puff and Sponge review, I realized it might be helpful to do a quick post on how to clean some of the most common beauty tools and keep them working their best. Dirty tools are not only gross, but can cause acne and other infections, lead to premature need for replacement, and interfere with product application. The difference between applying foundation with a clean vs dirty brush is astounding. So without further ado, here’s my quick and dirty guide that will have your arsenal spic and span!


This category includes things like wedges and beauty blenders. To clean them, add your solution along with a little water to the sponge and massage it thoroughly with gentle squeezing motions. The goal when cleaning sponges is to fully and evenly distribute the cleansing solution throughout the sponge for a proper cleaning. It’s important to remember not to twist the sponge too much (or just be too aggressive with them in general) or you will risk tearing/ripping the sponge.
When you are done cleaning the sponge, squeeze out as much excess water as you can (while still not twisting!) and let it dry in a well-ventilated area.


With brushes, follow the same procedure as with the sponges. Work the cleaning solution and a small amount of water through the bristles, making sure that the solution penetrates down to the “roots” of the bristles, all the way through the tip. Rinse well and let them dry in a well-ventilated area. A daily spritz of a brush cleaner can be a good way to regularly ensure clean application (sponges just absorb too much product and require regular deep cleaning).

Quick tip:
when a brush begins to lose its shape (you know, that precision brush isn’t quite as precise as it used to be), you can arrange the bristles the way you’d like and let them dry that way. I’ve done this many times for smaller, non-fluffy brushes like precision and concealer type brushes.


Spoolies ideally should just be cleaned off after every use (like with water or a little makeup remover), but a quick rub with cleansing solution will take all the product build-up off. After cleaning, let dry in a well-ventilated area.

Eyelash curlers

Eyelash-related tools are exposed to all sorts hard to clean-off substances like eyelash glue and water-proof mascara. Cleaning these tools with a little soap and water or make-up remover doesn’t always yield the best results especially if a clean is long overdue. To help loosen up all this fun stuff, add some heat. The techniques vary across the board: a quick run over with a lighter, using a hairdryer to loosen up the gunk, or, as I personally like, a nice long soak in some hot water. This will help loosen up the product so that it can more easily be wiped away.

Skin-related tools

So, this section may be totally common sense, but just like pillowcases, things like loofahs, washcloths, and scrubby-mitts that you use to clean your face/body with should be washed regularly. I personally wash mine every week like I do my pillowcases. Keeping the two on the same wash schedule helps me to remember to do it regularly.

Also, things like blackhead extractors/removers should be thoroughly cleaned after each and every use with hot, soapy water and/or rubbing alcohol. Tweezers and nail clippers should also see a bath or alcohol rub-down regularly as well.

-the oddly shaped plastic scoops that come with many sleeping packs and other similar products should also be cleaned regularly with soap and water. Make sure they are being stored in a hygienic place as well, not just floating in the bottom of a drawer or something.


Hairbrushes and combs should be cleaned regularly as well. Combs can be easily rinsed with soap and water, but hairbrushes are a little more in-depth with their needs. The first step is to get any hair from the brush-yes, you can use a comb or another brush for this step! Then the brush needs a moment with a little shampoo and hot water (bonus points if you use a clarifying shampoo to remove extra build-up!). Then last step is to let it dry.

Keep it clean

Remember to evaluate your tools regularly (like when you clean them) and replace them as needed. While cleaning them regularly and storing them properly can help prevent premature replacement and keep them working their best, everything has a life span including that adorable limited edition cushion compact or that kabuki brush that cost three whole paychecks. If you love them, you’ll let them go.
So keeping all of your arsenal of makeup and other beauty tools as clean as they should be on a regular basis is about as exciting as flossing, but taking care of your tools is taking care of not only the investment in the cost of them, but in the investment of you!

(ugh, I know that was cheesy, but I won’t apologize)

Have you been cleaning all your tools like you should? Do you have any tips or tricks I should know about? Let me know in the comments below.

AND, if you haven’t already entered into my giveaway-what are you waiting for? Go here to sign up now!

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