We Microwaved A Beauty Blender To See If This New Cleaning Hack Actually Works

But what about the bacteria?!

We Microwaved A Beauty Blender To See If This New Cleaning Hack Actually Works

by Phoebe Parke |
Published on

I love a beauty hack – mainly because I’m time poor (read: lazy) and makeup is way harder to do than it looks.

Skincare experts are always telling us we should wash our beauty tools every week and stop being so gross, but between watching Netflix, trying to adult and actually having a social life – there’s just no time to do anything.

That’s where this new beauty blender cleaning hack comes in very handy. This trick has been around for a while, but it’s resurfaced on Twitter after a few people tried it out and got great results.

So, of course I tried it out for myself, here’s how I got on.

How do you clean your beauty blender in the microwave?

Dirty sponge

I submerged my foundation-covered beauty blender in a mug of soapy water – not too full! Then I put it in the microwave and set the timer for one minute.

Sponge in mug



When the time was up I took it out but made sure I DID NOT SQUEEZE IT OUT – obviously the water is super hot guys. So I waited for a while until it all cooled down.

Sponge in mug after

Then I took the sponge out of the water and gave it a good old squeeze.

Does cleaning your beauty blender in the microwave work?

When I took the blender out of the microwave there was a lot of pink coming off on the tissue (way more than when I usually wash it using soap and some scrubbing) and a whole bunch of foundation still on the sponge. Was the dye from the sponge coming out? Definitely not what I wanted.

Sponge in tissue

But when I squeezed some more, it did look a lot cleaner, but not completely foundation-free.

Clean sponge

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Does it come out hot?

Yes VERY. Please be careful.

What about the bacteria?

It sounds pretty gross right – just heating up your dirty sponge in a mug.

And a study by Saint Martin’s University confirms that contrary to popular belief, heating a sponge to a high heat doesn’t get rid of the bacteria on or in it. In the study researcher Nicole J. Tate found that heating a sponge for 30 or 60 seconds in the microwave made no difference to the levels of bacteria in the sponges. And that the methods she tried that physically washed the sponges – e.g. boiling and spinning in a washing machine were much more effective.

‘The results of my experiment showed that boiling, dishwashing, and the use of the washing machine were the only methods of treatment that were statistically significantly different than the control group, which did not undergo any treatment,’ she writes.

‘In contrast, the microwave at both 30 seconds and 60 seconds showed no significant difference from the control. Since the control group did not undergo any treatment, it appears as though the microwave had the same effect on the sponge as if they had not been treated at all.’

So maybe we should be chucking our sponges in with our laundry instead?

Can you put it in without the soapy water?

Your sponge will probably burn if you do this. Like this person.

Follow Phoebe on Twitter @PhoebeParke

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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