Do you wash brand new makeup sponges?

Okay, I have a concern that is bugging me and I wonder if you ladies can help me out? You know those makeup sponges that come with the compact powder foundation? Do you wash them prior to using? Well, I never did. In fact, I have never given it a second thought and I just use them brand new, unwashed. And I will add that this has happened for many years. However, of late, I started thinking about this again because I’m now using these sponges quite frequently and I wonder if I should wash them prior to usage.

The thing is, I wash ALL my makeup brushes prior to using them even if they’re brand new. So why is it I never thought about washing makeup sponges before using them? The only explanation for me is that most of the sponges comes packed in a plastic wrapper and so my impression is, they’re clean. But are they really that clean? Why do I think they’re cleaner than the brushes? Afterall, nowhere does it say these sponges have been sterilized.

Actually, I started washing my brand new sponges prior to using them now. Even though I never had any problems using them unwashed, but it gives me peace of mind and it’s just a small effort. So what do you think ladies? Do you think I being paranoid? Or are you all already washing brand new makeup sponges and I’m the only late bloomer in this area? (>.<) © copyright notice


  1. says

    I don’t wash makeup sponges that come in compacts prior to use. Just never occured to me 😀 But then I don’t wash brushes/applicators that come in compacts before use too, only brushes.

  2. says

    Hi there. I read something about how unwashed sponge and brushes is like putting makeup with bacteria to the skin. So I really wash mine every night before I sleep so they’re dry and ready to use in the morning.

    • sesame says

      Yup, not wise to use unwashed sponges and brushes after awhile. But I’m wondering if it’s necessary to wash even clean sponges before use.

  3. Hanns says

    me too.i never wash my new sponges before using them and when they’re used, i just throw them out..

  4. says

    Same as you, I just recently wash my new compact sponges! But those triangular ones, I don’t :( I don’t have the time to wash them all prior to using them for clients :)

  5. karen says

    mm… i did consider to wash them before start using, but i nv do it.

    When i’m lazy to clean them.
    i will think or maybe this is a lame reason that i come out with. haha
    Before applying makeup i have apply sunblock or other protective cream etc in that case whether brush or sponges is very “clean” really tat important?

    • sesame says

      Actually, it’s not lame cos I have the same line of reasoning. 😛 I thought, well, since the skincare already protects my skin so no big deal about not washing that “clean” sponge.

  6. says

    Hi Sesame! I don’t, I’m not that anal about it. Not washing my brand new sponges or brushes prior to use doesn’t break me out or cause rashes or anything.

    It could be a personal preference, I’ve seen customers ask for a brand new “untouched” compact because they think the shopgirls’ hands are dirty. I think that’s very extreme, but then again, if you’ve been washing your sponges and brushes and are happy with it, then I don’t see anything wrong. Same thing goes for those who are used to not washing their new sponges :)

    • sesame says

      I think it’s good to ask for the untouched compact – but usually they puff is also contained in a plastic wrapper so it looks much cleaner.

  7. says

    Dirty brushes, powder puffs, and sponges are not good for skin. Puffs and sponges are more disposable (in most cases) and should be replaced. Puffs and sponges do not dry easily after cleansing and they are significantly cheaper than a quality set of cosmetic brushes.

    • sesame says

      Yup, they’re cheaper and so I typically throw after using and rarely wash them to re-use. Occasionally, I do if I really like that particular sponge.

    • sesame says

      Well, I think it’s a good idea cos we have no idea how they’re handled prior to packing.

  8. Cara says

    HAHA good food for thought sesame! I always wash new brushes as well… why not sponges? What do you use to wash your brushes?

    • sesame says

      Now I use this one from Diaso:

      • Cara says

        wow $2? what a steal! I normally use fragrange-free baby shampoo: Dr. Bronner’s or Yes to Baby Carrots! Gotta have to pick this one up though 😛

  9. Audris says

    I wash all the sponges, sponge tip applicators and even cellulose sponges for washing the face after they’ve been bought and before using them on my face. Reason being these are factory made and probably treated with chemicals too. Don’t want any funny thing to touch my face that might trigger a breakout etc. Or try to minimise the event of that happening.

    I also wash my cellulose sponges at the end of each day to let them dry overnight before using them again in the morning. Erh don’t ask why. Just like the idea of them being washed (with the Pigeon Nipple & Bottle Cleanser)

    • sesame says

      Wow, that’s some discipline you have there. But I was thinking about their manufacturing process too and that’s why this sudden urge to wash them recently. Don’t know why it never occurred to me in the past…oh I know – cos maybe I didn’t use them so often in the past.

    • says

      But then again I am slightly OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and have this fear of bacteria, but it never occurred to me to wash the sponges before use. I sanitise my hand before opening the packet to get a new one and then sanitise the packet.

  10. says

    I wash them, I know they’re sealed and all, but I don’t know how they were handled, how they were put into the bags, etc. So I washed them anyway :)

  11. says

    Another factor to consider when deciding whether or not to wash sponges before using them is whether or not the sponges are treated with any kind of antimicrobial agent. There are several methods that manufacturers can use to sterilize their products, for example, exposing the sponges to ethylene oxide gas would kill any “bugs” that might be lurking.

    BTW, I just found your site and I’m really impressed by the quality of the information and the high level of engagement you have with your readers. It’s not easy running a successful beauty blog – keep up the great work!

    • sesame says

      Thanks for coming by Sarah. I love reading your blog! I’ve got it subscribed in my RSS!

      Interesting info you pointed out about sponges being treated. I have no idea because most of them don’t say.

  12. Chantana says

    Now that you point it out… I never wash them too (I guess it’s becos they look white and so clean! lolx)

    And I do wash all brushes before using.. even those that come with the blushes!

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