Beauty Tools We Often Forget To Clean/Replace

Beauty Tools We Often Forget To Clean/Replace

© kamenuka

All right, can I have a show of hands here … when was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? This week? Good for you! Me too. 😛

Now, next question: when was the last time you cleaned those makeup puffs and applicators that come with your favourite foundation compact and eyeshadow palette? How about when it was that you last cleaned
your eyelash curler?


I hear ya. Guilty as charged. Oh, and I was talking about me.

I was taking my shower cap out to use the other day only to realise that mould has been growing inside of the cap and I had no idea. I shudder even thinking about it now. Needless to say, it went into the bin immediately. And it got me wondering when the heck it was that I last cleaned that piece of plastic filth. Or the many beauty tools I use but forget to clean or even replace?

So I went to my beauty drawers and took out all of the beauty tools I use and gave them a good clean. I thought I’d also list down some of the items that you may have overlooked that needed cleaning along with how I clean them. Hey, no judgement here. I’ve been guilty of not cleaning/replacing all of the items below. 😛

Combs and hairbrushes
Weekly clean. Firstly, I’ll soak the hairbrushes and combs in hot water. Next, I use toothpicks to scrape the gunk off hairbrushes and combs. The amount of hardened dead skin cells stuck on the bristles will shock you. If the gunk is so hard that it won’t come off, it’s best to replace the combs and/or hairbrushes.

Makeup brushes
Weekly clean. Spot clean after each use with a brush cleaner. I like the one from MAC.

Makeup sponges, pads, puffs, tiny brushes and applicators that come with and are kept in compacts/palettes, brushes and sponge applicators that are attached to cosmetic pencils
I don’t normally keep sponge applicators that come with makeup as they’re almost always rubbish to use (and if I do, I hardly use them) but the ones that I do keep, I try to clean them on the day I’ve used them. As for makeup sponges, pads and puffs, do clean them weekly. Or better yet, use a makeup brush.

Eyelash curlers
Weekly clean. Believe it or not, when I started using eyelash curlers years ago, I never thought to clean them, not even when they collected eye makeup gunk on the rubber bit. I know. DISGUSTING. I clean mine weekly now. A good rub and rinse with dishwashing liquid or Daiso’s makeup sponge cleaner will do the trick in removing stubborn waterproof eye makeup off the curler.

Tweezers, brow scissors and nail clippers
Monthly clean. Another set of tools I didn’t think needed proper cleaning until recently. I boil these a solution of water and vinegar (one-to-one ratio), rinse with water and leave to dry.

Shower caps
Replace monthly. I use shower caps often and keep them out of the bathroom to avoid moisture buildup and mould infestation. Even then, it still harbours bacteria so it’s best to replace them as often as you can. If I’m using disposable shower caps, I replace weekly and if it’s nicer but still plastic shower caps, I replace monthly. If it’s a cloth shower cap, I toss it into the washing machine on a weekly basis.

Bath sponges and meshes
Replace monthly or every 3 months, depending on the type. I like sponges that completely dry out to feel like a small rock as they don’t harbour as much bacteria as regular sponges and meshes (e.g. Konjac sponge and the Large Bath Sponge from The Body Shop) and they don’t need replacing so often. Still, for sponges like those, it’s best to replace every 3 months, and don’t hang them in the shower where it touches water frequently.

There are more beauty tools that need cleaning and replacing, but I’ll leave the list at this for now as these are the items we use often. My opinion when it comes to cleaning and replacing cheap beauty tools like bath sponges, meshes and plastic shower caps: when in doubt (if you’re not sure if the green gunk is fungus or even if came with the item), chuck the old one and just get a new one. The expensive items like makeup brushes and even combs/hairbrushes need better care and that’s what we should pay more attention to as they’re harder to replace.

So, back to the question I posed earlier, when was the last time you cleaned any of these beauty tools? 😛

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12 comments… add one
  1. Wendy@BlushandBarbells

    I clean my brushes and puffs regularly since I’m acnegenic…but you’ve got me thinking that I should change my contact lens case!
    Wendy@BlushandBarbells recently posted..Soap & Glory Hand FoodMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh damn, I forgot to add contact lens into the list, since I use daily disposables. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Winston

    Definitely important to clean your makeup tools regularly. An eye infection is not pretty Lol!
    Wet facial wipes are easy and convenient to give your tools, cases and mirrors a good clean.
    Winston recently posted..How to get perfect Festival Hair this SummerMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Mirrors! I forgot to add mirrors! A year or two ago, I did a blog post comparing many drugstore facial wipes to each other and I was left with many packets of wipes. I now use them to clean my tools too. 🙂

  3. Mel

    Eep! I was scared to read this article after reading the title. I sure am guilty of not cleaning my makeup tools regularly. Looks like I may need to source a place to buy cheap shower caps ASAP!
    Mel recently posted..BEST Makeup Products from Aussie “Drugstore” for BeginnersMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahahaha ooops sorry! 😛 Daiso has plenty of cheap shower caps. I get mine from Woolworths and replace it monthly (cost me about $3 per month). A more expensive but environmentally-friendly alternative would be cloth shower caps that you can just chuck into the washing machine whenever you do your laundry. This way, you’ll keep the shower cap clean and there’ll be less waste. Just a thought. 🙂

  4. Kat

    I do clean my brushes and eyelash curler somewhat regularly which is good. I don’t really clean any other metal ware but maybe give my tweezers a wipe after each use. I don’t even want to think about my shower cap – that thing only gets changed when the elastic goes!!! =O
    Kat recently posted..Chi Chi Brow Pomade | ReviewMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Erm, watch out for green gunk underneath the shower cap elastic! >.<

  5. FireAngel

    I’m so guilty of not washing my stuff often enough. 😛

    Can advise how to wash make up sponge ah?
    The sponge I’m referring to is the one that comes with the Laneige BB cushion and I also use a powder puff for my face power.
    I’m using Dove soap to wash my brushes, but I don’t see that it works very well for the above 2.


    1. Tine

      For makeup sponges and wedges, you need something stronger than Dove. Dishwashing liquid is fantastic for this. Smells odd and artificially-lemony I know, but it works a treat in getting rid of the gunk. Another alternative would be Daiso’s makeup sponge cleaner. It’s very popular. But be aware though; apparently they are two different types of makeup brush/sponge cleaner by Daiso. One is gel and one is liquid. If you can shake and hear water in the bottle, then that’s NOT the one you want.

  6. Samantha

    My mom had this fluffy powder brush she never cleaned since she got it… 20 years ago. I cleaned it for her when I visited her. The stuff that came out of the brush when I cleaned it for her was … interesting
    Samantha recently posted..Short hair to Long hair in 5 minutes!My Profile

    1. Tine


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