The Ultimate Guide To Cleaning Your Makeup Collection

While the entire internet (read: Instagram) seems to have a fascination and love for cleaning, us beauty addicts are over here still talking solely about cleaning our makeup brushes! So I thought I'd extend this to all things makeup based as bacteria can harbour in much more than just the fibres of your most used makeup brushes.

From how to clean your dressing table without the smell of bleach to giving your eyelash curlers what will most likely be their first ever clean. I feel I've got your cleaning urges covered with this ultimate guide to cleaning your entire makeup collection!

And yes, this is 100% Mrs Hinch inspired! 

How to clean your makeup bag

Makeup bags without a doubt harbour a ton of bacteria and grime so giving it a clean out every now again is a good idea. If the inside lining of your makeup bag is oilcloth or wipe clean then you want to flip it inside out and simply use a makeup wipe or kitchen counter wipe to remove all visible marks and general grime.

If however you're using a material makeup bag then you will want to stick it in your washing machine on a normal colour wash. It's also worth surface cleaning all the makeup products in your makeup bag at the same time, again with a face wipe or anti-bacterial wipe, I personally prefer using face wipes for this job as I don't want my makeup bag smelling of chemicals!

How to clean acrylic makeup storage

Clear acrylic makeup storage definitely stands the test of time but daily opening and closing of drawers with foundation fingertips can leave your setup pretty filthy looking. So if your storage is looking full of makeup smears or dust then it's time to empty it out and put it in the sink for a wash.

A basic solution of warm water and washing-up liquid is enough here, with marks and smears easily being removed with a soft cloth only to avoid scratches. Then you can leave it to air dry upside down on the side or buff it dry with a dry microfibre cloth.

If however your makeup storage just has the odd fingerprint mark to the front of the drawers then a solution of white vinegar with a few drops of Zoflora (to mask the vinegar smell) in a spray bottle and buffed off with scrunched up newspaper should get your acrylic drawers gleaming in no time.

Cleaning your dressing table

Next on to whatever surface you apply your makeup at. For me, this is my dressing table which is white and gets dirty very easily. So I like to keep an anti-bacterial spray and a soft cloth under my dressing table so that I can give it a wipe down and clean every few days.

For any kind of surface in my bedroom or that I will be sitting at I like to go for as natural smelling anti-bacterial cleaner as possible with my favourite being Clean-ology Mint & Green Tea Multipurpose Cleaner from Aldi which cleans well but smells lovely - I have another bottle in my kitchen as  I enjoy using it that much.

For any stubborn stains such as nail polish or even eyeliner I always use a small amount of acetone on a cotton pad before going in with my anti-bacterial spray, however, you do have to be cautious of the surface you are applying such a harsh solution to. 

I also like to give my dressing table a thorough clean once a month with a deeper cleaning kitchen spray and a soft cloth. However afterwards I finish off with a diluted spray bottle of Zoflora again just to mask the smell so that my bedroom isn't smelling of harsh chemicals. If you haven't tried out using Zoflora already then you need to - it has so many uses! 

Thoroughly cleaning makeup sponges

If you've ever washed a dirty makeup sponge then you will likely know it takes up a whole lot of soap and squishing between your hands to get it even remotely clean looking. But what if there was a way to get it pristine in under a minute?

While washing makeup sponges by hand is always a good shout, you can actually give all your makeup sponges a deep clean in the microwave. Although a blast in your microwave won't kill all gems it will rid you of the bad ones along with stubborn foundation stains.

To quickly sanitise a makeup sponge simply wet it under cold water and place it in a mug for 40-60 seconds depending on your microwave settings. For a deeper clean, half fill a mug with a washing-up liquid and water mix, pop your makeup blender in it and set your microwave going for 40-60 seconds. Caution should be taken to remove the sponge from the cup and you may want to quickly rinse it but it should come out sparkling.

Find out how I clean my makeup brushes here

Remove eyelash curler buildup  

Ever noticed the gunk on your eyelash curlers and used them anyway? Yep, you and me both! 

The stubborn hard to budge build-up is simply eyeshadow and eyeliner from when you hold your eyelash curlers against your eye which actually be removed in seconds with this easy hack. 

Simply using a lighter heat up the back of your eyelash curlers for a few seconds, making sure to keep your fingers away from the naked flame and hot metal. Then swiftly wipe away all the buildup with a tissue in one firm sweep. It's as simple as that! You can also give them an extra clean by sanitising them - find out how to sanitise makeup products at the bottom of this post.  

Cleaning sponge applicators and built-in brushes

Built-in sponges and brushes on makeup products such as concealers and other similar liquid based products are fairly common so exactly like makeup blending sponges and brushes they harbour bacteria over time. These without a doubt need cleaning, especially products such as concealer where you are dabbing the built-in sponge or brush directly onto blemishes! But how exactly do you clean such an applicator without getting water into the product?! 

Well firstly if it's a sponge applicator you can always check if you can remove it, and if you can then you can gently wash it with a makeup brush cleaner or with soapy water in the sink. 

However if it's attached to the product or it's a built-in brush applicator then you will want to set up a small dish of warm soapy water and individually dip each applicator into the water, just the tip mind, and using your fingers massage the soap mixture in until all makeup build-up has been washed away. To rinse you will want to repeat the above steps with just warm water or run under a tap with the applicator pointing downwards so no water gets into the product itself. 

Then to dry, which is the most important step, you will want to loop a hair elastic around each product and hang to dry on a radiator that's turned off (as shown here). This will ensure no water runs into the product while the applicator dries! 

How to effectively sanitise makeup products

Whether you simply want to keep your makeup brush germ-free and fresh or you are selling used makeup you will need to know how to sanitise makeup correctly. 

Whatever the product you will need tissues to wipe off surface germs and rubbing alcohol. You can buy rubbing alcohol from many stores, however, I always pick up this 500ml bottle for £4.90 from Amazon. For lipsticks, carefully wipe off surface germs with a tissue and then dip the used part of the lipstick into the alcohol for a second (a cup or shot glass works well). Then simply shake off the excess alcohol and allow to dry before replacing the cap. 

For powder compacts and eyeshadow palettes gently wipe away excess powder and over each pan with a tissue. Next, dip a makeup brush in your rubbing alcohol so that it's slightly damp and sweep it across your powder products. This will sanitise the surface and remove any germs! 

I hope these makeup cleaning tips and hacks help you keep your own collection clean and germ-free! 

Side note... anyone else obsessed with Mrs. Hinch here? 

Fee xo.

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