How to Dispose of Makeup Sponges

6 Mins read

While it’s very tempting to just throw your makeup sponge in the trash, it can cause a lot of trouble.

It’s best to dispose of these in a more environmentally-friendly way.

How to Dispose of Makeup Sponges

Makeup sponges are an essential part of the beauty kit, but they can also be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Here are the steps to get rid of makeup sponges.

1. Wash them with soap and water

2. Put them in your regular laundry with other washable items

3. Put them in a sealed Ziploc bag and put them in the freezer overnight

4. Put them in a sealed Ziploc bag and put them in the microwave for one minute or until they are completely dry (don’t microwave if they have liquid foundation on them)

5. Soak them in rubbing alcohol overnight, then throw out or recycle the alcohol when you’re done cleaning your sponges

6. Put them through the dishwasher or washing machine (without liquid soap) on a gentle cycle with other washable items like clothing and towels

7. Throw out old makeup sponges after one use; replace them every month or so with new ones to prevent bacterial growth

How Can You Recycle Your Makeup Sponge?

If you’re looking to reduce your waste, there are several ways you can recycle your makeup sponges.

  • Make the sponge recyclable by using a wet-wipe bag instead of plastic wrap.
  • Save the old reusable sponges and use them as rags for cleaning and dusting around the house.
  • Use cloth facial wipes instead of disposable cotton pads or tissues when removing makeup from the skin.

What Can You Do With Old Makeup Sponges?

  • You can use old makeup sponges to remove old nail polish!
  • You can use old makeup sponges for applying lotion to your body.
  • You can use old makeup sponges for applying hair color.
  • You can use them to apply face masks on dry skin, or as a protective barrier when using acids or exfoliators on your face or body.
  • Use an old sponge to apply self-tanner! This is especially helpful if you’re doing it in the shower so you don’t drop anything into the tub, but it’s also great because it’s easy cleanup and has no risk of staining. (You may want more than one sponge, though.)
  • If you’re worried about getting foundation all over your hands while putting it on, try holding a small side of the sponge against your skin instead of pressing down with its full surface area—this way there’s less chance of smearing everything across your cheekbones and nose by accident!
SEE ALSO:  Can You Recycle Avon Products?

Which Makeup Sponges Are the Most Environmentally Friendly?

The best makeup sponges are:


Latex-free sponges will not release any chemicals into the environment when you throw them in the trash.

Look for words like “latex-free” or “non-toxic” on the packaging of your makeup sponge.

If you can’t find these words, then it’s probably best to choose a different one.


Petroleum is terrible news for waterways and lakes because it can take years to break down in water before filtering out into soil and groundwater.

Sponges that are made from petroleum are less environmentally friendly than those made from natural fibers like cotton or hemp (and even seagrass).

Plus, many microbeads used in cosmetics products wash down drains and end up polluting oceans and lakes!

Check your packaging to see if it contains any microbeads

Are There Reusable Makeup Sponges on the Market?

Yes, there are reusable makeup sponges on the market. For example, EcoTools makes a line of eco-friendly makeup sponges that are biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable.

The brand’s Eco Beauty Sponge is made from sponge rubber (a minimally processed material) and contains 100% renewable resources.

But if you’d rather not buy a new product each time you run out of your old one (or if you’re just looking for more variety), there are other options out there as well.

Some companies offer reusable silicone or latex-free makeup sponges in different shapes and sizes for various uses around the face; some even come with their own storage containers or pouches so they can be washed and stored properly after each use without taking up space in your bathroom cabinet.

The benefit here is twofold: You’ll save money by not having to keep buying disposable ones over time; plus you won’t have any extra waste lying around going bad in landfills or compost piles!

How Frequently Should You Dispose of Your Makeup Sponge?

You should dispose of your makeup sponge every week to a month.

The more often you use it, the more frequently it needs to be replaced.

It’s best to clean your sponge with gentle soap and warm water as soon as you notice that it’s dirty; this will help maintain its shape and keep it from being too abrasive against your face, which can cause irritation or breakouts. If you keep your sponge clean, the lifespan may increase by up to 20%.

SEE ALSO:  Can You Recycle Fenty Beauty Products?

Can You Put a Makeup Sponge in a Recycling Bin?

In general, you can put makeup sponges in the recycling bin.

However, it is important to check the packaging or consult the manufacturer to see if your particular sponge can be recycled.

Some sponges are made from natural materials like seagrass and cactus pads that are biodegradable and will break down over time when exposed to soil microbes.

If your makeup sponge packaging doesn’t say anything about recycling or biodegradable options, then it’s best to throw out these sponges as they may contain chemicals that could leach into our landfills when disposed of improperly—or worse yet, if they end up in our water systems!

Can You Donate Used Makeup Sponges to a Good Cause?

While you can donate gently used makeup and beauty products to local organizations that accept donations of these types of items, it is not recommended to donate your makeup sponges.

Makeup sponges are porous and difficult to sanitize, so they’re often too much of a risk for any organization to take on.

If you want to give back and make sure that your old makeup tools are put to good use after you’re done with them, consider donating them instead!

That way, if someone else finds themselves having trouble getting rid of their old sponges (or if they just want another one), they’ll be able to use yours as well!

Should You Wash Makeup Sponges Before Throwing Them Away?

When you think about it, your makeup sponges are a lot like your toothbrush.

You don’t just throw them out after every use because they’re dirty. In fact, most people clean their makeup sponges regularly with soap and water or by running them through the dishwasher before throwing them away.


Because there is a chance that bacteria could grow on your sponge and cause an infection if you don’t clean it regularly.

If you have sensitive skin or break out easily then this might be especially important for you to consider before tossing out old makeup sponges.

SEE ALSO:  How to Dispose of Unused Makeup

To properly wash a makeup sponge:

  • Soak your washed in warm water for 5 minutes to loosen the dirt
  • Rinse well under warm running water until all traces of soap are gone from the surface of the sponge (or until no more suds appear when rubbing it against itself)
  • Lay flat on paper towels or an absorbent cloth to dry

Can You Compost Makeup Sponges?

No! If you want to do your part for the environment, try not to buy disposable products.

When it comes to makeup sponges, though, there may be another way. You can actually recycle them!

They’re made of plastic foam and are not recyclable in curbside programs like garbage pickup or recycling bins.

But if you live near a plastics dropoff site (usually at a local community center), they’ll take your old sponge right in exchange for cash or other valuable items like clothing or electronics.

Is It Better to Use Reusable Face Sponges or Throwaways?

The best makeup sponges for you to use are the ones that fit your lifestyle and budget.

If you like to try new products and don’t mind throwing away your old ones, then throw-away sponges are a great option.

They’re also cheaper than reusable ones and can last longer if you take good care of them.

If you’re looking to save money or help the environment, reusable makeup sponges might be better for you.

Reusable sponges cost more upfront but will save money over time because they last longer than throwaways—in addition to being more environmentally friendly!

Reusable face sponges do have some downsides: they may not work as well at removing certain types of makeup because their texture is less dense than that of disposable versions; they tend to be quite porous (which means bacteria can grow inside them), so it’s important to disinfect them every week or two; and since each one has an “odor signature” from its previous uses, having a large collection can get overwhelming (although this isn’t usually an issue unless someone else shares your bathroom).

Final Thoughts

By following the steps above, you will be able to dispose of your makeup sponges in a safe, environmentally-friendly way.

Not only that, but you’ll have gotten one more thing done for the day without stressing yourself out!