How To: Clean Beauty Tools

It's important to keep beauty tools spotlessly clean. Not only will they work more effectively and last longer, but dirty tweezers, sponges, brushes and cloths can harbour bacteria and pathogens that are detrimental to health and could ruin your skin. For this reason, it's advisable to keep grooming products out of the bathroom – lest someone flush the loo with the seat up and cover everything in particles of...undesirable matter.

You'll find products in the beauty aisle designed especially for tool maintenance, but they tend to be wildly overpriced and full of chemicals. Look for an organic detergent with natural antibacterial agents; I love Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap. Cleaning tools regularly takes some time and effort but if you like to spend a bit more on your applicators – oh hey, $50 Mac brushes – it pays to take care of them.

© Helen Pockett


After Each Use

Take a cotton ball or a piece of cloth and soak it in warm water.

Add a spot of soap to the bud/cloth and create a lather.

Wash the tips and handle of the tweezers and then rinse clean until no soap remains.

Pat with a towel and leave to dry.

It's best not to share tweezers with anyone else.


After Each Use / Once A Week

Having a different face cloth for every day of the week might seem extravagant but it's the only way to ensure you're not putting break-out-inducing dirt, grime and bacteria back onto your beautiful face. It's OK to use the same cloth morning and evening, but if you leave it to sit overnight, particularly if you've used it to remove make-up before bed, by the time you come to use it again in the morning the levels of bacteria will have increased exponentially. I use Pai's unbleached organic muslin cloths.

In the morning: Use your face cloth as normal. Rinse well, wring out and hang up to air dry.

In the evening: Use your face cloth. Rinse it. Let it dry overnight, then put it in the laundry.

Each week: Launder the cloths on a 60°C cycle and allow to dry before storing them.


Once A Week

Rinse the brushes with warm water to get rid of the majority of residue, taking care not to oversaturate the part where the head meets the handle as this will erode the glue over time.

Dab a little soap in the palm of your hand and swirl the bristles around until the dirt has loosened. It's normal for the soap to take on the colour of the products you've used.

Rinse the brushes well to ensure no soap remains in the bristles.

Lay them out flat on an absorbent cloth/towel, and leave to dry for a few hours or overnight.


After Each Use

Rinse the sponge under a stream of warm water.

Apply a little soap and work between your hands until it begins to lather.

Rinse the sponge thoroughly.

Squeeze the sponge gently to remove the excess water, but don't twist or wring it out as it will cause the sponge to lose its shape. [This is particularly important when it comes to Konjac Sponges.]

Leave to air dry in a warm, well-ventilated place – a windowsill is ideal.