Can you use the microwave to clean makeup sponges? | Life and style

The hack
Blasting your makeup sponges to get them squeaky clean.

The test
I’m ashamed to admit this, but my makeup-sponge washing leaves a lot to be desired. When my makeup artist friend Zoe Moore came over, she got rather upset at the sight of my sponges. “What colour were these before?” she said on seeing two dark brown lumps of foam.

I have tried washing them but they just never clean that well, so when I do give them a rinse – every fortnight or so – it’s half-arsed to say the least. Zoe took the sponges, rinsed them, put them in a bowl of water with some liquid soap and then microwaved them for a minute – which tallies with methods I’ve seen online. When they emerged super clean, it blew my mind to see that they are actually neon pink (who knew?).

Zoe lectures me about what I already know: you should clean them after every use, especially if you have acne, as they can harbour bacteria. But now I know it’s this easy, I’ll certainly start doing it far more often.

The verdict
You can, of course, just rinse the sponges in soapy water and leave them to dry. But the dopamine hit from seeing them so clean is absolutely worth it for me. Just be careful not to obliterate them in the process.

Join Anita Bhagwandas on 16 March for a livestreamed Guardian Live event where she will be discussing her debut book, Ugly, with Sali Hughes. Tickets available here.

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