Makeup has an expiration date on it to let you know when it is time to throw it away. Even if that date has not yet passed, throw away any makeup that has changed color, consistency or smell. Makeup application sponges are not so conveniently labeled, but they can harbor dangerous and disgusting bacteria and fungi if used improperly and should be disposed of much more quickly than you might expect.

Gone Before Their Time

Ideally, you should dispose of the latex sponges that come with foundations and powder compacts as soon as you open them. These sponges are breeding grounds for bacteria, and it is best not to use them at all. Instead, buy a bag of disposable makeup sponges and throw them away after every use. Disposable sponges are much more sanitary than reusable sponges and much less expensive than the doctor bill that accompanies an infection. If you just can’t bring yourself to throw a sponge away after one use, rinse it thoroughly with warm water after use and set it aside. When you have a handful of used sponges, throw them in a net bag or pillowcase to protect them and throw the bag in the washing machine. Wash the sponges in hot water with a minimum temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t dip a used sponge back into your makeup until it has been washed.