When I saw GlamLifeGuru Tati’s YouTube video on How to Clean a Beauty Blender, where she talks about microwaving your beloved makeup sponge in order to kill bacteria that may be living in it, I immediately wondered if there was scientific proof behind this tip. I wash my Beauty Blender with anti-bacterial soap after each use, but I would always wonder if it was *really* clean. Could 30 seconds of microwaving actually kill germs that I wouldn’t be patting onto my face? Fingers crossed, I decided to do some Nerdy Librarian Girl research to see if this myth would be confirmed or busted.
I found a 2006 study in the Journal of Environmental Health, “Microbial Inactivation by Microwave Radiation in the Home Environment” by Park, Bitton & Melker, that totally CONFIRMED this theory! The study looked at the survival of microorganisms on kitchen sponges after being “zapped” in a typical microwave oven and found that the total bacterial count was reduced by more that 99 percent within 1 to 2 minutes.
However, the most common bacteria (coliform and E. coli) were totally inactivated after only 30 seconds. What required longer microwaving to irradiate were Bacterial phage MS2 which is found in soil, the intestines of animals, and sea water, and Bacillus cereus which is found in various foods. Neither are likely to be lurking in your Beauty Blender to begin with one would hope.
So microwaving your Beauty Blender sponge for 30 seconds really will kill germs! Great news for us slightly germaphobic types. It’s really important to make sure your Beauty Blender is WET while microwaving it. Dry sponges can catch on fire in a microwave – yikes! I wash mine first to remove makeup, and then place it in a small glass bowl filled with water. CAUTION: Your Beauty Blender will be super hot, way hotter than you think, after just 30 seconds! So wait for it to cool or squeeze it out in a towel so you don’t scald yourself. Best of all, microwaving doesn’t hurt your Beauty Blender at all.
Yay science! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by ❤
Nerdy Librarian Girl
Park, D., Billon, G., & Melker, R. (2006). Microbial inactivation by microwave radiation in the home environment. Journal of Environmental Health, 69(5), 17-24.