How to Clean Your Makeup Bag

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of Elizabeth Eats on YouTube. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life.


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If you haven’t cleaned your makeup bag and brushes recently, it’s time! And probably overdue…

Did you know that a staggering nine out of ten makeup bags contain E.coli or staphylococci? Gross! these bacteria can lead to urinary tract infections, food contamination, and other health issues. So, it’s crucial to regularly clean your makeup bag and brushes to keep them germ-free.

Because if the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s the importance of hygiene and cleanliness.

We’ve become more aware than ever of the germs, bacteria, and bugs that lurk on every surface. One item that often gets overlooked when it comes to cleaning is our makeup bag. And you should clean your brushes while you’re at it.

In this guide, we’ll take you through five simple steps to deep clean your beauty bag and ensure your brushes are makeup-free and sanitized. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Empty Your Bag

First things first, empty your makeup bag and discard any products that have gone beyond their expiration date. It’s essential to check the packaging for expiry dates and trash anything that’s expired. I also suggest getting rid of anything you don’t use.

How often should you clean your makeup bag? You should wash your makeup bag at least quarterly, and more often if it’s dirty.

Step 2: Wash the Bag

You’ve got two options here, I almost always opt to put it in the washing machine.

Option 1: Throw It in the Washing Machine

If your bag is lined with a good vinyl or plastic, it’s probably okay to put it in the washing machine on a normal cycle with towels and/or blankets.

I’ve washed this one many times and it still seems new. If your bag is on its last legs (e.g. the zipper is broken, seams are torn, etc.) then it might be time for an upgrade. If you’re not sure about putting it in the wash, then handwash it. You can also put your bag in a mesh laundry bag if you’re concerned about it.

I’ll be honest though, if I can’t put my makeup bag in the washing machines I probably would get a new one. This is the one I’m currently using and I really like it! It goes into the washing machine with blankets on a normal load perfectly well:

Option 2: Handwash It.

If you’re unsure if you can handwash your makeup bag, it’s best to hand-wash it.

To thoroughly clean your makeup bag, turn it inside out and use a damp cloth and your favorite cleaning solution to wipe it all clean. This step allows you to reach all those nooks and crannies where dirt and bacteria may be hiding.

You can use a dry toothbrush or cotton wool pad soaked in eye makeup remover to dislodge any debris or old makeup that may have accumulated in the lining. Use a clean cloth to work the spray into the corners, ensuring complete coverage. Let it dry overnight.

Step 3: Clean Your Makeup & Brushes

While your bag is drying, wipe the exterior of all of your makeup pieces with your preferred cleaner. I generally use a natural cleaning spray and soft cloth, but you can use your preferred cleaner of choice. Even cleaning wipes work.

Carefully turn your makeup bag back to its original state once it’s dry and put all of your (clean) makeup back in.

Also, don’t forget to clean your brushes, too! Here’s a guide on how to clean your makeup brushes if you need it, and here’s a collection of the tools I use to do it.

There you have it. An easy guide to cleaning your makeup bag. Remember, healthy skin starts with clean tools! And your makeup bag is part of that.

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Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life. 

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