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We Used Cheap Alternatives To Clean Makeup Sponges And This Is What Happened

Beauty is in the eye of the soap holder.

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If you're a makeup freak like me, you probably own a Beautyblender. But if you're lazy like me, it's probably been a while since you've cleaned it.

The official cleansers can be pretty expensive, so we tested them against a few popular dupes to see if they were actually worth it. We cleaned five equally dirty Beautyblenders using five different methods. Here we go.

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How it works:

For starters, the Liquid Blendercleanser costs $18 and is pretty straightforward. I poured the cleanser onto my damp, dirty sponge for a better visual, but you can just press the pump nozzle to get it on your sponge. I squeezed it and worked it into a lather and all that gross makeup came right off! It took about two minutes of lathering to get all the makeup and stains off.

Rating: 5/5

It's sooooo clean! Seriously, the sponge looks brand freakin' new. It's not surprising, since this is the official cleaning product for the sponge, but seeing this sponge transform from dirt brown to neon pink is still amazing.

How it works:

This particular brand of baby wash cost me about $4 at Target. So it's already waaaaay cheaper than the Liquid Blendercleanser, which is a huge plus! I used this tutorial. First, you take the baby wash and spread it around your damp sponge. Then you squeeze it clean under some running water. Finally, to help remove stains, you can rub the sponge into the baby wash on your palm for a deeper clean. It took about five full minutes for me to get it to a somewhat satisfactory level of cleanness.

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Rating: 2.5/5

Yikes! This one still has a LOT of stains. This Beautyblender is definitely cleaner than it started out, but ultimately, it didn't fully get back to its true neon color. It's possible that a different baby wash would produce different results. I think this process would work well if your Beautyblender is only lightly dirty. It just doesn't cut it for deep stains.

How it works:

Luckily we had these two items sitting around in the office, but if you go out and buy these particular brands, olive oil and dish soap will cost about $13 (but you can probably find cheaper substitutes). I followed this tutorial. First you take about 1.5 teaspoons of dish soap and add about 2 teaspoons of olive oil. You then roll your Beautyblender around in the mixture and massage it in warm running water to get the makeup out. This process took me about two to three minutes.

Rating: 4/5

Wow! It's basically brand new! There were a few really tough stains that I couldn't quite get, but all in all, this process worked great. If you use different products, it can be WAY cheaper than the Liquid Blendercleanser. Just remember, if you have sensitive skin, be careful about what products you're putting on a sponge that you use for your face.

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How it works:

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

You can buy the Blendercleanser Solid for $16. The process is simple. You wet your Beautyblender and rub it against the soap, creating a lather. Then you squeeze and rinse until the sponge is clean. The whole process took me about three minutes.

Rating: 5/5

I mean, damn. That is one clean Beautyblender. It's totally back to its hot pink self! Again, the official Beautyblender products are top-notch. Also, the Blendercleanser Solid is probably great for cleaning while you travel, since you don't have to worry about taking a liquid through security.

How it works:

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

First off, I got a four-pack of these soaps for about $5. The process is identical to the Blendercleanser Solid. You just take your wet Beautyblender and rub it on the soap, working it into a lather until all the makeup comes off. This process took me about three minutes total.

Rating 4/5

The regular soap method works pretty well! I was a bit disappointed since some sources said soap would be better for spot-cleaning stains. Clearly, a couple of deep stains remained. Still, this method works decently. It's possible that different soap brands would yield different results. I think it would work best if you used it on a Beautyblender with only light stains.

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Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

Ultimately, I think the Liquid Blendercleanser was the best of the liquids. Olive oil and dish soap was a close second and this particular baby wash didn't even come close. It's possible that if I spent 10 minutes cleaning the sponge with baby wash I could've gotten the stains out, but who has that kind of time? The Liquid Blendercleanser and olive oil and dish soap methods were WAY more efficient and effective.

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

It's a pretty close call, but I think the Blendercleanser Solid juuuuust edges out the regular bar soap. It spot cleans deep stains in a shorter amount of time. But if you're looking to spend the least money and only lightly use your Beautyblender, regular bar soap might be best for you.

Note: Some of the products used in this post were provided to BuzzFeed free of charge.

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