5 Simple Steps to Deep Clean Your Beauty Bag

The essential guide to deep-cleaning your makeup bag 

When was the last time you cleaned your makeup bag? A frightening report by Dr Amreen Bashir and Professor Peter Lambert from Aston university showed that a staggering nine out of ten makeup bags are home to superbugs like E.coli (responsible for urinary tract infections and food contamination) and staphylococci (a potential deadly bacteria). Yikes! 

Our beauty bags are designed to be robust enough to withstand years of daily use and still look brand new, so let us take you through some simple steps to keep your favourite makeup bag, wash bag or vanity case, not only looking great but free from harmful bacteria. 


How to deep clean your makeup bag

1. Empty your bag - and I can't stress this enough, check the expiry date on your products and discard them if they have gone beyond the expiration date.

Dr Bashir from Aston University said: "Consumers' poor hygiene practices when it comes to using make-up... is very worrying when you consider that we found bacteria such as E.coli -- which is linked with faecal contamination -- breeding on the products we tested".

See our handy guide on how long you can keep cosmetics for below, there will also be an expiration guide printed onto the packaging, although this will usually only say how long you can keep it in your makeup bag before it becomes contaminated.


Makeup expiration dates for keeping your makeup bags and beauty bags clean and hygienic


Professional organiser Sue Spencer** recommends marking up the date you open makeup and toiletries with a permanent marker. That way you can keep track of when to discard them. 

skincare product toiletries to put inside makeup bag

Don't forget your beauty tools! eyelash curlers and tweezers just need a spritz of antibacterial spray and a wipe with a soft cloth to keep them germ-free. There's a separate guide on how to clean makeup brushes below.

2. Turn your makeup bag inside out. It's arguably more important that the inside of the bag is hygienic than the outside, and this is the best way to get to all those nooks and crannies. It's easy to crease the outer fabric when you do this, but don't worry! There is a genius crease-busting hack later on in the post.

3. Clean the lining - Victoria Green makeup bags all have lined seams to ensure that any spillages stay on the inside of the makeup bag instead of all over the contents of your handbag -  therefore it's important to dislodge any debris and old makeup that may have gathered there.

Simply take an old clean, dry toothbrush to reach right into all those nooks and crannies. Then take a cotton wool pad soaked in eye makeup remover to wipe away any makeup smudges and stains that may have accumulated.


Cleaning the inside of a makeup bag

Now your makeup bag lining is smudge-free, we will eliminate those nasty germs. All you will need is an antibacterial household spray - anything will do, as long as it doesn't contain bleach, which will damage your makeup bag. Simply spray it on and use a clean cloth to work it into the corners. Then all you have to do is leave it to dry, preferably overnight.


4. Now the inside of your makeup bag is clean and dry, just turn it the right way round again and spritz the outside with your antibacterial spray, wiping off the excess with a clean dry cloth. All Victoria Green makeup bags are made from quality waterproof and wipe-clean materials, specially designed to be easily cleaned.

Now for the crease-busting hack. All you need is an ordinary hairdryer. Switch it to the hottest setting and gently warm the outer fabric, taking care to keep the dryer moving so it doesn't get too hot in one spot. When the fabric on the beauty bag is warm it softens slightly and you can easily rub away the creases - We use this technique in our photoshoots to keep our makeup bags and wash bags in good shape!

5. Keep it regular - I recommend giving any makeup bag or wash bag in regular use a deep clean once a month, with a weekly top up spritz of antibacterial spray on a weekly basis, always ensuring the interior of the beauty bag is thoroughly dry before zipping it back up again.


cleaning a makeup bag

Don't stop there....

Ensure makeup brushes are makeup and germ free

72% of women have admitted they never wash their makeup brushes. Whether this rings true for you, or you wash your brushes once a week, now is the perfect time to give them a deep cleanse.

1. To clean...baby shampoo is great because it’s not too harsh on the brush bristles, although any detergent designed for your hair or body will do. Don't be tempted to use a household detergent - remember you're using these tools on your face so it needs to be gentle enough for your skin.

Fill the sink with soapy water and leave your brushes to soak for a few minutes. Massage each brush to make sure you get rid of any product build up. Drain the sink and continue to rinse each brush under the tap, until the water runs clear.


makeup brushes being washed ready to go back into a clean makeup bag

2. Drying ....the next step is drying the brushes. This is a key to maintaining the quality of your brushes. Makeup artists recommend drying brushes upside down so that the water doesn't drips into the handle, which can cause damage, although I find laying them onto a clean dry towel on top of a radiator is equally effective.

Cleaning your make-up brushes will make a huge difference when it comes to the cleanliness of your make-up bag. There’s no point in having a clean make-up bag if you’re going to fill it with unclean products!


clean makeup brushes ready to go back into a clean makeup bag 

Re-pack & organise your clean beauty bag

Now that you have cleaned and sanitised your makeup and wash bag and sorted out your beauty items, it's time to get organised.

Store makeup brushes separately from your cosmetics, to keep them clean. You could invest in a beauty bags with compartments which allow you organise or keep them in separate clear bags.


Folding makeup bag with compartments


Lauren folding makeup bag with separate compartments

You might even decide to treat yourself to a new lipstick (or two), to go in your tidy makeup bag... Just make sure you note the expiration date!



Do you have any tips to keep your beauty products clean and in good condition? We would love to hear from you! Leave your comments below.



* Aston University. "The deadly superbugs lurking in more than nine in ten make-up bags: Superbugs including E. coli and Staphylococci have been found in more than nine out of ten in-use beauty products." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191202135705.htm>.

** www.alifemoreorganised.co.uk


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    • There is a grammatical mistake/typo in paragraph 4 – should read ‘an’ instead of ‘and’. 😇

      Margo Edwards
    • Great article and sensible advice. Personally, I would use a new (cheap) toothbrush to clean the bag’s seams, as repurposing an old one, as suggested, may introduce germs of its own. Spraying with an antibacterial spray afterwards should eradicate any bacteria, but I still don’t fancy the idea of a used toothbrush cleaning my beauty bags!

      Helen S

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