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5 Simple Steps to Deep Clean Your Beauty Bag

The Essential Guide to Deep Cleaning Your Beauty Bags

If the past couple of years has taught us anything it’s how many germs, bacteria and bugs lurk on every surface and on everything we touch! Never before have we been more aware of hygiene and cleanliness from washing hands to making sure anything we put near our mouths and faces are clean and sanitary, like our makeup, and more specifically, our makeup bag  

Can you remember the last time you cleaned your cosmetic 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 very nasty bacteria). Yikes! 

Our unique makeup bags are designed to be robust enough to withstand years of daily use and still look sparkly new, so let us take you through some simple steps of how to clean a makeup bag, wash bag or vanity case and keep them looking great and bacteria-free. 

How to clean a makeup bag

1. Empty your bag

We can't stress this enough, check the expiry date on your products and discard any that have gone beyond the expiration date. We created a handy makeup expiration chart to show how long you can keep cosmetics for and how to check the packaging for expiry dates, plus the length of time they can live in your makeup bag before becoming contaminated. See the guide further down in this blog.

Dr Bashir from Aston University sad: "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".

2. Turn your makeup bag inside out

When it comes to best hygiene practices, keeping the inside of the bag squeaky clean is more important than the outside, and the best best way to get to all those nooks and crannies is to turn it inside out. A word of warning, 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 this 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 over time.

The best way to do this is to simply take a new (thank you to Helen S for this great tip in our comments!) dry toothbrush to reach right into all those corners. 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

With your makeup bag lining now clean and smudge-free, let’s 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. Once it’s dry...

Carefully turn it the right way again and give the outside a good spritz 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. 

large make up bag with brush for how to deep clean your beauty bag blog

Don't forget your brushes....ensure makeup brushes are makeup-free and sanitised

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

1. To clean your makeup brushes

If it’s good enough for a baby then it’s good enough for your best makeup brushes! 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 a 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 your makeup brushes

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 drip into the handle and damage it, although I find laying them onto a clean dry towel on top of a radiator is equally effective. 

The process of 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

Time to 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 for our favourite bit, to get organised. Remember we talked earlier in this post about an easy-to-see cosmetic expiration chart? Here it is....

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

A great tip from Professional organiser Sue Spencer** is to mark 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

And, remember your beauty tools! Eyelash curlers and tweezers need a spritz of antibacterial spray and a wipe with a soft cloth to keep them germ-free. See our guide here on how to clean makeup brushes.

Store makeup brushes separately from your cosmetics, to keep them as clean as possible. 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 SHOP NOW >>

Go green and clean

You might even decide to treat yourself to a new lipstick (or two), to go in your clean and clear makeup bag. If you’re wanting to be a bit more eco-conscious with your makeup think about replacing some items with a clean beauty alternative. There are lots of clean beauty brands widely available now that are good for your skin and the planet. For the best eco makeup we like BareMinerals, known for its clean approach to beauty, whilst EcoTools make great vegan makeup brushes. 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. <>.



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