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Methods of Sterilizing Beauty Tools

Updated April 17, 2017

The tools you use to apply beauty products or groom your hands and feet can harbour unsightly and harmful bacteria if left uncleaned. You must sterilise your beauty tools to decrease and the chance of infection. Sterilising your beauty tools is simple, and it can be done at home.

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Deep Cleaning

To prevent bacteria from growing on your make-up brushes, it is essential that you deep clean the brushes, especially the ones you use to apply liquid cosmetics. This can be done at the end of each week. You will need baby shampoo; it is gentle on the bristles but will remove any residual make-up. Wet your brush and apply a bit of shampoo to the bristles. Rinse with lukewarm water, and place the brush sideways on a clean towel to dry.

Dry Heat

There are several ways to sterilise beauty tools such as manicure and pedicure kits. Dry heat can kill any bacteria. Preheat your oven to 191 degrees Celsius and wash your tools with warm, soapy water. You should also wash the sheet on which you will place the sterilised tools, and the metal tongs you will use to remove them. Place the tools on a baking tray; do not let them touch each other, and bake for 15 minutes. Wearing a clean oven glove, remove the baking tray and let it cool for a few minutes. Wearing the oven glove, use the metal tongs you cleaned to pick up your beauty tools and place them in a plastic baggie. If you wish, write the date you sterilised your tools.


Boiling can kill off any germs of bacteria lingering on your metal beauty tools. Fill a clean pot with water and place it over a burner. Clean off your tools with warm, soapy water. When the water reaches a boil, use clean tongs to place the tools into the water. Be careful not to throw the tools in, to avoid splashing the boiling water.

Leave your tools in the water for 15 minutes. Place the edge of the tongs into the water to remove any surface bacteria. Use the tongs to remove the tools and place the tools on clean paper towels. Don't use your hands, which could recontaminate the tools. Once the clean tools are thoroughly dry, place them tools in a plastic baggie.


One very simple way to sterilise your tools is to use rubbing alcohol. Fill a glass bowl with rubbing alcohol. Clean your tools with warm soapy water to remove any debris, and place them in the glass bowl. Make sure that the alcohol covers the tools entirely. Leave this alone for 25 minutes to kill bacteria, and remove the tools from the alcohol and dry them. Store your tools immediately in a plastic baggie and make the date you sanitised your tools.

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About the Author

Stephanie Cai began professionally writing for clients in 2010 and freelance writing in 2008. She is currently a writer for various online publications and is knowledgeable in fields such as health and beauty, fashion, celebrities, films and video games. Cai graduated from Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing.

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