How to Clean Out a Mascara Tube

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Mascara tubes come with both a tube (to store the mascara) and a wand (to apply the mascara). These tubes can also be used to store eyelash product like a growth serum. However, before you can store anything in them, you have to clean the old mascara out.

It is a very simple process, and you can repurpose your tubes for a variety of different products. Learn how to clean out an old mascara tube below.

Mascara tube and other make up on a wooden table.

How to Clean Out a Mascara Tube

Before diving in, here are the supplies you’ll need to clean out the old mascara tube:

  • Eye makeup remover
  • Dish soap
  • Small bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol

There are two main methods of cleaning out a mascara tube for reuse; using soap and warm water or eye makeup remover and warm water. 

How to Clean a Mascara Tube Using Soap and Warm Water

This is the simplest process since it only requires a piece of cloth or microfibre, warm water, and soap. We recommend starting here before using makeup remover (you might not need to).

1. Submerge Tube in Warm Water 

  1. Start by filling your sink up with warm water.
  2. After that, add one to two drops of dish soap to the warm water and swirl them around to combine them.
  3. Then, dip your mascara tube in the water until it is completely submerged. 
  4. Keep an eye on your mascara tube until it fills up with water.
  5. Clean the rubber insert in the soapy water as well if you remove it.

2. Loosen the Mascara in the Tube 

To loosen the old mascara that is caked on, swirl the mascara wand around inside the tube once more. To loosen and bring the pieces of mascara up and out of the tube, use the wand. 

Pour one drop of dish soap immediately inside the tube and swish it around if you are still pulling out a lot of mascara with your wand.

Do this several times until you have removed everything.

3. Drain the Soapy Water 

Once the mascara is completely emptied, drain the soapy water from your sink or basin and replace it with warm, clean water.

To get rid of the soap, dunk the mascara tube in freshwater. Repeat this process until there are no more soap bubbles in your mascara tube. 

This same process can also be used to clean pastry brushes, RV air conditioner filters, and screens on the porch. If you get any mascara on your hands, wash them with dish soap.

4. Use Rubbing Alcohol 

After your soap and water rinse, its time to move on to rubbing alcohol.

Pour a tiny amount of rubbing alcohol into your mascara tube, close the top, and shake it several times with the wand inside. The rubbing alcohol is used to sanitize the mascara tube and wand, which is especially important if you clean out to make room for a new product. 

You should drain the rubbing alcohol from the tube.

Different colors of mascara brushes

5. Dry the Mascara Tube 

Set the mascara tube and wand out in the sun to dry. Remove the cap and leave it in a sunny location for about six hours. Before filling the tube with a new product, make sure it is dry. 

Put the wand in the tube and wipe it over your hand to see if it is clean. If any mascara smudges onto your hand, repeat the cleansing procedure.

You can replenish your mascara tube with new products, such as eyebrow serum. Replace the rubber component on the top of the mascara tube. Fill the mascara tube up and insert with the wand.

The majority of lash eyebrow serums contain natural vitamins and minerals that promote the growth of facial follicles.

How to Clean a Mascara Tube Using Makeup Remover

Makeup remover is a much stronger chemical, so it is a great approach when you weren’t able to fully clean it with just soap and water. This technique is also useful for cleaning fake eyelashes.

Get a Water-based Makeup Remover 

Makeup remover aids in the breakdown of any remaining mascara in the tube.

Fill the mascara tube about halfway with your water-based makeup remover. If you do not have any eye makeup remover, rubbing alcohol can suffice, but won’t be as effective.

Keep in mind that oil-based makeup removers do not mix well with water and can leave a residue in your mascara tube.

Swirl the Mascara Wand in the Tube 

To loosen the mascara, pump the mascara wand into the tube, reinsert it into the tube and swirl it around a couple of times.

You can remove some of the loose mascara out of the tube with the wand. You will also be cleaning the wand if you wish to reuse it throughout this process.

Soak the Makeup Remover

Close the tube and soak the makeup remover. Allow the mascara tube to soak for at least 3 hours after closing the lid with the wand inside. If your mascara is waterproof, soak the tube overnight. 

Allowing the tube to soak allows the makeup remover to break down more of the mascara inside for easier removal.

Gently Remove the Makeup Remover 

Remove the makeup remover from the tube and place it on a paper towel. Remove the wand from the top of the mascara tube and squeeze as much makeup remover onto a paper towel as you can. 

Pouring makeup remover and mascara down the drain might cause your sink to clog over time, so you might want to do this part outside.

A white mascara brush and tube

Remove the Rubber Insert 

If your mascara tube has a rubber insert, check for it and remove it. This step needs the tines of a fork to clear out the tube.

The main reason for this is it may have some mascara caught underneath it; therefore, it is necessary to remove it for cleaning.

How to Clean the Wand Separately

Suppose you recently acquired a new tube of mascara, and you didn’t like it, yet the wand is good. You probably wonder if you can likewise repurpose the wand from a mascara that you do not like. Yes, you can. Follow the following steps:

  1. Start by filling a sink or glass with warm water. Take the mascara wand and soak it for ten to fifteen minutes.
  2. Squeeze a tablespoon of shampoo or soap into your hand and work the wand into the shampoo to remove as much mascara as possible.
  3. In a different basin or sink of warm water, rinse the wand repeatedly and repeat the shampoo process until almost nothing comes off the wand.
  4. Once you are sure there is no more mascara coming off the wand, give the wand one final rinse with cold water. Finalize by allowing it to dry in the air.
Black mascara tube and brush

How Else Can You Use a Mascara Wand After Cleaning?

Surprisingly, did you know that that little mascara wand is a fantastic tool to have around? You can keep your old mascara wands and use them in your beauty routine. 

The best part is you do not have to keep the tens of mascara wands for beauty hacks only, you can also utilize them around your home, and you will see how these mere tools can go where other brushes cannot.

Combat Flying Hairs

Use a clean mascara wand to tame the flyaways. Take your hairspray and spray those flying hairs. Then use the wand to brush them down into place. This is best done with a larger mascara brush, and with time you will discover that it works more effectively than a paddle brush.

Brush Eyebrows 

An old mascara wand saves you money on adding more beauty products to your closet. You can use a clean wand to groom your brows. First, style your brows into place using a little Vaseline to bring out some structure, and then use pomade to add color.    

Exfoliate Chapped Lips

While this form of repurposing is unheard of to the majority, it is far more common than you would think. Use the wand with a bit of coconut oil or balm and sugar mix, a little Vaseline, or simply by itself and brush it repeatedly. 

Wipe the peeling skin using a tissue. The perk of using an old mascara wand is it is much softer than a toothbrush, which can be rather rough and abrasive.

Condition and Lengthen Lashes 

Castor oil is known for its antibacterial characteristics, which protect your skin from infections that lead to hair loss. Dip a clean mascara wand in a mixture of castor oil and almond oil, both high in Vitamin E and after removing all eye makeup, apply it to your upper and lower eyelashes. 

Allow the mixture to stay overnight before washing it away the next day. Within one week of treatment, you will see longer and thicker eyelashes.

Remove Cuticles

Begin by using a hydrating cuticle remover cream or simply a tiny amount of organic extra virgin olive oil. Allow it to soak in and soften the cuticles for two to three minutes. Then, using a clean mascara wand, carefully rub the base of your nails to remove any unwanted parts.

You can also use the wand to pull out the things clogging your sink, although it works best for items that are not too far down your sink’s pipe. You can also use it to clean in and around your faucet.

Closing Thoughts

Mascara tubes are great for repurposing, especially if you have a new eyebrow serum or lash, that didn’t come with a wand or a package. Recycling a mascara tube is much easier now that you know how to clean out a mascara tube.