How to Clean Out a Mascara Tube?

Learn how you can clean out a used mascara tube for reusing it later

Written by Olivia Paxton. Updated on How to Clean Out a Mascara Tube

Ok, we usually don’t need our old mascara tubes or brushes, to be honest! There are plenty of mascara types on the market today, so we can easily pick and buy the new one once the previous mascara is done.

However, you might still need those bottles for being reused later.

And if it happens, you surely want to know how the old mascara could be removed from the tube quickly. In this article, we are going to explain what steps should be taken if you need to use your old mascara tube or brush (or both) once again later.

You are going to learn how to clean out a mascara bottle and how to clean a mascara brush at home with just a few simple tools and products.

But with this information in mind, you will be able to reuse your old mascara containers again and again as many times as you might need them.

How to Clean Out a Tube Of Mascara?

If you have a tube of your old mascara that has recently been used completely, and you need that tube or brush (or both) for something new, you might want to know how to clean out a mascara bottle.

Of course, it is obvious that simply washing it with water, or even with soapy water, will hardly help.

Mascara is a rather viscous substance, and all the ladies know perfectly well that it needs the use of special products to be removed from your skin or eye lashes, for example.

But if you can simply use some makeup remover to get it off your eyelashes, or blot it with acetone to get it off your skin, then what should be used for washing it out from the tube?

To get things done, you need to prepare everything that you might need in advance.

This is the very first step that you should take. So before you start washing your mascara tube and wand, double check that you have all the items listed below:

  • a bowl of warm water
  • liquid dish soap
  • water based makeup remover
  • paper towels
  • rubbing alcohol
  • a fork

Below, you will find a detailed and step by step instruction on cleaning mascara wand and tube at home with the help of just a few tools and very simple and easy to get products.

How to Clean Out a Tube Of Mascara
IgorVetushko via crello

How to Get Old Mascara Leftovers Out Of the Tube?

So you need to get rid of the mascara leftovers that are stuck in the tube to be able to reuse it later for other purposes.

But you are not sure how this could be done quickly and safely for the mascara brush and for yourself.

Fortunately, the procedure is pretty simple.

  • prepare some soapy water
  • pull out the mascara wand
  • clean it with warm water and a squirt of dish soap. Keep your mascara brush soaked in warm water for 15 minutes approximately.
  • dry it with paper towels
  • pour a water-based makeup remover into the mascara tube and fill it up all he way
  • pump the mascara wand in the tube in order to loosen the mascara. Just swirl it around a few times
  • pecap the tube and let the makeup remove soak the interior for three hours
  • pour the makeup remover out of the tube onto a paper towel
  • check for the rubber insert and remove it if your mascara tube has one

This is the general instruction, of course, but even with this simple list of actions, you will manage to wash old mascara out of the tube (of course, in case it is still wet enough).

However, your mascara tube is not properly cleaned yet.

To make sure that the tube is absolutely clean and there are no traces or leftovers of old product in it, your mascara tube needs to undergo a rinsing procedure as well.

How to Get Old Mascara Leftovers Out Of the Tube
Sadreevaa via crello

How to Clean the Mascara Residue Out?

The next stage of the mascara cleaning procedure is to get rid of the residue that might be left in the tube.

This is basically the same as rinsing. And what we want to tell you is that the residue will most likely be there since mascara is a tough thing to clean out!

This is why you should follow the instructions precisely:

  1. Immerse your mascara tube and brush into warm water with some dish soap
  2. Use the mascara brush to make the mascara loose inside of the tube
  3. Immerse the mascara tube into freshwater to get rid of the soap
  4. Rinse the tube and the brush out with rubbing alcohol
  5. Let everything air dry on a paper towel

Again, just like with the procedure described above, this is just a general sequence of actions.

In the section below, you can find plenty of minor details and nuances that should be taken into consideration if you want to have your old mascara tube perfectly clean and ready for being reused.

How to Clean the Mascara Residue Out
IgorVetushko via crello

Tricks And Life Hacks For Cleaning Old Mascara Out Of the Tube

Since you already know the basic sequence of actions that should be taken in order to remove mascara leftovers out of the tube, we would like to add some details to it so that you could understand better what exactly and how should be done during the cleaning procedure.

The more nuances and details are taken into consideration, the better you will be able to wash the mascara leftovers out of the tube.

Use Proper Makeup Remover

So first of all, avoid using an oil based makeup remover. Why is that, you may wonder? See, oil based makeup removers won’t mix well with water and may leave a residue in your mascara tube.

This is why we recommend you opt for an eye makeup remover to fill up the tube all the way.

Makeup remover will help to break down all the mascara that is left inside of the tube.

In case you don’t have the proper product, feel free to make use of rubbing alcohol with no hesitation!

Use Proper Makeup Remover
via crello

Pump It Right!

Also, when pumping the mascara leftovers in a tube, try to use the mascara wand to pull some of the loose mascara up with the help of the brush bristles, and then just pull them out of the tube if you can.

By the way, this trick will also help you to clean off the mascara wand in case you want to reuse it later as well.

Pump It Right!
wywenka via crello

Give It Enough Time

If you are cleaning waterproof mascara out of the tube, you need to take into consideration that this type of mascara needs more time for being washed out! So after you pour some makeup remover into the tube and recap it, let it sit for at least three hours!

In this case, the makeup remover will have enough time to break down more of the mascara inside and make it easier to clean.

For the ideal effect, we would suggest you leave your used mascara overnight.

In this case, it will be surely cleaned out and you will not have to redo the procedure again later.

Give It Enough Time
VadimVasenin via crello

Remove It Properly

In the final stage of the cleaning process, in order to get your mascara leftovers out of the tube after you use the makeup remover, simply unscrew the wand from the top of the tube of your mascara and dump out as much makeup remover as you can.

Use a paper towel to catch the mascara that is coming out so that it will not splatter the table. Also, at this point, we would like to warn you not to pour your makeup remover and mascara down the drain, as it could clog your sink over time!

Finally, if your mascara tube has a rubber stopper on the inside of the tube, use the tines of a fork to pry the rubber part out of the tube so you can clean it out.

The rubber may have mascara stuck underneath it which is why it is important to take it out.

Remove It Properly
IgorVetushko via crello

Rinse It Right

When rinsing the mascara residue out of the tube and from the brush, we recommend you stick to grease-fighting dish soaps instead of the regular ones.

Like this, you will have way more chances to lift the mascara leftovers and rinse them out of the tank easily.

And in case you are pulling out a lot of mascara with your wand still, even after it has been washed and rinsed, try to pour one drop of dish soap directly inside the tube and swirl it around with your mascara wand.

After you are done with the soapy rinse session, refill your sink or bowl with warm, clean water and dunk your mascara tube and wand into it.

Repeat this procedure a few times until you can see that there are no more soap bubbles coming out of your mascara tube.

Rinse It Right
osoloeika via crello

Consider Using Rubbing Alcohol

In case you are going to reuse your old mascara tube for the new products like eyebrow or eyelashes serum, it is important to sanitize and sterilize the mascara tube and brush properly before you use them again later.

This is why always remember to rinse the mascara tube out with some rubbing alcohol. Simply pour a small amount of it into your mascara tube, then screw the lid of the tube, keeping the mascara wand inside, and shake it back and forth a few times.

After that, you can drain the rubbing alcohol out of the tube.

Like this, you are now aware of both how to clean and how to rinse your old mascara tube correctly and thoroughly. As you can see, this process does not require any hard to get cleaning products or tools.

All you need is just some warm water, a bowl, a squirt or two of any liquid dish soap (preferably grease fighting), and paper towels.

Some rubbing alcohol might also be handy in case you are going to reuse your mascara tube later for another beauty product, such as serums, etc.

Consider Using Rubbing Alcohol
Sadreevaa via crello

How to Recycle Old Mascara Tubes?

All right, but what if you don’t need to reuse your old mascara tube later? How is it correct to discard it then? Well, typically, the majority of mascara tubes are often made from recyclable materials.

It means that they can be disposed of in your normal recycling bin.

However, you still need to make sure that you thoroughly wash and dry the tube first!

Yes, the same hot, soapy water will become handy here as well! As for the mascara wands, those are usually not made of recyclable materials.

How to Recycle Old Mascara Tubes
via crello

Nevertheless, you can always check it out with your local wildlife or environment protection organizations.

Some of them accept used (clean) mascara wands and turn them into brushes to maintain the fur of small wild animals!

So, now we hope that you are better informed about how to clean old mascara tubes correctly in case you are planning to use them later as tanks for other cosmetic products, such as eyelash or eyebrow serums, for example.

And since you are also aware of how to dispose of them correctly, you should have no problems with figuring out what you should do with the next used mascara tube when you are done using it.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Can mascara cause an allergic reaction on your skin?

Normally it can’t. But if your skin is prone to allergies or to some beauty products, you should be careful!

⭐Will mascara wash out with just soapy water?

No, even if your mascara is not waterproof, you will not be able to wash it out with only soapy water. You’ll need a washing product (a dish soap, rubbing alcohol, etc.).

⭐Can I use my old mascara tube for my eyebrow serum if the tube is washed and clean?

If you’re 100% sure there’s no mascara left inside, then yes, use it safely. But we’d still suggest you rinse it once again just to check.

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
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How to Clean Out a Mascara TubeHow to Clean Out a Mascara Tube