Make Your Own Eye Makeup Remover and Reusable Pads.

makeup remover

Quite awhile ago I wrote about making your own make up remover wipes. It was killing me to pay the high price of the ones sold in the stores. Lately, however, a couple of other things have been bothering me about the whole taking makeup off thing!

First, since getting rid of paper towels in the kitchen…I feel a little hypocritical still using them in the bathroom. :-) Second, I feel like my face needs something richer, with more emollients, for taking off my makeup. Cuz I ain’t gettin’ any younger! :-/

So I spent much of today searching for and developing a slightly different make up removal system, that after using tonight I think I am going to like A LOT!


First I made some REUSABLE make up remover pads similar to something I saw on The Sproutz Store Blog. When I saw these I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of them sooner. Now that we use cloth exclusively in the kitchen, this made perfect sense to me.

eye makeup remover

I thought a nice, soft flannel would be the best fabric to make them out of. I already had some of the fabric on the left, and the piece on the right is an old flannel pillow case I found at the thrift store.

eye makeup remover

I figured a dozen pads should be enough, so I cut out 12 of the striped fabric and 24 of the white.

eye makeup remover

Then I assembled little flannel “sandwiches”. The middle layer is just for added softness/absorbency.

eye makeup remover

Right sides together…sew three of the sides…

eye makeup remover 12

Clip the corners….

eye makeup remover 11

eye makeup remover 10

Then turn right sides out.

eye makeup remover 9

Now fold in the 4th edge like this….

eye makeup remover 8

And top stitch closed. Then continue topstitching around all four sides.

eye makeup remover 7

Finished product! Less than perfectly shaped, but perfectly fine with me!


eye makeup remover

Now I needed something to use ON the reusable pads. I searched and searched and searched for a homemade eye make up remover with the right ingredients for me. I finally decided on the following “recipe” adapted from one I saw at

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons baby shampoo (no tears)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • A few drops of essential oil (optional)

I first heated the water for about a minute in the microwave…then added the shampoo and the solid coconut oil. The coconut oil became liquid in the warm water. I then added a couple of drops of essential oil.

After a quick stir, I put it in a little glass jar I had on hand and went to try it out. Not only did it work quickly and easily in taking off even my eye make up…it left my skin feeling so nice and moisturized! The original recipe called for only 1/8 teaspoon of coconut oil, so I increased it quite a bit for mine. You could easily adjust the amount of coconut oil to suit your own needs.

eye makeup remover 3

eye makeup remover 2

I have a small mesh washing bag with a zipper that I bought awhile back to put “delicates” in for washing. I am going to just toss the used pads in there and toss the bag in a drawer until I’m at the end of my “stash”, then throw the whole thing in the washing machine.

makeup remover
There it is….my new “make up removal system”.
I think it needs a name…and maybe it’s own infomercial! ;-)
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  1. Flavia says

    I love this blog! It's become my first read in the morning as well :) I have been wanting to make my own makeup remover and face wash as I find store bought ones are either too expensive or full of chemicals. But I had been wary about bacteria until I researched and found that using lavender oil is a great way to make it antibacterial as I found an antibacterial solution to clean cutting boards and it uses just water and lavender ( Can't wait to try this!! THANK YOU, JILL, FOR ALL YOUR IDEAS!!! Please keep them coming :)

  2. EmilyM says

    I've started using something similar to this to wash my face on the nights I'm too lazy to do the oil cleansing method (which I love, by the way…who would have thought that the best way to get my INCREDIBLY oily skin under control would be to wash my face with oil?!) I start with about a cup of distilled water, then add a couple squirts each of sweet almond oil, castor oil, vegetable glycerin and castile soap. I also add a few drop of tea tree oil and vitamin E oil and store it all in a mason jar. When it comes time to wash my face, I just dip my flannel wash cloth into the solution, swipe it around my face a few times and voila…clean and moisturized!

  3. Jill Nystul says

    Luann…I like that idea. Flannel washes up so nicely!

    daisykl….isn't coconut oil amazing!? I love it!

  4. daisykl says

    After reading this post, I decided to try this out, but didn't have baby shampoo or distilled water – I used straight coconut oil – works like a charm and my old wrinkled skin is loving the extra moisture around the eyes

    • Janine says

      I am wondering…I just started reading this site. Are all of you using solid coconut oil or a liquid? Also, are there brands that are better than others? Lastly, what stores sell this? Thank you for the help!!

      • Katlyn says

        Coconut oil is solid when it is colder than 76 degrees. It is liquid when it’s warm. The best to use on your skin is the organic kind. Not the refined kind that you can find in the baking aisle. (though that works great for cooking with.) If you’re from the states you can get organic coconut oil at health food stores.

  5. Shirley says

    @thriftynut I was told by the eye doctor to use baby shampoo to clean eyelash base to prevent a sty from happening. @ Anonymous who said "how long before you get a infection" comment: You wash things you by from a thrift/goodwill store right? If you toss the fabric cloths into a bag and maybe wash with your jeans (dark colors)Your detergent should cleanse them as well as any other clothes. I bought washcloths for only eye make-up remover use and wash them NO problem. This was a great article and very useful information. Thank You Jillee!

  6. Chantelle says

    I was wondering if washing the little eye pads transferred any oil residue to other clothes washed in the same load? Thanks!

  7. JessieMomma says

    I am THRILLED with the idea of this … I don't much like J&J, but I will do like PP and alter a tad, perhaps glycerine? Also, I was thinking the pads could be done without needing to turnout the fabric, if you don't mind a bit of a raw edge. Flannel fray is very soft after a couple of washings.

  8. Catherine's Not Naturally Crafty says

    Jill: If you use hot water and a lil' bleach plus dry the pads in the dryer or line dry in the sun you should have no problems with bateria. The kinds of bad bugs that you'd worry about won't survive the hot water, the bleach, the detergent (even homemade) and the heat of the dryer, the dryness of the dryer or the heat, UV rays or dryness of being dried outdoors. Still nervouse? dampen them and microwave for 30 seconds, then let dry and store. It's all just pretty much a lethal combo for bacteria. They just aren't that hardy.

    Now, under no circumstances should you pre-moisten the pads and let them sit OR should you keep that solution for more than a week or two. Also, do not dip a pad and re-dip a used or partially used pad. And make sure your hands, jar etc. are scrupulously clean before you mix up your cleaner and use clean hands before you apply. 'Cause otherwise that would be silly and you might introduce bad bugs into your solution. If you can tolerate tea tree oil a drop of that is a natural disinfectant and in small amounts has a nice "clean" smell. This is a really great recipie and I'll be making it up this weekend! Thanks Jill!