Make Your Own Eye Makeup Remover and Reusable Pads.

eye 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.

eye makeup remover 4
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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  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. 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!

  6. 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 :)

  7. LaDonna says

    I stumbled across your blog yesterday and I love it!! I was having trouble with my eyes burning, itching, watering, etc. so I went for a check up at the eye doctor. He told me I had blepharatis and a mild infection. Along with an antibiotic I was to wash my eyes 2x daily with an eye cleanser. His suggestion over the expensive store bought wash was to simply use Johnson's baby shampoo. Your wash is right in line with the professional!

    • Susie White says

      I was told my my male eye doctor to wash my eye lashes with baby shampoo as well. It cleaned the lashes well but dried out the delicate skin around the eyes too much. I even used under eye cream but it wasn’t strong enough to combat the drying shampoo.

  8. Laura says

    When you make the makeup remover pads, what about leaving one of the sides open? You could put your fingers inside & it would help with holding the pad. You would have to seam the open ends, but that’s an easy fix. Just an idea.

  9. Trina says

    Hi, I did the recipe just as you have it here. My solution is mostly liquid, but after it got back to room temperature, the coconut oil went back to a solid/semi-solid form. Did I do something wrong? How do I avoid this? Is it true that I should only use this solution for a week as mentioned above? Thanks!

    • Janine says

      Make the entire recipe in the jar right away rather than transferring from a bowl. Microwave 45 seconds…not to heat, but to warm slightly to help the coconut oil chunks dissolve. Remove from microwave and stir to break up clumps. Mine never went back to a solid at all doing it this way rather than warming just the water.

    • Jillee says

      Trisha…the first time I bought coconut oil I just bought the stuff at the grocery store in the baking aisle. Worked just fine. Since then I have been buying organic coconut oil on But there are lots of other online resources for it too. Hope this helps. :-)

    • Katlyn says

      Yes it does. I use straight coconut oil in the shower rubbed on my eyes for a while, then I wipe gently with a washcloth under the eyes to make sure I got it all. When the washcloth stops turning black I’m clean lmao . It’s so much more gentle than eye makeup remover. Then I just wash my face as normal. I never have any raccoon eyes after.

  10. Noahla says

    Hi I found your blog a short while ago on Pinterest! I love your ideas!!! Thank you!!!! I was wondering if an all natural baby (or adult) soap would work. I’m trying to switch over!! Thanks!!

  11. Molly says

    One tip I’ll offer for this recipe: If you don’t have baby shampoo on hand don’t substitute peppermint castille soap. It may be gentle and organic but your eyes will not like the peppermint. hahaha (In my defense, it seemed like a good substitute at the time.) So for now, it is a nice hand soap until I can buy some baby shampoo. Can’t wait to try this recipe PROPERLY. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Glenna says

    I like this recipe. My tip is I cut up an old T-shirt into squares. I made 4×4 inch squares. Since T-shirt fabric does not ravel you don’t have to sew them. You could cut them as large or small as you like. You could even use pinking shears for a more decorative edge and the fabric is soft and gentle on the delicate skin around your eyes. Thanks Jillee! I love all of your recipes and ideas.

  13. Jessica says

    Saw this on pinterest, pinned it, and finally made it! This is awesome, and I look forward to using it every night from now on! I hate purchasing makeup remover, and I know that olive oil works well, but its just a tad too oily to just use straight. Thankfully, I had coconut oil on hand, some no-tears baby shampoo,…. and an empty container! I will, hopefully soon, make those reuseable pads, too! I’m all about re-using things like that, instead of dumping money into paper towels and cotton rounds, etc. It’s so wasteful! THANK YOU for ALL of your wonderful ideas! (I also made a small batch of homemade body wash! that’s awesome, too!)

  14. Nicole says

    Some direct-sales eye makeup remover is $15 a bottle and barely lasts a month. Also, it doesn’t always get all of the gunk, especially eye liner, off of my eyes! Thanks for this great recipe :)

  15. Angie says

    I LOVE you!!! I can’t get enough of your blog! You are awesome!! Keep it up! Just when I think you couldnt possibly think of anything more brilliant, you amaze me! And your blog is saving me thousands! Thank YOU! Did I say I LOVE you because I do! :-)

  16. Christina says

    I made this a few weeks ago. I absolutely love it!! Works better than any name brand eye make-up remover I have ever used. I did double the amount of coconut oil used in the original recipe. Waterproof mascara just melts away. Also, I used an empty Coffeemate bottle (cleaned of course) to store the mixture. The spout on that bottle works perfectly!

    I do have one question, is there a “use by” date I should consider? The recipe makes a good amount and even using it everyday for the pass two weeks I still have a good amount left. Will the mixture spoil at all?

  17. Meghan says

    This blog is amazing!!!! I have recently started wanted to do DIY products. I was inspired by my cloth diapering to look into more things that I could at home. I already use coconut oil for diaper rash and I never thought it would be a great make up remover!!! I can’t wait to try this with the reusable pads!!!!

  18. Barbara Crawford says

    I made the makeup remover and reusable pads, I love them both. I used spearmint essential oil (I’m new at using essential oils and it is the only one I have so far). I’ve made several other of your cleaning supplies. I just love finding things that I can make at home to replace the high $ items sold in stores. Thanks for all you post, love your blogs.

  19. Renée says

    Jillee, just discovered your blog and I love it! I have been making my own eye makeup remover for about a year using 1:1 olive oil and witch hazel. Works beautifully! I don’t plan to try this recipe as coconut oil does not stay liquid in my Canadian climate. I love the idea of reusable pads but I’m gonna be honest; they are too fiddle for me to dig my ancient sewing machine out for. However, I would definitely be interested in buying a few dozen if someone were to offer them on an etsy shop! Anyone?

  20. Emma says

    For those of you wondering about keeping the oil in liquid form, you could get one of those coffee mug warmers for your jar and plug it up a minute or two before you plan to wash your face. I suppose you could brush your teeth in the mean time.

  21. Karen says

    Made this tonight, put it all in a condiment bottle I got at Walmart for $1 with a tip on the end so I can squirt it on pad (haven’t made the pads yet, just putting on face/baby wipes). With the narrow squeeze tip I can also squirt it into travel size container for travel.

  22. Ex-Army Girl says

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to say that ever since I found your webpage Jillee, I have obsessed over it. Thank you so much for all the great advice you are giving to us all. Anyway, I was so excited to try this makeup remover as my second foray into alternatives to store bought stuff. I have read all the other posts & tried all the little tricks I saw, but my coconut oil continues to chunk up & separate from other ingredients when cooled. I am at a loss & very disappointed. I did try to pare the recipe way down, as I just don’t wear makeup a lot—like my goal was to scale it down by 8ths in order to fit into a 1st foods baby jar—I figured even in that amount I would still have way more than I could ever use.
    Maybe my measurements are off. Are there any suggestions that have not already been posted? I have tried them all with no success at it being an all liquid product at room temperatures like I was hoping for. Maybe it was the cooking coconut oil I bought (at Walmart by the way @ 32oz for ±$5.98—the cheapest anywhere I have found)? It sure didn’t smell coconutty either. Should I melt it prior to putting it into the water? Please help Jillee!! Thank you in advance.

    Sign me,
    Ex-Army Girl

  23. says

    Hi Jillee,
    Wanted to let you know my teenage daughter & I use this eye makeup remover and LOVE it. She says it smells “delicious”, which apparently is very important to her. (Who knew?) I love it so much that I wrote about it on my blog, I also included a cost comparison (wow) and a free printable bottle label. Thank you so much for sharing. I am paying it forward.


  24. Landon says

    I’ve been using this for about 3 weeks to remove my eye makeup before I OCM. The OCM also removes eye makeup very effectively, but it’s a little gross to look at all that eyeliner & mascara smeared on my face as I massage the oils in. LOL I had 2 little square plastic bowls that fit the flannel pads nicely & fit perfectly side by side in my cosmetics drawer. Clean squares in one bowl, dirty squares in the other. I rinse my squares well after I remove my eye makeup, squeeze out as much water as I can & place in the ‘dirty’ bowl. Easy to grab when it’s laundry day & they get softer with each washing. I LOVE this formula!

  25. Nonniemom says

    Jillee, I use the “original” recipe you gave, and it works great for me. I use an empty contact lens saline solution bottle to store my solution in, and I love that I can shake it and squeeze out just the amount I need without touching the cloth to the surface of the container (keeps it more sanitary IMHO). I used an old, soft t-shirt for my pads, and I made two sizes: 2-inch squares for eye makeup remover, and 4-inch for facial makeup remover and washing. I doubled the fabric for each square, and sewed a zig-zag around the edges. They didn’t fray out after washing. I even had a navy t-shirt, which doesn’t show the dirty, black mascara stains! After using, I rinse, squeeze dry and toss into a nylon laundry bag hanging on the back of my bathroom door (where my robe also hangs) until time to wash my towels and washcloths (also dark colors), then toss in with them. Thanks Jillee – you are amazing!

  26. Manuela says

    I have just finished sewing 30 pads for me and my mom.. they are great!! Thank you for the idea and the tutorial!!! :) oh.. I was forgetting.. I pinned this page on Pinterest! ;) thanks again! Manuela

  27. Terrie says

    I read that women use well over a thousand different chemicals on their body a day. After looking at a few bottles from shampoo to eye make up remover I can see how it ads up so I am making big changes.

    How about using this in the shower in a small squirt bottle with a wash cloth? I’m betting it will work like a charm. Thanks for another great idea and tutorial.

  28. Tonda says

    I must admit I have yet to make the little pads, but the remover is wonderful! I like it with lots of coconut oil too. I happened to have some witch hazel on hand and added a splash. The whole experience is very refreshing.


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