How to Clean Out a Mascara Tube

If you recently purchased a lash or eyebrow serum and it didn’t come with an applicator brush, you may be wondering how you can apply it without going and buying a completely new product. Since mascara comes with a tube and an applicator wand, they are the perfect storage places for growth serums, as long as they are completely clean. You can spend a single afternoon cleaning out your mascara tube to repurpose it for a fresh new product you can use every day.


[Edit]Soaking the Mascara Tube in Makeup Remover

  1. Pull out and clean the mascara wand with warm water and soap. Soak your mascara wand in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash the wand with dish soap and warm water and pat it dry with a paper towel.[1]
    Clean Out a Mascara Tube Step 1 Version 2.jpg
  2. Pour a water-based makeup remover into the mascara tube. Makeup remover will help to break down all the mascara that is left inside of the tube. Use an eye makeup remover to fill up the tube all the way.[2]
    • Oil based removers won’t mix well with water and may leave a residue in your mascara tube.
    • If you don’t have any eye makeup remover, you can also use rubbing alcohol.
  3. Pump the mascara wand in the tube to loosen the mascara. Put the mascara wand back into the tube and swirl it around a few times. Use the mascara wand to pull some of the loose mascara up and out of the tube if you can.[3]
    • This will also help to clean off the mascara wand in case you want to reuse it.
  4. Recap the tube and let the makeup remove soak the interior for 3 hours. Close the lid of the mascara tube with the wand inside and let it sit with the makeup remover for at least 3 hours. If you are cleaning out a waterproof mascara tube, let it sit overnight.[4]
    Clean Out a Mascara Tube Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • Letting the tube sit allows the makeup remover to break down more of the mascara inside and makes it easier to clean.
  5. Pour the makeup remover out of the tube onto a paper towel. Unscrew the wand from the top of the mascara tube and dump out as much makeup remover as you can onto a paper towel. Don’t be worried if only a little bit comes out, since it could just be stuck at the bottom of the tube.[5]
    • Try not to pour your makeup remover and mascara down the drain, as it could clog your sink over time.
  6. Check for and remove the rubber insert if your mascara tube has one. Some mascara tubes have a rubber topper 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.[6]
    • The rubber may have mascara stuck underneath it which is why it is important to take it out.

[Edit]Cleaning out the Residue with Soap and Water

  1. Submerge your mascara tube and wand in warm water and dish soap. Fill your sink or a small bowl with warm water and add 1 to 2 drops of dish soap. Swirl the dish soap and water around so they mix together. Then, put your mascara tube and wand into the water and submerge them fully so that your mascara tube fills up with water.[7]
    Clean Out a Mascara Tube Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • If you took out the rubber insert, clean that off in the soapy water as well.
  2. Use the mascara wand to loosen the mascara inside of the tube. Insert the mascara wand into the tube again and swirl it around. Use the wand to bring chunks of mascara up and out of the tube if you can.[8]
    • If you are pulling out a lot of mascara with your wand still, pour 1 drop of dish soap directly inside the tube and swirl it around with your mascara wand.
  3. Dunk the mascara tube into fresh water to get rid of the soap. Drain the soapy water out of your sink or bowl. Refill it with warm, clean water and submerge your mascara tube and wand into it. Do this a few times until there are no more soap bubbles coming out of your mascara tube.[9]
    • If you got any mascara on your hands, use some dish soap to wash it off.
  4. Rinse out the tube and wand with rubbing alcohol. Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol into your mascara tube. Close the lid of the tube with the wand inside and shake it back and forth a few times. Drain the rubbing alcohol out of the tube.[10]
    • Rubbing alcohol sterilizes the mascara tube and wand, which is important if you are repurposing it for a new product.
  5. Let the tube and wand air-dry in the sun. Leave the mascara tube uncapped and set it with the wand in a sunny area for about 6 hours. Make sure your mascara tube is completely dry before you fill it with a new product.[11]
    Clean Out a Mascara Tube Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • Check that the tube is really clean by putting the wand in it and then rubbing the wand over your hand. If any mascara comes off onto your hand, you need to clean out your mascara tube again.
  6. Add new products to your mascara tube, if desired. Insert the rubber piece back into the top of your mascara tube. Pour your new products into the mascara tube and use the wand as an applicator.[12]
    • Most lash eyebrow serums have natural vitamins and minerals that encourage the growth of follicles on your face.


  • Waterproof mascara tubes are much harder to clean out than non-waterproof ones.

[Edit]Things You’ll Need

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


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