DIY Reusable Cotton Rounds for a Low-Waste Skincare Routine


DIY Reusable Cotton Rounds

Cotton balls are so last season, right? First of all cotton is a thirsty plant—it takes 2,700 liters of water to make one t-shirt. So why would we want to throw cotton into the trash bin after just one use?  

Sure, it may be great for removing makeup, nail polish, or applying toner, but that’s where reusable cotton rounds come in. They can be found at a variety of zero waste stores, and are even gaining traction at larger big box stores. Of course, if you’re looking for an even more budget-friendly option, you can just as easily make your own DIY reusable cotton rounds in less than five minutes. Keep reading below for step-by-step instructions!

How to Make DIY Reusable Cotton Rounds

If you have five minutes

If you want cotton rounds that will simply get the job done and are quick to make, this is the tutorial for you. To start, all you need is an old t-shirt, flannel, or towel. Go ahead and cut your scrap material of choice into 10-20 one-inch squares and then throw them into a jar to await their first use—it’s really that simple.


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♬ Taste It – Ikson

If you have one hour

Now, if you have some extra time, or maybe you’re planning to put your cotton rounds in a guest bathroom where aesthetics are more important, you can try out this method from Helen Spencer, the creator of the Youtube Channel, Hello Sewing.

Using Spencer’s method, you can select an old t-shirt or piece of cloth, just like in our first tutorial. However, instead of haphazardly chopping it, you’ll carefully cut the material into a circle. A cup makes a great outline for this, or you can use the pattern available on Spencer’s page.

After cutting two circles you’ll then layer them on top of each other and sew together using a thread color of your choosing. Make as many as you please and then store your reusable cotton rounds in a jar or on a tray. Finally, sit back and wait for your guests to compliment you on your craftiness.

How to Use DIY Reusable Cotton Rounds

You can use your new low-waste cotton rounds just as you would a cotton ball. They’re perfect for applying toner or removing makeup. They can even be used to remove nail polish, just be prepared for them to become permanently stained in this instance. I recommend setting aside five to ten specifically for nail polish removal so your whole inventory doesn’t become discolored.

How to Wash Your DIY Reusable Cotton Rounds

Once you’ve gone through your collection and are left with a pile of dirty cotton rounds throw them all in a mesh laundry bag and wash with like colors. I use an oil-based makeup remover and consistently throw my rounds in with my clothes. I have never had any issue with color transfer or stains. If you’re nervous about this though, you can always throw them in with your towels to be safe.  

Toss them in the dryer once washed, return to their storage area, and then cross cotton balls off your grocery list forever.

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