8 Uses For Old Mascara Wands

I get through mascara like something chronic, curse my short stubby lashes. As you know I hate to throw anything away so of course I try to use my old mascara wands in a myriad of ways.

8 uses for old mascara wands

1. Eyebrow brush
Some days when I wake up it’s pretty obvious that my eyebrows had a conference in the night and decided to go in different directions, or have an unruly day or my favourite – go all bushy and weird making me look like an elderly gentleman mumbling into his third whisky at the golf club. This sorts it.
2. Separating eyelashes
You’ve got too enthusiastic with the mascara, haven’t you Suzy, Gemma, Lorraine*, this will comb your eyelashes into individual eyelashes of wonder. MAGIC.
3. Removing clumpy mascara from lashes
We’ve all had this happen. Your new mascara has come in the form of three clumps in a tube. Joy. But the small amounts you do manage to get on your lashes make them look good, so you’re going to push ahead and use it anyway. But damnation if it doesn’t leave little clumps on your nose and eyelashes. Getting them off whilst the mascara is still wet ends with your face looking like you’ve just been down the pit and getting them off once the mascara is dry means you run the risk of pulling your eyelashes out…one…by…one. Use an old mascara wand to wiggle the clumps free whilst the mascara is wet.

4. Delicate jewellery or beaded clothing
I have a beaded bag which loves to collect dust and a mascara wand has saved it from becoming a dust-clad testament to my slovenly ways. It also works well on the gaps between beads on necklaces or earrings which can from time to time get a bit dirty or worn looking.

5. Sort out your roots
For reals. This method is better than any stupid little wand that comes in the packet. Because the wands tend to have a bit of flexibility to them you can really work it into the root and get even coverage.
6. Rid yourself of flyaway hair
My hair almost constantly looks like that time in Science class when they make you stand on that thing and put your hands on that other thing and your hair goes all sticky-outey…you know, those THINGS. So spraying a bit of hairspray onto the bristles of an old mascara wand and smoothing it over my hair sorts me out in no time at all.
7. Clean taps 
You know the bit of the tap were the water comes out (is there an obvious technical term other than hole?)? That can get grim, really grim and gunky. MASCARA WAND TO THE RESCUE. Work it in and around the tap and you’ll get the gunk out in no time at all.

8. Unclog sinks
Lots of times when your sink is clogged up, the stuff that’s clogging it up isn’t even that far down the pipe. A quick swizz around with an old mascara wand can often sort it and when you pull it back out you can either chuck that gross old noodle or eat it. It’s up to you, you dirtbag.


How to clean your mascara wand
It’s pretty basic really. Fill a sink with warm water and sit your mascara wand it the water. After around 10-15 minutes you’ll notice flakes of mascara have come off and the water is looking cloudy. Coat the palm of you hand in shampoo and work the wand into the shampoo, twisting and turning to get as much of the product off the wand as possible. Wrap your hand around the wand and move your palm up and down. It might look like you’re doing something rude to the mascara wand…you’re not, it’s a mascara wand it isn’t capable of those lustful, sinful feelings and actions. Rinse in the sink occasionally and carry on the process until almost nothing comes off the wand. Rinse under a cold tap and allow to air dry. Not rocket science, is it?
*delete and insert as applicable.

P.S. Do you reuse your old mascara wands? How?

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  1. My boyfriend used his to colour his beard once as it was particulary light and he has dark hair! I used to save them for that reason! He would probably die if he knew I’d shared that with anyone πŸ˜‰ x

  2. Ooooooo I love this!! I never thought of the tap one! I do the eyelash one, to prevent clumping and feathering my eyelashes out a bit! Thank you for the tips!

    Kitty xoxox

  3. I don’t use mascara, not because I have naturally amazing lashes but because I am too damn lazy to put it on and take it off again at night. So I don’t have any fabulously inventive ideas for reusing the wands (tooth brush for a hamster?) but your post cracked me up, especially the part about the lustful mascara!! Cheers for making me laugh Thrifty!

  4. Liking the tap tip. Will definitely test that one out!

  5. This is a really useful post. I just usually throw them in the rubbish. I’m going to try these out for around taps, if I get clumpy mascara etc. cheers and I tweeted about your post on my new twitter @balmainbeauty, Karen.

  6. I toss old mascara wands, always thinking of them as too small to be usefull in another life. I will have to save one for getting rid of clumping eyelashes tho. thanks for the ideas. I do same old toothbrushes and use them for cleaning.

  7. very useful. particularly the cleaning sinks one. Usually use an old toothbrush for that, but mascara wand is tons better.

  8. Totally keeping mine for tap cleaning…and drain cleaning…how do my plug ‘oles get so filthy? Hmmmm…

  9. I’ve been wondering what implement would nicely clean the filter thing on the bottom of the posh plug that goes up and down (by lever) in my bathroom basin (you know the thing right?!!). This is perfect. LOVE.


  10. Toothbrush for a hamster is a good idea, because if you have a long-haired hamster they do actually need brushing with an old toothbrush, and a mascara wand – I imagine – would work better! Odd fact of the day. I use my old wands to clean inside my doll’s house. All that tiny furniture needs dusting, just like in a real house. Annoying but true.

  11. I use them for hair color and to clean small bottles.

  12. These are great ideas, I would usually throw them out when done but will be hanging on to them in future! :) x

    Caroline x

  13. You bloody amaze me! I’ve never saved my brushes before, but I will now.

    Catherine, XO.

  14. You are a genius Mrs Thrifty. I love you x

  15. Hahaha I love the way you write your advices, so funny! πŸ˜€ Point 8 totally cracked me up! πŸ˜€
    But as usual you have the best ideas ever! I will definitely try using the mascara wand to unclog the sink in our tub! You genius!!

  16. I used to always have an empty mascara in my make-up bag for unclogging my lashes when I got slap happy with the mascara. And I’ll be giving the plug hole trick a go. I hate having to pick the gook out!
    Thanks Lady!

  17. FANTASTIC post! Love reading useful stuff like this. Never thought of unclogging sink but I guess it makes sense.

  18. Ha, would have never thought of re-using an old mascara wand for anything. Really original post!

  19. Ha, would have never thought of re-using an old mascara wand for anything. Really original post!

    p.s I must admit I miss your old blog header though.

  20. Fantastic ideas! I too hate throwing anything away! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Fantastic ideas I’d never thought about reusing them!

  22. I was told years ago about using them as eye brow brushes and they work a treat. Thanks for all the other ideas and yes I too had to have a giggle at the cleaning guide!

    X x

    • I always keep mascara brushes & wash them..I find you always get clogging so if your quick enough you can use them stop the spider effect before they dry out..
      I also use them for colouring my eyebrows with a hair colour every 4/6 wks as mine have gone nearly all white ..This keeps a shape to your face ..Never do them very dark as it will stand out & not look natural..

  23. Dirt bag now that made me laugh.

  24. I hardly ever use mascara, but I think I have an old one that is well and truly past it’s best. I think the brush would come in very handy for cleaning – great idea!

  25. All of those first ones aren’t really things I have probs w/ but those last ones were super useful & I always love hearing ways to reuse things like this- I hate the waste from makeup! Def going to give the flyaway one & cleaning, which we usually take an old toothbrush to. Your cleaning tips gave me a giggle, def easy but I was wondering how to get it all out also.

  26. Some great ideas, I’ve always got a couple to help flyaways in my kit bag. I’ve even used one in the past to apply colour to ends of the hair, works well. :)

  27. I have an old one that I use for my eyebrows and lashes. Love it!

  28. My mascara wand in in the sink as we speak. Thanks for the tips!

  29. Great tips, they are also useful for cleaning the hinge on the toilet seat! (eww) xx

  30. These are brilliant ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Anonymous says:

    The hair-sticky-out “thing” is a Van Der Graaf Generator. :)

  32. Anonymous says:

    I use it to clean the nipples to baby bottles (they work better than the brushes specially designed for that purpose) and to clean the lids to the sippy cups.

  33. Great ideas, thanks for sharing!

    I keep a few for my kids (2 and 4) to play with in their make up kit. This time I’ll try to clean out the mascara bottle too so that they can properly pretend to apply stuff πŸ˜‰

  34. I do keep them sometimes in their tube for the purpose of using for other things but never do anything with them, so they just sit there festering lol. I like the last two tips, I wouldn’t have thought of those.

  35. If you have a fancy ass coffee machine, you can also use your mascara wand to clean the head of the machine (where the coffee and the milk comes from)

    And if you want to boost your lashes and eyebrows, refill your old mascara tube with castor oil, and brush it on your lashes every night before bed.

  36. I read somewhere that the only thing separating high-end mascara from low-end was the brush – splurge on really good mascara once and then reuse the wand with super cheap mascara!

  37. So you said you had short lashes. One thing you can try to make them longer and fuller is putting Vaseline on them at night! You apply it just like mascara and sleep with it on!

  38. My old mascara wands go to my husband. He oils them up and cleans his guns with them. πŸ˜‰

  39. Nazia Begum says:

    Thanks for the tips, this was really useful! I’ve just washed mine now and I’m planning on using it to put petroleum jelly/vaseline on my lashes – heard it makes your lashes grow longer/thicker?!

  40. Nazia Begum says:

    Thanks for the tips, this was really useful! I’ve just washed mine now and I’m planning on using it to put petroleum jelly/vaseline on my lashes – heard it makes your lashes grow longer/thicker?

  41. ^^^ cleaning his guns. That’s funny

  42. Helene kadri says:


  43. I used mine between the keys of my keyboard. Just make sure your super careful and don’t pop a key off.

  44. I really like the 8th one, I’ll try it.

  45. Sue Dudley says:

    Thank you for reminding me that I have at least 25 old mascaras I can’t seem to part with…either it has the perfect brush .. A great color…I simply cannot throw out mascaras. Now I don’t have to! They have new life! Great ideas. My only problem now is that I really want hamster!


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