Alternative to cotton wool? Love the Planet – Washable Cleansing Pads | RECOMMENDED

As I’ve become more disciplined (har de har, har) with my skin care I’ve found I go through cotton wool pads or balls like something chronic. I use cotton wool to apply tea tree to spots, to apply toner and to get embedded eye make up off my damn lashes because even normally pretty hardcore hot cloth cleansers don’t seem to strip waterproof mascara from my lashes.
I probably use around 6-8 pads or balls per day (not including when I remove nail polish). Yep you can pick up cotton wool on the cheap but what bugs me most is they are chucked in the bin and not recycled. We’re pretty hardcore when it comes to recycling here at Thrifty Towers. Mr Thrifty studied Environmental Science at university and I think he’d recycle me if I stood still long enough. We just don’t like to create unnecessary waste if we can help it. At one point I did start using flannels for everything and they felt great on my skin but I found they absorbed so much product it was becoming just as wasteful as cotton wool. I do still use them for rich cleansing balms though as they’re perfect for that particular purpose, however I’m not using balms at the moment.

The inventor of Love the Planet Washable Cleansing Pads* contacted me to tell me all about the product and to use a blogger cliche – I lept at the chance to give them a whirl! I really did actually, these are right up my street and are something I declared a genius idea as soon as I heard about them.


The washable pads are designed to be used for cleanser and toner and then chucked in the wash. Each pack comes with 5 pads and a mini wash bag making the whole ‘chuck them in the wash’ side of it a bit easier. The pads themselves are huge! They’re about double the size of an average cotton pad and are really, really thick and dense. They’re made with terry cotton on the outside and a polyester filling meaning they dry in no time at all and you’re not left with a sodden lump of bacteria dripping all over your sink. The cotton is really gentle, it doesn’t drag my skin or feel harsh which I sometimes find cotton wool can. I’ve taken to using one of these pads in place of a muslin cloth with my cleanser because they feel so gentle, especially around my eyes.


I find I’m able to use each pad twice. I use one side for cleanser or eye make up remover and flip it over to use for toner. When I flip over the pad there is not one sign of use, none of the cleanser whatsoever has soaked through. I do find because the pad doesn’t absorb all of the product I find I have to use a little less which is a real bonus.


Robert Gordon University confirmed with Love The Planet, when washed at 40 degrees the cleansing pads are completely free of bacteria. I tend to rinse my cleansing pads in cold water after use (I find rinsing with cold water stops stains setting in as compared to hot water which seems to set stains) and leave in a small dish on the side of my sink to collect any drips then once dry I sling them into the wash bag. Once I have two or three used pads in the bag I sling them in the machine with my usual wash. They come out clean and bounce back into shape pretty quickly. I’ve been using these for over a month now and they’re showing no signs of wear and look as good as new. I did expect them to turn a little grey or curl at the edges but I’m pleasantly surprised to find they haven’t yet. I did however note they sell a coloured version of the pads if you’re worried about greying or stains.

You can buy a pack of 5 from Love The Planet for £6.20.

thrifty_blog  P.S. A star (*) denotes an PR sample. I am under no pressure to recommend anything I am sent.

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  1. Amazing! I’ve started a new skincare regime so I’m going through tonnes of cotton wool pads – these are perfect as I hate how wasteful they are! Definitely picking up some of these – thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow, these are amazing. I realised the other day, when I worked a late at work then slept there that I use like 10 pads in my routine (I use Bioderma then cleanse). I was shocked at how many I used, I will deffo look into buying these as I also love recycling and saving the planet one recycled diet coke can at a time.

  3. What a good idea, might look into purchasing them!

  4. That is such a great idea! I’ve never heard of them before, but I’d definitely consider buying these instead of cotton wool the next time I run out! xx

    D Is For…

  5. I really like the idea of these but I don’t actually use cotton wool unless it’s for nail varnish removal, I use a flannel for all face washing purposes

  6. This is amazing!! Thank you! x

  7. I’ve been using these for about 4 years now and I do think they’re pretty good. I don’t use them for everything, I still use cotton pads for removing nail polish etc, but for cleansing they’re fine. Mine are pretty grey now but they have retained their shape and softness.

  8. Absolutely great idea! I was saying just this morning that I seem to be considering the environment an awful lot more when I make my purchases these days, so these really appeal. I use a hot cloth cleanser normally and a spray toner but these would be really useful for taking off eye makeup and using other products.

  9. Do they work well to remove foundation? x

  10. These look amazing! What a brilliant idea, i’ll definitely be looking in to getting some. Even tiny little things can make such a difference. :)

  11. These look awesome! Never heard of them before so thanks for reviewing them so thoroughly for us. Great price too considering how much bloody cotton pads are these days.

    However, I am naughty and have no skin care regime. Face wipes are my friend :-)

  12. Well if RGU (my alumni) say they’re a goer then I’m all in ha!

  13. I’m just about to click over and get some; I have been in dire need of this as I go through cotton wall balls and pads at a chronic rate! Really impressed with the price too :-) They’ll pay for themselves in no time.

  14. These are really fantastic, I wonder whether I could get one in Canada anywhere? Wild save a fortune in cotton wool. Although I would still need it for my nails I guess.

  15. Well I think I know what i’ll be buying tomorrow on payday!

    Thanks for the heads up!

  16. I love this idea!

  17. What a good idea! definitely looking into buying these x

  18. This is a great idea! I experimented with little flannel pads and a few other washable homemade alternatives but they weren’t much use…

  19. What a great invention! I’d love to use these as I always feel so wasteful using cotton pads/balls x
    Amy |

  20. Amazing, thanks for sharing these!

    Petit Dora xoxo

  21. I need to try those! Such an amazing idea!

  22. I need to try those! Such an amazing idea!

  23. I love the idea of these, will definitely be purchasing some!

    Ellen x | Being Ellen Stacey

  24. I was definitely expecting to see a higher price tag at the end of this post. Might have to give them a whirl once I’ve used up my stock pile of cotton balls :)

  25. I was thinking recently about how frequently I need to keep buying cotton pads! And muslin cloths are too harsh on my eye area so these will be perfect! ordering some now.

  26. OOh these sound freddy fantastic! Thanks Thrifty.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Been searching for something like this for ages and had no luck. Thank you!

  28. I was really interested in these until I realised that five would only last me a couple of days. When I was a teenager ( a hundred years ago) I was taught by a beautician that you must use a separate tissue/cotton ball/pad (or a different side) for each eye to avoid transferring possible infection. So one for eyes and one for face and neck. That’s two days, then chuck in the washing machine but only if you have a load ready? I don’t use my washing machine every two days and am increasingly using it at 30deg as recommended. Maybe I should buy three sets to last a week? Sorry but a good idea not thought through in terms of hygiene as well as laundering cost. Though I also worry about the use of disposables and am very tempted, but I think I will stick with tissues for now. And the occasional hot linen cloth. But thanks for the suggestion ( and all your tips – keep them coming!)

  29. This is literally brilliant. Especially for people like me who use a lot but not loads and I can make these spread out per week. Thanks so much for sharing, toddling off to buy some!


  30. These look fantastic, such a good idea
    : ]

  31. I got really excited reading about these but then remembered that I do, in fact, out-thrift them by rubbing olive oil all over my face to remove my make-up and cleanse my skin and removing it with warm water on a flannel (my BEST thrifty tip). But they’d be good for people who use cream cleansers and lotions and things.

    Lise @

  32. This is an amazing idea! The coloured ones look so cute too!

  33. Ooh great idea, might have to try these. :)

  34. What a good idea

  35. I love this idea!

  36. What a BRILLIANT idea!!! I have started worrying a lot about recycling as I live in London and I just seem to chuck away so much stuff here, compared to the amount of waste I produced when I lived in the countryside. I’m determined to be better at recycling and reusing. I can’t believe how affordable these are, too. Thanks for sharing!

  37. I Love these, I go through so many cotton pads that I feel it is not just an Evironmental waste but a waste of money as they are not as cheap to buy as they used to be. Will definately record this for later use.

    Much Love xxx

    Leanne | Topazstarz

  38. I would have bought these had they been available a few years ago. But, now I have discovered the delight of coconut oil which is amazing at getting off eye makeup, even stubborn mascara.I’ll use a hot flannel to wipe it away and I’m left with lovely soft skin too. :)

  39. Excellent idea! I don’t really use cotton wool for much other than blackhead cleanser and nail polish, so I think for when I do need it they’d come in handy. However, I don’t do a wash at 40 degrees often enough (being a student with only minimal laundry) for using them regularly – would they be okay at a lower setting?

  40. Thank you for sharing these I will start using these from now on :)

  41. I’ve bought the superdrug hot cleanser after your recommendation, and love it! It will definitely become part of my regime, and I just adore the idea of these 😀 have sent a hint to motherdearest as a “filler” present for my birthday as I am skinto!

  42. Such a good idea! I use a mualin cloth to take off my make-up at the moment, but like you I really have a problem with it soaking up most of the product. I’ll definitely give these a go, thanks for sharing :)

  43. Another stain-removing idea might be to soak in a cold salt-and-water solution. Works very well for washable pant liners (sorry, TMI, I realise)

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