How To Make Reusable Facial Cleansing Pads

Swap disposable cotton wool pads for these reusable facial cleansing pads made from your old clothes!

My bedroom is a tip. Well, not so much a tip anymore, but it’s very cluttered. One of Ian’s sticking points is an old washing basket full of old clothes that aren’t really fit for selling on or giving away. I don’t want to get rid of them. There are old baby clothes and beautiful dresses from when Rhian was a toddler. There are baby clothes and old school uniforms from the boys.

I could put them in my household recycling to be turned into rags, but in all honesty I’m sentimental about most of the items in there. Occasionally I go through the basket and put some items in the recycling, but it’s not getting rid of enough. I’m used to the basket by now, but poor Ian has been stubbing his toe on it for two years.


What if I gave the items another use? I could still have them around the home but they wouldn’t be in the way. Maybe they could even help us cut back on our need for disposable items around the house. I’d love for their old baby clothes to be given a new use. The offcuts could then be sent for recycling.

The thing is, I have next to no sewing experience. The few times I’ve actually tried a project, I’ve never bothered finishing it. So I’ve started with something simple: replacing cotton wool rounds I’d put in the bin with ones I can wash and reuse.

I’m trying to reduce my reliance on plastic after finding out I used way more plastic than I thought I did, so this is a great way to start. Any other ideas on how I can merge my need to use fabric and my need to reduce plastic waste (well, reduce waste in general) welcome!

four reusable facial cleansing pads against a white background

How to make reusable facial cleansing pads

  1. Gather your materials. You’ll need some rough-ish fabric (think old polo shirts from the school uniform of years gone by) and some decorative fabric. My decorative fabric came from a pair of pyjamas I’ve long since grown out of.
  2. Cut 2in rounds of fabric. I used three layers of the pyjama fabric and one of the polo shirt, but if you want to save on materials and have thinner cleansing pads, that’s fine!
  3. Sew them together! As I’ve said above, I’m a very inexperienced seamstress so these instructions are a little, well… layman. Tie a knot in your thread, then stitch them together using a blanket stitch. This video below from Red Ted Art will tell you exactly how to do it!

If that seems like too much work for you, I found these gorgeous reusable facial cleansing pads on Etsy. If you’re a US reader, try checking here.

What are the must-have zero waste products in your house? Can you sew better than I can? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. i recycle old clothing all the time or donate it to the clothes bin we have around. the recyclable pads sound a good idea, but i use a face cloth for removing makeup anyway #bestbootforward

    1. Author

      You’d think I used facecloths on my face too given the sheer amount in my airing cupboard (and the fact that that’s their actual purpose), but I only ever use facecloths for cleaning small children. It won’t last forever though, given my youngest is 6 already!

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