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How to clean DIY Beauty containers

How to clean DIY Beauty containers

At the start of summer I shared my Natural Beauty Essentials. And as you can tell, a lot of my staple products are DIY.

Whenever you make your own Beauty Products you have to store them in the proper beauty containers.

When I first started my DIY Beauty adventure I reused containers from store bought products all of the time.

After a while I decided to take my DIYing to the next level and invest in some proper containers for homemade beauty products. And to be honest I was also running out of store bought products to recycle …

Now I have a set of dark colored glass vials, including a dropper bottle, roller bottle and a spray bottle. Most of them I bought at Whole Foods, local health stores and online.

If you use high quality materials like these you can use the containers a couple of times. The trick is to make them look brand spankin’ new again between each use!

For this week’s post I decided to share my step by step routine on how to clean and sterilize DIY beauty containers. I hope you find this tutorial as useful as it has been for me!

How To Clean Glass Beauty Product Containers

Step 1: remove as much product as possible

The first step is to remove as much product as you can before cleaning the bottles.

Don’t just pour oils down the drain! I pour any remaining content in a plastic bag and then throw it in the trash.

Step 2: Soak overnight

The opening of the bottles is just too small to clean them out with a sponge.

To make sure all of the product is removed out of every little corner and curve, I let the bottles soak in soapy water overnight.

First I add a teaspoon of dishwashing soap to a bowl and then I hold it under the running tap to fill it with water. This way I have lots of lovely (cleaning) bubbles in my bowl.

I submerge the bottles in the soap mixture, as well as the caps and any other attributes.

The next morning you will see the oils and other product float around in the water!

Next, I thoroughly rinse every last bit of gunk and soap off with water.

Step 3: rinse with rubbing alcohol

If there’s STILL any product left in the container I fill it with rubbing alcohol. Then I let it sit for a few hours. The mess just come right out!

I find this particularly useful when I clean out the dropper bottle of my zit zapper gel. The aloe Vera gel really sticks to the bottom and this way I can get all off the product out.

I also like to swipe all the other containers with rubbing alcohol to thoroughly clean off any soap or product residue that might still be lingering.
Easy Step by Step Tutorial on How To clean your own DIY Beauty Containers at home by The Makeup Dummy

Step 4: Boil the beauty containers

This part is meant to sterilize the containers.

You can also sterilize glass containers in the oven, but I prefer the boiling method.

Fill a small cooking pot with water. Submerge the containers in the water and bring to a boil.

You can ONLY do this with glass vials and heatproof containers. If you’re not sure about the caps, I would leave them out.

Let the containers boil in the water for a good 10 minutes.
Easy Step by Step Tutorial on How To clean your own DIY Beauty Containers at home by The Makeup Dummy

Step 5: Let them dry

Wait for the water to stop boiling and then very carefully remove the containers with heatproof thongs.

The containers will be VERY VERY hot, so be extra careful when you take them out of the water.

Let them dry on some paper towels. Make sure they are completely dry and cooled off before you put new oils or product in the containers.

Once they’re dry you can swipe everything with rubbing alcohol one last time if you feel that’s necessary. In my opinion you can not do this enough! 🙂

And now they’re ready to store your latest concoctions!

How To Clean out Mascara tubes and lipsticks

There are of course those containers that are trickier to clean.

Maybe you want to re-purpose a mascara tube, lip balm container or a cute lipstick case. With their small openings and little nooks and crannies these can be especially difficult to clean out.

If you want to re-use mascara and lipstick containers, follow step 1 to 3 above.

As a final step, rinse the bottles one last time with warm water and soap and try to get them to dry as fast as possible.

You can for example push a piece of cloth or paper towel down the opening to absorb most of the water.

Don’t fill the containers again until you’re absolutely sure they’re dry!

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the goo might not want to go away. If this is the case it’s best to just accept that this container has served its purpose and move on.

It’s always a good idea to regularly invest in new containers. If you look around, you can find packaging made from recycled materials or recyclables.

Put your containers to good use! In my book DIY Beauty I share 100 natural recipe tutorials for brow gels, cleansing balms, face masks … 

100 easy all natural diy skin care and makeup recipes to make your own homemade beauty products, inspired by your favorite brands and products like LUSH, Kiehl's, Soap and Glory, MAC,

Make sure you remember every step whenever you need this tutorial. Pin it on your Pinterest board for later.

Easy Step by Step Tutorial on How To clean your own DIY Beauty Containers at home by The Makeup Dummy

Happy cleaning! 🙂


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Friday 20th of May 2022

I have an empty small plastic bottle of Lancome eye makeup remover. Is it safe to reuse this small bottle with a different brand of eye makeup remover? If so, how do I clean the empty bottle so that I don't have any cross-contamination with the new product? Thanks.

The Makeup Dummy

Tuesday 25th of July 2017

Hooray for eco-friendly! :-) Thanks, Kelly!

Kelly Mahan

Tuesday 25th of July 2017

Thank you so much for sharing your tutorial. Now instead of throwing them away, I'm gonna reuse the containers! Much more environmental-friendly =)

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