Why You Shouldn’t Throw Away That Old Mascara Wand

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Each time you toss out an old tube of mascara, you’re also throwing away the built-in mascara wand.

Who cares, right?

Well, I’m here to tell you not to throw another one away. Those little spoolie brushes are actually surprisingly useful — and not just for mascara.

Cleaning Old Mascara Wands

Of course, you’ll have to clean it thoroughly before using it for anything besides its original use.

To get rid of the gunk, start by filling a glass with warm water and letting the wand soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

Using a squirt of shampoo in the palm of your hand, work the wand around to remove as much mascara as possible. I find that baby shampoo does wonders to remove makeup, and removing mascara from the wand is no different!

Rinse with warm water, and repeat the shampoo process until nothing comes off the spoolie. Then give it a final rinse with water, and allow it to air dry.

After you’ve washed your mascara wand, check out these surprising ways to use it!

Smooth Flyaways

Whether you’ve got an elaborate updo that you’d rather not undo, or you just don’t want to end up with stiff hair, an old mascara wand can help you tame flyaways. Just spray the spoolie brush with hairspray, and brush them down without disturbing the rest of your hair.

Tame Your Eyebrows

Mascara wands do wonders for brushing brows. If you’d like to boost them with a bit of color, sweep the wand over brown eyeshadow before brushing it through your brows. You can also use a clean wand to soften the look of your brows after you’ve penciled them in.

Cleaning Hard-to-Reach Spots

Hard to reach tiny crevices where dust and gunk settles? A mascara wand can handle it. Clean jewelry, around faucets, between keyboard keys, or even clear the lint catcher in your blow dryer.

Castor Oil Eyelash Boost

A ton of people swear by castor oil to condition lashes and help them grow longer and thicker. A spoolie brush is the clear choice for application!

Exfoliate Your Lips

If you regularly suffer from flaky, dry lips, try exfoliating with the help of a clean mascara wand. Just apply lip balm, and scrub away with the wand.

Remove Cuticles

Cutting your cuticles can be a bad idea, but you can still minimize their appearance. Apply cuticle remover cream or olive oil to your nails, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a mascara wand to gently buff the base of your nails to get rid of cuticles.

Give Them to a Wildlife Organization

If you don’t need to smooth flyaways or exfoliate your lips, you can still give your old mascara wands a new lease on life instead of sending them to the landfill.

Some wildlife organizations collect old spoolie brushes because the fine-toothed bristles make them the perfect tool for caring for wild animals. They can be used to groom or clean areas, help a rehabilitator examine for injuries, or clean syringes used for feeding.

The bristles are so soft that they’re not a risk of potential injury for squirmy babies, either.