DIY: Reusable Cotton Pads

Did you know that cotton is known as one of the most water-intensive crops? Cotton uses more water than textiles made from flax, bamboo and hemp. According to the World Wildlife Fund, each cotton plant needs about 10 gallons of water to maximize its yield, and it takes over 700 gallons of water to produce just one cotton shirt. To reduce the amount of cotton you consume, make your own reusable cotton pads! Disposable cotton products, which are often used for makeup or nail polish removal, take many gallons of water to produce and are often produced in factories that cause pollution. Make your daily routine more eco-friendly and cost effective with these DIY reusable cotton pads.

  • What You’ll Need:
    • Repurposed Fabric (such as old towels or clothes)
    • Thread
    • Scissors
    • Sewing Pins
    • Sewing Machine or Sewing Needle


  1. Thoroughly wash your fabric before use. This will prevent shrinkage or the deformation of your cotton rounds later on.
  2. Create a pattern by outlining a square object. Do this twice to create two squares. You can also use a circle as a template.
  3. Grab your scissors and cut out your squares.
  4. Pin the two squares together.
  5. Use your sewing machine or sewing needle to sew the edges.
  6. Follow these steps until you run out of fabric.


There are so many zero-waste swaps like these that can lessen your impact on the environment. To read about zero-waste swaps for the kitchen, visit our Zero Waste Kitchen Swaps article!



Farm and Animals: How Much Water Does it take to Grow Cotton

Hello Sewing

World Wildlife Fund: The Impact of a Cotton T-Shirt